Cindy Hill for Governor
The Race To Adopt The Common Core
In late 2009, a year before Superintendent Hill was elected, Superintendent Jim McBride applied for $159,000,000 in federal "Race to the Top" monies. The application for those monies required the State of Wyoming to describe whether it had adopted the Common Core and whether the state had taken steps toward adopting the national test, evaluation of teachers, and the collection of data on children. Wyoming scored poorly on the application because it had not taken steps to enact the federal agenda prescribed by the Race to the Top. At this point, the Common Core had not even been released to the public, but the federal government was requiring the adoption of the Common Core even before its release. When Governor Matt Mead states that the Common Core was the exclusive product of the National Governors Association, he neglects to say that Obama was the one pushing the states to adopt the Common Core through Race to the Top money.
In response to Wyoming's poor showing on the Race to the Top application, in 2010, the Joint Education Committee chaired by Matt Teeters and Hank Coe, working with bureaucrats from the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE), began implementing the Race to the Top provisions in the Wyoming Accountability in Education Act. Additionally, the WDE put forth the Common Core to this State Board of Education. The State School Board "approved the adoption" of the Common Core, but never put the Common Core out to the public for public comment---which was required under the Administrative Procedures Act for the lawful adoption of rules. Despite skipping public comment, that is required by law, the Department of Education directed the school districts to implement the Common Core.
When Superintendent Hill was elected in November 2010, and sworn into office on January 3, 2011, she immediately raised concerns over the fact that the Common Core had not been legally adopted. Much to the displeasure of the State Board of Education and the Department of Education, she insisted that the State Board of Education take the Common Core to the public for public comment and she organized many public outreach meetings across Wyoming to receive public comment. This was a year before Glenn Beck made Common Core a national issue. Superintendent Hill's point about the Common Core was that it did not reflect Wyoming values, did not represent the highest standards, and Wyoming have the resources to create its own standards---the highest standards.
Shortly after Superintendent Hill was sworn into office, Mary Kay Hill, one of Jim McBride's top advisers who had been involved in the Race to the Top application and the hurry-up adoption of the Common Core, quit and immediately went to work for Governor Matt Mead. Her parting comment was that Superintendent Hill "had no idea how many grenades have been rolled under her chair." Mary Kay Hill assumed the role of representing the Governor's office to the Legislature.
The State Board of Education begrudgingly allowed for public comment on the Common Core. Clara and Kerry Powers, the citizens who later joined Superintendent Hill in the constitutional challenge to SF104, helped to get the word out about the hearings around the state about the Common Core.
Governor Matt Mead told the State Board of Education to "adopt the Common Core without further delay." The delay had been Superintendent Hill and (from their ill-informed perspective) the pesky requirement for public comment. The State Board of Education, ignoring public comment and acting at the direction of Governor Mead, did adopt the Common Core. Superintendent Hill and three others voted No.
The No Child Left Behind Waiver
Where "Race to the Top" was the carrot for accepting more federal controls, the "waiver" to No Child Left Behind requirements was the stick---requiring Wyoming to sign up for the same federal requirements of Race to the Top. Superintendent Hill steadfastly refused to sign Wyoming up for federal requirements under the No Child Left Behind waiver. The waiver requirements mirrored those of President Obama's Race to the Top federal grant application---requiring more federal controls. This was frustrating to the education establishment consisting of bureaucrats, certain Legislators, and Governor Mead. Because she was standing in the way of the federal controls that other states were accepting (e.g., Common Core, national assessment, teacher evaluations link to student performance on these assessments, etc.), Cindy Hill had to go! That is when SF104 was pushed through the Legislature in 12 days and signed by Governor Matt Mead, thus taking control over the Department of Education. Why did he want control over the Department of Education?
The answer came within one week after Governor Matt Mead signed SF104. Shortly after signing SF104, Governor Mead flew to Washington DC to meet with President Obama's US Department of Education to sign up for additional federal controls over Wyoming's educational system under the NCLB "waiver" (i.e., federal controls). The lengthy application was ready to go shortly after signing SF104---meaning that the application had been in the works well before SF104 was adopted.
Internal documents also show that during the period when Superintendent Hill had been ousted (i.e., as the constitutional challenge to SF104 was pending), the Departments of Education, now under the control of Matt Mead, was in the process of contracting to promote the Common Core throughout Wyoming. During this period, Governor Mead brought in new Obama education programs and strengthened a commitment to the national test.
Politically Motivated Investigations
On the day that Clara and Kerry Powers and Superintendent Hill served Governor Mead with the constitutional challenge to SF104 (i.e., five minutes after Mead had signed SF104), Superintendent Hill met with Governor Mead in his private office. He asked her whether she was running for the US Senate. She looked at him and said "No Governor, I'm running for Governor."
Shortly after this conversation, without yet having authority from the Legislature, Governor Mead had assembled a team to investigate Superintendent Hill. One of the investigators was Joe Simpson, a close friend of Mary Kay Hill and was the Deputy under Superintendent Jim McBride. The lead investigator, Rawlins Attorney Catherine McPherson, was charged to find anything that could be found on Superintendent Hill. According to McPherson's report, the scope of her investigation had no limits despite express authority through a budget footnote that limited the scope of the investigation to whether personnel policies and procedures existed. Despite the fact that her contract directed that she make factual findings, the governor directed her report to reach no conclusions but simply to publish allegations, which often consisted of one employee thinking that another employee had a complaint. The governor's office through Kerry Jo Gray and Mary Kay Hill influenced the investigation through frequent meetings with Department of Education staff and pressured employees to make complaints against Superintendent Hill. The question is this: why would the Governor's Office take any role in the investigation? Could it be that he wanted to smear his political opponent? No employee had previously ever made a complaint against Superintendent Hill. Had any complaints arisen, a state government process exist to handle employee complaints through the Human Resources Division of the Department of Administration and Information. The Governor elected to bypass these processes (processes that assured confidential treatment of employee information), and to generate employee complaints that would not go to HR, but to his hand-selected investigator.
Internal documents show that at the same time allegations of financial mismanagement were being splashed through the press, the Governor's Office directed that an audit authorized by law not the performed. So, having the ability to reveal the facts through an audit (which relies on facts, not innuendo, speculation or unfounded allegations), the Governor's Office decided not to gather the facts through an audit. Still, without facts, the allegations of financial mismanagement were spread through the press.
When McPherson's report was issued, it contained no conclusions. The report stated that Gov. Mead instructed McPherson not to come to conclusions, but merely to repeat allegations. The allegations were unfounded, and in many cases, were not asserted by the person who supposedly had the complaint, but by another person who thought that the other person had a complaint. Yet some members of the press covered the report as containing facts. The smear campaign was well underway.
This defamation, commissioned by Governor Mead, was transferred over to the "Select Investigative Committee" which spent over $1.3 million to come to unsupported conclusions to "rebuke" Superintendent Hill, electing not to seek a prosecution or impeachment. The "rebuke" which is nowhere recognized in the Wyoming Constitution or in law, is an admission that Superintendent Hill had done nothing wrong.
Recently, Representatives Gerald Gay and Stephen Watt have called upon the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Governor Mead for abuse of power and the improper use of public monies for political purposes---to smear a political opponent. Their letter to the Attorney General and their Press Release dated July 25, 2014 are attached for reference. The Attorney General fail into line and, within hours of the request being made, rejected the request to investigate Governor Mead. The reader may recall that the Attorney General is appointed by the Governor. Apparently the Governor is above the law.
The Second Amendment is the most precious of all our rights, and shall not be infringed. It is the right of every lawful citizen to bear arms to protect their homes, families and possessions.
I will always fight to protect your right to keep and bear arms that will be used for protection, hunting, collecting and sporting activities.
I will always resist federal government overreach that attempts to limit your right to bear arms.
Abortion is immoral under any circumstances and I will not support any effort that will take the life of the precious unborn child!
Being the only candidate who has actually given birth, I can speak to this issue from personal experience, as well as my faith, that God's most precious gift to us is that of the life of a child that He entrusts to us.
A marriage consists of a union between a man and a woman as established by God. I will resist any attempts to defile the sanctity of this established institution as defined by our Creator.
I will veto any legislation passed by the legislature that attempts to alter this sacred union and violates our Wyoming State Constitution.
All power is inherent in the people, and all three governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness; for the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.
Wyoming people, from all corners of our beautiful state, from all walks of life and even from every political party, are joining together and re-dedicating themselves to giving full effect to the first seven words of the Constitution ordained and established to secure their civil, political and religious liberties.
When our state founders convened a constitutional convention in 1889, they took to heart what Abraham Lincoln said on that solemn day 26 years earlier in honor of the great sacrifice made by so many on that blood-soaked battlefield outside of Gettysburg. In his Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln reminded all Americans of their birthright, their nation having been conceived in Liberty, and challenged Americans to honor that birthright, by dedicating themselves to ensuring that "Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."
Lincoln was reminding his generation and future generations of what Thomas Jefferson had concluded was the proper role of government. Jefferson immortalized his thoughts in our country's Declaration of Independence – "That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
Our State Constitution echoed, not only Jefferson, but also another, John Adams, who offered a more detailed explanation of the purpose of government:
Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.
The Founders had learned from their study of history, reason and of their own experience that the ultimate authority of any free government must rest with the people, and when the people entrust their power to those in government, prudent checks and balances are necessary. They understood that an educated, enlightened and engaged electorate is required to provide the vigilance necessary to prevent government from overstepping its constitutional limits and infringing upon the individual rights of the people.