Idaho Legislators Ignore the Voice of the People
to buy Political Power from the Establishment
by Sue Dawson
Recently conservative Idaho Representative Christi Zito, challenged the control of the House of Representative leadership on the chamber floor and made headline news for her bold stand against the establishment. She had the audacity to make a motion to get one of her bills out from under the grip of the leadership so it could be presented and heard by an appropriate committee. The Speaker of the House immediately put the House “at ease” until he could regain control of his process imposed on the lawmakers.
What followed, out of the view of public camera, was the typical attempted takedown of Zito by the power cabal that runs the legislature. The threats to her “political capital” and intimidation that she would be “shamed before her peers” did not work on Zito. This woman cared more about the voice of the people than her political standing with the cabal and stood her ground bringing her motion to a vote when the chamber resumed, as was her legal right according to house rules.
The vote was 59 to 10 (1 absent) against Zito’s motion to hear her bill in committee. The grip of the cabal is so tight that this bill, which was about restricting gifts to public officials from lobbyists, would not be allowed a discussion in a public committee meeting. The leadership once again maintained liberal control of what bills would be heard and openly asserted its demand for loyalty from 59 members of the legislative body.
This is the real story of what is happening almost daily at the Boise capitol. Most legislators are kept under control by the ruling few at the top by threat and intimidation. Most legislators buckle to the bullies out of political expediency, and some bizarre since of loyalty to the liberal agenda.
Speaker Bedke, who votes like a Democrat, and does his best to squelch the vote of real conservatives, controls which bills get a hearing and which bills never see the light of day and also sets the “process” the lawmakers must follow or else risk disenfranchisement. So far he has retained a majority of legislators who will consistently vote to maintain his absolute power. Soon this may change.
There is a growing movement lead by conservatives who want to see this corrupt system thrown out and a more representative style of legislature reinstated for the people.
One of those seeking a more ethical system is Josh Gibbons of District 11, the rural area surrounding Nampa and Caldwell. His opponent, Scott Symes, has been voting along with the establishment republicans all too often. Last year Symes voted for every opportunity that came along to increase regulations, raise fees, and create more bureaucracy. Gibbons wants to see the legislature more accurately represent the will of the people in his district. “I believe an elected representative’s job is to carry the voice of his or her constituents.” When legislators vote to silence bills carried on behalf of the people, they defy the will of the people for the benefit of their own “political capital” to quote the leadership.
Another patriot is running in neighboring District 13. Lori Shewmaker is challenging Gary Collins, one of Bedke’s committee chairmen who follows along with Bedke’s tax and spend agenda. Shewmaker is not a stranger to the legislative process. She has been actively involved testifying before committees and has seen the need for a new direction on behalf of the people. “I consider myself one of the disenfranchised conservative Republicans. ‘Go along to get along’ legislators are not working for the benefit of the people.”
Many agree. Idaho must throw out the elitist liberals who have continued to raise taxes, overspend, expand the size of government, and then very quietly go about finding new ways to extract more money from the citizens.
There are still many districts in Idaho where liberal incumbents are quietly running unopposed. At sos.idaho.gov voters can see the candidates who are running for office. For those who want to see common sense government restored, the deadline to file for office is March 9th.
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