Phil Nicholas

He was 24 when he passed the Wyoming Bar and got a job as a criminal prosecutor with the DA’s office. A great way to get trial experience, on the taxpayer’s dime.  Two years later he hung up a shingle, starting his own law firm in Laramie.  33 years later he’s one of the top litigators in the State of Wyoming, the kind of lawyer a Fortune 500 company would retain if they needed legal work in Wyoming.  He’s a well respected man, deservedly so.  He’s my kind of guy.

Now he’s President of the State Senate, and has reservations about our bill.  I assume it’s concern about a runaway, though I don’t know that.  (Note the first three letters in “assume”).  His vote killed the CoS bill in Rules last week.  I’m pretty sure I’ve got a commitment from Natelson to accompany me to Cheyenne on Monday.  We’re trying to arrange a meeting with Nicholas before the Senate Rules hearing at noon.  Regardless, I’ve got to believe that Nicholas is the kind of lawyer who would give great weight to the testimony of someone with Natelson’s credentials.  It’s our best shot.  I just have a hard time believing someone as intelligent and accomplished as Nicholas would really buy into the Birch nonsense.

Idaho is a mystery state.  Phone calls and emails are unanswered.  I assume (note 1st 3 letters) it ‘s because Speaker Scott Bedke knows what he’s doing and doesn’t want the bother of explaining it to anybody.  It’s Bedke’s show.  We’re on the sidelines, cheering him on.  That’s the way Rep. Joe Harrison, Master Legislator, did it in Louisiana.  All he did was get unanimous approval in both Houses.

Problems in subcommittee in South Carolina. Iron Man Bill Fruth flew from Salt lake to Atlanta, rented a car, and arrived in Columbia at 4:00 a.m.  He got five minutes before the committee.  I’ll check in with John Steinberger tomorrow to see what’s happening.

Haven’t heard much from West Virginia.  Sponsoring Delegate John Overington is another Hal Wick, been at it 30 years.  Except Hal was always in the majority.  John’s been in the minority the whole time, until this year.  Unless you’ve been there, you have no idea how frustrating it is to be in the minority in a legislature.  I did it for eight years.  30?  Now that’s grit.

The only way I saw anybody accomplish anything much in the minority was by whoring out.  If you’re willing to sell your vote you’ll be given some crumbs.  I didn’t kiss anybody’s ring when I was in the minority. I spent my time trying to figure out how to get the Republicans in the majority.  Then I’d repay all the favors the Democrats did for me.  In spades.  One year I bet my wife $1,000 I was the next Speaker of the House.

She’s still waiting to get paid.

With South Dakota in the bag, and North Dakota a lock, all our western targets* line up, north and south.  From Montana and Idaho on the Canadian border, south through Wyoming and Utah to Arizona on the border with old Mexico.  Kind of a coincidence, but not really.  These are places, and people, that revere the rugged individualism of the hard men and strong women who settled them.  Their descendants live there.  These people are conservatives and libertarians.  Sadly, a small minority of them are a little simple minded, and susceptible to the Birch jive.  They’re not bad people, far from it.  They’re patriots.

In their own demented way.

* I don’t count Oklahoma as western.  I don’t know what the hell it is.

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