Brad Little is not the Leader Idaho Needs
Brad Jay Little was born and raised in Emmett, Idaho where he and his family still reside. He is a graduate of Emmett High School and the University of Idaho in Moscow where he earned a degree in agribusiness. His Grandfather was known as the “Idaho Sheep King” but unlike his grandfather Little is more into counting and leading sheep that will vote for him rather than raising them. Brad Little’s father David Little was a state senator which is how Brad got his feet wet in Idaho politics. Due to his Dad’s illness, he represented his father in the senate on a temporary appointment serving on the Finance and Resources committees while still managing the family business. Little is a “dyed in the Wool” No pun intended, sheep rancher who managed his family’s ranching business for thirty years and is still the head of the family enterprises. The Littles are one of the largest landowners in Idaho and have been a powerful force in politics for many years. As we have said in the previous two segments of this Trieste, Idaho’s political arena has been run for decades, by a select group of elite, wealthy ag boys and they hope to continue that rein with Brads reelection in 2022,
Little joins IACI and is eventually Elected Chairman
Although Brad Little has been involved in a variety of companies and associations, we believe the most important one was being a member of IACI “the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry” which was considered to be the “Voice of Business in Idaho”. Little was a member of IACI from 1981 till 2001 eventually being elected Chairman of this elite’s highly politically motivated business organization.
It was in 2001 that then governor Dirk Kempthorne tapped Little to fill a state senate vacancy and in 2002 Little was elected as senator to represent District 11. He was reelected to four consecutive terms and quickly rose to become the Majority Caucus Chair, a position he held till 2009. He was then appointed by Governor Otter to the position of Lt. Governor, to fill the vacancy left by now Senator Jim Risch and subsequently elected Lt. Governor in 2010 with a firm backing of IACI and governor Otter.
Little became Otters “point man” for economic development although one of his first forays into this area was with the failed Chinese Hoku polysilicon plant in Pocatello. Unfortunately this project failed as they could not come up with the required financing during the recession of 2009. The facility was then taken over by Boading Tianwei Group, and according to Brad Little, it became the most significant Chinese investment in the state of Idaho. That was until polysilicon prices fell precipitously and eventually caused the plant to fail.
Otter and Little wanted to increase trade with communist Chinese companies and there was even a proposal to allow the Chinese to develop a special economic technology zone of 50 square miles with a self-sustaining city. This “city” would essentially have belonged to the Chinese government and would have included manufacturing facilities, warehouses, retail centers and large numbers of homes for Chinese workers. It would have brought a slice of communist china right in the heart of Idaho! This plan ultimately failed to take form because of the unexpected resistance from Idahoans. One wonders if Otter and Little had been able to close this deal we might have had some real good Chinese restaurants in Boise.
Little remained silent during Otter Scandals
The most stunning thing about Brad Little is that during the 8 years he served as Lt. Governor under Butch Otter he never said one word about all of the scandals that took place during Otters 12 years in office, although there were many and very costly to taxpayers. Otter is of course a member of the “good old boys club” and another servant of the IACI lobbyists and was considered untouchable. Most politicians realize that the voting public forgets quickly the problems caused by bad policies, so we want to take a few paragraphs to refresh your memories of how incompetent Butch Otter was as governor while Little was his Lt. and how much he cost Idaho’s taxpayers.
Let’s start with props 1, 2 & 3 which went down in flames when Otter tried to tie teacher’s pay to standardized testing ( prop’s 1 and 2), but then in prop 3 he wanted the state to supply a computer to every student in the school system. It was prop 3 that really did this legislation as 65% of the voters came out against it. Did you ever wonder who would have gotten the contract for those computers? Does the name Hewlett Packard come to anyone’s mind? The same company that the state paid $110 million to purchase the Hewlett company campus and then spent another $39 million to renovate the building?
Then there was the Wi-Fi scandal costing taxpayers $75 million in Federal e-funding plus tens of millions in legal fees and settlement costs to Syringa, the company that was cut out of the contract. Follow that with”Schoolnet”, which wasted $61 million of our education dollars on a system that was never used. Let’s not forget the Corrections Corp of America debacle where its employees contributed $20,000 to Butch Otters campaign and over billed the state for about 26,000 hours. We never did get a full accounting of the cost because Butch kept everything quiet asking CCA for only a mere one million in settlement for screwing Idaho’s taxpayers out of who knows how much. It seemed that just about every year of Otter’s reign there was another scandal that was bigger than the one before it. But there was never a word out of Brad Littles mouth about any of this because he wanted to be the next governor and knew if he screwed with Otter that would never happen. I have been saying for years to follow the money especially in education which is the second biggest allocation in Idaho’s budget. The politicians always tell us it is all for the children but if you look closely at these scandals the biggest losses of taxpayer money was from scandals related to education.
Little declares a state of Emergency as Covid comes to Town
Little showed his true colors and who he really worked for during the Covid Emergency. He and his lobbyist’s advisors decided that they need to close some businesses for safety reasons because of the virus. Instead of making it a blanket closing for all business, Little and his advisors decided among themselves which businesses were “non-essential” and they just happened to be all small businesses. It was fine for the large corporations controlled by the members of IACI as they were considered the more essential businesses and were permitted to stay open. The fact is, according to Idaho emergency plans, this was not even close to an emergency situation! So while Little and his lobbyists continued to make money, the little guys in Idaho were closed and losing their businesses with no customers to serve. “Thank You Governor Little”.
Brad showed everyone in Idaho just how incapable he was at running this state as he continued to receive hundreds of millions of federal dollars and let his group of “trusted” advisors tell him what to do with the money. He should have recalled the legislature to take control of where these enormous sums of federal dollars should be used but then how could the elite fill their pockets. Brad was also good at ducking responsibility for any actions he thought the public might object to. He gave health districts and the bureaucrats who run the power to initiate rules that would require the public to wear masks and observe certain social distancing. They decided if certain sports could be played at schools and if students would be required to wear masks, which business could remain open and how they had to run those businesses. Brad allowed these bureaucrats to take over a job that should have been his but this way he didn’t have to answer to the public for bad decisions he had someone to blame. Many of the decisions made by these bureaucrats caused hardships on many Idahoans and were ineffective in containing the virus but at least they couldn’t blame governor Little for these bad decisions. It was Brad Little who remained silent when police arrested members of a church participating in an outdoor service in Moscow City???? He would just blame it on the local authorities who were in charge. Little became like Joe Biden, hiding from the press and making few, if any comments as the covid crisis worsened. I’m not sure which one of his aids told him to stop pharmacies from filling prescriptions for Hydroxychloroquine but that set off a firestorm of public reaction when they found out that it was a drug being used in the early stages of covid (along with zinc and azithromycin) to stop the disease. He claimed that he didn’t want to create a shortage of this drug that some relied on for the various diseases it treated. This is a drug that has been around for many decades and considered safe for use in any number of diseases. Since when does a governor have the right to restrict a drug which was curing this disease more effectively than any other method of therapy. Who know how many more lives could have been saved if people had access to this therapy instead of going to the hospitals and being put on ventilator’s only to die without having their loved ones to console them
Little still has his emergency order in place allowing him to continue to take more federal money with lots of strings attached to it. Anyone who thinks Little is a conservative needs to think again, because his actions during this crisis have shown that he only cares about the good old boys who will get him reelected. It’s time to send Chicken Little out to pasture with the rest of his sheep and let someone with real courage step up to the plate and take the reins of Idaho’s government. Little is afraid of his own shadow and is incapable of making important decisions without the help of advisors. This became quite apparent when Lt. Governor McGeachin stole his thunder. While Little was out of state our Lt. Governor assumed her proper role as temporary governor of Idaho and reversed Littles mask mandate. Needless to say this caused Little to drink three bottles of Pepto Bismol while going into a hissy fit.
It’s time we elected a real Governor
We have three great primary candidates running for Littles seat in the capital… Ammon Bundy, Ed Humphreys and Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin, anyone of which would do a better job as the commander and chief of our state. If one of these candidates were elected it would also slow down the political takeover of this state by IACI. We would like to thank Lt. Governor McGeachin for her actions in reversing Little’s orders as it shows that she is not afraid to take charge without checking with some unelected advisor. She showed courage in these actions which I’m sure has gained her much respect from the citizens of Idaho. We look forward to the primary election next May and wish all the candidates the best of luck. “HOWEVER” if these three candidates (McGeachin, Humphreys and Bundy) don’t get together at least two months before this May’s primary and decide that only one of them can be in the race to have a chance of winning, the game will be over and Doolittle will get 4 more years. I always say the political cream always rises to the top. The problem is that too many times egos get in the way of smart decisions and the people are always the losers. These three candidates need to set their egos aside. They should get together in a debate format without the press present several times so the public can judge for themselves just who might be the best one to steer our state back to the conservative values it used to have. In closing I’m asking these three valiant crusaders to give the people of Idaho an opportunity to judge for themselves who would be the best candidate to guide our state forward in these trying times and get rid of the tyranny that has plagued us for the past 4 decades.