Fishinglicensegate, Big Money Are Stars of Liz Cheney Challenge to Sen. Enzi

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Bill Sniffin
Bill Sniffin

One of Wyoming’s retired Speakers of the House said the following:

“I used to say I could go to Cheyenne and mess up with roads, health, K-12, etc, but if I messed up Game and Fish, I was dead! As to Liz Cheney’s problem with falsifying a fishing license application, in my opinion, it is a fatal error here in Wyoming. Her campaign is DOA.”

In what is being called fishinglicensegate, the revelation that U. S. Senate candidate Cheney supplied false information for a resident fishing license and paid a $220 fine provided a horrible campaign start.

Cheney took out her wrath at Jackson News&Guide Editor Angus Thuermer Jr. at a Tea Party gathering in Jackson. She said, “newspapers are dying and that’s not a bad thing.” She was upset because Thuermer had broken the story about her paying the fine.

Radio personality Kim Love in Sheridan interviewed Cheney’s opponent, three-term U. S. Sen. Mike Enzi, recently. As part of the program Love read the instructions a person gets when applying for a resident license

“I read what it said on the license and asked how someone with a University of Chicago law degree couldn't understand that?” Love recalls.  “Given her education and given her supporters are critical of Congress for voting on bills they haven't read, it is a bit disingenuous of her to blame the clerk because she apparently didn't read what she'd signed.”

Enzi travels Wyoming in August and came by Lander after that interview in Sheridan.  We had an iced tea with Mike and his wife.
Diana Enzi, who looked terrific, says her health is wonderful despite what appears to be some attempts to imply it is not.  She is a cancer survivor from some years ago.

When it came to the campaign, she rolled her eyes over the amount of money they have been told will be spent.   

This is already going to be the longest campaign in Wyoming history and the most expensive primary race in Wyoming, ever.  
Here is a sampling of what some folks have been saying about the campaign:

Current speaker of the Wyoming House, Tom Lubnau of Gillette, opined: “So, the race as I see it, is an unproven pundit who is running against someone who has dedicated his life to getting things done serving people of Wyoming.   As someone who has been active protecting Wyoming’s energy industry for many years, I’ve never met Liz Cheney.   All I know of her character is she appears to be someone who cannot read the fine print on a fishing license, and is willing to throw the clerk under the bus, rather than publicly admit a mistake.”

“Mike Enzi's sponsorship of the Marketplace Fairness Act shows terrible judgment, and his defense of it holds no water,” says Wyoming Liberty Group founder Susan Gore, Cheyenne.
Longtime political observer Judy Legerski from Lander says: “I think the campaign will be great fun!  Mike is a great guy who has never really had opposition and never had to raise money. I'm hoping that issues will actually be discussed - as opposed to spouting the ‘I'm a conservative’ line, which bores me to death.  

“I want to know how Wyoming lost its AML money and what will be done about it. “

“Mike Enzi is grounded in the proper ethics and works hard without wanting the spotlight. His 80 percent rule is a good one. We don't need to send another hardliner to Washington.  All that does is ensure continued gridlock and no action,” says Jim Hicks, Buffalo

“Mike Enzi has earned his stripes -- Liz has not -- she is an opportunist trying to use her family name to buy a Senate seat. Her dad was a carpetbagger and she is too. No real Wyoming roots. Too elite for me,” says Mike Lindsey, former Cheyenne, Torrington, Gillette and Sundance resident.

“I have an issue with the families that think that they are political dynasties, Kennedy, Roosevelt, Bush, Clinton, Simpson, and now Cheney. This isn't something you get because your dad was a leader. We fought wars to make sure that it was ability not birth. Liz Cheney thinks we are morons. She is NOT Wyoming just because she has a Jackson house for weekends,” says City

Councilman Cade Maestes, Lander.

Some folks think that Liz Cheney’s fishing license issue will fade away soon.  It is going to be a long campaign but that gaffe will follow her around, we predict.

Check out Bill Sniffin’s columns at  He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has written four books. His most recent book is “Wyoming’s 7 Greatest Natural Wonders” which is available at

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