JACKSON — Some of former President Trump’s most ardent allies — U.S. House Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jim Jordan and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows — will be in Jackson Hole to fundraise Thursday for some of the House GOP’s most conservative politicians.
The main event begins at 7 p.m. at Spring Creek Ranch and will be hosted by Peter and Stephanie Lamelas, Dan and Carleen Brophy, and Jay and Karen Kemmerer, owners of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Admission starts at $2,000 for couples.
An event organizer confirmed that all three were invited because they are either members or have been members of the House Freedom Caucus, which includes the “most conservative of all Republicans” per the Pew Research Center.
Reactions to the guest list from members of the local Republican party were mixed.
Mary Martin, chair of the Teton County GOP, said she was glad organizers were bringing Greene — a Republican who won Georgia’s 14th District by getting nearly 75 percent of the vote — to town in part because Martin believes in a “big tent” philosophy that encourages a broad spectrum of views. That philosophy led Martin not to vote to censure Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., for the congresswoman’s vocal condemnation of Trump and the role she said he played in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“I’m glad that she’s been invited and offered an opportunity,” Martin said of Greene. “I want people to have a chance to speak.”
Martin added that she would have liked to go, except for a prior commitment Thursday and the expensive price tag.
Alex Muromcew, the local GOP’s vice chair, said he would “absolutely not” be attending, regardless of price.
“That’s a brand of Republicanism that I don’t subscribe to,” Muromcew said, declining to elaborate further.
Maggie Hunt, chairwoman of the Teton County Democrats, said in a prepared statement that she hoped the speakers would focus on infrastructure, health care and education “rather than spreading misinformation about coronavirus vaccines and the events of January 6th.”
Of the three attendees, Greene has been mired in controversy and has most consistently held the national spotlight over the past year.
Republican officials criticized her on the 2020 campaign trail after Politico uncovered a slew of old videos in which she called George Soros a Nazi (Soros is a Democratic mega-donor and Holocaust survivor) and called the 2018 midterms part of “an Islamic invasion of our government,” among other things. The elections saw two Muslim women win seats in the U.S. House for the first time.
Since arriving in Congress, the freshman Republican has challenged Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, vociferously fought congressional mask mandates and been removed from her house committees in part for her past support of QAnon and other conspiracy theories.
That vote came amid House Republicans’ first attempt to remove Cheney from her leadership position in the House Republican Caucus for criticizing Trump. National outlets such as the New York Times described the debacle as “a proxy battle for the soul of the party.”
Rep. Jordan, an Ohio Republican, and Meadows have been staunch Trump allies, with Jordan voting to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi barred Jordan from serving on a panel investigating the Jan. 6 violence. Republicans have called Pelosi’s move “an egregious abuse of power” and boycotted the committee.
Martin, who praised Jordan and Meadows’ loyalty to their values and support of the Trump administration, nonetheless lamented the attention paid to national “big battles” rather than those at a local level.
“Our local battles are a big battle, too,” Martin said. “I honestly would rather spend my $2,000 helping the local candidate.”
Bob Culver, who organizes the Jackson Hole Tea Party, said the event was too expensive for him but that he would have liked to go.
“I glanced at it, and I kind of set it aside because I thought it was a little rich for my blood,” he said of the invitation.
Rep. Andy Schwartz, D-Teton, said he was “appalled” by Greene’s politics and didn’t feel much different about the rest of the group. But, he said, his opinion of the incoming politicians shouldn’t stop them from speaking their mind.
“I don’t like the notion that because we don’t like someone, that we should then in some way censor them and not allow them to speak and not allow them to come here,” Schwartz said.