Last revised 29 June 2006
The intent of this page is to analyze what the membership changes in the legislature mean to the advancement or loss of freedom in Wyoming. Some points may be discovered by examining the Indexes from 2003 through 2006. I do not call out members who have remained consistent from year to year, as this page concentrates on changes. Until I have better tools for analysis, this will not be an exhaustive list of changes.
Pete Jorgensen, from district 16 in Teton County, was number one in the 2005 Index in support of freedom. This year he dropped to 25th place, more in line with where he had been previously. It is an interesting feature of the Index that members are rated not only using the bills they voted on, but using all bills. In 2005 Jorgensen was absent from many votes. Being absent from a vote in Wyoming is equivalent to a "No" vote, because to pass a bill must have a majority of votes of those elected, not just of those present: 31 votes (in a normal year in which there are 60 House members; see Wyoming Constitution 97-3-025). I have considered changing the index to rate a member based on those votes he actually made, but for the moment will keep it as it is. Jorgensen actually did have the most positive effect on liberty last year, and that is all that matters, even if it was unintentional. The easiest way to rate highly in the Index, is by simply not showing up!
Kermit Brown, district 14 in Albany County, went from a pretty fair 17th place in the 2005 Index to an awful 55th place in 2006.
Burke Jackson, from district 52 in Campbell County, bounced from a mediocre 26th place in 2005 (his first year in office) to 1st place this year. Very nice turn-around; it's hoped he keeps it up.
Jack Landon, from district 30 in Sheridan County, had almost as great an improvement, from 23rd place in 2005 to 2nd place this year. Another welcome change.
Doug Samuelson, from district 7 in Laramie County, has advanced from 30st place in the 2005 Index, to 4th place this year, again a welcome improvement.
Frank Latta, district 53 was the only member physically replaced this year, by Erin Mercer. Latta was 13th in 2005 and 29th in 2004; Mercer is 12th this year. Little net change.
Randal Luthi, from district 21 in Lincoln County, started out at 5th place in the 2003 Index, dropped to 16th place in 2004, dropped further to 30th place in 2005, and came back up to 13th in 2006, which is rather good for someone in the position of House Speaker.
Laness Northrup, district 19, was the only individual replaced in the Senate last year; he was in 12th place. He was replaced by Ray Peterson, who took 18th place this year.
Grant Larson, district 17, faded from 7th place in 2005 to 12th place this year. This is not much movement, but is significant because he is Senate President.
Tony Ross, from district 3 in Laramie County, went from 4th worst in 2005 to 4th best in 2006. In 2004 he was a House member, with mediocre placement in the Index.