Taylor Haynes is a “cowboy of color” and self-described Constitutional scholar challenging incumbent Republican Matt Mead in the Wyoming governor’s race. Describing his platform in a neutral tone, Laura Hancock of the Billings Gazette still makes Haynes sound completely insane. Not only would he open federal lands in the state for exploitation, including the pristine Yellowstone National Park, Haynes would turn the state into a dreamland for ‘sovereign citizens’ and neoconfederates by chasing out the federal government.
If elected, Haynes would send federal government agencies a certified letter and invite them to attend a meeting in which he will explain his plan. He said they must be gone by January 2015, when he would take office.
“Then in whichever county they attempt to have any official activity, they will be arrested for impersonating a law enforcement officer in Wyoming,” he said.
Haynes doesn’t expect Wyoming jails to be crowded with federal employees. Most will accept job offers that he intends to extend to federal employees, he said.
“They live here. They have families here. They have lives,” he said. “They’ll have the opportunity to use their expertise for the state.”
For the state, meaning for Taylor Haynes. Autarchy is the underlying theme to his idiotic view of the Constitution, and the violence of his revolution is very explicit. All of this is dressed up as the natural order of things: as far as he’s concerned, Haynes is already in charge — we just don’t know it yet. As Hancock writes:
Haynes said he successfully decreased federal intervention in Wyoming in a fight in the late 1990s that kept Preble’s meadow jumping mouse from federal protections by arguing that the federal government lacked trespass rights on ranch property.
Haynes, a physician and rancher, also argued with the government research. In 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed Endangered Species Act protection for Preble’s populations in Wyoming but reinstated those protections in 2011.
Haynes believes that his work caused the federal government to back off from Wyoming for years, he said.
Haynes, who he has never accepted the tea party label because it is too liberal for him, is a man of many hats, not just a cowboy hat. When listing his areas of expertise — urologist, rancher, and Constitutional scholar — we ought to add biologist. Also, military dictator. As Haynes told one approving gun blogger who got very excited by his platform plank about bringing back hanging executions, Haynes’s vision for Wyoming resembles a lawless tribal zone:
Everyone should have firearms and especially a military grade battle rifle. He intends to see that Wyoming citizens can own anything they want (full auto, whatever) and hopes the truly rich guys buy those F16’s and large caliber war weapons. He intends to expel all federal abc organizations immediately and will warn them to not leave in any official law enforcement vehicles, as they will be arrested for impersonating a law officer. He asked us if we could explain why all these dept’s were armed to begin with–he couldn’t explain it either, but said it was nothing more than militarization of the .gov and would be stopped in Wyoming by expelling them. At this point, I asked him about the militarization of leo in WY, relaying my 4th of July parade experience in Gillette where the PD paraded their new black up armored vehicle and the crowd was stunned into silence; he said that he would be replacing LEO with PEACE officers and reiterated his stance that everyone needed a military grade battle weapon. He is not advising rioting in the streets, he just plans on disarming PD’s as well and wants everyone to protect themselves and their families and after a VERY SHORT time, he doesn’t expect many problems. (Emphasis mine)
Haynes claims to be a personal friend of welfare rancher Cliven Bundy, and is not the only person claiming such a connection to seek public office this year. We are seeing a new wave of right wing organizing aimed at nullifying federal power at the local and state level so that public lands can be opened up for resource extraction. They have prominent allies; last week, Senator Ted Cruz filed an amendment that would force the federal government to privatize public lands. Haynes is a good example of the extremist movement Cruz has tacitly endorsed.