John Livingston

The Right Man for the Job

I am so looking forward to Mike Moyle becoming the Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives. I have had the pleasure of knowing Mike and his family for almost 30 years. Over the past 10 years he has reminded me when he is wearing his political hat of a combination between Tom Brady and Daniel in the Bible. Waiting in the background for his opportunity to apply his political philosophy and personal courage to the problems of the day. I have written before about the policy issues that need to be addressed ASAP by our legislature:

  1. Repeal the grocery tax
  2. Property tax relief
  3. Outside audits of State agencies that are involved in over $100million of transfer payments and outside audits of those receiving transfers over $100million.
  4. I have now added a fourth request for consideration and that is the appointment of an independent panel to review our State’s Covid response. Such a review was initiated by Governor Kempthorne but never completed because of the petty jealousies between State agencies and providers who wanted to control the process.

The most important thing our new Speaker can do is to reestablish the position of the legislature as our State Founding documents see that position to be. Over the past 20 years the executive branch—our Governor and State agency heads have become the driving force in not only the execution of State policy (which is their job), but in defining and establishing policy—which is the job of the legislature. The Governor (especially those special interests behind the scenes that exert pressure on the Governor and the legislature) has taken over the role of defining legislation.

The Governor is within his scope of work to define his vision in the State of the State speech, but the leaders in our legislative bodies should also stand up to the Governor when they think he is exerting too much authority like he did during the Covid emergency and executive orders. Our Founding Fathers in both the State of Idaho and in the United States Constitution envisioned the legislative body as the “voice of people” and sitting above the other branches. At both the State and Federal levels the executive branch has reigned supreme for too long.

In Idaho, our new legislative leaders need to address the symbiotic relationships between those in the executive branch of government and lobbyists and special interests. I believe one of Mr. Speaker Moyle’s biggest efforts should be to root out the corruption that is ubiquitous in all departments of our state government. Defining that corruption in the Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) and the Department of Education (DOE) and requiring audits of large hospital systems (with CEOs making $18million/2rs—are Medicaid funds fungible and can we all say together “non-profit”?) Receiving billions of dollars of transfer payments per year should be a priority for all our legislators.

Policy that is good for families and roots our corruption is what our legislators should focus on.Mr. Moyle is the right man at the right time and now has the right job to make a difference. He no longer must play behind Drew Bledsoe like Tom Brady did or be a “Daniele” in the King’s Court.

Good luck Mr. Speaker and God’s Speed

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