Why is it that we have so few truly conservative candidates running for office in this reddest of the red states? When we look at the list for Lieutenant Governor, I have to cringe, bow my head, and pray that the bad ones don’t get elected. Let’s examine Representative Kelley Packer a three-term member of the house for Bannock and Power Counties who on any number of occasions has looked like a liberal lager head when it comes to more regulation and higher taxes.
In fact, we wrote about Rep. Packer back in April of 2016 when she was embroiled in a contest with Jason West, a prominent and very successful Chiropractor from Pocatello, when Kelley was trying to promote Bill 181 which would have limited natural medicine throughout Idaho. He and many of his associates contended that not only did this bill threaten naturopathic practices, but also threaten the scope of his chiropractic physicians.
This bill was eventually defeated after a lot of lobbying by the chiropractors. What was interesting was that the Idaho Medical Board came after one of Dr. West’s associates Dr. Mark Vance with the board’s attorney claiming Dr. Vance could no longer work with Dr. West according to Idaho law. They eventually dropped their complaint as it was not valid, but only after Dr. Vance had relocated. This was nothing more than a reprisal from Dr. West’s rift with Kelley Packer and the legislature on bill 181.
Let’s take a look at some of Rep. Packer’s other legislative exploits. It was back in 2016 that Packer tore into Wayne Hoffman and his Idaho Freedom Foundation for the way they graded legislators on their conservativeness in their voting on the Freedom Index. Her complaint was “I don’t know that they’re necessarily an honest, conservative voice,” and “There’s just a lot of ironies and hypocrisies that I see in place.” She recalled the irony last year when her end-of-session IFF ranking was below that of Rep. John McCrostie, Democrat-Garden City, and he teased her about it. When we looked at Packers voting record, it was anything but conservative and could be considered liberal by many standards.
Packer even went so far as to say in her podcast that the IFF, as a charity, can’t lobby, but that’s not exactly right. Federal law allows a sliding-scale portion of a charity’s expenditures to go toward lobbying. Let us look a little further into Mrs. Packer’s legislative adventures like her formal letter pledging to vote against any funding that comes before the Health and Welfare committee until a waiver program for medical gap coverage is presented to the full house for a vote. Once again Rep. Packer has shown she is not qualified to do her job as she resorts to a hissy fit of non-voting instead of trying to actually solve the problem of healthcare for 78,000 Idahoans.
On further examination, we would like to present a few more problems we found with Rep. Packer who calls herself a conservative. She was the lead sponsor of House Bill 152, a bill to license sign language interpreters which thankfully was vetoed by Gov. Otter (This bill did finally pass). Mrs. Packer also voted for the implementation of Obamacare with the State Healthcare Exchange and said, “I’d do it again if I could”.
Well, maybe she wouldn’t do it if she had to pay for her own health insurance like the people who elected her do. She supported House Bill 312, you must remember 312 where they increased the gas taxes and vehicle registration fees, but killed the part of the bill that would have eliminated the grocery tax and lowered income taxes. She also supported House Bill 546 which has resulted in giving millions of taxpayer dollars to politically connected big business at the expense of smaller entrepreneurs and established Idaho businesses.
Kelley Packer is a dyed-in-the-wool crony establishment politician who couldn’t care less for the little guy and is only intent on climbing the political ladder. We noticed that most of her campaign donations come from corporations and Political Action Committees. She even voted to regulate bake sales which would have meant you would have to register your home kitchens with the state officials if you wanted to supply cakes and cookies for events. Maybe Rep. Packer should do as she did in 2015 and send a mass message out from her private e-mail account. At that time she wrote to lobbyists and lawmakers for job-hunting assistance after her husband was transferred from the now-shuttered Pocatello U.S. Postal Service processing center to the agency’s Boise facility.
Kelley Packer is not Lieutenant Governor Material, and the electorate should send her Packing in the May 2018 primary.
“We Get the Government We Deserve”