Idaho Ethics Are All Personal
“It’s Not Personal–It’s Strictly Business” ~Mario Puzo in “The Godfather”
Op-Ed by Shari Dovale
As everyone on the Idaho Ethics committee will tell you, they did not vote to censure their colleague because of personal reasons. It was strictly business.
They did not base their decisions on their feelings, but on strictly regulated law and set rules. They did not manufacture any ideals based on opinions, inclination, bias, or personal intolerance.
Oh, wait a minute, is that what happened?
The members of the “Ethics” committee, along with the Chairman Sage Dixon, voted unanimously to censure Rep. Priscilla Giddings and recommend removing her from the Commerce and Human Resources Committee. They did not recommend removing her from all of her committees, or recommend expulsion. Giddings retains her seats on the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee (JFAC) and the Agricultural Affairs Committee.
Chairman Sage Dixon said he wishes Giddings had at least admitted making a mistake. “If there was some contrition, or a bit of remorse or repentance, all would be forgiven,” he said.
Sure, of course we believe that all would have been forgiven, as it was strictly business after all.
Has Dixon admitted that he was wrong in how he handled the von Ehlinger hearing? Did he admit that persecuting the man with ethics charges while an active criminal investigation was in process was an unconstitutional and slimy thing to do? Has Dixon admitted that trying to force the man to give up his rights was a very anti-Liberty (yet seemingly very progressive) and vicious thing to do?
Did Dixon “Own what he did”?
From True Idaho News:
Boyle says the von Ehlinger hearing created a horrible precedent and set the stage for the Committee to remove or destroy anyone they wanted. She also said she is not alone in that assessment. “When the Committee announced their recommendations the morning of April 29, I was sitting in the Lincoln Room with another legislator,” Boyle said. “When they finished, I leaned over to the other legislator and said, ‘I cannot believe this. We just allowed the Ethics Committee to be weaponized.’”
Boyle said the legislator sitting next to her, who did not give permission to be named, responded by saying, “Now they can go after anybody.”
After the hearing was over, Boyle confronted Rep. Sage Dixon, Chair of the House Ethics and Policy Committee, saying, “What are you doing conducting a public hearing when there’s an open police investigation going on? You know what you did was wrong!”
Boyle says Dixon hung his head and mumbled what she thought was a lame excuse. According to Boyle, Dixon said, “We were pretty far down the path and we thought we should continue.”
And what crime is Chairman Sage Dixon claiming that Giddings committed? She shared a link to an article that was already published. There you go. Are they now dictating what people are allowed to read? Are they making a list of approved internet sites that are allowed to be accessed by government employees? Are they trying to tell their constituents what is acceptable, and what is not?
The history of the “Ethics” committee indicates that they pick and choose winners, look the other way for their friends, and follow the dictates of Speaker Scott Bedke.
They have yet to hold a public hearing over John McCrostie and his theft charges. Oh wait, he was rewarded with a seat on the “Ethics” committee!
I never saw a public hearing over Christy Perry and her lack of morals. Oh wait, she was rewarded with a committee chairmanship.
Was there every a public trial for Speaker Scott Bedke over the allegations from Lissa Cochrane? Oh wait, that poor woman was run out of state and abandoned by the other legislators.
Lissa Cochrane provided an affidavit that included names, dates and specifics of what happened during a committee meeting on March 26, 2012, that stated Rep. Scott Bedke had a very graphic discussion during this meeting in the State House which was far more offensive and damaging then anything else we have heard.
This might explain why an “Ethics” hearing was avoided for Rep. Heather Scott when she was accused of saying inappropriate things to another lawmaker. She was never given a chance to defend herself, yet she was punished by having her committee assignments removed for 3 weeks by Speaker Bedke.
Now, I am getting comments that I must have some serious animosity for Chairman Sage Dixon for daring to actually write something negative about him. Of course this is not true. That would make it personal, and this is strictly business.
When it comes to the “Ethics” committee, the buck stops with the Chairman. He makes the final decisions on how everything is done. No one else. Chairman Dixon must OWN everything that happened in both of those hearings.
He has opened the door for the Legislature to be run by emotional progressives and the “Woke” cancel culture. Facts no longer matter, only someone’s “feelings.” The Bill of Rights was removed from these hearings, and individual rights are no longer important.
The government now has a precedent to not having to stand up for their constituents, or the Constitution. They have what can be considered “case law” to back them up in tyranny. No one can ever be completely certain in Idaho that an elected representative will go to bat for them ever again.
Do I believe that Speaker Bedke directed most of what happened in that hearing, paid for it with taxpayer’s money, used it as a political weapon against his opponent, Rep. Giddings? For the purposes of this discussion, it does not matter. Dixon allowed everything and is 100% responsible.
I have known Sage Dixon for several years. When he first ran for office, he said all the right things, talked to all the right people, and made every appearance of being a “Liberty Legislator.” But a taste of power can alter a person, and it seems that this has happened to Chairman Dixon.
I am disappointed that he seemed to throw away the Constitution is his zealousness to appease leadership and the progressives behind the accusations. I think that he will have trouble overcoming this apparent character flaw with the voters in his District. I don’t think his reelection campaign will be the walk-in-the-park that he has been become accustomed to.
As a voter in his district, I am fully entitled to my views of his performance. I do not have to tow-the-line and I do not have to conform. I need not explain my views, or justify them. I can base them on anything I choose. I can make it personal, or strictly business.
But, like the “Ethics” committee, this is strictly business.
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