Liz Cheney opts out of court appearance in illegal fishing license case
Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Wyoming Senate candidate Elizabeth Cheney (R) may have violated the Game & Fish Department’s residency laws when she purchased an in-state fishing license. Today, the Jackson Hole Daily reported that Cheney posted a $220 bond on Monday on the charge of making a false statement to procure a fishing license. According to the ticket Cheney signed, she will forfeit the bond if she fails to appear in the Ninth Circuit Court in Teton County on August 27.
Cheney released a statement via Twitter in which she claims she “paid the requisite fine on August 14,” which indicates that she does not plan to appear and will pay the $180 fine and $40 in court fees. Had she contested the charges, a judge could have ordered her to pay a fine of up to $1,000.
Cheney’s statement provides fodder for opponents who consider her a carpetbagger. In it, she says that she illegally acquired the license in order to facilitate a publicity event “for Sean Hannity to film.” Moreover, instead of taking responsibility for her error, she blamed a clerk who no longer works at Westbank Anglers, the fishing store where she purchased the license.
Cheney told the Associated Press in July that her “sense is, as far the carpetbagger charge, is it’s from people who don’t want to talk about substance, don’t want to talk about the issues.” But as Liz Brimmer, a Republican strategist, told the Times‘ Caucus blog, this is “a serious misstep. Allegedly poaching in a state where being a resident sportsman is, by law, an earned privilege. Wyoming people will take this very seriously.”
Although she purchased a home in Jackson Hole in 2012, Cheney lived in northern Virginia, where she also graduated high school before attending Colorado College and getting her law degree from the University of Chicago. Ann Turner, editor of the Gillette News Record, wrote that “[i]f you want to run for U.S. Senate, try it from Virginia or some other state. We already have a U.S. senator—one who has spent his life in Wyoming.”