Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cheney Naming Controversy-Go Cowboys!

Hey Vice-Precedence readers!

Well, as you probably all know, former Vice-President Cheney is a historic VP, not only because of the power and influence he wielded in the Bush White House from 2000-2008, but also because he is the first person in the Executive Branch to hail from the great western state of Wyoming! Cheney served in the House of Representatives for the "at-large" district of the state for 10 years, 1979-1989 before being named Secretary of Defense by the first President Bush.

Wyoming is a truly beautiful state known for its amazing wild places-its the home for the U.S.'s definitive and most famous national park-Yellowstone, as well as its proud cowboy heritage as indicated by its Rodeo Days, and the image of a cowboy on a bucking bronco on its license plate and state quarter which you can see here on the blog, and in the nickname of the University of Wyoming-the Cowboys, where VP Cheney received his B.A. and his Masters in political science.

Well, today in Laramie at his alma mater there will be some controversy as the University dedicates the new Cheney International Center on campus. The building is being named in honor of former VP Cheney not only for his service to the U.S., but also because of the $3.2 million he and his wife Lynne donated over their years during his vice-presidency for the complex. Mr. and Mrs. Cheney will both be in attendance today as the new center is dedicated.

Some folks in Laramie in the heart of one of the reddest Red states, are not so happy about it and are protesting the dedication and have a petition signed by over 150 people about naming the center for Cheney. Suzanne Pelican, who started the petition and is an extension educator in the university's College of Agriculture is quoted as saying:

"Cheney's support for harsh interrogations - torture, some say - is one reason to oppose naming the center after him. We feel that by naming it the Cheney International Center, that the programs and UW can't avoid being identified with that ideology and that approach to global politics that the Bush-Cheney administration championed."

Nancy Sindelar is also opposed to the naming of the center for the former Vice-President. She is a Laramie resident who just happens to be with the group Veterans for Peace. "Mr. Cheney is not the best example of demonstrating how nations should get along with each other," said Sindelar, "Putting his name on an international center is counter intuitive."

So, today Sindelar and Pelican will both be part of a protest march to the UW campus quad, Proxy's Pasture, where the ceremony will take place. They have said they will be present, but have promised to not disrupt the ceremony.

The President of the University of Wyoming, Tom Buchanan, responded to the controversy by writing an Opinion piece for the Casper Star-Tribune saying that protesters need to realize that "tolerance and diversity cut many ways," and to think of how beneficial the center will be for students on campus.

"Whether you are Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, Catholic or Protestant, gay or straight, white or black, you are welcome at the University of Wyoming. Should we subject potential donors and the purpose of their gift to public referendum? I think not," Buchanan wrote.

So far Mr. Cheney has not commented on the controversy, (as usual) and there has been no word yet if he will be called to testify about the CIA issues as we reported, and he still has not revealed the title for his book! As soon as we hear anything about it any of those things here at Vice-Precedence, we'll let you know. Thanks for reading and keep spreading the word on Vice-Precedence! We need your support and appreciate everything you do for us. Thanks.

Matt Saxe

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