Bob's Words of Wisdom

Who is Brad Little? (Part I)

Brad Little recently filed to run for Governor of Idaho, in 2018. In a recent interview with Little Nathan Brown @ wrote an article titled “Little talks Trump, governing philosophy”. After reading the article which was evidently a self-serving piece to promote his bid for Governor, we didn’t find much of anything that would relate to Donald Trump’s philosophy. In fact what we found is Little trying to distance himself from Governor Otter and his big government policies for the past 10 years. He said he is different than Governor Otter who he wants to replace. Folks, this man has been riding herd on our legislators for Butch since 2009 getting them to vote as Otter dictated. Why would anyone think that Brad has changed or is going to change in the next two years before the election? Just ask yourself when is the last time you heard Brad Little disagree with anything the governor proposed? The answer is not once since he has been Lt. Governor. He is about as different from Butch as Hillary is from Barack Obama. They are like two cronies in a crockpot.

Brad says he has a lifetime of history in Idaho spending decades managing the family ranch. He filled in for his father David in the Senate on a temporary appointment due to illness and was later appointed senator for district 8 by Governor Kempthorne in 2001. He won his first elected senate seat in 2002 for district 11. Brad served 8 years as a senator in the state legislature and so far 8 years as Lt. Governor working with the Otter administration. He was appointed Lt. Governor by Butch when Jim Risch won his senate seat. All in all Brad has spent 16 years working as an establishment politician. You ask why we would say he is part of the establishment. It’s because he has only done the bidding of the establishment party and ramrodded every edict passed down to him by Butch Otter and the corporate cronies at IACI that run our state.

A little known fact to most Idahoans is that Brad Little is a former chairman and served for 20 years on the Board of IACI (Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry). For those of you who don’t know IACI is the biggest lobbyists group in Idaho, which pretty much controls the establishment members of our legislature and the way they vote. IACI’s campaign contributions proliferate through the rank and file establishment legislators along with the generous donations made to various IACI political PAC’s which stand at the ready to tear apart anyone who might oppose one of their chosen candidates.

Fellow Idahoans, we believe that four years of Brad Little would be like four more years of Butch Otter, with bigger government and more federal funds to support our state budget. He would continue to promote our fake economy that shows low unemployment, but little or no increase in the median income for middle class families. It will mean more government give-a-ways to corporations, less transparency, less accountability and no chance of a tax break for the hard working citizens of Idaho.

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If you should ever have an opportunity to speak with Brad about how he is different from Butch, ask him point blank why he didn’t fight to end the grocery tax or stop the $95 million increase in the gas tax and registration fees. These are the two taxes hit the low and middle income taxpayers the hardest. You might also ask him why he supported the State Healthcare Exchange, and why he has done nothing to open up our insurance market and break up the insurance monopoly that limits our choices. Idaho’s citizens have been ravaged with higher premiums and higher deductibles every year since the legislature voted for a State Exchange making health insurance unaffordable for many. You might also query him why there is no competition in the medical establishment or transparency in costs for procedures performed by different hospitals, and while you’re at it ask why a nonprofit insurance company like Blue Cross is not required to disclose the compensation for its senior executives.

In another recent article; Idaho Politics Weekly, he is quoted as saying “We must act aggressively to retain and attract better jobs through the free market”. We’re not sure Brad knows what a free market is. He backs the Commerce Department’s program which gives taxpayer money to companies who create new jobs. He also claims responsibility for bringing economic development to Idaho with higher paying jobs and supports of business-friendly legislation. This is the same legislation which offered tax breaks of $25 million to companies like Chobani and the Frulact Group to settle in the Magic Valley. Did anyone ever think that Chobani and Frulact would have moved to the Magic Valley without these incentives? Do you really think they did not look at the proximity of Idaho’s dairy production as a reason to settle here without any incentives? After all we are the fourth largest dairy producer in the U.S. When you look at their alternatives, N.Y., California, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania whose taxes are all much higher, Idaho would be a prime place to build their plants. Maybe Brad’s definition of “Free Market” is that if you use taxpayer money it’s considered to be Free.

Brad has also supported the Department of Commerce’s new initiative to bring jobs to Idaho by offering them tax breaks of up to 30% for 15 years if they bring a specific number of new jobs to our urban or rural areas. The committee that makes the decision on these tax breaks is appointed by the Governor. With a hand-picked committee you would have to wonder if there would be any quid pro quo expected of these companies to support the current governor or a new governor’s policies. We have seen the history of Butch Otter’s campaign contributions by corporations he has helped with our tax dollars. Having this commission just reeks of cronyism and Brad Little has been in full support of this program.

It’s time for the citizens of Idaho to start asking these questions of Mr. Little before anyone gives him a lick of support in his run for governor. If we are to judge Brad from his past history, then we would have to say nothing will change except the name of our governor. Brad would like everyone to think he is just one of us, but he has been and still is one of Idaho’s elite. Otter claims that he is a conservative Governor, but look what he has done in 10 years. We have a State Healthcare Exchange with soaring insurance premiums and deductibles and no free market for insurance. Butch gave us Common Core Curriculum which has given our students an education where only 53% as of 2013 graduates went on to college. Idaho is number two in the highest number of minimum wage jobs at 7.1%. Real median household income peaked in 2007, the year Butch Otter took office, at $52,813 and as of 2014 the most current numbers available, median income stands at $47,861 and for the U.S. it is $53,657. Will we ever get out of the hole he dug for us? Our state gets 35% of its budget from the federal government, and if Medicaid Expansion is approved that will increase substantially. It’s time to face the music Mr. Little, the music that Butch has been playing with you as a member of his band for 10 years. They say when you have dug yourself into a hole and can’t get out “Stop Digging”. It’s time for Idaho to elect a real conservative as our Governor who will help the people of Idaho and not themselves, and that person is not Brad Little.

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