Republican Gov. Brad Little, right, on Tuesday, Aug. 23, in Boise, Idaho, announced a special session of the Legislature for a proposed $500 million tax rebate and $410 million in education spending to deal with inflation as Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke, center, and Republican Senate President Pro-Tem Chuck Winder, left, look on. (AP Photo/Keith Ridler)
A wise man once said, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” Ok, the reality is that was a song by Aaron Tippin but it’s absolutely true. We saw many “falling” to do the Governor’s bidding at the special session in Boise and not standing on principle.
Sadly, this has become standard operating procedure from Republicans in office for quite a while now. Most of the Republicans in our legislature are no different than the Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell, and Lindsay Graham types that have helped Washington DC become the heap of trash that it has become. Every time the GOP takes control of the House and the Senate in DC, we have such high hopes only to be let down time and again. They give enough breadcrumbs to be re-elected but are essentially driving our country down the sewer.
It has become the same thing under the leadership of Brad Little, Chuck Winder, and Scott Bedke.
The special session has shown a huge spotlight on why Idaho voters made so many changes this past primary. Unfortunately, Brad Little wanted to use his lame-duck legislators to do the bidding of special interests like IACI and Reclaim Idaho rather than wait for a more principled and stronger conservative legislature that will take over in January.
We heard various legislators repeatedly say that they thought this legislation was unconstitutional since it had 2-3 different topics within it. (Tax Rebates, Income tax rate reduction, and education spending). Under Idaho law, each piece of legislation is only allowed to cover one subject or topic.
Representative John Vander Woude stood up and said, “This whole process is flawed. This is two topics in this bill. [Education funding and tax breaks]” He went on to say, “we, as a legislature, are heading to an extreme danger when we start allowing this.” But then John went ahead and voted for the bill. He almost got it right…but failed. Try standing on principle next time, John.
Many other Representatives throughout the day had very similar concerns… they didn’t like the bill combined and there were aspects they didn’t like, but ultimately voted for the bill in its combined form. They should try standing on principle next time.
Reclaim Idaho’s co-founder bragged that this special session passage of Little’s bill “hands a major victory to Reclaim Idaho’s thousands of volunteers and supporters.” This makes you wonder who Little and the unprincipled Republicans were really representing at the special session. It wasn’t the people of Idaho.
There are other things at work here that hopefully come to fruition but there are zero guarantees that they will when the next legislature looks at how to spend the education dollars. The reality is none of this had to happen right now. If we had legislators who stood on principle, it wouldn’t have happened. It was purely a political move by Brad Little who wanted to score political points with voters to garner their favor in November. From what I’m hearing, it has backfired, and he alienated even more conservatives and handed one of his opponents a gift by doing this.
Many Republican legislators likely added their names as co-sponsors to help boost their chances for leadership positions in the next session. It’s quite a scary thought since many if not all added their names prior to even reading the bill. Where is the standing on principle? You either have principles and stand on them or you don’t. And apparently, our current legislature (except for: Christy Zito, Vito Barbieri, Judy Boyle, Chad Christensen, Gayann DeMordaunt, Sage Dixon, Greg Ferch, Priscilla Giddings, Karey Hanks, Mike Kingsley, Ron Mendive, Dorothy Moon, Tammy Nichols, Heather Scott, and Tony Wisniewski) has zero principles to stand on.
We have lots of work to do to save our state from becoming blue.
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