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MY TURN: Little being mischaracterized, maligned

by JAN CONNER / Guest Opinion
| November 5, 2022 1:00 AM

Campaign ads being disseminated for the gubernatorial race have finally prompted me to write about some of the inaccuracies taking place.

Across the nation, Gov. Little is considered a staunch conservative. In my personal opinion, he’s been unfairly maligned in Ammon Bundy’s ads, as well as by his former primary opponent. As one example, Bundy has implied Little is buying votes with $300. This money was a tax rebate from surplus; it was right to return it to taxpayers.

Also, we seem to be forgetting that school boards, health districts, colleges, hospitals, city councils, private businesses, all had a decision in the shut downs and masking. He left decisions at the local level and to local entities. To call him a "liar" is simply not fair. The health districts were given far too much power several years ago. And they acted on their power.

To accuse Little of arresting pastors in Moscow and Sara Brady in Meridian is false. They were arrested by local police responding to local ordinances. Further, to call him a “kidnapper” as he was called by some because he let CPS act as their job requires, is frightening. If we don’t like the power they have (and I don’t) we need to change the law, not unfairly malign the governor.

Personally, I think Little did a poor job of defending his record and standing up for himself. I think this was out of confidence in the voters and he felt no need. Let's get factual. Here’s a look at some of the things Little has done:

• Little did NOT mandate masks or vaccines, (for any age group) contrary to what some want us to believe. It was all left at local level. He simply didn’t interfere. To create executive orders would’ve been governmental interference into multiple local and private entities. Interference into private business would set a terrible precedent. What would be next? Telling businesses to ban Bibles or firearms for protection?

• Little spoke out against vaccine mandates, seeking counsel and instructing his AG to determine what he could do to stop Biden's federal mandate.

• He then joined all three available lawsuits (one with 27 other states) that were brought to the Supreme Court to fight these mandates. This was a far more final solution, than an EO, which could’ve later been undone.

• He joined nine other state governors at the border to discuss solutions for the border crisis, while the lieutenant governor reportedly (and unwittingly) attempted to call out the National Guard while he was down there. This, only for her to find out that isn’t the way it’s done. The request for the Guard had to come from a border state.

• He was one of the first governors in the nation to ban critical race theory. The lieutenant governor could have worked with him to help monitor that, instead of inaccurately leading Tucker Carlson to believe she was the only one addressing it.

• Little signed legislation banning transgenders from playing in girls’ sports leagues. He made national news with that, as one of the first governors bold enough to do so.

• Signed the fetal heartbeat bill to stop abortions once a heartbeat is detected. (April, 2021) Made national news as among the first governors (if not the first) to do so. It was stopped in the courts. He signed it again this year. This, all before the return of Roe v. Wade to the states — for which Idaho was well prepared.

• Signed a bill barring state law enforcement officers from enforcing federal laws on firearms that conflicted with the Idaho Constitution. Protecting our state's rights over federal and protecting our 2nd Amendment.

• Protect the farmers.

• Signed bills curbing property taxes.

• Lowered taxes with the biggest tax cut in state history.

• Strong economy. We are listed in the top five, I believe.

• Low unemployment

• Record budget surplus (which is why we got a rebate).

• Little didn’t say it was OK for Democrats to infiltrate the Republican caucus, as accused. He said he “wouldn’t disparage anyone for participating in the process.” Not at all the same thing. How do we know Democrats aren’t sick of Joe Biden too? It’s wise to encourage them to come to our side. Gonna be happening across the nation in November. People are fed up!

• Little does not mention or condemn any opponent on his Facebook Campaign page. On some of the other candidates’ pages, every other post is maligning Brad Little.

• Little actually posted on his FB page a video of Gov. Kristi Noem, where she stated her position as to why she wouldn’t create an EO to interfere with the decisions of businesses whether to mask or not, whether to require vaccines or not. She left it to the businesses, to prevent a dangerous precedent of government intervention. He posted Noem’s video in agreement and to demonstrate that’s why/what he also did.

We are seeing recommendations to just leave the governor spot blank rather than vote for any candidate. To not mark one's ballot because one does not like either candidate is basically forfeiting to someone else one's important vote. We may get away with not marking a ballot in a form of protest when there is no one else on the ballot and the candidate is going to win anyway, but it certainly isn't the right thing to do when it's an important gubernatorial race. I think people underestimate how close this race might be in our state. Bundy could very well be dividing the conservative vote, giving the win to the Democrat. Now that may be a long shot, because I don't think he’s garnered that much support. But still, is it a worthwhile risk to take? Again, one is forfeiting their vote to someone else.

Little is being unfairly characterized and even maligned, in my opinion. Are we looking at the full picture?

• • •

Jan Conner is a Kootenai County resident.

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