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John Livingston

Follow The Money — Remember The Names

If Mitt Romney ran against Donald Trump in Idaho, Trump would receive upward of 60% of the vote from Idahoans in a one-on-one election—UNLESS—the vote was taken in the Idaho legislature where the results would be reversed. This is just another way of saying that the elected Republican majority in our State is very much out of line with WE THE PEOPLE. We are seeing the same phenomena interestingly playing out in Utah where conservative Mike Lee is fighting for endorsements in his US Senate race from fellow Republicans who implicitly or explicitly are supporting his opponent. Mr. “Republican”, the other US Senator in Utah, Mitt Romney has not endorsed and has announced he will not endorse Senator Lee. Sounds like what is happening in Idaho.

Talk about stabs in the back. This has been going on in national Republican politics since 1964 when Nelson Rockefeller and Mitt’s “daddy George” Romney along with the Republican party establishment led by National Chairmen Ray Bliss “backdoored” the nominee of the Republican party Barry Goldwater. It almost happened to Ronald Reagan until he wisely chose as his running mate establishment backed George Bush. So called moderate Republicans have often been the party “renegades”. What do the Bush’s, Kasich, Ryan, Boehner, McConnell’s have in common with the Batt, Otter, Bedke, Luna, and the (little) Little Republicans in Idaho? In both Washington DC and Boise Idaho, we have an elite cabal of legacy, moneyed, millionaire, corporatists who spend more time at The Congressional Country Club in DC and the Arid Club in Boise than they do listening to their constituents. What did Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump all have in common? They listened and they brought their cases directly to the people. The symbiotic triangulated relationships that now control our State and National politics via the “servo loop from doom” —corporate campaign contributions go to politicians’ campaign coffers and these same politicians are charged with regulating the very corporations, non-profits, and private companies that are contributing to them.

If you are an incumbent politician, you like this situation. You don’t want it to change. It secures positions of power, but it comes with a price on your soul. You are accountable to the “hand that feeds you”. I ask, in the process described above who is supplicant and who is beneficiary? Who picks up the tab at the Arid Club or at the Governor’s Cup? Who is acting on behalf of the people? In Idaho, the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI), the Idaho Hospital (IHA), the Idaho Medical Associations (IMA), and the Idaho Education Association (IEA), control the “order and cadence” of legislation—including putting bills in their back pockets without receiving a committee hearing or a vote on the floor.

Budgets are set and voted on with input from government agencies—Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) and the Department of Education (DE) who have not had a “reckoning” much less an outside audit of how taxpayer money is spent. We only know where money is spent not how it is spent. Two of the tenants of conservatism are “accountability and transparency”. In a State that has been identified as being one of the worst in the nation for Medicaid fraud—enrollments and provider billing, the Idaho Governor and his legislative sycophants refuse to ask for outside audits of State Agencies or of institutions that receive billions of dollars of transfer payments. Accountability or triangulated control? I know or have met almost all the people on the list below. They are smart. They love their families. They would never run their businesses the way they have run our State. Outside audits and reckoning speak to transparency and accountability. To continue running our State in such a reckless fashion is the antithesis of what it means to be a “Conservative”. For example, why did the Idaho Health Information Exchange go bankrupt and where did millions of dollars go? No one has asked or answered that question. Kicking the can down the road has been a grand tradition and a Modis Operandi of Republican run Idaho government for years. To continue to run our State with “blinders on” is at the very least irresponsible. I am not a lawyer, so I am not capable of understanding what is “negligence”, but it sure all smells very “fishy”.

A great example of “legacy entitlement” in Idaho is the list of Republicans who are not supporting Raul Labrador. Many on this list are people who have been part of the political and legislative process in Idaho and have created and benefited from “the servo loop of doom”. Crony corporatism and the size and cost of government has grown under these so called “mainstream Republicans”. It is really a study in “political mass confirmation bias”. These Romney clones (word check changed this to “clowns”-is that better than using the supposedly hurtful term RINO?) are most of all worried about losing power—losing access to “the servo loop of doom”. One other question to ask when looking at this long list of “public servants”. How many of them have milked the system and are receiving PERSI (retirement benefits) from the State of Idaho?

Here is a mind game to play. How many Idahoans would come out for a “Little- Bedke” rally featuring as “Gold Star Patrons” — all the people on the anti-Labrador list? Few. How many would come out for a “Little- Romney” rally? Few. How many would show up for a Raul Labrador—Donald Trump Rally?—Thousands.

In 1964 the Goldwater supporters called the sabotaging of their campaign being “Romnied—Rockefellerd” The same thing in Idaho is happening to conservatives like Raul Labrador and Dorothy Moon. The Romney—Little wing of Republicans in Idaho are acting like a spoiled child who is has always had their way and who has not learned to listen to their parents (citizens), but instead follows the advice of an older sibling (special interests) who really are first and foremost looking after themselves (IACI, IHA, IMA)

Follow the money or follow the people. The names on the list below have announced where their loyalties lie. Win or lose remember their names.

“The fish rots from the head down”

2 replies on “Follow The Money — Remember The Names”

Senator Patti Anne Lodge, Huston
Former Senator Denton Darrington, Declo
Alice Hennessey, prominent Ada County Republican, Boise
Shawn and Jennifer Ellis, ranchers, Blackfoot
D. Marc Haws, retired county, state and federal prosecutor, New Plymouth
William Boyd, mining lawyer, Coeur d’Alene
Former Senator Chuck Coiner, Twin Falls
Jerry Evans, former state superintendent of public instruction, Boise
Former Representative Rich Wills, Glenns Ferry
Randy Budge, Pocatello water lawyer
Former Representative Max Black, Boise
Eric Peterson, former chairman, Nez Perce County Republicans, Lewiston
Representative Fred Wood and Amy Wood, Burley
Tom Basabe, long-time Grand View Republican
Lydia Justice Edwards, former Idaho State Treasurer
Former Senator Bill Ringert, Boise
Jerry Rigby, Rexburg water lawyer
Former Representative Beverly Montgomery, Meridian
Gary Raney, former Ada County sheriff
Former Representative Dean Haagenson and Cindy Haagenson, Coeur d’Alene
Former Representative Pam Ahrens, Boise
Steve Ahrens, former president, Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry, Boise
Dale Storer, Idaho Falls municipal law exert
Jim and Camille Cox, long-time Twin Falls Republicans
Former Representative Jerry Deckard, Boise
Mike Otter, retired Meridian Republican
Former Senator Joe Stegner, Lewiston

Nowhere near 50 names on this list–as claimed by the folks on the Statehouse steps. There are other lists out there. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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