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Reese vouches for small business environment

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Shawnee – One of three ranchers running for House District 2 in this election, Brad Reese of Shawnee says he decided to run out of concern for what’s going on in the state.
“Jobs and the economy, and concern for the size and growth of government,” says Reese of his top concerns for Wyoming.
Reese says his only political experience has been with the Douglas school board. “Some count that, and some don’t, but that’s the only race I’ve ever run,” he says.
Reese lives and ranches near Shawnee, where he was born and raised and where his great-grandfather homesteaded. He and his wife and three kids are also involved in the family’s Rocking 7 Ranch Hunting Lodge.
On his campaign website, Reese says, “Besides the debt and spending, there seems to be an attack on our way of life here in Wyoming. The moral fiber that has built this country, no longer seems relevant. The Endangered Species Act is eroding private property rights. Global warming is used as an excuse to increase taxes on the middle class via higher energy rates. Family values are being compromised by so-called human rights and, overall, there is a feeling that America might have already seen its best days. These are big issues that are not going to be fixed overnight – the only way is one step at a time – these are the concerns that motivated me to run for this office.”
Of his campaign so far, Reese says, “You’ve got to get out. The main thing is to meet and talk to a lot of people, and that’s been a very rewarding experience. I’ve met a lot of people from different walks of life, and with different concerns.”   
In his campaign stops, Reese says one of the top priorities of Wyoming citizens is the economy, on both a local and national scale. “The economy and jobs are important to me,” he notes. “We need a better environment for new business and small business development. We put up some barriers and roadblocks full of regulatory red tape that make it hard to start a new business or expand an existing business. The state needs to lighten up on the regulatory burden for business development.”
“In addition to our gold mine of natural resources, including coal, solar and wind, we have great potential in other areas, and we need to develop all of them,” he adds.
In his personal small business endeavors in Wyoming, Reese says he’s hit a lot of red tape and regulations. “Why put these regulations on a small business just trying to get started?” he asks. “It seems like we ought to be more open or conducive in getting small businesses started, instead of slapping on four regulations and four agencies an entrepreneur needs to talk to.”
Reese mentions Douglas Meat, a small meat processing plant in Douglas that he owns. “I understand being safe, but I killed 400 without an inspection, and 20 with an inspection. It’s all safe, but the state-inspected meat had to have the multi-page plan to make sure. It seems like we could work to reduce that.”
“I am completely opposed to any increase in taxes, whatever costume you put that tax under,” says Reese of the state’s budget. “Whether it be a ‘fuel tax’ or a ‘toll road,’ I’m opposed to increasing taxes. My answer to those increases is the same that those in businesses know. To run a business you prioritize, spend within your means and save for projects or purchases until you can afford them.”
Reese says his opposition to new taxes includes the wind energy industry. “There are a lot of taxes already in place that will take care of wind, and one of them is the property tax, which is huge,” he explains. “There are millions of dollars of taxes already in place, and I don’t feel like we should nail wind energy, a new industry coming in, with another tax.”
Related to wind energy development, Reese says he feels strongly that private property rights need to be protected and eminent domain for transmission lines should be limited.
“In the beginning when we first had power lines the ranchers were happy to get the electricity to their house. But now it’s turned into a for-profit business, so I feel like now we need fair negotiations with landowners,” he notes. “I think that should include annuity payments. If a landowner has to live with a power line for the rest of his life, it would be nice to be compensated on a yearly basis. Putting the eminent domain stick in the hands of transmission companies makes it a less fair negotiation.”
Reese began with a get-to-know-you campaign at parades and fairs in the district, and now he’s starting door-to-door to meet people face-to-face, as well as frequent forums in Douglas, Newcastle and Lusk to get down to the details of the issues, he says.
For more information on Brad Reese and his campaign, visit Christy Hemken is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at

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