Idaho Conservatives receives attention from state political mentors
We would like to take a moment to thank Chuck Malloy, an institution within Idaho politics, for taking the time to discuss our mission and goals.
We have been working diligently at the Legislature this year, attempting to find and write stories and videos that would be of value to people across the state. Asking that people take a little of their time to read about the nuances, potential pitfalls, or unintended consequences of bills making their way through the Legislature. We knew this would be an interesting niche to fill, that it would take time, and that many people would have questions. The questions have been wide ranging: Are you people Democrats? Are you the “swamp”? Are you political insiders hiding behind a privately held LLC? We have welcomed these questions because very truthfully, we are none of the above.
Confrontational politics, the new buzz word of groups and individuals that tear down rather than build up is what brought Idaho Conservatives to the dance. For years many of us on the Idaho Conservatives board have worked within Idaho policy making. We have worked closely with many legislators, congressmen, senators and constitutional officers who have worked tirelessly to shape the proverbial “playing field” in Idaho. By that I mean NOT throwing bombs in rooms and expecting a good outcome. The federal government is our frenemy(friend/enemy) on many issues. When “my way or the highway” messaging is conveyed we will be excluded from having a seat at the table when important policy is developed. Wouldn’t we all love to think that Idaho was centric to national decision-making? The reality is, we will always be on the receiving end of national policy. Why? We have two congressmen and of course two senators. Compare that to California’s 53 congressmen and their two senators!!
While Chuck and I were visiting we discussed at length the problems with confrontational politics. Many of us Idahoans are by our nature non-confrontational, but very opinionated. As we were discussing President Trump, I stated that I do not like, nor do I approve of the way the President attacks people personally. We should all be above personal attacks when discussing policy disputes. We can all disagree without being disagreeable. Although I do not like his constant Twitter tirades, I have been completely impressed with his appointees in getting the country’s business done
I have always espoused the value in “holding your elected officials accountable”. Many times, I have called my legislators and told them why or why not I agree with a specific piece of legislation. Frequently, I have gained a new appreciation of the position they have taken. Simply stated, governing is not an easy business.
Idaho needs to be an example of showing respect to the people we have voted into positions of power, not disagree with them on one bill and then work to get them out of office as quickly as possible. No one in their right mind is going to want to run for the Legislature or Congress if everything they ever do is held up like a pinata to destroy their reputation or question their integrity. One social media troll said, “let’s make their lives a living hell for the rest of the session.” Don’t we vote for people to go to Boise or Washington D.C. to do our work, not spend the day defending themselves from social media attacks?
We are so incredibly lucky in Idaho to have unfettered access to our elected officials. Just call ‘em, never has one not returned a call. We have good elected officials, we all need to appreciate their service and respect them for their sacrifices even if we disagree.
Jennifer Ellis is a rancher from Blackfoot, Idaho. She has worked for over 20 years with agriculture and community policy. She and her husband ranch and farm in Bingham and Caribou Counties.