Don’t focus on labels, look at facts

By Mary Ollie
Bonners Ferry

Senator Herndon’s comments on his Institute for Legislative Analysis (ILA) rankings omit a few things (“Herndon proud to dance in lock-step with ILA“). However, careful readers will figure this out as nowhere in his article are the criteria for the ILA rankings mentioned and political party rather than constituents is the focus. Senator Herndon’s duties and responsibilities are to his District 1 constituents yet much of his speech is about Republicans v Democrats rather than dealing with real issues of interest to those who live in District 1.

Limited government is a criteria for ILA rankings. In addition to the three branches (legislative, executive, judicial), our Founding Fathers designed a vertical system of checks and balances of various local governments and state government. Each of these has boundaries. The vertical system begins with self-governance. Government should not regulate those decisions we are capable of making for ourselves nor should the state interfere with the duties and responsibilities of local government. These are boundaries we need to defend if we are to keep the Republic.

A Senator who wants the state to meddle in local library decisions, wants to be present in the medical exam room, wants to dictate local elections, wants to tell a business how to “run its business,” cannot be for limited government.

My review of bills from the 2023 session strongly suggests that many legislators who rank high on the IFF scale and the new ILA ratings have little understanding of Article III Section 19 of Idaho’s Constitution. In fact, they are more aligned with the centralized and regulatory governments we see in authoritarian countries than with traditional Republicans and Democrats.

I hope independent minded Idahoans will follow Wyoming in taking a long hard look at the buzz surrounding ILA. It appears this is one of many efforts to manipulate the primary election by tempting voters to focus on labels rather than the facts.