CHEYENNE — U.S. House candidate Charlie Hardy’s campaign is crying foul after Democratic Party organizers advertised a Cheyenne fundraiser for Ryan Greene, Hardy’s opponent in the Aug. 16 primary.

Several members of the Laramie County Democratic Party, including at least one elected precinct committeeman, sent out a flyer last week advertising an Aug. 21 house party fundraiser for Greene. The flyer included the Wyoming Democratic Party’s logo.

Hardy’s campaign said that scheduling an event for Greene after the primary amounted to an unfair show of support by the state party.

“They claim that (Greene’s) already the candidate, which is not true, and it doesn’t acknowledge that there are other people in the race,” Hardy campaign manager David Lewis said.

Wyoming Democratic Party vice chair Bruce Palmer said he was not aware of the flyer but that he did not see anything wrong with its production. He said any candidate was free to use the logo.

“We certainly aren’t going to police its use,” Palmer said in an email. “If the Hardy campaign wanted to put in on their bus and drive it all over the state, we’d be psyched to get them the artwork.”

Joe Corrigan, a Cheyenne precinct committeeman and one of the sponsors of the fundraiser, said he organized the event for Greene before Hardy entered the race.

Hardy announced in late May that he was seeking the office.

“If Charlie wins the race, we will immediately switch the party to being a Charlie party,” Corrigan said. He added that he believed using the party logo was allowed for any Democratic candidate in the state.

Greene operations director Joe Barbuto said the campaign had not seen the flyer before it was sent out but that he did not see it as a problem.

“The organizer in this case is a good friend of the campaign and he always makes good decisions,” Barbuto said, adding that using the state party logo was at most “unusual.”

“It certainly wasn’t done in malice. … I think he was just trying to attract Democrats to an event being hosted at his house,” Barbuto said.

Palmer said that the state party has supported both candidates.

Hardy said he sees the flyer as only the latest attempt by some members of the state Democratic Party to stop his campaign.

“I sensed there was a very well-orchestrated campaign against me,” Hardy said. He cited negative comments from Democratic Party leaders he declined to name and internet comments posted to a news story about his campaign.

By Arno Rosenfeld

Casper Star-Tribune