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Bonner County GOP votes no confidence in Mark Sauter

April 24, 2023

The Bonner County Republican Central Committee (BCRCC) voted unanimously that they have no confidence in the performance of Idaho District 1 Seat A Representative Mark Sauter to represent the Republican platform and the principles of the Idaho Republican Party, chairman and Idaho First District Senator Scott Herndon announced in a press release issued this morning. Their most recent grievance was Sauter's vote on House Bill 314, which would have removed the exemption and therefore prohibited taxpayer funded libraries from giving sexually explicit obscene materials to children and would have required the libraries to take reasonable steps to prevent such materials from being accessed by children.

Sauter, a registered Republican, voted against H0314, Herndon wrote. After the governor vetoed the bill, Sauter's was the single vote by which a House veto override vote failed.

The following votes by Representative Sauter also contributed to the vote of no confidence by the BCRCC:
  • S1130 – Establishes limitations on the ability of private and public entities to impose a requirement that individuals receive a coronavirus vaccination. S1130 passed the Senate with every Republican in favor. It also passed the House, but Sauter voted against this anti-discrimination bill.
  • H0024 – The Idaho Launch program is a new $80 million corporate welfare program that passed the House by a scant 36-34 with Sauter in favor. The problem is a ballot question was passed by voters in the November 2022 general election that stipulated the $80 million was intended to be used for K-12 educational needs, not for post-secondary private sector workforce training.
  • H0180 – Would have granted permission for the Idaho State Treasurer to invest idle state moneys in precious metals as a hedge against inflation. H0180 passed the House 40-29, but Sauter voted against this core platform principle.
  • H0293 – Would have established that members of the State Board of Education be elected by region rather than be appointed by the governor. This would have created needed accountability of the SBOE to voters with the goal of improving the performance of public education. Presently the reading and math proficiency of publicly educated students is only in the 30 percentile range and has stagnated in that range for years. H293 failed in the House by only one vote, with 34 Republicans voting in favor and Sauter opposed this platform principle.
  • Sauter serves on the House Education Committee and had numerous opportunities to vote in favor of various Education Savings Account options. As a Platform principle, ESAs would increase Idaho’s flexibility in meeting the educational needs of students. Every student does not fit perfectly into a rigid public school system. ESAs create alternatives and improve educational outcomes for many students. Sauter opposed all attempts to introduce needed school choice legislation.
  • Article I of the Republican Platform is about the fiscal responsibility of government. One example of unrestrained spending is the ballooning Medicaid budget. In 2020 Idaho’s Medicaid budget was $2.8 billion, and this year it is already $4.6 billion. House and Senate conservatives demonstrated that there are tens of thousands of ineligible, able-bodied, young, childless participants on Idaho’s Medicaid rolls. The House killed this bloated Medicaid budget by one vote, resulting in conservatives saving taxpayers $152 million. Additionally, if Idaho Health and Welfare would properly remove the ineligible participants, the budget could be reduced by at least $830 million. Unfortunately, Sauter voted in favor of the original excessive Medicaid budget and has not demonstrated any leadership in fiscally conservative Republican Party Platform principles.

The BCRCC is the official Republican Party organization for Bonner County. Its membership consists of 30 precinct committeemen (PCs) elected by Bonner County voters biennially in the May Republican primary election and several elected officers.

The goal of the BCRCC is to advance the principles of the Idaho Republican Party which are adopted into the party’s platform by the hundreds of delegates at the biennial Idaho Republican Party’s state convention. It is the BCRCC’s hope that local elected Republicans take a leadership role in representing the key principles of Idaho’s Republican Party Platform.

We encourage Representative Mark Sauter to reevaluate his record and positions and take action to bring them into conformance with Idaho’s Republican Party Platform.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
6619 Kaniksu St., Rm 19
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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