Letter To The Editor: Ogden Driskill Needs To Show Respect

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Dear editor:

How ironic that Senate President Ogden Driskill, who has championed “civilization” strongly in the Wyoming Legislature, should write such a smear about Medicaid expansion in the Cowboy State Daily. He begins by saying he’s compelled to write this “as the Medicaid expansion warm-up seems to have become an annual event for my colleagues.”

He continues to bash the liberal media, the Democrats, the Biden administration and those reprehensible RINOs. He concludes his column by saying, “I believe that if you support Medicaid expansion, voters should understand whose camp you are with. It is the democratic version of the American dream – cradle-to-grave dependence on government for all the same government robs us of the means to make a living here in Wyoming.”

Aside from blaming others, he offers no political solution to the people of our state who are not assured that Medicaid expansion would address.

Earlier in the winter, Senate President Driskill told the Cowboy State Daily: “He asked the Wyoming state legislatures, whom he had appointed to chair the top legislative committees, to sign a pact that included a canned letter of resignation if anyone fell out of line during the process should dance the forthcoming session of the legislature”.

According to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, President and House Speaker Albert Sommers indicated at the beginning of the session that one of their measures of success for this session is “centered on courtesy and the ability of lawmakers to work well together, even when.” they are disagree on the issues.”

As a lifelong Democrat who was born and raised in Wyoming, I find his description of Democrats offensive.

We may differ on policy issues and the role of federal, state, and local governments, but like most Wyoming residents, I want healthy communities that support our families with good schools, health care and jobs, plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities, and a strong Business.

And I realize that this vision of Wyoming requires all of us in Wyoming to manage many competing interests.

For example, support for public lands is high in our state because we enjoy hiking, hunting, camping, boating, and so on.

But the same public lands provide us with oil, gas, and coal revenues that have long supported our state and provide much-needed funding for our schools. How do we balance these demands to ensure we benefit from the industrial use of our public lands without harming the nature we love so dearly?

Has Senate President Driskill so quickly forgotten his focus on politeness? Bashing up Democrats and RINOs (who make up a large percentage of Wyomingits) is hardly a way to build relationships and promote civility within the legislature and outside the state.

In all honesty, I expect a lot more from someone in such a prominent leadership role in our legislature. He is unequivocally opposed to Medicaid expansion, but rather than tirade at liberal media, Democrats and RINOs, how about a reasoned explanation as to why he does not support the expansion and a clear proposal on how to address the significant disparities in healthcare can lead to medical bankruptcy for families and a less healthy workforce that harms our economy.

Our state faces many challenges, and those elected or appointed to positions of leadership, including the Senate President, are called to truly lead. So, Senate President Driskill, please lead by example and show respect to well-meaning citizens who may not share your views, but just like you want the best for Wyoming.


Mary E Burman

Laramie, WY

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