Post Election Opinion – 11/10/2022
The results of the 2022 statewide elections really couldn’t have been worse. A couple of bona fide right-wing MAGA men won the Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor’s races. The rest were fairly predictable with only the Republican Secretary of State winner Phil McGrane standing out from the crowd of the business as usual weak GOP candiates.
Local North End, East End and down ballot races in Ada County were better – if only because progressives were able to defend our home ground from an organized MAGA takeover. We weren’t able to improve the Ada County Commission despite having two really good candidates – Stan Ridgeway and Patricia Nilsson. In any event, the Ada County Commission must act to remove disgraced Central District Health Department board member Ryan Cole, MD as soon as possible.
Here is our Change.org petition to get the ball rolling – click here!
Other “non-partisan” races in Ada County were targeted much like this year’s Boise Independent School Board races were. Outside money was poured into elections like the College of Western Idaho (CWI) Trustee and Ada County Highway District (ACHD) Commissioners races. The dystopian Idaho GOP actually endorsed a slate of candidates for the CWI Trustee seats and their picks for ACHD – all lost thankfully. Here’s a link to one story from Boise State Public Radio.
While more Idahoans agree everything has gotten too divisive and partisan, it is clear to even casual observers, the effort to polarize and tribalize society is coming from the MAGA Republicans who now control the Idaho GOP and their cohorts at the Idaho Freedom Foundation. It is also clear groups like the Building Industry Group of Treasure Valley that includes the developer of Avimor are attempting to create undue influence on candidates and elections. Here’s a story in BoiseDev about their illegal activities.
Hopefully the tainted MAGA Republican (R) will fade into oblivion and more balance in Idaho politics can be restored.
Local Races of Importance
2022 has been a watershed year for Boise in a few ways. We successfully defended our Boise Independent School Board from a right-wing takeover and made history by electing Boise High School senior and political activist Shiva Rajbhandari to the board. 2022 is also an opportunity for Boise and Ada County voters to make some much needed corrections and elect non-partisan candidates for Ada County Commission and the CWI Board as well as choose a new Ada County sheriff. Here are are our picks:
District 19 Democrats – we support our great team of legislators Melissa Wintrow, Chris Mathias and Lauren Necochea to continue improving the lives of Idahoans everywhere. For more about District 19 and precincts click here.
Ada County Sheriff – our pick is Victor McCraw, former director of the Idaho Peace Officer Standards Training (POST) program. Victor would be history making and a strong leader for a department that needs strong leadership.
Ada County Commission District 2 – Stan Ridgeway has a proven track record of service and is an experienced leader. The effort to clean up after the current right-wing commission needs to start now.
Ada County Commission District 3 – Patricia Nilsson has a ton of experience and understands the issues facing Ada County from a professional perspective.
Ada County Highway District – New voices are needed to move ACHD in a more comprehensive direction and our pick is Miranda Gold who has a robust, wholistic view of transportation.
College of Western Idaho Board of Trustees (4 of 5 seats) we agree with former trustees that the current board has done a great job and the candidates they have endorsed are sound – they are Molly Lenty, Annie Hightower, Jim Reames and, for the open seat, Nicole Bradshaw. For more click here.
Idaho Endowment Lands At Risk
One of the basic reasons statewide races are so important is the make up of the Idaho Land Board. Did you know Idaho has sold off 1/3 of our original endowment lands? That’s 1.2 Million acres gone forever. The endowment lands were given to Idaho upon our entry into the Union as a state and were supposed to be “managed” to best fund our “comprehensive public education” system. While the land board is legally allowed to sell these lands, virtually all discussions are held in private, trades are facilitated internally and there is a little public input into the process. Our major issue with the process lately is the fact we have tremendous surpluses that would negate the need to “dispose” of lands to the highest bidder at this time rather than to continue holding the lands in trust.
False Claims and More GOP Misdirection
Brad Little and his running mate Scott Bedke represent much of what is wrong with Idaho’s politics. They are both itching to take credit for the hard work and creativity of our people and businesses. The truth is Little and Bedke had ZERO to do with our surplus. Most of the surplus came about as a result of federal COVID relief spending and programs for small business. The fact of the matter is the Republican handling of the surplus, the silly ballot initiatives and so on display the GOP inability to think further ahead than the end of their noses or the start of the next election cycle. For over 40 years this “problem” has created social and income inequalities and weakened our public education system.
For more about a better way to handle the surplus click here. Read ’em and weep Brad.
Governor – Our pick for Governor is Stephen Heidt of Marsing. He is plenty conservative, largely unknown, but he doesn’t stretch the truth or exaggerate his accomplishments like Brad Little.
Lieutenant Governor – This is a total no-brainer. Bedke is a denier and wants to pad his retirement. Terri Pickens Manweiler is a hard working mom and is smart as hell.
Attorney General – once in a great while the choice for AG is stark. While both candidates are attorneys, that is clearly where the similarity ends. Labrador is a reactionary, right wing politician while Tom Arkoosh is a really good attorney with decades of experience who will most likely keep petty partisan wrangling out of the AG’s office.
Superintendent of Schools – When it comes to his passion for his profession, Terry Gilbert has no competition. He understands the neglect and problems Idaho’s public education has suffered at the hand of the Republican legislature over the past 4 decades.
State Treasurer – Deborah Silver, CPA is a great choice and she gets bonus points for being a flyfisher and ballroom dancer!
U.S. Senate – Mike Crapo wore out his welcome decades ago and has compounded his problems by supporting “the big lie” and false information about the economy, jobs, immigration and many of the same exaggerations that Brad Little uses. That’s why David Roth is a breath of fresh air. He knows from which he came and is true to his Idaho.
U.S. Representative Dist. 1 – Another, more extreme and really impolite Republican is Russ Fulcher. He is pushy, supported “the big lie”, voted against the insurrection inquiry, CHIPS, burn pit help for veterans and on and on. It’s about time Idaho was represented by a compassionate Idahoan like our pick Kaylee Peterson!
U.S. Representative Dist. 2 – Mike Simpson is the lesser of the GOP evils but still represents anti-choice and anti-education sentiment. He, like Fulcher, voted against many common-sense programs and legislation. We can do better with Idahoan Wendy Norman.
The dystopian Republican legislature placed two measures on the ballot – House Bill 1 – Income and Corporate Tax Changes and Education Funding Question – which has absolutely nothing to do with education quality or improvements and is nothing more than the GOP giving themselves a pat on the back for a miserable approach to taxation and school funding.
The second is a constitutional amendment that would allow the legislature to call itself into special session for any purpose. Not only does this usurp a governor’s duties, it could be a path to a full-time legislature which is universally disliked by Idaho voters.
Ada County Elections
Voting is the foundation of our democracy and our job is to help Idahoans vote. On this website, you will find information to register to vote, current elections, how to cast your ballot and other important election information.
Research and create your ballot for your specific precinct. Be sure to check out the statistics for changes in population and representation.
This election season, inform your vote with nonpartisan data. Understand just what inflation is, or how economic recessions affect you and your neighbors with nonpartisan analysis of government metrics. Use the charts and articles below to see the numbers behind issues like education, crime, abortion, student debt, and immigration.
Young Americans ages 18-34 DO pay attention and we’re ready to demand an equitable future using our vote. We are wiser. We are voters now. We will vote in every election from now on. We will get the change we are longing for in our leadership, economy, and opportunity. We will change America. One election at a time.
Down Ballot Alert!
As right-wing extremist groups organize to become election disrupters disguised as “poll-watchers” and Idaho’s Republican Party becomes more and more radicalized through their leadership like Dorothy Moon and Raul Labrador, the effort to radicalize local school boards, commissions and law enforcement is in full swing.
We saw this trend emerge in 2020 with the election of Rod Beck and Ryan Davidson to the Ada County Commission. Davidson has ties to right wing groups and has been photographed with Nazi sympathizers at counter protests. Beck and Davidson both supported appointing anti-public health Central District Health board member Ryan Cole who is under investigation for illegal medical practices.
Please be aware when you vote to recognize radical elements in races for everything from the CWI board to the ACHD and Ada County Commission. For more about extremism and local elections – click here.
Election 2022 Top Issues
According to data collected through Google Trends, the top issues are “Jobs” – not the lack of but the scarcity of workers; taxes – which makes little or no sense as Idahoans are receiving large tax rebates; and guns, not a big surprise. Fear about new gun safety legislation is both unfounded and ignores the reality of the gun violence epidemic raging across America.
So what really matters to Idaho voters? In our informal polling and online discussions it has become apparent Republican-leaning voters fear change even though staying the course could jeopardize their healthcare, public education, reproductive rights, social security, etc.
Progressive voters have a clear set of priorities that are pragmatic and rooted in reality:
- Democracy and candidate integrity – protecting the right to vote and the very election process that guarantees a peaceful transition.
- Reproductive rights – restoring abortion rights and ensuring access to health services for all women and girls regardless of income or circumstance.
- Education – protecting public education funding and build on the tools and methods that will allow all Idahoans to gain the knowledge to be successful and productive in the modern world.
- Environment and energy – supporting technology advances and practices as we move away from our dependence on destructive carbon-based fuels.
- Immigration – welcoming people who are seeking a better life and allowing new Americans to become productive contributors to our communities and economy.
- Economy – continuing our positive momentum and innovation in trade and industry through progressive policies.