Issues That Matter To Idaho
I SUPPORT and have championed efforts to strengthen and protect the integrity of our elections.
An extensive “vote by mail” Covid-19 election presented serious logistical and security challenges that opened the door to questions of fraud and abuse. Many Idahoans were alarmed by media reports of voter irregularities following the 2020 elections. A loss of public trust and confidence in our voting processes ensued. The 2020 elections served as a reminder that the right to vote in a fair and free election is a citizen’s most basic civil right that must be protected.
Even before Joe Biden’s electoral votes were certified by Congress on January 6, 2021, I had begun to act with other key stakeholders as a founding member of the “Citizen’s Committee for Election Integrity”. The committee met on January 2, 2021 and established (14) Minimum Standards for Fair & Honest Elections. These standards were read into the Congressional Record on January 6, 2021 CREC-2021-01-06-pt1-PgE17.pdf (congress.gov) by members of Idaho’s Congressional Delegation. These standards were later adopted by the Idaho Republican Party and became a guide for the National Republican Party. I later received an invitation by Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin to share these standards during Week 3/2021 of Capitol Clarity. These standards can be viewed on the Idaho Republican Party’s website along with the committee members: CITIZENS COMMITTEE FOR ELECTION INTEGRITY – Idaho Republican Party (idgop.org).
Covid 19 Mandates
I strongly OPPOSE the Federal Government’s overreach including forcing vaccine mandates on Idahoans.
What started out as a mandatory quarantine to “flatten the curve” quickly transitioned into mandates that included school and church closures, mask mandates, discussions of vaccine passports, coercive employment vaccinations, and terminations of employment for those Idahoans who did not receive the vaccine. These mandates have quickly become a divisive public policy issue creating unnecessary division in our great state. To be clear, I am not opposed to vaccines, but I am opposed to vaccine mandates. Where there is potential risk or harm, there must be choice. With Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers being granted blanket liability protections against death or injury, Idahoans have no recourse against employers or the manufacturers who enforce these coercive mandates and are subsequently harmed as a result of them.
Additionally, the vaccine mandates have negatively impacted the quality of healthcare in Idaho. When hospitals began enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for their employees, it triggered a mass exodus of nurses and doctors from hospitals around the state. On September 16, 2021, the entire State of Idaho entered into a Crisis Standards of Care creating rationed healthcare as a result of staffing shortages at hospitals. If the goal was to ensure quality of care, the mandates did not provide that. Instead, patients were turned away from hospitals as a result of healthcare rationing and necessary medical treatments were delayed. These policies have adversely impacted Idahoans and have caused irreparable harm for those in need of medical treatments.
The proper role of government is to ensure individual liberty and equality. The Idaho Republican Party unanimously passed a statewide resolution that I authored (Resolution 2021-49) requesting the Legislature reconvene to address these vaccine mandates. I believe much work still needs to be done to ensure Idahoans are in charge of their own healthcare decisions including medical freedom and privacy.
Stop Environmental, Social, Governance = ESG
The emergence of ESG policies is concerning. What started out as corporations instituting socially responsible corporate governance policies for their businesses, has now been hijacked by the Radical Left to enforce an environmental and social justice political agenda. I am AGAINST ESG policies that aim to enforce government mandated social credit scores to limit Idahoans from participating in everyday activities such as commerce and industry.
We must restore Idaho back to “We the People” and follow America’s great motto “In God We Trust.”
It has been disheartening to see the government overreach and fear that has been created by the Covid-19 Pandemic. What started out as a desire to protect the public from a virus, quickly became the loss of public trust and our most cherished Constitutional freedoms. Instead of Idahoans entrusted as a sovereign people to govern themselves, the State and some municipalities began enacting mandates and closures in the name of public safety. We must return power back to the people. This principle is enshrined in both our US and Idaho Constitutions. Thomas Jefferson penned the greatest and most profound words in all of American history when he opened the Declaration of Independence with this statement:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Our institutions must be reminded from time to time that “all political power is inherent in the people” (Idaho Constitution Article 1 Section 2). It’s time we put Idahoans back in charge of their households, businesses, families, and futures. The Pandemic brought with it a season of great fear. It’s time we embrace our nation’s motto “In God We Trust” and reclaim our most cherished rights of self-governance and self-determination and live faithfully over fear.
Sanctity of Life
As a former Law Enforcement Officer, I understand the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental constitutional right that must be rigorously protected. As a member of the NRA, I am proud of Idaho’s pro-gun laws and recommended and testified that the City of Eagle should become a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary City. This was unanimously adopted on September 8, 2020 in a 5-0 vote by the Eagle City Council and Eagle became the second city in the entire state of Idaho to take such action.
Agriculture is the lifeblood that sustains our families and is a fundamental part of Idaho’s economy. However, the rapid acceleration of growth in Idaho over the last several years is increasingly causing urban encroachment into farmland and open space and will continue to do so in the years ahead. Rising property values have provided an opportunity for farmers to sell to developers taking farm and ranch land out of production. When land values outpace a viable agricultural business model coupled with hyper-inflation, this can spell disastrous results for sustaining a vibrant farming industry. Idaho must proactively work to partner with the Ag community to ensure we do not lose our rich agricultural heritage and industry. I am committed to listening and understanding the growth impacts on our farmers and working to address these important concerns. Bottom line, food security is also a national security issue and Idaho must work to protect our agricultural systems as critical infrastructure to our State and residents.
Another challenge of growth is maintaining adequate water resources. As growth continues throughout Ada and Gem Counties, additional demand and utilization will occur. While HB769 invests $325 million into Idaho’s water infrastructure to increase capacity at the Anderson Ranch Reservoir and construction of water delivery and treatment systems for Mountain Home Air Force Base, this does not address capacity issues in Ada or Gem Counties or surrounding areas. The real issue is long-term capacity planning and increasing water storage to support the rapid growth occurring in Idaho. Additional reservoirs or off stream reservoirs could help address capacity issues to ensure adequate water. We must proactively manage our water resources, plan for growth, and work with all stakeholders to ensure we have an adequate water supply. Water is a precious resource we must safeguard to ensure a viable agricultural industry and to sustain quality of life here in Idaho.