Tuesday, July 23, 2024

OPINION: Critics and liars

by BRENT REGAN/Common Sense
| March 1, 2024 1:00 AM

Hearing some of the complaints about the upcoming caucus I am reminded of the story of the young mother and son’s day at the beach.

One day a young mother agrees to take her 6-year-old son to the beach. On arrival, mom sets up her towel and umbrella and then admonishes her son not to go more than ankle deep in the water. The child scampers off and begins investigating all the driftwood, seaweed and seashell treasures to be found. Mom goes through the motions of reading a book but glances up every few words to check on junior.

Suddenly and to her horror a rogue wave crashes on the beach and washes her son into the surf with the riptide carrying him further from shore. Unable to swim herself, she frantically scans the beach for someone to rescue her beloved child. There is no one in sight, so in desperation she drops to her knees and cries to heaven “Dear Lord! Please save my poor child!”

Miraculously, the very hand of God descends from the heavens, scoops up the floundering boy and deposits him within reach of mother. Her arms fly around the child pulling him tight as she weeps with joy. Then she stops, holds the boy at arm’s length and studies him with a furrowed brow. Moments later she again turns her head to the heavens and says:

He had a hat!

When the Idaho Secretary of State, the House of Representatives, the Senate and the governor all knowingly agreed to delete the March 2024 Presidential Primary it disenfranchised EVERY Idaho voter. Every. Idaho. Voter. 

In response, the Idaho Republican Party lobbied the legislature to repeal the bill that canceled the Presidential Primary but the legislature failed to act so the 225 members of the Republican State Central Committee decided to hold a caucus to enfranchise Idaho Republican voters. Since Oct. 1 of last year thousands of volunteers have stepped forward to make it possible for the 579,773 Idaho Republicans to vote for who they want to represent them in the presidential general election. 

Enter the “He had a hat” critics. The people who haven’t lifted a finger to help plan, organize or run the caucus and are now gaslighting people with false scenarios and then complaining about what won’t happen and how, in their malformed opinion, the caucus will be inadequate.

One of the first considerations for the caucus was to see if absentee voting was possible. Sadly, the answer was no, because absentee voting requires access to the registered voter signature database and trained personnel to compare signatures. These resources are not available to private organizations like the Idaho Republican Party, nor would you want them to be because if they were available to one they would be available to all and I do not want an electronic version of my signature publicly available. 

Also consider that absentee voting by mail is the kind of voting most susceptible to fraud. If you are interested in election integrity you are opposed to voting by mail. 

The critics’ lamentations go on and on. What about working people and single parents and the disabled and the military? You are inhuman if you don’t allow for them to vote. 

The caucus is scheduled for midday Saturday. Excluding Sunday, for obvious reasons, Saturday is a day when the fewest working people have to work. Single parents can bring their minor children to the caucus. All the caucus sites, except the few smallest ones being conducted in people’s homes, are ADA compliant facilities and the Caucus Captains are available to accommodate special needs. 

As for active duty military, it is deeply regrettable that they cannot be accommodated. How many are we talking about? There are shockingly few registered voters who have a military mailing address. Only 17 Democrats and 50 Republicans out of nearly a million Idaho voters are active duty military registered voters. Not being able to facilitate their voting is regrettable, but one wonders if you asked those 50 Republicans if they would rather not be able to vote due to their sacrifice or have a system with a much higher likelihood of fraud. I would hope they would make the noble choice and pick election integrity.

Then we have the liars; people who know the truth but deliberately misrepresent it with the intent of harming others and misleading the public. A prime example of this was offered up earlier this week by Laurie Lickley in her Unraveling the Idaho GOP editorial. It is rare to see such a total pile of mendacity presented in the open for all to examine. Not a single claim she makes is factual and as a Legislative District Chairman and former legislator she KNOWS the truth yet choses to lie. Her behavior is despicable and it is embarrassing that someone of such low moral standards carries the Republican brand.

What is a fact is that this Saturday is Caucus Day. Starting at 11 a.m. Pacific, noon Mountain time. Go to www.idahoRepublicanCaucus.com to find your precinct and caucus location.

Please remember that everyone working the caucus is an unpaid volunteer who has sacrificed their time and effort so you have a voice in selecting our next Republican presidential candidate. For your best caucus experience, please be patient and kind.

It’s just common sense.

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Brent Regan is chairman of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee.