Wyoming reporter was biased

  Dear HCN,

Paul Krza's July 6 article on Wyoming errs in many ways - including his failure to ever talk to any Wyoming Heritage Society representative regarding our lasting commitment to Wyoming's economy.

For the record, the Wyoming Heritage Society:

* Supports economic diversification. (Mr. Krza alleges we have not supported economic changes or causal problems and did an about-face.) We have had statewide forums on Wyoming's economic woes since 1987; done over 180 radio shows since 1991 on the economy and needs and ways to improve it; sponsored two economic outlook forums in 1996 and 1998; developed a Blueprint for Business on Wyoming's economy in 1990; and yes, actively lobbied for the Wyoming Business Council.

* Does not have overt influence with the Legislature. We lobby ... but the uninformed Mr. Krza never understood that over 700 individuals were getting frequent updates on the Business Council legislation and that 61 Wyoming organizations endorsed it (more than any other legislative initiative in the state's history). That's grassroots - not a handful of business people, the governor, or the legislature.

* Has sponsored two regional forums on education and education improvement - one in 1997 and one in 1989. Our statement on education principles was the only one by any group (business or education) that linked accountability and funding and citizen/parental involvement and responsibility. Wyoming has increased education funding for K-12 by about $100 million - that's roughly 20 percent of our General Fund spending.

Mr. Krza is invited to ask us questions directly and objectively assess what we have done to support Wyoming's past and future economy. His biases prevent him from wanting to recognize that this pro-business organization stepped forward, argued the case for a broader economy, and got the framework in place for change. No one else has done that. It has only been in the past three years that media have begun to focus on employment and wages. We've been doing it for years, and neither I nor our president stays at the Hitch while in Cheyenne.

Bill Schilling

Casper, Wyoming

The writer is executive director of the Wyoming Heritage Foundation.