Leftist County Commissioner attacks MassResistance in last-ditch effort. Calls for removal of two Library Board members because of “connection” to Wyoming chapter.
But other Commissioners step up and defend them!
MassResistance activists and local parents join the fight. Not backing down to opponents’ attempt at fear-mongering.
A left-wing attempt to stop reforms against obscene books fails.
February 8, 2023
This is a great example of good public officials not being intimidated by the vicious and dishonest tactics of the Left. Happily, this kind of civic courage is spreading!
Liberals (and their allies in the media) are angered by the successes of local MassResistance parents. A common leftist counter-tactic is to complain that the conservative local officials who do the right thing are “connected” to (or “controlled” by) MassResistance. They hope the officials will become intimidated, back down, and lose their zeal for reform.
But in Wyoming, the officials stood their ground – and the barrage of hateful attacks fizzled out!
Background: A new Library Board begins a series of reforms
During 2021 in Campbell County Wyoming there were months of outrage by local MassResistance parents over the obscene sex books in the County Library. The RINO-dominated County Commission actually banned public comment at their meetings to try and hide from it. Then in early 2022 things changed. The County Commission finally got a conservative majority. They brought back public comment. But most important, they appointed a majority-conservative Library Board to replace the leftists who had also been ignoring the parents.
The new Library Board began a series of reforms to stop the pornography. In October 2022 they took the bold first step: cutting ties with the far-left American Library Association (ALA) and its Wyoming affiliate. They also announced that the book collection policy was going to be revised. And they indicated that more changes were to come after that to make the library safe for children. Parents were thrilled! But the angry library officials dug in their heels and publicly opposed the changes.
On December 6, 2022 the County Commission called a special meeting to try to “reconcile” the library employees’ anger and the Library Board’s intent to clean up the pornography. At that meeting, the Library Director and Children’s Librarian defended the obscene books and threatened the county officials with a lawsuit if the books did not stay.
But it quickly became clear that the Library Board was not going to back down to that pressure and attempted intimidation from the library employees.
A leftist County Commissioner goes on the attack
In December 2022, County Commissioner Rusty Bell was about to leave office, as his term was finishing at the end of the year. He had decided to run for State Representative, but lost in the August Republican primary.
An obnoxious pro-LGBT RINO, Bell had been outnumbered on the County Commission 3-2 by conservatives all year. He was clearly angry that the new Library Board was on a path to removing the obscene books. So he went on the attack.
An inflammatory email to the County Attorney – copied to the media and others
On December 13, 2022, Bell sent an email to the County Attorney’s office. Someone had forwarded to Bell screenshots showing that two of the new Library Board members (including the Chairman) and two of the County Commissioners, (also including the Chairman) had been members of the Wyoming MassResistance Facebook group since fall of 2021.
In his email, he said that this showed that the four officials “have an agenda.”
He said that it’s “unconscionable” that the two Library Board members “misled” the Commission by not disclosing this affiliation with MassResistance during their interviews with the Commission prior to being appointed. He said, “I feel we have been duped.”
Thus, said Bell, the two Library Board members should be removed from office. He said he was going to ask that their removal be put on the agenda for the upcoming Dec. 20 County Commission meeting (his last meeting as a Commission member).
Bell went on to say that in complaining about the pornographic books, MassResistance parents have “caused division, a hostile working environment, and put extreme stress” on the library staff. (The “hostile working environment” claim is a common American Library Association talking point to intimidate those who disagree with them.)
He said that the two Commissioners were “knowingly conspiring to place people in positions that put our employees in harm’s way,” which he claimed is unethical and probably illegal. He asked that the county attorney explore that.
He then said that these two Library Board members “don't deserve respect” from the library employees. He even added that library employees should interview the replacement Library Board candidates (after the two current members are removed)! That way, they can get “people that truly do want to work with the library staff and director to move the library past this issue.” (In other words, get a Library Board that will ignore parents and do what the employees wish.)
Finally, Bell wrote that he was copying the email to various officials and people in the community, and also the media.
An immediate local media firestorm
The result was an immediate local media firestorm. The leftist media (which even in Wyoming supports keeping the obscene children’s books) lapped it up. In particular, the local and regional newspapers basically joined in the attack with biased news stories and nasty editorials.
Officials, parents, and others fight back – publicly debunk the absurd attacks
Many people would have just backed down in the face of all this. But not here. Officials, Wyoming MassResistance activists, and other local parents stood up and publicly debunked the absurd attacks and lies from Rusty Bell. As a result, the word got out in a big way!
Talk shows. Since the newspapers were biased and one-sided on this issue, the alternative was to appear on various local talk shows where they could explain their position and discuss the facts. The Chairman of the County Commission, several local Wyoming MassResistance activists, and Arthur Schaper, our national MassResistance Field Director, all did this.
State Senator takes a stand. Wyoming State Senator Troy McKeown, whose district includes Campbell County, posted a video saying he supported Wyoming MassResistance and their efforts to help parents protect children. He added that the library staff’s arguments on this were unquestionably wrong.
Testifying at Library Board Meeting. At the December 19, 2022 meeting of the Library Board, parents packed into the meeting and gave vigorous testimony supporting the two Library Board members whom Rusty Bell attacked. Some pro-LGBT leftists also came to support the attacks, but they were outnumbered, overwhelmed, and clearly not happy.
Testifying at County Commission meeting. The following day, December 20, 2022, was the final County Commission meeting of the year – and Rusty Bell’s final meeting as a Commission member. Parents again packed into the meeting and testified in support of the two Commissioners that Bell had attacked – and in support of MassResistance. Just a few from the Left came to try to defend Bell. The Chairman also ripped into Bell’s disgusting tactics. Bell sat quietly and didn’t respond.
At the end of the Commission meeting, Bell’s request for a discussion about removing the two Library Board members was taken up in a closed session. It was obviously voted down, since no changes were made.
Some of the lies and misrepresentations that were debunked
Over the several days of talk show interviews, public statements, and testimony at meetings, the charges by Rusty Bell (and his leftwing allies) were debunked, including:
- “Membership” in the Wyoming MassResistance Facebook Group. The Wyoming MassResistance Facebook group includes over 100 people. Facebook labels each person as a “member” even if the person is just observing. Public officials are commonly part of many local Facebook groups, to see what people are thinking and get a pulse of the community. There’s nothing unusual about that.
- Were these Library Board candidates dishonest about “affiliation” with groups? When the Library Board members were being interviewed, they were not asked what groups they are a part of. So Rusty Bell’s claim of being “duped” is absurd. And they weren’t “members” of MassResistance, but simply allowed into a local Facebook group. In fact, public officials are commonly members of all kinds of political groups – including pro-LGBT groups or the ALA – and no one complains. As was revealed during a Commission meeting, Rusty Bell himself appears to be involved with the statewide LGBT group in Wyoming.
- Is the current Library Board violating the First Amendment, and engaging in censorship? A major part of the library staff’s talking points is that this is a First Amendment issue, or a “censorship” issue. This was bandied about constantly. It is another absurd claim. No one is being banned from reading books, or from buying books. The Library Board is simply deciding not to include certain obscene books in the library. That is both their right and their responsibility. (Interestingly, the Library Director had previously moved two of the obscene books out of sight, and no one threatened to sue over that.)
All of these things are meant to appear to be quite intimidating. But when carefully dissected, none of it holds water.
Thanks to some brave people, the work to clean up the library in Campbell County will continue. But there are some lessons learned about what happened here.
First of all, the Rusty Bell incident should wake everyone up (again) that pro-LGBT leftists run for office as Republicans in “red” states. (This is in addition to the problems with the RINO GOP establishment everywhere.)
Second, the vicious tactics and outright lies that Bell employed here are the rule, not the exception, of how the Left works. This is what they do everywhere.
Third, local LGBT activists are used to bullying everyone. But when parents stand up to them, they tend to shrink fairly quickly. Like all bullies, they’re basically cowards.
And finally, this is an example of how a local team of activists keeping up the pressure helps elected officials stay the course. It is absolutely necessary that good people do what these solid public officials and their supporters in Wyoming MassResistance did: Stand up and unconditionally fight back! Unfortunately, most conservatives don’t do that now. But MassResistance is out to change things across the country!
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