The Need for Principles in Idaho Politics

Rod Klingler Rod Klingler

Idaho has a problem. Our representatives lack principles.

Let's look at some current evidence. Recently, voters passed Proposition 2, which seeks to expand Medicaid in our state. The problem? Like all socialist schemes, it forcibly takes money from all taxpayers, and redistributes it to those the state deems worthy. Yesterday, "The House Health & Welfare Committee… voted 7-5 to reject a proposed bill… to repeal" it. I don't have the right to force you to spend your money on my own pet projects, nor should you be allowed to force me to spend my money on yours. That's a pretty straightforward principle.

Some proponents of Medicaid claim that they aren't for "redistributing wealth," they're just for "helping those in need," i.e., charity. Well, chalk another one up for principles! It isn't charity if you are forced to do it! There may even be some Idahoans who need their money even more than Medicare recipients, and who may not be deemed "qualified," and yet the state will still mercilessly rob them at gunpoint. How's that for charity?

Another example: A few days ago, "Marsy's Law" (2018-HJR 8) passed the Idaho Senate, and is now being considered by the House. The problem? This same law has already been passed in other states and has been used to take guns away from citizens who were merely accused of something. You read that right, accused. No crimes were committed, and the guns were taken away without warning, before there was any sort of hearing, and without any crime having been committed! We are a nation that was founded on the principle of "innocent until proven guilty." A straightforward and true principle, for obvious reasons.

Plus, Article 1, Section 11, of the Idaho Constitution, closes with the following line: "Nor shall any law permit the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony." No one should have their Second Amendment rights taken away unless they have been found guilty of committing a felony. That's already the law, and it is another straightforward principle! Yet, dozens of Idaho lawmakers failed to see the hypocrisy and voted to approve HJR-8.

Along with many other Idaho citizens, I sent a request to my representatives that they sign a pledge never to sign a so-called "Red Flag Law", such as Marsy's Law. Because this is based on a very straightforward principle, I didn't see why anyone should have a problem signing such a pledge. However, I received a response from Representative Rod Furniss stating that he felt it was his duty to consider every law that came across his desk. Really? Is there nothing on which we can take a stand based merely on principle? He later shared his opposition to signing this pledge on his Facebook page, and said that he was open to "facts and logic" that might change his mind. I provided the requested facts and logic but received no response. For the record, even Idaho's branch of the ACLU is against this law.

The reasons for opposing these laws are very clear me, and I hope to you, as well. So, why don't our representatives get it?

1. 'House Health & Welfare rejects 2 bills to overturn voters, repeal Medicaid expansion,', Betsy Russell, Feb 21, 2019.

2. 'Marsy's Law passes Idaho Senate, heads to House,', Scott Logan, undated, posted Feb 18, 2019.

3. Article 1, Section 11, Idaho State Constitution.

4. '2018- HJR 8 MARSY'S LAW',