Wyoming has two Senators; base salary is $174,000. Term of office is six years, there are no term limits. Other benefits are the same as for the House of Representatives. The winner in November will join Senator John Barrasso, who was elected in 2012. He was appointed to finish a term in 2007 when Sen. Thomas died in office. U.S. Constitutional requirements for office are that the candidate be at least 30, nine years a citizen, and when elected be an inhabitant of the state they will represent.
Responses were not received from three candidates: Arthur Bruce Clifton (R), Cheyenne; James “Coaltrain” Gregory (R), Jackson; and Rex Wilde (D), Cheyenne.
- What are your qualifications for the office you seek? (75 words)
Thomas Bleming (R): I am an American citizen. I am of age, a registered voter. I have never been convicted of any crimes. I served my country in time of war (Vietnam). I was awarded the Silver Star and Army Commendation medal w/"V" device, these two medals are awarded for gallantry under fire. I've been observing what's been going on (politically) in this country and it appears to me that some of those politicians are more interested in their own personal welfare….
William Bryk (D): My qualifications are sound, though not extraordinary. They stem from my parents, who inculcated their seven children with industry, honesty, and common sense. I’ve worked all my life, earning my baccalaureate while working as a dishwasher and stock room clerk and my law degree while holding down a full time job. I’ve published numerous articles, columns, essays, and reviews in New York Press, The New York Sun, and New York Newsday, among others….
Mike Enzi (R): I have a proven record of service in Wyoming, first as a businessman and accountant, then as a Mayor and state legislator and now in the U.S. Senate. I’ve raised my children in Wyoming, held jobs in Wyoming and had employees in Wyoming. In the Senate, I’ve worked to reduce spending, rein in the reach of the federal government, stop burdensome regulations that cripple our energy sector and keep healthcare decisions in the hands of doctors and patients.
Al Hamburg (D): Veteran of War in Korea. 1952—3rd Infantry Div—Germany. 1953-54—Patrol East German Border—1956-57 Japan 1st Cav. Div. 1967—Vietnam 4th Infantry Div. Al Hamburg is only combat veteran candidate—knows what a stupid waste is military spending—that military industry controls USA.
Charlie Hardy (D): I know the concerns of Wyoming people. I was born here and have spent most of my life in Wyoming. I have also had extensive experience outside of the United States and have visited over 30 countries. I accompanied people in their daily struggles and listened to their concerns. I have had managerial and decision making responsibilities as an educator and as a Catholic priest and have learned the importance of respect for other’s ideas.
Bryan E. Miller (R): I received a B.S. in Biology from the USAF Academy and earned two Masters Degrees before retiring in 2011 as a Lt Col. I served in multiple positions that required keen diplomatic skills as I engaged stakeholders in state, federal and international security and cooperation arenas. These diplomatic skills carried forward into my business where I facilitate collaborative solutions between industry and government organizations through my consulting business, BEM Int’l, LLC, a Sheridan Wyoming SDVOSB.
- What are the short- and long-term advantages and disadvantages of reducing carbon emissions to Wyoming and the world? (100 words)
Thomas Bleming (R): Global warming has been going on for as long as the Earth has been inhabited by humans and carbon emissions from coal fired electrical generating plants are a very small part in what has been causing these extreme temperature fluctuations around the planet. Volcanic eruptions throw out many times more carbon into the air than what coal fired electrical plants do. Atomic bomb testing (above ground) is a significant cause of what we are experiencing. In both World War I and World War II, the world’s air pollution was greatly affected by such things as oil tankers and oil refineries (in Europe and Asia) being torpedoed….
William Bryk (D): There are probably few short term advantages of reducing carbon emissions to Wyoming and the world. The short-term disadvantages of reducing carbon emissions to Wyoming are likely to be an adverse effect on the hydrocarbon sector of the state’s economy. To the world, they are likely to be an increase in international tensions as developing nations dependent upon relatively cheap hydrocarbon fuels come into conflict with developed nations who wish to see carbon emissions reduced. The long-term advantages to both Wyoming and the world is a reduction of injury to the environment and gradual stabilization of the weather.
Mike Enzi (R): Coal is not only essential to keeping the lights on and energy costs affordable, it plays a big role in Wyoming’s economy. Mineral production provides 75 percent of our state’s revenue and creates thousands of jobs. Eliminating coal from our energy portfolio is neither prudent or practical. It makes sense to enact sensible policies that help us move toward more efficient energy sources. With our vast reserves, Wyoming has become a focal point for coal development and research. Using new technology will help make traditional energy sources cleaner without imposing policies that would create severe economic damage.
Al Hamburg (D): There will never be any reducing of carbon emissions—because of need for jobs!
Charlie Hardy (D): In the short-term, Wyoming would become a leader of the new renewable energy future; our economy would become more resilient and less dependent on non-renewable resources, and our air quality would improve. On the other hand, a disadvantage would be that wind turbines will impact birds, bats and wildlife habitat. In the long-term it would help give future generations a better chance to deal with the impacts of climate change that virtually all climate scientists agree upon. On the other hand, a disadvantage would be the visual impact of the turbines, solar arrays and transmission lines.
Bryan E. Miller (R): The US continually decreases carbon emissions as the public demands industry upgrade power plants, develop efficient automobiles, and use less electricity in homes and businesses. This continual improvement effectively negates any significant economic short- or long-term advantages to Wyoming even when the renewable energy industry is included. However the world’s situation can be enhanced as our technology for utilizing fossil fuels improves over time. These improvements will create a continued demand for Wyoming’s fossil fuel resources and will clean up the air thus improving health conditions worldwide. Wyoming’s short/long-term disadvantages include higher unemployment across multiple industry’s (energy, railroad, education, etc.).
- How can Congress be more productive? (100 words)
Thomas Bleming (R): Listen to the people and place the people ahead of their own wishes and desires, Keep big money out of politics and stop these corporate giants (like the Koch brothers) from influencing elections with their mega-million dollar political contributions.
William Bryk (D): The rules of Senate procedure should be changed to end the obstruction of public business through fictitious filibusters. A simple majority of the Senate should be able to close debate and get on with the public business. The recent changes in Senate procedure dealt largely with Presidential appointments. That’s insufficient. Americans want deliberation and decisions, not partisan obstruction. Partisanship applies to politics the emotions best reserved for one’s favorite baseball team. I favor good faith efforts to determine and further the common good. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, I know neither Democrats nor Republicans: only Americans.
Mike Enzi (R): Congress needs to quit deal making and start legislating. Senate leaders have sidestepped the legislative process to pass bills with little to no input from other lawmakers. Senators are denied the opportunity to offer amendments. Legislation is brought to the floor without committee hearings or debate. And instead of considering issues one at a time, Senate leaders lump spending bills and unrelated legislation together to consider on a single vote. This is not how our founders—or the Constitution—intended the Senate to work. Returning to regular order is essential to improving productivity in Washington.
Al Hamburg (D): Congress is a joke and only serves their own interests.
Charlie Hardy (D): Above all, there is a serious need for more bi-partisan solutions. In the case of Wyoming, we would have a stronger representation if we had both a Republican and a Democrat in the Senate because it would give us an entry to the White House, no matter which party controlled it. That was Wyoming’s strength for 23 years in the past. We currently are taken for granted by the Republican Party and not heard at all by the Democratic Party.
Bryan E. Miller (R): Congress should focus on the fundamentals of government as defined by the US Constitution. The size and scope of the federal government must be reduced to a manageable level. Returning regulatory powers to the States is a good place to start. Congress must also use their checks and balance powers to stop the consolidation of power at the federal level. “Party” must be put aside to end the Executive Branch’s use of a pen, a phone, and unnamed, unelected bureaucrats (via the rule-making process) to dispense with,