“In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” ―
A common theme in my writing is to encourage and embolden those who know that something is wrong to get activated and engaged with whatever skill set that they’ve been equipped with. Prior to 2016, many of us were asleep at the wheel. Many of us went into the Trump Administration skeptical, but with open minds that perhaps a businessman could go into Washington and get some things done. Many of us were shocked at the level of corruption that exists in government but pleasantly surprised at the level of success that was achieved by spurning special interests and the DC establishment in the pursuit of main street American policy.
After four years of the Trump Administration and a nakedly partisan alliance between entrenched government bureaucrats, media, and Silicon Valley, main street America has been left with little choice but to fight to preserve the American inheritance that their predecessors left for them. That inheritance is not the divisive identity politics version of America that is actively being sold by the American Left. It is the classically liberal America that represents freedom and opportunity for all, however imperfect our system.
I previously wrote that school parents would save America, and they have largely proven me right. From unseating hostile school board members to reasserting the public/servant hierarchy, parents have driven local education policy by advocating for their children around the nation. If we are to succeed, we must harness this sentiment and direct it toward every seat of government.
Here at home, Idahoans have heard the call of freedom and are answering in a significant way. Despite the weeping and gnashing of teeth from much of Idaho’s lukewarm center and left, Idaho has presented a solid crop of challengers to establishment candidates. Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin, who challenged the authority of Governor Brad Little’s COVID policies by patronizing small business owners in the midst of mandated lockdowns, and who spearheaded anti-activist campaigns in the schools, is nipping at Little’s heals for the state’s executive seat. She is the Trump-endorsed challenger for Idaho’s governorship. Other notable candidates include financial advisor Ed Humphreys of Eagle. Activist Ammon Bundy of Emmett has refiled to run as an Independent.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who has been in office for twenty years, famously refused to join in with nineteen other conservative states in challenging the electoral malfeasance of November 2020. While the courts made it clear they had no intention of touching electoral challenges, this was an opportunity for Wasden to represent the majority of Idahoans who recognized the electoral sophistry for what it was. Wasden has garnered two challengers in Eagle’s Raul Labrador and Coeur d’Alene’s Art Macomber. Labrador has a good track record in elected office and is a solid candidate. There is little question that had Labrador won the state’s Governorship in 2018, our COVID management policy would have been a more freedom-centric approach. Despite no political record to date, Macomber seems to recognize our current predicament and espouses the right ideas as well.
As Lieutenant Governor McGeachin vacates her current position, two Republican challengers have risen to fill it: Representative Priscilla Giddings of White Bird, and Speaker Scott Bedke of Oakley. Giddings, a former female fighter pilot in the Idaho National Guard, garnered controversy for her defense of Representative Aaron Von Ehlinger against sexual assault allegations when she shared an article detailing the accusations including Von Ehlinger’s accuser. Controversially, she was censured by the Idaho House of Representatives, spearheaded by her opponent, Speaker Scott Bedke. I previously authored my opinion on the case of Aaron Von Ehlinger and I will only state here that Scott Bedke’s position as a political opponent made him the wrong person to spearhead a campaign against Giddings. That is precisely the type of good ol’ boy politics that we ought to throw out of Idaho. Representative Giddings earns an excellent rating from the Idaho Freedom Foundation, while Scott Bedke earns a failing score for his legislative record on freedom.
Amongst charges that private funds from Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Tech and Civic Life flowed into twenty-one counties in Idaho for the administration of Idaho’s elections, Idaho has drawn three Republican challengers for Secretary of State: Representative Dorothy Moon of Stanley, State Senator Mary Souza of Coeur d’Alene and Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane. One of the primary recipients of CTCL funds was Ada County, which received almost half a million dollars under these partisan grants and represents two-thirds of grants awarded in Idaho. Senator Souza alleges that McGrane encouraged all of Idaho’s counties to apply for these partisan grants. Further, it was just announced that Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is building a data center in Ada County. If true, Phil McGrane has no business running elections for the State of Idaho and this should be investigated for illegality. Giving credit where it is due, Senator Souza has taken a lead role in exposing CTCL’s influence in our 2020 elections. Of the remaining candidates, Representative Moon earns an excellent rating from the Idaho Freedom Foundation, while Senator Souza earns a failing score for her legislative record on freedom.
Long-time US Representative Mike Simpson of the 2nd District of Idaho has garnered a challenger in Idaho Falls Attorney Bryan Smith. It is no secret that I’m not a fan of Mike Simpson. I find his legislative priorities to be out of step with Idaho. I find his obsession with conservation projects to be tone-deaf and not representative of the concerns of Idahoans. In the middle of global pandemic and race riots, Mike Simpson has been laser-focused on breaching the hydroelectric dams on the Snake River to save the salmon and dumping federal funds into national parks. Simpson’s office was unresponsive in regard to challenging the electoral malfeasance of 2020. Mike Simpson is a shining example of our need for term limits. Bryan Smith has no record of elected office but has challenged Simpson in the past and previously received key endorsements from organizations like FreedomWorks and the Club For Growth.
Here in Pocatello, long-time Democrat State Senator Mark Nye has announced his retirement and Democrat State Representative Jim Ruchti will seek to replace him to represent Eastern Idaho. Pocatello native and former candidate for mayor, Republican David Worley, is challenging Ruchti for Nye’s seat. Anecdotally, following the 2020 election, I contacted Representative Ruchti’s offices to express my concerns over the administration of our elections and inquired about what measures they were taking to ensure Idaho did not experience the election issues experienced around the nation. Representative Ruchti expressed concerns over any newly proposed measures citing equal access to voting and ultimately did not support any proposed changes at the time. Ruchti receives a failing score from the Idaho Freedom Foundation. Worley is a relative newcomer but carries key endorsements from the Leadership Institute and Republican National Committeeman Morton Blackwell. Republican Jake Stevens currently runs unopposed for Ruchti’s seat.