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McGeachin claims her office budget is balanced

May 3, 2022

Idaho Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin issued a press release Monday in response to what she calls misinformation regarding her budget. "The media continues to manufacture controversy where none exists," she wrote. "The Lt. Governor's office budget is balanced. Our office had some unanticipated legal expenses due to the Idaho Press Club suing us because of our efforts to prevent conservative Idahoans and their children from being doxed by the media."

"Our office has made the necessary cuts and adjustments to cover those costs, and Idaho taxpayers will not need to provide any additional funding for this office.

"In previous years, our office has actually returned a portion of its budget to the taxpayers due to the increased efficiencies we have implemented.

"In a year when Gov. Little approved a budget increasing state spending by more than 20%, I remain a committed advocate of reducing the size and scope of government, consistent with our shared conservative values."

Dox is defined as to search for and publish private or identifying information about a particular individual on the internet, typically with malicious intent. Doxing is the act of revealing identifying information about someone online, such as their real name, home address, workplace, phone, financial, and other personal information. That information is then circulated to the public without the victim's permission.

The Idaho Press Club sued McGeachin on behalf of several journalists to compel her to release public records regarding the "education task force" she empaneled to find evidence of indoctrination in Idaho public schools.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden advised McGeachin to not challenge the suit but provide the records requested, but she ignored his counsel.

In finding for the press club on August 26, 2021, Ada County District Judge Steven Hippler ruled that McGeachin violated the Idaho Public Records Act, acting frivolously and in bad faith in her claims that media intended to release personal information and encourage employers and government agencies to retaliate against Idahoans who have expressed concerns about Idaho's education system.

"The disclosure of public records is prescribed by law, and fear mongering has no place in the calculus," Hippler wrote. "If public officials were required to disclose public records only to those, including the media, they believe will support the government's actions, we will have shed the principals of our democracy and evolved into an autocratic state where criticism of public officials is not permitted."

In addition to compelling her to release the records, Hippler levied a civil penalty of $750 and ordered her to pay the Idaho Press Club's attorney fees, both of which she paid out of her office budget.

Idaho Press Reporter Betsy Russell reported that "as of Monday, the state Division of Financial Management estimated McGeachin's office budget has an estimated deficit of $2,067.83. McGeachin, who is running for governor, no longer has any office staff, her office doors are locked, and she has proposed to forgo her salary and benefits for the remainder of the fiscal year to make up the shortfall."

McGeachin is running to become governor and has been endorsed by former president Donald Trump.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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