Idaho Voters May Take Security Over Liberty
A few weeks ago Scott Bedke dropped a potential bombshell on my radio program. During a discussion about Idaho’s property tax crisis, the Speaker of the State House of Representatives floated a radical solution. Altogether eliminate property tax. Whatever would follow would likely be a wide mosaic of options. Possibly many of them user based. Since then I’ve shared his comments with several local and county government leaders.
The reaction is always the same. Eyes get really wide and councilors and commissioners tell me they would like to hear more.
By May of 2022, you’re going to need more than a residue of anger.
I’ve had a couple of posts these last few days where I’ve really given the business to news media and the Republican Party establishment. Now it’s the turn of the so-called constitutionalists and “liberty caucus”.
The Speaker is a Republican candidate for Lt. Governor. If he can bring about some more details, he may have struck the mother lode.
Next year’s real election is only 11 months away. Primary Day is in May. The Republican victors are expected to face token resistance from Democrats in November.
Among Republicans, one faction appears to be banking on a long public memory. The pandemic orders of 2020 rubbed a lot of Idahoans the wrong way. I was among them. It’s also why Governor Little appears to have taken his foot somewhat off the gas. The blowback was intense and it came even from potential allies like Scott Bedke. Legislators didn’t like being blindsided by the initial restrictions on your basic liberties. Commissioners and councilors were also fuming. The Governor made the initial pronouncement and then the cellphones and social media used by local Republicans began blowing up. That’s how many in local government initially learned about the orders.
Overall, some polling done by mainstream media showed initial public support for the Governor. It wasn’t by any means a wide margin and polling also included Democrats and independents. They don’t vote in Republican primaries, although. Even some Republicans are pondering open primaries in hopes of limiting the growth of the other party faction.
A recommendation for the latter. By May of 2022, you’re going to need more than a residue of anger. I woke up this weekend to news about the state’s jobless rate. We’re back to where we were before the so-called pandemic arrived. If you need a job and you aren’t picky, you can find one. Help wanted signs populate the streets I drive.
Stressing liberty is fine but how are you going to help me with rising property taxes? If Mr. Bedke comes up with a master plan and Governor Little adopts the same, the two men are going to gain some traction.
In a previous column I pointed out my doubts about voters looking for ratings before they go to the polls. Do you really believe a large number look up the scores from the Idaho Freedom Foundation and American Conservative Union? Heck, most people have never even heard of those outfits. It doesn’t mean they’re stupid. It just means they’ve often got a separate list of priorities.
About 15 years ago I read some research about college students. A large block surveyed at the time said they would give up the right to vote for the rest of their lives in exchange for having their student loan debt cancelled. These people are now in their late 30s. Many are living in starter homes or perhaps even their dream house. They’ve watched helplessly as property taxes have mushroomed.
I’ve been working in media for nearly 40 years. I’ve met some very sincere but one issue candidates. I don’t ever recall one having been elected.
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