The Idaho Republican Party is broken. There seems to be two factions within the party that have for years been at odds with each other not only with regards to political philosophy, but also regarding issues of values and accountability. In a State that is 70% Republican, factions within the Republican Party in Idaho would in other States without such a large majority be in the other party. Let’s look how it breaks out.
There is one faction that is the old guard. They resent being called Republicans in name only—”RINOs”, so we will refrain from any name calling, no matter how descriptive and tempting it may be. They are “the good old boys and gals” On the national stage they align themselves with the Mitt Romney—Paul Ryan—and probably our entire Idaho Congressional Delegation except for Russ Fulcher and Jim Risch. They are the landed entitled gentry of legacy politicians coming mostly from the Magic Valley, Eastern Idaho, and the Boise Bench. They get their power not from the people they represent, who even in Boise are conservative, but from the special interests and the money that influences almost every important issue that comes before our legislators and Governor. The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI), The Idaho Medical Association and the Idaho Hospital Association (IMA/IHA) —conjoined at the hip and more concerned about leveraging access to government transfer payments in exchange for political contributions, than they are about patients.
Is the Idaho Education Association (IEA) more concerned with “woke” ideology than they are with reading writing and math? Look at the trend in test scores. This group of entitled politicians has taken “pot shots” at Conservative Members of the Republican party. One group Take Back Idaho actively campaigned and raised money to try to defeat Raul Labrador in the general election. Like the establishment “deep state” in Washington DC, they see conservative candidates at all levels of government as threats to their hold on the levers of power and influence. They will do anything including spending lots of special interest money to attempt to defeat conservative candidates. I am thinking about. establishing the “Idaho Culinary Index”. We would ask all lobbyists and legislators to keep records of receipts for restaurants, Country Clubs, The Arid Club and The Governor’s Cup and send them to us so we could reconcile on a per capita bases how many rib eye Steak dinners at Chandler’s ($108) it takes for a vote for Medicaid Expansion or to continue transfer payments to non-profit hospitals with over $1billion of annual “fungible” revenues, who then pay million dollar salaries to CEOs who turn around and take legislators out to dinner at the Arid Club. By the way—second verse—same as the first!
The second group are Conservative Christian Republicans and Libertarian Conservatives who share common positions on many issues, but who may differ on several of the social issues. I count myself in the group of Conservative Christians. My Christian faith informs my political philosophy which is why I am Pro Life and anti-legalization of addictive mind-altering drugs including MJH. Politicians who identify with the second group have less access to money (campaign funding) that is passed out like candy during the legislative session in the winter and at The Governor’s Cup in the summer. Their strength and their resources come from WE THE PEOPLE.
And then there are the Political Action Committees (PACS) that serve to “securitize” funds for causes and candidates. They allow out of State and out of District influence to be wielded in a way that marginalizes the influence of individual voters—WE THE PEOPLE.
Here is a challenge and a “dare” that I have for all Republicans running in the primary election in our State at all levels of government. Pledge to take no campaign funds from sources outside the district you are running in. If it is a Statewide race—pledge to not take out of State Funds. Pledge to take no campaign contribution of more than $100 from any individual or business and that business must operate inside the district that you are running in. If there is an Albertson’s in Madison County—then the contribution comes from the Albertson(s) in Madison County not from corporate headquarters in Boise. $100 dollars seems to be a reasonable amount for an individual. Cooperate contributions should not have more influence over elections than the “will of the individual citizens” —don’t you think? Same with contributions given by politicians to their colleagues like the Governor’s Campaign Committee. How does this sound:
Governor to an up-and-coming young legislator that has just won a tough race in a purple district—”If you support my budget bill for Medicaid Expansion, I will make sure you get $X amount of money for your next campaign”. “X” is sometimes a big number—more than what an individual citizen or a business in a rural district could contribute. Political Campaign securitizing and bundling are exactly why so many incumbents stay in office for so long. Level the playing field and more people would think they had an opportunity to run and win. Campaign funding from the groups I mentioned above serves as a “barrier to entry” for individual everyday citizens being engaged in the political process.
I will be interested in seeing who takes up this offer to voluntarily compete on a level playing field. I bet those “landed entitled monied aristocratic mercantilists” —LEMAM is better than RINO or TBI—maybe?
One on one debates like the Lincoln-Douglas debates in every contested district in Idaho would be fun. Taking the big money out of local and State politics would be even better.
Who thinks the RINO/LEMAMs are up to the challenge? Hmmmmmmmmmmm