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Carol Ann Hafner (courtesy photo)

CASPER, Wyo — “I welcome working with any representative for common goals,” Carol Hafner wrote in an email to Oil City News. “This is about making lives better for the 99%, not about increasing profits for the 1%. And that 99% includes Democrats and Republicans, as well as other party affiliations.” 

Carol Hafner is a retired educator running for the Wyoming’s sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in the August 18 Democratic Primary. Voting is currently open in Natrona County.

Hafner said “maintaining funding for the USDA Rural Development Program” was a bipartisan issue that affected jobs as well as the food supply. She said the sale of the Mountain State Rosen Cooperative lamb processing facility has also been a concern for Republicans: “I also see this as critical for lamb ranchers. It’s beyond party issues,” she said, adding that Wyoming could work with other western states on the issue.

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These policy positions reflect material posted to Hafner’s campaign website and questionnaire responses sent to Oil City News.

Medicare-for-all and overhauling the V.A.

“I continue to advocate for health care via Medicare-for-All: providing actual care without the wasted middleman insurance dollars. Underserved communities, Indigenous peoples and those without job coverage need and deserve decent-quality healthcare,” adding that the novel coronavirus had impacted those who were previously-insured.

“Job loss should not be compounded with family health care loss. Medicaid expansion by the state should be revisited,” she said.

“The Department of Veteran’s Affairs must be reorganized,” she wrote, “and a wide-scale investigation… undertaken to determine the causes of corruption, incompetence, negligence, and poor quality care, with those found to be responsible fired and, where appropriate, criminally prosecuted for violating the great trust our nation has placed in them to deliver quality services to military veterans.”

Green New Deal

Hafner said Wyoming industries were “at a crossroads,” and that Wyoming is, more than other states, “overly-dependent on fossil fuel industries that are no longer an economic mainstay, even internationally.”

On her campaign website, Hafner said the Green New Deal is the best recent proposal to protect the environment and that a “robust” Environmental Protection Agency is needed to regulate the environment.

“We must work to harness the power of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and biofuels in addition to using recyclable materials to reduce our carbon footprint and attempt to begin healing the planet,” she wrote.

She added that proposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could lead to “irreparable” harm.

“[The Refuge] does not even contain enough oil to impact oil prices nor end our national dependency on foreign energy sources, many of which come from nations hostile to American values,” she wrote on her website,. She added that the only long-term jobs resulting from such drilling would be “environmental contamination cleanup jobs to remediate the inevitable pollution and spills that would occur from such short-sighted drilling activities.”

Education

“In order for our economy to compete with other rising superpowers such as China and India, we must ensure our students all are able to go as far academically as their ability allows, without having to worry about how to pay for it,” Hafner said.

“Our investment in higher education will be returned through better-educated citizens earning more money and over their lifetime paying larger amounts of taxes, and having a reduced need for government welfare programs due to better employment opportunities.”

She said the federal government should fund the construction of additional universities across Wyoming, which would retain the brightest students and attract more from across the United States and abroad.

Broadband

Hafner advocates for expanding access by remote and isolated communities to high-speed broadband internet, which would “aid in the creation of jobs, access to information, online education opportunities, and the provision of health care services via tele–medicine.”

She also advocated for net neutrality.

Cannabis

“We must federally legalize cannabis, taking it out of the murky limbo between state and federal law,” and advocated for using the tax revenue from sales to “support free higher education and increase national K-12 education outcomes.”

She added that federal marijuana prohibition laws make it harder for vendors to access basic banking services, and that they operate under the threat of “overreaching federal law enforcement agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Administration.”

Background

“I am now a retired Higher Education Administrator, College Relations, and was a National Education Association union officer. I was active in Institutional Planning & Development, Governance, LGBT Support, Center for WWII Studies & Conflict Resolution and Holocaust Center media advisor,” Hafner wrote.

She said she has bachelor’s degrees in family & consumer science and in business. She added that she had college credits in microbiology,  dietetics and nursing, all “now invaluable for dealing with today’s [COVID-19]-related decisions.”

She added that she had “spearheaded assistance to Pittston Coal Mine families during their health benefits strike.”  

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