Saturday, August 6, 2016

Beware of this candidate

When candidates refuse to answer surveys seeking their views on issues, it says something about the candidates. Either they don’t know enough to respond coherently or don’t want the voters to know their positions.

The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle submitted questionnaires to all legislative candidates. Most took the opportunity to convey their positions to the voters. Lindi Kirkbride, David Zwonitzer, and Mr. Bouchard are the three Republicans seeking the District 6 state senate seat. Mr. Bouchard is the only one who refused to answer.

Anthony Bouchard is familiar with candidate questionnaires. As director of the Wyoming Gun Owners Association political action committee, he sent plenty of them to other candidates.

Though he refused to answer the WTE survey, voters could learn a lot about him from questionnaires he sent to other candidates.
Bouchard’s 2010 questionnaire asked for a “True” or “False” response to this: “Article 1 Section 1 of the Wyoming Constitution says that ‘all power is inherent in the people yet Government officials including Judges have ignored this statute (sic) for too long.”
Candidates were asked to respond “Yes” or “No” to this. “Wyoming’s most law-abiding citizens, permit holders, have the right to carry their weapons in all government buildings including the Capitol and onto the grounds of schools, colleges and universities in order to be able to protect themselves from criminals.”
Mr. Bouchard used a questionnaire to bicker with Wyoming law enforcement officers. He accused the Wyoming Association of Sheriff’s and Chiefs of Police of fighting against “legislation restoring the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.” He demanded candidates announce whether they’d “take a stand” against Wyoming’s police and sheriffs.
In 2010, Mr. Bouchard went to Sheridan, giving such an incendiary speech targeting a local Republican legislator that police felt the need to confront him.
His website is informative. The candidate’s home page emphasizes positions on such important matters as “Auction both state jets.”
Read on and you’ll understand why Anthony Bouchard is the most extreme candidate running for the legislature in Wyoming in 2016.

He identifies government's first responsibility “is to protect the right of the people to be free to live their lives without having to beg for permission from government bureaucrats.”

Under the heading “Corrupt Politicians,” he excoriates Governor Matt Mead and other Republicans, speaking obliquely about Senator Tony Ross who is retiring from the seat Bouchard covets. He accuses his fellow Republicans of awarding contracts in violation of state law. The Republican calls the pay raises the Governor gave his staff “corrupt.”

Anthony Bouchard enjoys that word and routinely aims it at his fellow Republicans.

Mr. Bouchard claims to be the “ONLY candidate that will fight to change the current rush to over allocate funds.” That rush to spend comes as a surprise to state agencies undergoing draconian budget cuts.

Most ironic is the credit Mr. Bouchard takes for a 2012 constitutional amendment. His website quotes it. "Each competent adult shall have the right to make his or her own health care decisions. The state of Wyoming shall act to preserve these rights from undue governmental infringement."

He thinks it was anti-Obamacare. To his horror, the courts will eventually find this language protects a woman’s right to choose. That certainly wasn’t Mr. Bouchard’s intent. He claims to be “the ONLY candidate that will defend traditional family values and the protection of life as a fundamental principle of liberty. “

He worries about who sits in the bathroom stall next to him and wants to make sure that butchers, bakers and candlestick makers have “the right to refuse service to anyone.” Never did learn why he wants to auction the state airplanes.

Reading Mr. Bouchard’s website one understands why he didn’t want his extreme views spread across the pages of a widely read newspaper. He’s a single-issue candidate with a demonstrated inability to get along with people including fellow Republicans.

Why would voters want to create Washington-style divisive politics in our legislature when they have such qualified alternatives in Lindi Kirkbride and David Zwonitzer?

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