Phil Hart Runs Again For The Idaho House
Phil Hart, who served in the Idaho Legislature from 2004 until 2012, has placed his name on the ballot again for the 2018 election. Hart, a structural engineer by profession, had a reputation in the Legislature as a constitutionalist and was known to carry with him a dog-eared and hi-lighted copy of the Constitution everywhere he went. Hart is running in for Seat B in the House of Representatives out of Legislative District 7. Legislative District 7 includes all of Clearwater County, Idaho County, Shoshone County and the southeast portion of Bonner County.
The 2018 election starts with a Primary Election on May 15. Those who win the primary will face off in the General Election on November 6. Hart, a Republican, said “I was encouraged to run by the presidency of Donald Trump, who I think will restore many of the values and policies of our county that created so much prosperity in the past. I see the next 2 years as a unique opportunity to restore our constitutional provisions of limited government.”
Both President Trump (’68) and Hart (’84) are graduates of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Hart said that knowing how hard President Trump had to have worked in school gives Hart additional confidence that we will see great things from him as President. “Frankly, this was my main motivation for running. I think Donald Trump is going to cause us to redefine how we do government in America, and I want to be part of that discussion when it happens.” In discussions with Hart it was apparent that he really doesn’t want to “redefine government” but to instead restore the Republic in the way the Founders intended it to function. Hart pointed out that he expects others, who lack an intellectual awareness of America’s founding principles, to be all over the map with ideas as to the scope and purpose of government. Hart claims he wants to be at the table when that time comes.
In a recent article by Hart entitled “Uncle Sam is Biggest Brother” he points out that the government of the United States is the biggest government the human race has ever seen on Planet Earth. Concerned about the ongoing growth of the Idaho budget, even under Republican control, Hart says his top priority will be to author legislation that will roll back the growth of state government.
Another legislative priority of Hart’s will be to simplify Idaho’s taxing structure. Hart points out that the cost of administration on the private side of the income tax is 23 cents for every dollar that is paid in income tax. Whereas a gas tax, collected at the gas pump, or a sales tax, collected at the cash register, runs about a half cent to a penny for every dollar that is paid in taxes. “When you compare the economic burden of the income tax to the sales tax, the income tax should be renamed the ‘stupid tax’.” Hart said.
Hart, an MSHA certified open-pit miner, wants to enhance the traditional Idaho industry sectors that depend on natural resources. Hart believes that we are to be stewards of our natural resources, protecting them for future generations. In Hart’s opinion that means we use our natural resources, but we don’t abuse them.
During his earlier tenure as a legislator Hart thinks his best accomplishment was authoring House Bill 343 in the 2011 session, the Wolf Emergency Bill. This bill provided for the governor to declare a Wolf Emergency and take management of the wolves away from the federal government, which at the time had listed the wolves on the Endangered Species List. Three days after the Legislature sent Hart’s bill to the governor’s desk for his signature, Congress delisted the wolves which effectively turned over management of the wolves to the state governments of both Idaho and Montana. Congress even restricted the jurisdiction of the federal courts so that no one could sue over that transfer of wolf management from the federal government to the states. Hart said, “I did enough research on emergency declarations to know that any court challenge to a State of Idaho Wolf Emergency Declaration would lose in court as it is impossible to define what is and is not an ‘emergency’. I think this is why Congress rushed to effectively nullify my bill, so that we would not have that showdown.” It seems that it didn’t matter that HB 343 was nullified, as the end result ended up being the same, Idaho got control of the wolf population.
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