Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Legislative Reviews

Posted by Adam Graham on April 4, 2007

Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Richard Stallings has an editorial attacking the legislature (what a surprise):

The people of Idaho should be outraged that the Republican-dominated Legislature did not live up to its promise to reduce or remove the sales tax from groceries. You’ve been had.

Well, there’s one problem with that. Many Democrats including Margaret Henbest, Branden Durst, Phyllis King, Nicole LeFavour, etc. who voted against the override of the Governor’s veto. Senate Minority Leader Clint Stennett had this to say:

Senate Minority Leader Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum, said Senate Democrats agreed to raise no objection to sending the bill back to committee. “The governor has indicated that he will work with us to get a better bill next year,” Stennett said. “We want to get a bill that takes the tax off of food. That’s still in play as long as we don’t pass this bill.”

So, exactly how do the Democrats get off acting like they’re somehow knights in shining armor who are going to save us when Minority Leader Stennett agreed to send the bill back to committee and Minority Leader Jacuqet voted against the override? The Republicans in both houses passed a bill and only the man who liberals despise, Speaker Denney was willing to attempt the override.

Governor Otter had a far more gracious piece in the Statesman, writing:

With a perspective born of little more than buying their ink by the barrel, pundits are writing that the first regular session of the 59th Idaho Legislature — my first as Idaho’s governor — was contentious, dysfunctional, “do-nothing,” and even the worst in a generation.

They are entitled to their opinions, but they ignore some far more important facts.

Unlike those pundits, I have nothing but admiration, respect and praise for each of the 105 men and women who put aside their private lives to participate as citizen legislators in a profoundly public process.

Republicans and Democrats alike deserve our thanks and our support for the jobs they do on our behalf.

People like Sens. Stan Bastian, John Andreason, David Langhorst, Elliot Werk, Kate Kelly, Mike Burkett, Shirley McKague and Russ Fulcher, and Reps. Mike Moyle, Raul Labrador, Lynn Luker, Max Black, Margaret Henbest, Les Bock, Bill Killen, Sue Chew, Branden Durst, Phylis King, Anne Pasley-Stuart, Nicole LeFavour, Mark Snodgrass, Marv Hagedorn, John Vander Woude and Cliff Bayer could have avoided the long hours, difficult decisions and media scrutiny by staying home with their families and pursuing their personal agendas.

Instead, they chose to tackle the often thankless job of balancing competing interests, demands and needs in crafting public policies that go largely unnoticed by the people they affect — until something goes wrong.

Politics and governing are controversial by their very nature. Whether it’s how best to educate our children or how best to meet our transportation needs, decisions that involve choosing one option over another inevitably leave some folks dissatisfied.

Sometimes nobody gets what they want. But that, too, is part of the process.

While I disagree with some of what Otter’s done, I’ve got to appreciate his bi-partisan praise for people being willing to serve. It shows far more class than Chairman Stalling’s predictable partisan attacks.

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