As part of a homeschool civics class comprised of students in the 7th through 10th grade levels, students were asked to write opinion editorials on topics of their own choosing which reflect current themes in governance and policy-making. Over the course of the next few weeks the class will be tracking the views of and commentary on their op-eds with the goal of generating as much meaningful community engagement as possible. A prize will be awarded to the student who is most successful at generating meaningful community engagement with their op-ed. Thanks so much for partnering with us to create this experience for the children and teaching them to be actively involved in the governance of their community!
Gary Suppiger: Another Flip-Flopping Politician?
Local election time is coming up on November 2nd, and not just the Sandpoint City Council, but also some of the school boards, which can make a significant impact on the community. It’s important to know and research your candidates, which is what I was doing when I made an interesting discovery on the incumbent Lake Pend Oreille School District Board Member (LPOSD), Gary Suppiger. Perhaps you’ve seen his political signs posted around Sagle and Cocolalla with the catch phrase saying “Quality with Accountability.”
Suppiger, endorsed and supported by the Bonner County Democrats yet sometimes presenting himself as conservative, demonstrates a lack both of quality and accountability. As an incumbent he is making policy concerning your children, taxpayer money, and local schools. Shouldn’t he be transparent and honest about his voting record and opinions?
Instead Suppiger has attempted to mislead his constituents by misrepresenting both his own and his opponent’s positions, so much so that his supporters are taking to the internet and sharing information that is simply not true. In one example, his opponent Jalon Peters stands for having parents monitor what is being taught in their children’s classrooms and being more involved in the school’s curriculum – which sounds like a good thing until Suppiger twisted Peters’ words to mislead the public into believing that Jalon Peters advocates for having cameras in classrooms.
Furthermore, at the North Idaho Way candidate forum on 10/13/21 Suppiger claimed that the LPOSD never had a mask mandate and that he never supported a mask mandate, when he actually voted for the mandate when it was originally proposed, voted against ending the mandate in March of 2021, and even voted to have some children suspended from school for not wearing masks.
Does this sound like a man that actually doesn’t support mask and/or vaccine mandates? Does it sound like a man that actually believes the words coming out of his own mouth?
In this audio clip from the more recent Sandpoint Reader candidate forum at the Sandpoint Public Library on 10/19/21, Suppiger flip-flops on his previous comments. He now (correctly) claims that there was a mask mandate for LPOSD schools, though he still fails to mention that he voted for it, and to keep it.
Why did Suppiger tell us one thing on the 13th and another thing just six days later to a different audience? Does he just say whatever he thinks his current audience wants to hear without regard to the truth of the matter? (And yes, LPOSD schools were actually closed to students for a period, despite his denial of that fact.)
During the North Idaho Way Forum Jalon Peters tried to expose Suppiger on his misleading comments, and even quoted from Suppiger’s own Facebook page saying: “One of the most important responsibilities of a school board member is ensuring the health and safety of the students and employees of the district. While used as a last resort, it is sometimes necessary to establish mandates for public health and safety.” S uppiger claimed to be misquoted, but also said the Facebook post had since been changed anyway. Gary, just because you flip-flopped away from an opinion doesn’t mean you were misquoted.
Gary Suppiger seems to be changing what he claims based on who’s present and who he believes will support him, all so he can get reelected. But what opinion will he be using to vote with on the LPOSD board? Will he stand up for our liberties? From my observation, NO. Gary Suppiger will not stand up for your rights because he doesn’t actually believe in them.
Remember that just because Gary Suppiger doesn’t hold himself accountable for the low quality of his actions doesn’t mean you can’t. Remember to vote!
Related: Much Misinformation About Suppiger
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