viva la résistance

By Jim Stanford on October 8, 2012

Comments: 17 Comments

Liberté, fraternité et délicieux oeufs du Nora’s.

This weekend the French newspaper Le Monde ran a feature story in its magazine about U.S. campaign spending, focused on Jackson Hole financier Foster Friess. You don’t have to be a French scholar to understand the title, “Ses dollars sont pour Romney.”

In the print edition, there’s a photo of me debating Foster over breakfast at Nora’s. The caption identifies me as a city council candidate who made a “point of honor” of not asking supporters for a cent. According to the caption, I “combat all that [Foster] represents and all the ideas he defends.”

While we appear to be engaged in an intense debate, the conversation actually was pretty jovial, as per our usual bouts of verbal jousting. Foster and I agree on a few points: Health care in the United States is preposterously expensive. And Nora’s serves a good plate of huevos rancheros.

The publication is akin to the New York Times Magazine of France.

(Photo by David Stubbs)

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Posted under Politics, Republican Party

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rest of America gets to know Foster Friess

By Jim Stanford on February 17, 2012

Comments: 18 Comments

Move over, Donald Trump, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain and the rest of the cast of the tragicomic reality show that has been the Republican primary.

Rick Santorum’s come-from-behind resurgence has thrust Jackson Hole’s own Foster Friess into the limelight. The financier and philanthropist, Santorum’s main financial backer, has burst onto the national stage, giving interviews to the networks nearly every day.

With his 100-watt smile, ardent faith and forthright honesty about his beliefs, Friess has become a star, outshining perhaps the candidate he supports. Talking bluntly and enthusiastically, the Teton County resident has endeared himself even to the so-called “liberal” media, winning kudos from Chris Matthews and a positive profile on the front page of the New York Times.

Anyone who knows Foster or has been to one of his annual “Robust Rooster” luncheons knows he loves to tell corny jokes. He even told a pretty funny one about Mitt Romney at last week’s conservative convention.

But yesterday, he bombed, as he often does (he is the first to laugh at himself). Only this time the entire country has been listening. On a day when a tone-deaf California congressman convened an all-male hearing on birth control, women especially didn’t find Friess’ remarks funny.

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local reps shilling for Romney

By Jim Stanford on February 10, 2012

Comments: 23 Comments

Fresh off his drubbing by Rick Santorum in Tuesday’s caucuses, vulture capitalist and Thurston Howell impersonator Mitt Romney has assembled a Wyoming “leadership team” as he looks ahead to the next round of GOP primaries.

Among those on the team are Rep. Ruth Ann Petroff, R-Jackson, and Sens. Leland Christensen, R-Alta, and Dan Dockstader, R-Afton.

Ruth Ann backs Romney.

Our state legislators no doubt will help Romney corral Wyoming’s 29 delegates (a handful compared to the 1,144 needed for nomination), but given that Teton County is a hotbed for political giving, they also ought to help Romney wrangle what he loves most: MONEY.

This might put them at odds with many of their constituents, considering Barack Obama won 61 percent of the vote in Teton County in 2008, compared to 37 percent for John McCain. In Petroff’s District 16, Obama carried 63 percent.

Heading Romney’s Wyoming team is U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., who has inherited the flair for vituperative hyperbole of her predecessor, Barbara Cubin. Here’s what Lummis had to say about Mitt:

“Wyoming has faced first-hand the consequences of President Obama’s big-government over-regulation that has hindered our state’s economic development. Mitt Romney knows that the best thing Washington can do is to get out of the way of job creators. President Obama’s approach to government has been to balloon government and put us on a path toward Greece.”

Greece! Break out the ouzo and smash a plate, we’re headed for sun and olives.

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Santorum’s right-hand man

By Jim Stanford on January 4, 2012

Comments: 14 Comments

Rick Santorum celebrates Iowa showing, backed by Foster Friess.

Here’s Rick Santorum celebrating last night his victory in the Iowa GOP caucus (later revised as an eight-vote win for Mitt Romney).

And who’s that standing behind Santorum on the stage but Jackson Hole financier Foster Friess.

Friess, he of the recent Income Inequality is Good for Everyone blog post, has been a longtime supporter of Santorum, the evangelical former Pennsylvania senator much derided for his remarks about gay sex. Friess organized a fund-raiser for Santorum at Tucker Ranch in 2004 that netted more than $500,000 for his failed re-election bid and charitable foundation.

Friess’ cameo was first noted last night by Joe Milczewski and re-Tweeted by Wyoming Public Radio’s Butter Bob.

Milczewski has held some sad-sack jobs for the Wyoming GOP, including press secretary for Barbara Cubin, but his analysis of the Iowa caucus has been astute. “Iowa is meaningless. Watching Family Guy reruns for the next week will give you just as much insight into who the nominee will be,” he wrote.

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Occupy resumes across Wyoming

By Jim Stanford on October 22, 2011

Comments: 17 Comments

Demonstrators brave drizzling rain Oct. 16 to stand for equality.

Activists returned to the Town Square last weekend for a second round of protest in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. The turnout was small, although the group continues to grow and a demonstration is planned for Saturday at the Capitol in Cheyenne.

Foster Friess, the conservative investor turned philanthropist and Tea Party activist, waded into the fray last week, saying protesters should take a lesson from the late Apple chief Steve Jobs. Friess circulated a post written by Joe Lindsley, one of several prolific bloggers he has gathered around his Campfire.

“Why don’t you follow the example of the man who created your iPhones, pull yourself together, and try to succeed, instead of screaming like two year olds for more cookies from the nanny state?” Lindsley wrote. (Lindsley, it should be noted, is the former small-town newspaper editor who quit after allegedly being spied on by his boss, Fox News overlord Roger Ailes.)

Never mind the co-opting of Jobs, who while he was alive railed against Fox News as a “destructive” force in America. Never mind that several of the more vocal participants in Jackson Hole are business owners, while another served in the Army and earned enough money through the G.I. Bill to pay for college.

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