Thursday, May 30, 2024

A breath of fresh nonpartisan air

| May 9, 2021 1:00 AM

Brent Regan probably gets too much credit and too much blame for the way he leads the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee.

Look around. The phenomenon here that finally is being met with resistance from tried and true Republicans is happening elsewhere: Fistfuls of demagogues leading the charge against public education, against independent thinkers, against those who find value, not threat, in people who see the world differently while agreeing on the vital role community service plays in everyday quality of life.

If you've been watching the shambles of Idaho's 2021 legislative session, you'll know what we mean. But the time of rational people's sideline sitting and silence could be coming to a desperately needed end.

Inside today’s newspaper is a full-page ad paid for by a group called Citizens to Elect Qualified and Experienced Candidates. Its treasurer was one of the best treasurers this county has ever seen: Republican Tom Malzahn.

Tom doesn’t stand alone. The signatures you’ll find on that page by no means represent all those who agree that the direction taken by KCRCC leads to a dead end. The Citizens to Elect Qualified and Experienced Candidates is devoted to this concept: Getting elected for the sake of community building, not party building.

Here is your big tent, Kootenai County, with the goal of everyone working together for effective leadership — yes, even in nonpartisan elections, like the one now before us.

Just know that the May 18 election won’t finish the debate. The battle is young, and this election’s results won’t mean the KCRCC will rest on its laurels or whimper in defeat.

No matter which way the hospital, library and highway district board votes go, KCRCC will reconnoiter to work even harder to advance its divisive agenda. They're zealous in their pursuits, and zealotry in any shape is formidable.

The bigger prize on the nonpartisan horizon is the Nov. 2 election, when voters will select school board and city council members. You can bet KCRCC will deploy its political militia in an all-out attempt to fill key local leadership positions with ideologues rather than community members with track records of strong public service.

Thank goodness, there’s now a growing group of civic-minded citizens able and willing to fight back.