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Wyoming’s RINO governor snubs profit for green politics
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Wyoming’s RINO governor snubs profit for green politics

Mark Gordon’s veto of a rule aimed at clamping down on ESG investing in the name of “limited government” is rich with irony.

Fighting the economic apartheid of “environmental, social, and governance” investing has become a universal goal among conservatives, but Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has no problem with it taking root in the Cowboy State. Perhaps, we shouldn’t be surprised. Gordon, a bona fide "Republican in name only," has empowered environmentalists in Wyoming and has said the state will be “carbon negative” — which will effectively result in de-civilization.

Now, Gordon has vetoed a rule that would have clamped down on ESG.

It’s ironic how Gordon suddenly doesn’t like telling private businesses what to do after he imposed so many restrictions during COVID.

Secretary of State Chuck Gray, widely regarded as the leader of Wyoming’s conservatives, proposed a rule last year that would require any financial advisor, stockbroker, or securities agent to inform his investors of any investments based on environmental, social, and governance factors.

(In Wyoming, the secretary of state not only oversees elections but is also the chief regulator of securities. He is also next in line to the governor’s office, as Wyoming is one of five U.S. states that has no lieutenant governor.)

Under Gray’s proposal, anyone who does business in Wyoming would simply have to disclose to investors — who presumably are interested in maximizing profits — whether they are basing decisions on social goals that are not necessarily profitable at all.

Importantly, Gray’s rule would not ban private investors from pursuing ESG goals. It merely would have policed a form of securities fraud that is well within the purview of securities regulation.

As other red states begin to resist ESG, Gray felt it was important to prevent this fraud in Wyoming, especially given the environmentalist assault on the state.

“With an increasing trend of mutual funds and brokerage firms being pressured by woke politicians to push ESG principles that are totally in opposition with our Wyoming values, we must take an active role to protect our state and consumers,” Gray said last year.

Sounds simple enough for a state that votes Republican by a 40-point margin, right? Well, not when you have a governor who is a Democrat in disguise. Gordon last month struck 12 line items from Gray’s proposed rule, including the core requirement that investors disclose ESG or other non-profit-maximizing investment strategies.

Wyoming’s constitution gives the governor power to veto regulations by agencies under the control of other state-elected officials, including the secretary of state, in addition to those agencies under his direct authority. But it’s a power rarely exercised, particularly when it comes to high-profile issues. Gordon gave no warning about his veto, so, clearly, he’s passionate about his opposition to this commonsense proposal.

Keep in mind that Gordon supports the global warming agenda as well as the transgender social agenda. He refuses to support legislation to ban the chemical castration of minors, for example. But rather than admit that he agrees with ESG on its merits, he justified his veto on limited government principles.

“While I agree that ESG investment guidance is improper and misleading, the answer to too much government interference in our lives is not more government,” Gordon said in a press release. “No government should have the right to direct people’s personal investment strategies.”

Nobody is trying to dictate how a private individual may invest his money. ESG is not banned in the private sector under Gray’s proposed rule. Fact is, securities regulators generally require disclosure when investment brokers are not intending to use funds for profit maximization. ESG should be no different. Disclosure is key.

It’s ironic how Gordon suddenly doesn’t like telling private businesses what to do after he imposed mask mandates during COVID. His heavy-handed restrictions led to the arrest of a 16-year-old girl for refusing to mask herself at a public high school. So, his excuse is disingenuous at best.

Gordon in his veto statement accused Gray of using his regulation as “a thinly veiled attempt to inject unwarranted political ideology into the lives of everyday Wyoming citizens.” He also called it “an affront to personal choice and a free market” and an invasion of “personal responsibility and liberty.” That’s rich coming from a governor who opposes any legislation to return health care decisions to the individual.

With the advent of the Wyoming Freedom Caucus, Gray is no longer alone in his fight to expose the uniparty. “The governor parrots the favorite talking points of all Wyoming liberals who hate conservative ideas — ‘It’s preempted by the feds!’” said State Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams, a freedom caucus member, in an interview with Blaze News. “As usual, he is wrong. States have a duty to protect the people, and in order to do so we must hold fiduciaries accountable.”

Perhaps it’s time for a new governor in Wyoming who is actually a Republican. Chuck Gray might be the perfect man for the job.

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