It was always about Senate President Phil Nicholas. When I left Cheyenne last week he was with us. From what I’ve heard, his amendment today in third reading killed the bill. So what happened?
Nicholas is even smarter than I thought he was. Put yourself in his position. His state is the least populous in the country. It is extremely vulnerable to budget cutters who want to eliminate the royalty sharing arrangement it has with the feds. If that goes it blows a huge hole in the State’s budget. He has just a few cards to play. One of them is Wyoming’s vote for an Amendment Convention. As Juneau Senator Bill Ray used to say, “What’s in it for me?” He wants to get paid. Not him, personally. He wants Wyoming to get something for its vote. If he gave it to us this year he gets nothing. If he holds out until next year, and Wyoming is one of the very last states, maybe he’ll be able to figure out a way to get paid. What’s the rush?
I’m not mad at Nicholas. I want to accommodate him. We need his vote. I can think of a couple of things that might appeal to him. I’ll try and think of more. We’ve got almost a year to figure it out. If we had lost for some other reason I’d be really down. But we can work this out.
It’s just business.