Stop spending on stupid stuff

Twenty years ago, Kootenai County was a place where elected officials guarded taxpayers’ dollars like the gold in Fort Knox. We protected our public assets and knew we shouldn’t spend recklessly.

Local elected leaders begrudgingly opened the taxpayer coffers but only after much deliberation and thought. Back then, leaders used common sense and always remembered the taxpayers were on a budget.

Those days are long gone. You only need to look to North Idaho College and the Community Library Network as proof of what’s gone wrong.

Today, a new wave of big government, big spenders are burning through our money like drunken sailors on a shore leave. They have the audacity call to themselves conservative Republicans.

Who is to blame for this mess? Unfortunately, we need to look in the mirror.

Most of us are busy raising families, working hard to keep food on the table, and dealing with life’s many challenges. You may have found politics to be too negative and avoided local pollical conversations. Along the way we failed to notice what was happening to our community.

The truth is our local Republican party quietly changed over the last 10 years. Kootenai County Republican Central Committee began endorsing candidates who ultimately have been reckless and irresponsible with taxpayer dollars.

We’re seeing the bills come due. Take North Idaho College. For instance, the questionable financial decisions made by trustees Banducci, MacKenzie, and Waggoner at North Idaho College are troubling. They’re spending taxpayer money recklessly without considering the long-term consequences for the school or our finances. It’s not just a concern about the college’s reputation, which remains strong, but rather whether it can remain open if trustees continue their current spending habits.

They simply don’t care about your money. If they did, we wouldn’t be paying for two college presidents, two attorneys at $400 an hour, millions more in expenses to play in a more prestigious athletic conference.

Trustees also are having to pay higher insurance premiums due to their overall incompetence. They’ve lost every lawsuit due to bad legal advice. They wanted to write a $1.3 million check to a former college employee before their own internal investigation was finished. Yikes.

They don’t care. Full spend ahead.

The Community Library Network is following the same path to financial ruin. Some accuse several of the current trustees of wanting to burn books. I see them burning through our money and being forced to close libraries because they’ll be broke.

This year one of the North Idaho Legislators wanted to expand government to create the Office of Election Crimes. The purpose to investigate and prosecute election and voter fraud. This is stupid. The Idaho Secretary of State and the Idaho Attorney General are handling these things already. We don’t need to expand the swamp sending more of your money out the door.

This nonsense needs to stop. Voters have the power to replace the leadership of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee in the May 21st primary. The KCRCC pretends to be the guardians of conservatism, but the rhetoric doesn’t align with the financial bottom line.

As a frustrated taxpayer witnessing wasteful spending, I’ve had enough of the chaos in the KCRCC. I’m grateful for an opportunity for change that doesn’t require waiting until the November general election or resorting to a recall election.

Instead of waiting, we can make a difference sooner by focusing on the upcoming precinct races in Kootenai County and elsewhere in North Idaho. In almost every precinct, there’s a choice to elect a Precinct Committeeman, a position with significant influence over local governance.

This May is a referendum on Republican values, like out-of-control spending, overall incompetence and making government bigger.

Rather than passively enduring incompetence, we can actively shape our community’s future by engaging in these races. By voting early through the absentee ballot system provided by Idaho Secretary of State Phil McGrane at, we can ensure our voices are heard.

Do your research and find out who the KCRCCC incumbents are and vote them out. The precinct race is the most important race this May.

Marc Stewart
Coeur d’Alene