The Betrayal of Idaho’s Citizens
By Sue Dawson
On March 8, 2017 the people of Idaho were denied the right to have their bills heard and voted on by the House of Representatives.
There are numerous bills, already passed by committees, which are being held in the Ways and Means Committee whose membership is composed of House leadership. The appointed Chairman of that committee, Robert Anderst, said yesterday on the floor of the chamber that he does not know how many bills he is with holding from the voting body, and refused to say why they were being held, and after answering only a few questions on the floor of the chamber refused to answer any more questions put to him by representatives about his decisions to hold bills. A motion was made on the house floor to bring up those buried bills for vote anyway. Incredibly, the motion failed by a vote of the House. How did your Representative vote? –For the people’s right to be heard through legislation, or against it?
Only 13 Representatives voted for the voice of the people to be heard through their legislation. All the others voted to allow the Speaker and his squad to suppress the bills for no given reasons. The voice of the people was successfully denied by the 49 legislators who cow-towed to the power of the Idaho Speaker of the House.
The Representatives essentially turned over their vote to speak for all Idahoans to Speaker Scott Bedke, Majority Leader Mike Moyle, Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane, and Majority Caucus Chair John Vander Woude.
Bedke has for some time been perceived as suppressing the will of the people, and now that abuse has been publicly established by vote of the House of Representatives. These four men and their appointed chairman of the Ways and Means Committee arbitrarily will determine which bills have the opportunity to be voted upon by the House. This abuse of power is no less than an elected dictatorship. Have these House Representatives lost their minds?
It would seem that the abuse of Bedke’s power was clearly mandated and affirmed yesterday. Idahoans need to know their elected representatives have sold them out!
According to Bedke’s apparently twisted logic, as leaders of the House, they make decisions about what bills see the light of day. Were these men voted into position to make the decisions for the entire State population and therefore to determine what bills will be sent up for vote and all the rest blocked? I do not believe this was the original intent of the representative system.
All the work of committees and citizen testimony (that which was allowed, that is) was an exercise in futility. None of it mattered because Bedke nullified it by burying numerous bills in his Ways and Means committee for no other reason than his own will. Shall these few men decide for the people what laws will come up for vote? Then why bother to go through the motions of testimony by citizens, and committee work? Is all that just “busy work” or “smoke and mirrors” to deceive the people into thinking they have a voice? Under this plan, they only have a voice if the Speaker allows them to. This kind of power in the hands of the wrong man is disastrous.
It should also be noted that Committee Chairmen appointed by Bedke also have the same power to bury bills. In fact if they do not do the will of Bedke then they will not serve as chairmen.
Other neighboring states divide up this power to choose chairmen and committee members by election so that one man does not hold too much power over the people’s House. In Idaho the Speaker holds huge control over the people. And Bedke seems willing to exploit that power. This has gone too far.
How is any of this Idaho scheme an honest representation of a representative republic where the voice of the people should be heard?
It amounts to elected dictatorship.
In China, 15 Communist party leaders rule the entire country. In Idaho 1 lawmaker and 3 assistants do what they think is best for all of us with the final approval of the Governor.
Please don’t insult the people by calling Idaho a Republic. It was lost March 8, 2017 when 49 elected representatives turned over their authority to Bedke.
Footnote: I highly recommend voters view the historic event by watching the video recording of the betrayal of Idaho at legislature.idaho.gov then click on video, then select March 8 session, then wait for it to download. Well worth the wait!