Can we make “Ada Great Again”? Maybe…
What most of the people of Idaho don’t get including the Republicans involved in the “Make Ada Great Again” movement is that the problem is not with the democrats but with our RINO republican legislators who no longer vote conservatively.
When you have 4 senators who vote conservative between 49 and 61% of the time and 5 house members voting conservative only 70% of the time, republicans have a serious problem and the voters of Ada County have recognized that fact. This is one of the reasons that the democrats have been able to win more and more important political positions. Apathy from voters is a death knell in politics and is always a turning point in the political arena.
While other factors have been playing a part in this shift including more liberal transplants moving in, republican legislators’ voting records in Ada County have certainly not helped the problem. Just look at the voting records for the past year put out by the Idaho Freedom Foundation Freedom Index to see they are absolutely horrid. The only real conservatives as far as voting goes are Mike Moyle, Steven Harris, and Regina Bayer.
|Mike Moyle (R) 81%
|Gayann DeMordaunt (R) 77%
|C. Scott Grow (R) 53%
|Fred Martin (R) 51%
|James Holtzclaw (R) 72%
|Joe Palmer (R) 72%
|Chuck Winder (R) 49%
|Steven Harris (R) 88%
|Megan Kiska (R) 69%
|Regina Bayer (R) 85%
|Jason Monks (R) 75%
|John Vander Woude (R) 74%
|Lori Den Hartog (R) 61%
Districts 16 thru 19 are all Democrats as are the two house members in District 15.
I have to tell you folks that I have been involved in Idaho politics since my days as a director of the Boise Tea Party and I understand better than most why republicans are not getting donations or winning elections. I ran for Precinct committeeman back in 2014 in district 14 against Eva Gay Yost a lady who knew just about everyone in the Republican Party and was a close friend of Governor Otter. I spent 3 weeks going door to door in my district talking to the people including democrats and won that election handily. This was in spite of Governor Otter and Lt. Governor Little coming out to my district and campaigning for my opponent with a TV crew in tow. I also won the next 2 elections without any opposition. I diligently attended the Ada County meetings for about a year. The problem with the meetings is seldom was anything of any importance discussed aside from how much was in the treasury and who was going to run the silent auction.
If you want to win back Ada County, you need to turn the monthly meetings into strategy sessions instead of meet-and-greets. You should be talking about what legislation is coming up and how you can influence it one way or the other and how representatives are voting on specific bills. You should be asking about who is voting conservatively on bills and who is not and let them know just how the group feels about their voting habits. You should be proactive in your communities when it comes to elections setting up open houses and meeting with local officials to get endorsements for your candidates. I don’t ever remember in my 5 years as a committeeman hearing any of these things discussed. The only consistent topic for discussion was how we can raise more money for the party.
I will tell you this you are not going to change the minds of the people until you change the voting habits of our representatives and if that means changing those representatives so be it. I worked to help many of our representatives get elected and all of them swore they were conservatives to the bone when they first ran. The problem is that the longer they hold office and become comfortable that they will be reelected without competition the less conservative they vote. Many do not understand that it’s the people who do the voting not the lobbyists who pass out campaign money like candy each election year. If you don’t do what the people want you shouldn’t expect them to support you financially or otherwise. When you forget about the electorate they will inevitably forget about you and unfortunately, that is where the Republican Party is currently.
The party has been infiltrated by the RINOs and cronies who do the bidding of the powerful lobbyists instead of the people they represent. Corruption has prevailed for the past 15 years as lobbyists have gained control of enough seats to get just about any bill passed or killed. I know this to be true because I have spent enough time on campaigns for and against bills testifying before committees at the capital to know when the fix is in for a bill to pass and when it will not. After a while you know instinctively how a vote is going to go just by seeing who is spending time with the lobbyists in the hallways and the restaurants.
The Republican Party is a victim of their own success and with success comes power and with power comes corruption and that is where we are at the moment. We have stopped representing the people and thrown them to the wolves who devour more of our tax money each year. Republicans don’t understand that they have lost the people’s trust because of the bad legislation they pass for the benefit of lobbyists. If you truly want to change things you have to be willing to clean your own house. The question is are you ready willing and able to do that?
You can use President Trump’s battle cry of “Make Ada Great Again,” but if you’re not willing to fix the problems within your own organization, you are not going to get the solution you are looking to attain. If you don’t fix this problem soon, the “Reddest of the Red States” will turn purple in a few years. Just look at Ada County… it will not be long before it is blue.
Check the IFF’s Freedom Index to understand why conservative republicans are in jeopardy of becoming extinct. See for yourself here: IdahoFreedom.org/freedom-index
We have calculated from the index the percent of time republican legislators are voting conservatively and the number of representatives or senators voting that way. It is not a good record. Our senators might just as well be voting with the democrats.
|90% — 8
|90% — 0
|80% — 10
|80% — 2
|70% — 15
|70% — 1
|60% — 8
|60% — 8
|50% — 15
|50% — 12
|40% — 0
|40% — 5
This is why the voters are fed up with supporting the Republican Party. If you want support, clean your house and start voting conservatively and things might change. You may actually wind up with the public paying for your campaigns instead of the lobbyists.