If you lived in Wyoming for a while, there is a good chance you have heard people refer to a "good old boy" network that supposedly has disproportionate influence behind the scenes.

For example, a recent post on Townsquare Media about a proposal to raise fuel prices by 15 cents per gallon over three years drew several comments on social media implying that the proposal was backed by the ''good old boy'' network, or that the ''good old boys" would find a way to use the money raised by the tax for something besides highway and road maintenance.

At various times in casual conversation or on social media, you will read or hear references to the "good old boys'' who are thought to wield undue influence behind the scenes. Exactly who the ''good old boys" are is seldom, if ever explicitly spelled out. At various times, it's implied or openly stated that they run the Wyoming Legislature, various state bureaucracies. local governments, economic organizations such as Chambers of Commerce, and the Wyoming Business Council, among other groups. I

In 2019, then-Cheyenne Mayor Marion Orr said the firing of University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols "smells of good-old-boy politics."

In some versions of the story, the good-old-boys call the shots in the state's small towns and rural areas in particular.

According to some versions, the network is not necessarily restricted to just men either. Senator Cynthia Lummis and Congresswoman Liz Cheney, as members of powerful Wyoming families that have long wielded influence, are sometimes thought to be members as well or at least beneficiaries of the good-old-boy influence.

Usually, alleged members of the network seem to come from old, established Wyoming families, they tend to be very well off, if not downright rich, and they tend to hold influential positions.

They also, according to legend, look out for one another behind the scenes.

But is any of this true? Or is it the political/social equivalent of the myth of the jackalope--something that makes for a good story, but isn't real?

Or maybe the state used to be run by "good old boys," but their day has passed?

Take our poll and give us your opinion!

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