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OPINION: The KCRCC horror show

by EVAN KOCH/More Perfect Union
| February 22, 2023 1:00 AM

The horror show at the KCRCC is finally galvanizing citizens to become more politically involved. Increased activism among Democrats may even be coming to the attention of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee.

A few years ago, when the KCRCC Horror Show introduced its vetting system to recruit and elect lackeys at North Idaho College and throughout county government, we criticized it. This raised a few eyebrows but got little real attention.

In its second act, the Horror Show’s hand-picked NIC trustees replaced the college president twice without cause, undermining NIC’s reputation and its cash flow.

Protestors at the often chaotic NIC board meetings warned against losing NIC’s accreditation. That was routinely reported in the Press, but KCRCC ignored or downplayed the threat.

Then, in its third act the Horror Show hosted the incendiary U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene at a fundraiser. People turned out to openly protest her lies and “angertainment.” This time the KCRCC noticed, but poo-pooed it.

NIC is now closer than ever to losing its accreditation, but the KCRCC’s embrace of Greene indicates that they are not about to change their ways to save the college.

In fact, last week the KCRCC/NIC trustees called for “conservatives” to show up at tonight’s board meeting to voice support for the board and the “direction and actions” of its interim president.

It’s not clear what “direction and actions” this refers to. Nor does it seem likely that a few late breaking public comments will have much influence with a professional accrediting agency that conducts evidence-based evaluations in higher education.

Democrats say “Enough is enough!”

But Democrats lack political clout and must trust that by educating the public, we can turn the tide against the horror show.

We are sponsoring a half-day symposium titled “Hijacking Democracy” on Saturday, Feb. 25. The symposium will rely on the informed views of experts, not cheap performance art. We hope to expose the ways the radical right wing damages our public institutions nationally and locally.

“Hijacking Democracy” will open with welcoming remarks from Rep. Pramila Jayapal, and Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison.

Dr. David Adler, a noted Constitutional scholar, will then moderate two panel discussions with experts and individuals who have been closely involved in government, education and human rights.

Panel One, “Hijacking Democracy: Cause and Effect in Idaho and Nationally” will feature Luke Mayville, Reclaim Idaho chair; Dr. Sarah Lynch, North Idaho Pride Alliance; Rep. Ilana Rubel, Minority Leader, Idaho House of Representatives; and Kaylee Peterson, chair of Idaho Young Democrats.

This group will focus its discussion on restoring looted funding for public education, securing the unacknowledged civil rights of marginalized citizens, and legislative efforts to protect Idaho from unbridled one-party rule.

Panel Two, “Case Study: North Idaho College/Local Issues and Challenges” will feature Dr. Teresa Borrenpohl, former candidate Idaho House of Representatives and admissions counselor at North Idaho College; Christie Wood, Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, Coeur d’Alene City Councilwoman and former trustee at North Idaho College; Sarah Martin, North Idaho College Workforce Training Center; and Dan Gookin, author and Coeur d’Alene City Council member.

This panel will focus specifically on the disaster unfolding at North Idaho College.

“Hijacking Democracy” will be held at Templin’s Resort in Post Falls. Doors open at 10 a.m. A few tickets may still be available at www.Actblue.com.

The take home message from this event is that it is past time for us to get beyond the misleading and inflammatory statements from Republican leadership. We are facing the downfall of public institutions.

It’s time for us to start reaching out to one another in the hope of saving our local democracy.

Some of those in attendance may not be in total agreement with the whole Democratic Party platform.

But when it comes to decency, honesty, and good leadership, we are all on the same team. With people ready and willing to fight for the future of their hometown, the curtain will one day fall at the KCRCC Horror Show.

Together we can build a more perfect union.


Evan Koch is chairman of the Kootenai County Democrats.