Editor’s Note: We are providing this opinion piece by Bill Rutherford, the Democrat Candidate for Idaho State Senator in District 20, in order to assist our readers in understanding their political options. Our publication of this article does not constitute an endorsement of Mr. Rutherford or his positions.
Although our legislators run on a platform of less government and protest the Federal Government overstepping their authority, they themselves see nothing wrong with meddling with local jurisdictions and the lives of individuals. There are no boundaries for these “we know what is best for you” legislators. They interfere with local school boards, teachers, local government and the individual rights of men and women.
Chuck Winder (District 20 Senate) claims he is for less government until he gets re-elected. His is constantly meddling in everyone’s business while neglecting to do his job as defined in the Idaho Blue Book – Page 145.
Chuck Winder’s Senate Record
Women’s Rights – In 2012 he publicly belittled and insulted woman everywhere. He embarrassed our state and the office of State Senator.
School Boards – In 2016 he used his position as a State Senator to interfere with West Ada County School Board recall proceedings this past year. He introduced legislation that would have allowed the state to get involved with local school board governance. The bill did not pass. He tried to justify his interference as a State Senator by saying that he was a citizen of the school district.
Teachers/Public Education – Since 2009 Winder has consistently voted to undermine public education and teachers while promoting Charter Schools – see following Bills H262 (2009), S1110 (2012), S1108 (2011), S1184 (2011), S1089 (2013), H481 (2012), H221 (2013), S1096 (2015) and S1248 (2016).
Idaho presently faces a teacher shortage and 82% of K-12 public schools are still asking for supplemental levies to fund their activities.
Local Governance – He has consistently voted to prohibit local government from passing legislation such as (H463-Living Wage-2016), (H372 – Plastic Bags-2016), (H464-Oil&Gas Extraction-2012), (S1117 Local Heavy Truck Permitting-2013) and (S1092-Prohibits Local Knife Regulations-2015).
Rule of Law – He supported the establishment of a Legislative Legal Defense Fund by voting for H-695 in 2012. This fund (our tax dollars) is used to pay for lawsuits against the state.
In 2014 he voted for the Ag-Gag Law S-1337. Idaho was sued over this and ended up paying $250,000 in court cost.
In 2016 Winder co-sponsored S-1342. He was advised in committee that the bill was unconstitutional but he continued to push to get it passed. The Governor vetoed the bill because it violated the Idaho Constitution.
Idaho is presently being sued because our Public Defender system does not meet Constitutional requirements.
Homeowner’s Property Taxes – In 2016 he voted to raise homeowner’s share of property taxes while reducing his corporate donor’s share (HB -431).
How to Fix This
- Enact Campaign Finance Reform – Reduce the allowable political contributions for Legislators from $2,000/election year to $50. Enact term limits for Legislators to 4 years.
- Support Local Control – We owe it to our communities to listen to their reasons for wanting to do something. Many times it’s because the legislators won’t do anything.
- Reduce Legislation – More is not always better. Existing legislation should be examined periodically and modified and/or retired.
- Government – Stay out of our private lives.
- State Budgets – Reduce excess overhead cost where we can.
- Uphold the Rule of Law – Legislators (lawmakers) need to set the example and stop costing taxpayers money.
- Support our Teachers – Public Education is one of our best investments and one of the best ways to support economic growth.
- Repeal HB-431.
Bill Rutherford is a fiscal conservative (D) who is a retired 64 year old professional engineer, former business owner and veteran from Meridian, Idaho running for State Senator in District 20 against Chuck Winder (R). He only accepts donations from individuals.
Visit Bill’s website at http://bill-rutherford.ruck.us for more information about his background and campaign. He can also be found on Facebook at Rutherford4IDSenate.