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On Outliers and Liars

On Outliers and Liars

Mike Pyatt

Many of us have been told at onetime or another, that we just didn’t fit in a group. It may have been in high school. Cliques. Jocks v. the nerds. Mean girls. Others discovered belatedly they didn’t fit into a specific culture. According to a CNBC 2019, article “Inside Facebook’s ‘cult-like’ workplace, where dissent is discouraged and employees pretend to be happy all the time.” An outlier is, “a person or thing situated away or detached from the main body or system; a person or thing differing from all members of a particular group or set.” Who hasn’t been there?

Most know that a liar is “a person who does not tell the truth; one who tells lies.” One could be both in some instances. “His ability to fabricate any detail or situation qualifies him to be outside the boundaries of a civilized, rectitude society.” An outlier, liar. Contrastingly, one could be exceedingly forthright and unambiguously honest to be an outlier-honesty beyond the norm-statistically rare in terms of honesty-outside of this culture’s low bar. What would that look like in the political arena?

On May 15, 2021, the Wyoming State Central Committee met in Cody, Wyoming to cast votes for the Wyoming State Central Committee Executive Committee. It was a crowded venue, where speed to grab a chair trumped political savvy. All twenty-three counties were represented. Current State Chairman Frank Eathorne, who was first elected in 2017, was running for re-election, gaveled the meeting to order. Governor Mark Gordon spoke briefing, albeit awkwardly, of his belated support for pro-life legislation and voter ID. It had the earmarks of “I’m running again in 2022.”

Once the voting began, Eathorne ran unopposed, with the only opposition from the contingent from NCGOP. In a voice vote, a motion to record the result as a unanimous vote. Sitting Vice-Chair Dave Holland, and Secretary Elect Donna Rice, from Natrona County, also ran unopposed. During the Q & A, all three candidates were asked, “Are you now or have you ever been a Frontier Republican?” Each voiced a resounding “No!” Once again Natrona County was the ever familiar outlier in the place. It was apparent to anyone who had eyes to see or ears to hear, that the often touted public rift within the Wyoming GOP, in which some county party leaders and elected officials have been critical of its direction, obsequiously exaggerated by WyoFile and the Casper Star, languished in contrast to the apparent unity of the majority of the twenty-three counties in Cody. One of its chief critics, former Chairman of Natrona County, Joe McGinley, who was censured earlier by the state party, was absent in Cody. In the NCGOP recent musical chair elections, he was elected as State Committeeman. Newly elected Chairman Kevin Taheri was blind-sided in Cody, when Carbon County Chairman, Joey Correnti IV, read aloud a 2019, letter from Chairman McGinley, saying their county shares “would be paid.” Correnti quizzed Taheri, “When might we expect payment?” Taheri claimed ignorance. But, he would “look into it.”

Was this merely another awkward moment in the life of the NCGOP? What drives their obsession with assailing the state central committee’s actions? Is it inordinate disdain for Chairman Frank Eathorne? Or the state platform that sticks in the craw of legislators like HD 58 Pat Sweeney, who boasts that he can’t support “60%” of the party’s platform? Very few eye brows were raised by the NCGOP “big-tent” faithful who stand steadfastly behind Sweeney, regardless of his Democrat style voting record. Perhaps Dr. McGinley is still smarting, suppressing his latent angst regarding his removal back in 2016, by the NC Central Committee majority vote to remove him. With his political fortunes in jeopardy, he was rescued at a state central committee meeting in Jackson, ruling by former state party Chairman Matt Micheli to not intervene in the local election that removed him. Later McGinley invalidated the central committee’s vote, claiming it was an improperly advertised meeting. At the time, the Vice Chair, who would’ve, by default, replaced him, was your’s truly.

Back on safe turf, last Tuesday, the NCGOP Executive Committee huddled to lament, moan, and lick their wounds, strategizing ways to bankrupt the state central committee, hopeful it would soon “implode.” While they continue to claim they aren’t withholding their “state shares,” the balance remains unpaid. One NC attendee at the Cody shellacking, reportedly complained they were “ostracized” at the meeting. Such conclusions are symptomatic of talking endlessly into an echo chamber. They only hear their own droning. After prolonged exposure to such conditions, one falls prey to believe it’s unquestionably true.

History bears out that once one embraces the corruptive restrictions of a hermetically sealed existence, where nothing gets in, or out, one is doomed politically to a state of “political incest.” Since 2018, the NCGOP executive committee had a firm stranglehold on the grass roots precinct committeemen and women. Chairman McGinley consistently ran roughshod over any dissent when its source came from one with whom he disagreed. His gavel was forged into a political cudgel to evanesce the slightest hint of dissent from his agenda of control. When his trusted gavel failed, he threatened expulsion from the meeting to a precinct committeeman, who dared to make a motion to discuss the censure of Liz Cheney. It was governance by fiat. Following the NC 2021 elections, during in his swan song, McGinley declared they hadn’t withheld county shares to the state. This was contrary to contents of the 2019, letter read by Joey Correnti IV in Cody. Is this the end result of being an outlier? Or a liar?

It appears that the current NCGOP doesn’t represent the voice of many Natrona County citizens, who claim their voices have been muted the past four years. Instead the NCGOP plays the role of arbiters of opinions. Will anything change under Chairman Taheri? His actions in Cody hint otherwise. The NCGOP is driven by a handful of elite fundraisers, legislators and politicos tone deaf to any departure from to their impertinent agenda. Unfortunately, these actions undermine the efforts of many liberty minded precinct members caught in this web of duplicity. Those at understand what happened to your voice, and the urgency to regain it. Like Liz Cheney, the current NCGOP is on pace to becoming more irrelevant. What do you think?

Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email is