In the course of writing a recent letter to the editor, I thought it must be useful to ask ChatGPT, the large language model AI to help me edit my original version. It took a while and many iterations, but it was a fun exercise. I thought it might be interesting for folks to see how useful ChatGPT can be.
I had roughly 100-200 exchanges with Chat GPT throughout our editing session. Here is what we ended up with before I started cutting for length.
In Wyoming’s expansive political wilderness, where the air is as thin as the promise of a politician, the Wyoming Freedom Caucus, a group of gallant conservatives, have emerged. These brave few are a constant burr under the saddle of the pompous Speaker Albert Sommers and his lackluster lapdog, Rep. Barry Crago.
Irony thick enough to cut with a knife seeps from Speaker Sommers and Rep. Crago, as they spend their days lamenting about the presence of the Wyoming Freedom Caucus. They huff and puff but coyly avoid revealing the true size of this group that keeps them up at night.
In the spirit of candor, the Wyoming Freedom Caucus consists of a mere dozen legislators. A pitiful 19.4% of the house, a far cry from the majority they’d need to shake things up. According to the StateFreedomCaucus.org website, some members are as elusive as a cat in a dog show, opting to remain anonymous. Double their known ranks, and they’re still eight lawmakers shy of running the show.
And if you need more proof that the deck is stacked against them, know that the average Wyoming Freedom Caucus member has fewer committee assignments than a Democratic junior intern fresh off the boat. They’re virtually non-existent on key committees such as Appropriations and Revenue. It’s a steep mountain to climb, with nothing but slippery slopes.
Yet, for reasons known only to themselves and their therapists, Speaker Sommers and his stooge, Rep. Crago, are shaking in their polished boots. They sense the winds of change, carrying the scent of their own failures and the heady aroma of fiscal conservatism, a fragrance sorely missed in these parts. Their spend-happy ways, championed by the likes of Sommers, Harshman, Zwonister, and Barlow, have driven our finances into a hole so deep, even a prairie dog couldn’t dig its way out.
At a recent town hall, the people gave Rep. Crago a verbal lashing that would make a bullwhip seem like a feather duster. He’d painted himself a conservative, but his voting record spilled the beans, showing he’d backed more spending amendments than all House Democrats combined. Faced with this unsavory truth, Crago found himself as popular as a rattlesnake at a picnic.
To divert attention from his own blunders, Crago threw the Wyoming Freedom Caucus under the stagecoach. But let’s expose the whole truth. A wagonload of property tax relief bills met an untimely end in committee without a recorded vote. The puppet masters of these committees? None other than Speaker Sommers and his posse.
And let’s not overlook the tantalizing tease of Medicaid Expansion, a veritable pot of gold these liberals have been salivating over. Rep. Crago conveniently left out that this issue was waiting in the wings, set to take the stage immediately after the doomed property tax relief bills. Yet, the Wyoming Freedom Caucus put a spoke in their wheel, refusing to let them have their way.
My fellow Wyomingites, we need to whip off the wool from our eyes and expose the deceitful machinations of Speaker Sommers, Rep. Crago, and their band. The Wyoming Freedom Caucus, with their commitment to transparency and accountable governance, are the only ones standing in the breach, keeping these opportunists at bay.
In the immortal words of Mark Twain, “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.” So, it’s time to stop being the dupes, see through the charade, and stand with the Wyoming Freedom Caucus as they ride for smaller, more efficient, and less spendthrift government.
And here is where we started:
In God we trust; everyone else must bring data.” quoting Professor of Pathology Edwin R. Fisher addressing a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978.
Did you ever notice Speaker Albert Sommers and his hand-picked henchman Rep. Barry Crago spend an awful amount of their time bemoaning the Wyoming Freedom Caucus?
Funny Speaker Sommers and Rep. Crago never tell you how many members of the Wyoming Freedom Caucus there are.
Here are the members of the Wyoming Freedom Caucus: REP. JOHN BEAR – CHAIRMAN, REP. JEREMY HAROLDSON – VICE CHAIR, REP. CHRIS KNAPP, REP. PEPPER OTTMAN, REP. SCOTT HEINER, REP. JOHN WINTER, REP. RACHEL RODRIGUEZ-WILLIAMS, REP. ALLEN SLAGLE, REP. BILL ALLEMAND, REP. JEANETTE WARD, REP. SCOTT SMITH, and REP. TOMI STROCK.
It’s a total of twelve legislators. I did the math, 12/62 = 19.4%, and 20 legislators shy of the count needed to control the Wyoming House of Representatives.
Even on the two most potent committees, House Appropriations, and House Revenue, the Freedom Caucus has few representatives. On the Appropriations Committee, they have no members, and on the Revenue Committee, Rep. Bear and Rep. Strock are two of nine members, a 22% minority.
This is important as Speaker Sommers and Rep. Crago fear losing their power. They can see that traditional fiscal conservative values are taking root here in Wyoming. For years big-spending liberals like Speak Sommers, Rep. Harshman, Rep. Zwonister, and Sen. Barlow have been taxing and spending Wyoming into oblivion. Recently at a town hall, Rep. Crag was admonished that he ran as a conservative but voted for more spending amendments in the House Budget than not just one, not just two but all the House Democrats. He didn’t take it well.
That’s why he penned the op-ed that accused a mere twelve legislators who steadfastly stand for smaller, more efficient, and cheaper government and blamed them for the property tax debacle.
But here, too, Rep. Cargo is short on facts. He wants to blame the House Freedom Caucus for in the last hours of the last day of the legislative session for voting against continuing the session beyond the 5 pm deadline.
Speaker Sommers, Rep. Crago, and their allies know that if you know the whole truth about what is happening in our Legislature, you’ll see them off without a kind word. So they omit things that complicate their narrative.
Two of Rep. Crago’s omitted facts are especially interesting. First, at least seven House bills and three House joint resolutions concerning property tax relief died in committee without a recorded vote. Most often, this happened in the Revenue Committee, where Speaker Sommers and Rep. Crago have Rep. Harshman chairing the committee and hold a significant majority over Rep. Bear and Rep. Strock. Second, Rep. Crago fails to tell you that once again, Medicaid Expansion, an idea that has repeatedly defeated in the Legislature was the next bill in line after the property tax relief bill. The big-spending liberals have had their eye on that illusory pot of gold for a long time.
So now you have all the data regarding Speaker Sommers and his untrusty sidekick Rep. Crago and their fellow travelers Rep. Harshman, Rep. Zwonitzer, and all the big-spending Republicans. The data gives you insight into why they let twelve legislators of the Wyoming Freem Caucus eat up so much of their time and nightmares.