Letter to the editor: The facts Chuck is forgetting
As I observe Representative Chuck Gray’s campaign for the Wyoming Secretary of State position, I find it hard to watch him take credit for how he successfully “authored and passed our state’s Voter ID law”. He seems to have forgotten the true facts behind the bill, so I have decided to come forward with the rest of the story.
Representative Gray had previously drafted and tried to pass two versions of a voter ID bill. Both attempts failed miserably. Why? In my opinion, this was due to two things: 1) he lacked credibility in the legislature, and 2) the bills were poorly conceived and poorly written.
On the third year, I was anxious to see a voter ID bill passed, so I decided to prepare one myself. I did the research on voter ID laws and drafted a bill that was straight forward and effective. It was at that time that I received a phone call from Mr. Gray. He was upset and quite condescending. He demanded to know what I was doing. He had drafted yet another bill and felt that he had earned the privilege to be the sponsor. He requested that I back down and cancel my bill. I refused to do so.
A few days later, Mr. Gray called once again and began to badger me into dropping my bill. I resisted because I felt my approach to the Voter ID was superior to his approach. He became angry and began to yell. I told him I would hang up if he didn’t calm down to discuss the issue.
It was clear we had different motives. Mr. Gray wanted the glory and prestige of being the “author” of the bill; I simply just wanted a clean bill that would pass the legislature his time and be easy to implement. We finally agreed that he would remove the guts of his bill and insert the main language from my bill. In turn, I would let him take the lead. This was a decision I now regret seeing how he is taking all the credit for writing and passing the voter ID bill.
I believe that without my language in the bill and without me bringing a strong contingency of support to the bill, Mr. Gray would have struck out the third time. So, let’s be clear, it wasn’t his leadership that helped the bill be successful.
So, the next time Mr. Gray states, “I authored and passed the Voter ID bill” as justification for why you should vote for him. Raise the question about his honesty and integrity.
Vote for the person who doesn’t seek power and glory. Vote for Tara Nethercott!
Evan J. Simpson, Representative
Wyoming House of Representatives