When I woke up Wednesday morning after the election, I was dejected for a couple of hours. Except for Raul Labrador winning the Attorney General Primary, conservatives running for statewide office took a shellacking. We lost much influence in the Idaho House, however, I believe Mike Moyle as Speaker will be a big positive for the conservative agenda. He will no longer be under the thumb of the Governor or Leadership. He will be his own man and will set the agenda in the House.
We made great gains in the Idaho Senate, which will be the conservative body that the Governor will have to do business with. Hopefully, we will have a new Pro Temp. Everybody who ran has my utmost respect. Political courage and the sacrifices of candidates and their families should be respected by all. Many who did lose still have a bright future—Ron Nate (The Melaleuca anti-Christ) and Ed Humphreys (please stay in the game Ed) laid the groundwork for future campaigns and future victories.
I also must admit the respect I have for the Republican establishment—we conservatives call many of them “RINOs”. I do not respect their chameleon charade of calling themselves conservative. Many have for at least two decades championed big government positions and are themselves part of the cronyism, collusion and corruption that is ubiquitous in our state government and many of the large private contractors that do business in Idaho. The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry was started almost 50 years ago. One of its founding fathers told me that it was “much easier to control a handful of politicians than it was to get involved with government as an elected official.”
The political “servo-loop” between big business—lobbyist special interest groups back to politicians has only gotten stronger with age. It is not that corruption doesn’t smell anymore; it is just that we have gotten used to the stink. Every time my family passes a feed lot or a dairy farm we always take in a big whiff—”ah, the smell of money”. Spend more than a day at either place and the smell goes away—or do we just get used to it? Just like at the State capital or at the Arid Club during the legislative session, or at the Governor’s Cup. And to everyday citizens that aren’t insiders and the beneficiaries of the corruption, the smell keeps getting stronger. The managers who ran Mr. Little and Mr. Bedke’s campaigns have my utmost respect. They represent their constituencies—Big Business, large hospitals, and government contractors and government employees very well. We need that kind of organization and commitment to winning on our side. In the Statewide races—except for Raul and Dorothy Moon, we participated—they competed.
WE need a Conservative Summit. Not just a group of conservative insiders, and politicians. Representatives from small business, farms and ranches, families, conservative educators—I know of two in Idaho but I am told of several others, and Christian Religious leaders. We need to identify our constituency just like the founders of IACI did in 1974. We need to have a buy in from each group. As an organization we need to support politicians, speak out as one on legislation, and finance campaigns. Instead of a “Governor’s Cup”—which should be called “The IACI Cup” we could have a “Summer Rendezvous” with campers and tents on a ranch and make money to be given to a specific cause. Every summer we should do this. There are many conservatives in our State, many new conservatives, and we don’t even know each other.
If I could humbly make a recommendation as to who could lead such a group, it would be Dorothy Moon. She ran a near flawless campaign, was triangulated by a fellow conservative, and almost beat the establishment. She is talented, enthusiastic, intelligent, focused, and politically savvy. Raul Labrador needs to be part of the team as does Russ Fulcher. We need to stop fighting each other and start working together to defeat the big money contributors from inside and outside our State. We need to leverage the expertise of Speaker Moyle and bring him onto the team. If I have three words that would describe Raul Labrador and Dorothy Moon’s campaigns it would be focused, prudent, and principled.
Every conservative that I supported in Idaho was principled. But many were not focused and prudent. To win one needs to be all three—especially in a State where the media has an obvious disdain for conservative ideas and principles.
The time for a conservative summit was last Wednesday. WE need it now. The next primary is only two years away. Speaker Moyle and a new Pro Temp may be an important part of the team along with Mr. Labrador and Mr. Fulcher.
Dorothy Moon has my vote for becoming the new conservative Czar. We need to set up an organization within the Republican Party that is as strong and influential as IACI. If we, do it correctly it will last for forty years. If we can’t facilitate such an enterprise, then conservatives will look outside of our party for direction.
Conservatives need to “en-masse” start competing and not just be happy with participating. We need to be organized like the RINO/IACIs.
I even have a name for our new group: WE could call it “IACI”—Idaho Association of Conservative Interests.