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October 21, 2016

Cheyenne, WY:  The Wyoming Republican Party has filed a formal complaint with the Wyoming Secretary of State outlining clear evidence of potential violations of Wyoming Campaign finance law. 

Recently, Wyoming has been hit with a series of negative mailers attacking Wyoming Republicans.  These mailers claim to be sent by the group “Women Lead Wyoming.”  In actuality, “Women Lead Wyoming” is a fictitious pseudonym for a group of Obama operatives who have worked extensively with the Democratic National Committee.  To compound matters, this group of Obama operatives has been paid thousands of dollars for “consulting activities” by Democratic candidates for the Wyoming State House and Senate.   

The group distributing the attack mailer shares the same physical address in Laramie as the political consulting firm, ELLA WY, LLC (“ELLA”) which specializes in progressive causes and, according to information available online, employs several past and current employees of the Obama for America and Hillary for America political campaigns.  Public documents also show that the same people who created and direct ELLA also created “Women Lead Wyoming.” 

Furthermore “Women Lead Wyoming” is listed on its website as nothing more than a ‘project’ of the 501 (c) (4) group “Forward Wyoming Advocacy.”  This group’s registered agent in Wyoming, and who is authorized to conduct business in Wyoming is Charles Pelkey, also the democrat candidate in HD-45.

The documents submitted to the Secretary of State clearly show:  1.  Wyoming Democratic Candidates paid thousands of dollars to ELLA for “consulting activity.”  2.  ELLA ( or at least the same people from the same address) created a fictitious pseudonym “Women Lead Wyoming.”  3.  ELLA (or at least the same people from the same address) spent thousands of dollars sending out false information and misrepresentations claiming those communications were paid for by “Women Lead Wyoming.”  4.  “Women Lead Wyoming” does not appear to be any sort of legal entity that would have the ability to pay for anything.   

ELLA has sent out false and misleading attack ads on behalf of:  Charles Pelkey, Mary Throne, Dan Neal, Amy Simpson, Lee Filer, Narina Nunez, Ken Chestek and Erin O’Doherty and perhaps additional Wyoming Democrats. 

Public records show Wyoming Democratic candidates Dan Neal, Amy Simpson, Charles Pelkey, Narina Nunez and Ken Chestek have each paid the Obama and Democratic National Committee operatives at ELLA thousands of dollars (nearly $18,000 in the 2016 primary) while at the same time the operatives are creating a fictitious and non-existent entity to send out false and misleading attacks.  

Related to the filing of this complaint, the Wyoming Republican Party releases the following statement:

“Wyoming Democrats are now hiding behind a Washington D.C. style dark money smear campaign directly out of the Obama playbook, directed by Democratic National Committee operatives.”  said Matt Micheli, Wyoming Republican Party Chair. “The Wyoming Republican Party calls on all Wyoming Democrats who are trying to benefit from these false claims and misrepresentations to denounce these unscrupulous and potentially illegal campaign tactics, correct the false statements in the mailers and to come clean on the monies they have paid to this group.  Wyoming citizens deserve better.” 

That complaint and supporting documents are attached to this press release. 

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