On Friday, June 26th, I attended the Wyoming Republican Convention. This year is the first year that I had a booth for my legislative ranking system.
It’s been an exciting experience so far. I conversed with thirty or more Republicans of all stripes.
One of the more interesting conversations was with Rep. Jared Olsen (R-Cheyenne) and his wife, Dani Olsen, the Chair of the Laramie County Republican Party.
The conversation was passionate and wide-ranging. We covered several topics.
My conversation with the Olsen’s started with Dani Olsen correcting me on her involvement with the Frontier Republicans. In previous posts, I had said and implied that Dani Olsen supported the Frontier Republicans. She told me flat out she was not a member or supporter of the Frontier Republicans.
I want to be as accurate as I can and will correct my errors when I made aware of them. I was wrong and acknowledged my mistake.
After properly correcting my error, our conversation switched to the notion of free speech. The discussion centered on the general question of whether the Wyoming Republican Party taking umbrage at Chairman’s Olsen’s claim of corruption and if the party were to take action to discipline her for her statements, would that be a stifling of free speech?
Not surprisingly, we disagree. Freedom of Speech is a right enjoyed and relied on by every American. However, Freedom of Speech does not mean there is freedom from consequence for what you have said. It is a common misconception.
If you are a member of an organization, especially in a leadership role, the organization may or may not take issue if, by your statements, you bring the organization into disrepute. It doesn’t mean you can’t say what you want, you most certainly can. However, you have to be ready to face the consequences of your statements.
Bias in Evidence-Based Wyoming’s Rankings?
Lastly, Rep Jared Olsen and I had a technical discussion about the primary purpose of Evidence-Based Wyoming, my legislator ranking system.
We discussed the methods of calculation and finally, the final ranking themselves. In particular, Mr. Olsen challenged the labels I selected for the political leaning ranking. The political leaning ranking is split into five categories: Very Conservative, Conservative, Moderate, Liberal, and finally Very Liberal.
As I heard his challenge as asking, doesn’t the choice of labels imply bias?
I promote Evidence-Based Wyoming as being bias-free. I admit that his point that the labels I chose can inject my bias into the rankings, and said as much. Its the only place where such bias can creep in. The ranking system is at its heart, just computations, and math has no bias.
In turn, I challenged him to give me replacement labels that would better communicate with the general public the voting propensity of legislators. He didn’t offer a better delineation. I want the rankings to be as good as possible and am willing to adapt based on feedback from the people and the legislators being ranked. Suggestions are welcome!
Time ran out for our conversation. We cleared the air a bit and resolved some misunderstandings and grasped a better understanding of Evidence-Based Wyoming.
I hope we each left with respect for each other’s viewpoints, as we all want the same thing, a better, more prosperous Wyoming.