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MY TURN: Regan and the Idaho Freedom Foundation insult and undermine voters

by ETHEL STEINMETZ MARMONT/Guest Opinion
| May 4, 2023 1:00 AM

Wow, Brent Regan has managed to insult everyone in Coeur d’Alene and, more generally, in Kootenai County. I am addressing his "Opinion: For the kids" screed from April 14.

First, he insulted the “Doe” family, who he suggested was a typical Coeur d’Alene middle-class family. Many families in Coeur d’Alene are not middle-class families; they are among the working poor. With an absurd minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, Idaho’s wages are poverty-making. Even if Mr. Doe makes three times more than the minimum wage, he is likely not keeping up with the cost of living. But Regan paints Doe as an idiot who asks his boss for a wage increase without having a reason. In Regan’s unhinged scenario, the father is greedy and oversexed (wink, wink); the employer is portrayed as a gullible fool; the husband and wife are portrayed as greedy liars who only want to use Doe’s raise in pay for frills and to take Caribbean vacations; the children are described as failing in school and unable to make their own peanut butter sandwiches.

This cynical and ignorant description is how Mr. Regan sees you and your family. Incredibly, he paints this picture to try to convince you not to vote for the essential Coeur d’Alene school levy. In the process, he also insults the Coeur d’Alene School District, the teachers and staff and the students themselves.

There’s a bigger picture here though that we should examine in some detail. Brent Regan is one of the directors of the Idaho Freedom Foundation (in reality, it should be known as the Idaho Fascist Foundation). Regan, Banducci, McKenzie, Waggoner and Macomber are part of the same cabal. What’s really happening here is that the IFF is stealing your vote. Here is how they do it: You vote for a legislator you believe will express your will and the needs of your community; but when they get to Boise, your legislators are hijacked and pressured to carry out the will of the IFF. A web of extremist DC think tanks (known as the State Policy Network) guide and fund the IFF and the IFF pressures members of the Idaho Legislature to do its bidding. Those members are lobbied (bribed) and pressured (threatened) by the IFF to carry out THE IFF's will and not yours.

Have you ever wondered why none of the nine legislators from Kootenai County stepped up to save the college? It’s very likely that they are being pressured by the IFF. If your legislator(s) don’t vote the way the IFF wants them to, they are ridiculed as enemies and RINOs (Republicans in name only) and the IFF steps in to challenge and destroy their legislative careers.

The State Policy Network (SPN) is funded through large corporate donations (think Charles Koch) and is writing cookie-cutter legislation and forcing its will on multiple states through multiple organizations that function like the IFF. The SPN and the IFF are authoritarians with out-of-state funding who don’t trust Idaho’s citizens and their elected representatives to make their own decisions. The IFF and the KCRCC don’t care if the college is destroyed or if the Coeur d’Alene School District loses essential funding. Perhaps the organizations are against public education. Maybe a well-educated and informed electorate worries them.

What can you do? Raise awareness that your vote is being hijacked. Contact your legislator and tell your legislator in no uncertain terms that you expect them to work for YOU and not for the IFF. The IFF backed disallowing use of student IDs; they also tried to steal the initiative process from you the voter. They don’t respect you nor do they respect your vote.

Based on Mr. Regan’s derogatory description of a typical Coeur d'Alene family and based upon the dismissive, arrogant and toxic behavior of his IFF-endorsed “trustees” at NIC, it appears that his cabal is very unhappy in this community. They are certainly free to find a new place to live if they are bent on destroying valued Coeur d’Alene institutions. I understand Florida is lovely this time of year. Don’t let the door hit you in the behind on your way out of town.

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Ethel Steinmetz Marmont is a Coeur d’Alene resident.