NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino doesn’t have a Super Bowl Ring…but Russian president Vladimir Putin does. Strange? Not nearly so strange as Wyoming politics has become.
Wyoming politics is fairly mundane compared to states like Illinois where the statehouse is oftentimes a stepping-stone to the state prison. Unlike some states our politicians have quietly stayed out of jail and out of national news. A few, like Ed Herschler, left great stories in their wake. Others have only been sort of interesting on occasion. Wyoming politics has been fairly humdrum for over 120 years.
That’s about to change. While the historic record hints at an impeachment in the late 19th century, Wyoming is about to experience its first serious effort to drive a politician out of office and maybe to the pokey.
Since she was elected in 2010, Cindy Hill has done everything but send out engraved invitations for her impeachment. From the day she walked into the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Hill has been a poster child for the fundamental problem Tea Party candidates here and elsewhere have in common. They can get elected but they have no idea how to govern. (Ref: the Laramie County Commissioners)
For Democrats, this is an “I told you so” moment. For Republicans this is an internecine mud-wrestling match. For voters, this is exactly what you knew you’d get when you voted that straight ticket.
In one corner, weighing as much as the elephant in the room, is the old-hat
Republican Party. They’re called RINOs, Republicans in Name Only, by conservatives who think them simply too liberal. In the other corner, weighing perhaps more than the elephant in the room, are the Tea Party, the CROWS (Conservative Republicans of Wyoming), the Liberty Group, and the Constitution Party.
The RINOs have set their sights on Ms. Hill. The others have gone RINO hunting. Now the house will vote to impeach, the senate will vote to convict and RINO hunters will head into the 2014 elections loaded for elephant.
You can count on it according to Christopher G. Adamo, a writer with genuine conservative credentials. Writing for ConservativeTruth.org, Adamo linked “the Wyoming ‘Republican’ political machine” with what he called “the abhorrent abuses that characterize the administration of Barack Obama.” It’s certain the GOP establishment doesn’t considers that a compliment. Adamo blamed “Liberal statists masquerading as “Republicans” for “the scandalous manipulations that have been undertaken for the expressed purpose of negating the official capacity of Cindy Hill as Wyoming’s duly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction.”
Adamo predicted how it’ll all unfold. “No doubt, something unsavory will be asserted by Mead’s inquisition, to then be sufficiently blown out of proportion so as to constitute vindication for all of the underhanded excesses committed by his office and his cronies in the state legislature.” A report termed by the Billings Gazette a “bombshell autopsy of Cindy Hill-run Wyoming Education Department” is that “something unsavory.”
Jennifer Young of the Wyoming Constitution Party thinks it’s enough that the electorate voted for Hill to be superintendent of schools. Young says the decision of the state legislature to strip Hill of her duties violates Wyoming's State Constitution. If Young and Adamo were unhappy about the “Hill bill,” wait till the get a load of what is about to happen. Impeachment. Conviction. Removal. Perhaps all of that followed by criminal and/or civil claims.
The state constitution provides for all of that if a state official is found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, or malfeasance in office, allowing further “prosecution, trial, judgment and punishment according to law” even if Hill is removed.
We have a plot for a Greek tragedy. Republicans elected Hill, Republicans stripped her of her duties, Republicans will impeach her, remove her from office and, if she is prosecuted, it will be by her fellow Republicans. Putin may not have earned his Super Bowl ring but Hill, it appears, earned all of this.
All of that begs the question. Who convicts the voters of malfeasance?