hitchhiking bill passes

By Jim Stanford on February 22, 2013

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Sen. Christensen at the Capitol last month.

A bill that would legalize hitchhiking in Wyoming has passed both chambers of the state Legislature and awaits Gov. Matt Mead’s signature to become law.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Leland Christensen, R-Alta, passed final reading in the House today by a 52-6 vote. Earlier the Senate voted 29-1 to approve it.

“It is never over till the ink is dry,” Christensen wrote in an email. “I have my fingers crossed.”

The bill would remove language from state law prohibiting people from being on a highway for the purpose of soliciting a ride. If signed by the governor, the law would take effect July 1.

Reached at his home in Teton Village, Capt. Bob Morris, a longtime advocate of ride sharing, hailed the bill’s passage. “Hurray, that’s terrific news,” Morris said. “It should have happened decades ago.”

Morris said he did not plan to attend a prospective bill signing, even if he could hitch to Cheyenne.

Also expected to rejoice, if the governor approves the legislation: backcountry skiers on Teton Pass, rafters in the Snake canyon, and the mountain man Gator.

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Posted under Crime, Politics, Wyoming, Wyoming Legislature

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Wyoming bill would legalize hitchhiking

By Jim Stanford on November 26, 2012

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Thumbing it has long been a part of Western life.

In a move that will warm the hearts of Capt. Bob Morris and backcountry skiers, a state legislator from Teton County is working on a bill to legalize hitchhiking in Wyoming.

Sen. Leland Christensen, R-Alta, will seek to remove from the law a prohibition on soliciting rides, according to the News&Guide. The paper reported:

” ‘It’s a law on the books that doesn’t make sense, especially in these economic times,’ said Christensen, who remembers when his father used to hitch rides home when the family would visit his grandparents.”

Christensen’s view is reinforced by a recent New York Times op-ed, titled “Hitchhiking’s Time Has Come Again,” which argues that the dangers of soliciting rides have been overblown and even fabricated to dissuade people from the once-widespread practice.

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Posted under Crime, Environment, Politics, Republican Party, Wyoming Legislature

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closing argument

By Jim Stanford on October 31, 2012

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As the campaign for town council enters the final week, indulge me in a little shameless self-promotion.

After months of talking about serious issues like the comprehensive plan, I decided it was time for some fun. Hence my appearance outside the Ski Swap in festive Halloween attire, pledging fresh tracks for all.

Throughout the forums and on my campaign blog, I have tried to lay out my ideas as clearly as possible and make the case that I am qualified to serve on the council and will do an effective job.

But don’t take it from me. Take it from the folks above.

For those still looking to dig deeper on the issues, visit my campaign website, listen to archived KHOL broadcasts or consult the News&Guide Election Section, which offers comprehensive coverage of every race and question on the ballot.

Thanks again to the friends and local dignitaries cajoled into making a cameo. Six days to go. I’m bound to have a big tab at Moo’s once the campaign is over.

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Posted under Humor, Politics, Town Government

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which primary should we vote in?

By Jim Stanford on August 17, 2010

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Liberals voting in the GOP primary is "precisely what the right wing fears the most," says Capt. Bob.

Today is primary election day. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters may register at the polls; you need to have lived here only a minute to vote. Click here to find your polling place.

What’s at stake? The governor’s race, for starters. There’s an important contest for Wyoming Legislature. And the fate of 11 specific purpose tax projects hangs in the balance, including $1 million for improvement of the Wilson and South Park access points on the Snake River.

Adding intrigue is the possibility that many Democratic-leaning voters may switch party registration (temporarily, likely) to participate in the Republican primary, where more races are contested. This used to happen in Teton County all the time, before Dick Cheney made the GOP so toxic and sent voters to the Democratic rolls in droves.

The biggest champion of this strategy, of course, is Capt. Bob Morris, who again is seeking the Republican nomination for Teton County commissioner. “Joining a party does not strengthen it; neither does it signify your allegiance for it,” he says on his Facebook page. “One joins whichever party has the more significant primary — even if that is the party which is the more contemptible.”

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Posted under Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party, Wyoming Legislature

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voting is, like, cool

By Jim Stanford on February 26, 2008

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line at the Teton County clerk's office, 3:30 p.m. Friday

On arriving at Teton Village on Friday for the WyObama party, I ran into snowboard star Travis Rice and showed him my Obama T-shirt.

“I told a girl I liked Obama,” Rice recalled of a recent encounter, “and I totally got her digits.” [Translation for those over 40: She gave him her number.]

Then I walked into the Village Cafe and found a table of snowboarders relaxing over burritos and beers. “Are you guys here for the Obama party?” I asked, skeptical.

They reached into their pockets and produced dog-eared, folded, slightly soggy bits of paper: their voter registration receipts. They proudly held them aloft.

Barack Obama has made it cool to give a shit.

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Posted under Democratic Party, Politics

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