This is what Republican political campaigns have come to: saying outrageous things and making up fake platforms to get attention, which is what Wyoming gubernatorial Taylor Haynes did in his campaign against the incumbent, Republican Gov. Matt Meade.
In order to get attention and a little press coverage, Haynes said that if he’s elected as Wyoming’s governor, he will “take back federal lands” and open up Yellowstone National Park for oil and gas drilling. The fact that he acted like he was going to take on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management insists that he could be trying to appeal to Cliven Bundy-type Tea Partiers.
Alongside his faux promises to open up Yellowstone for drilling, he also said that he would have federal employees arrested for impersonating law enforcement officers. According to University of Wyoming history professor Phil Roberts, “such attention-seeking assertions clearly aren’t well-thought-out or grounded in any successful historical precedent.”
Attention-seeking is the correct term to use. According to a follow-up interview with the Casper Star-Tribune, Haynes did come clean and admit that he was only trying to rile up voters and his opponents, a mere ruse for attention. This begs one to ask how exactly does Haynes think his tactics are going to help him? Joking or not, considering the eccentricity of Haynes, it’s better to keep right-wing crazy that inhabits Wyoming to a minimum.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.