Tuesday, July 23, 2024

OPINION: White Elephant or Trojan Horse

by BRENT REGAN/Common Sense
| May 3, 2024 1:00 AM

“They have been calling themselves “Republican” for so long they have started to believe it.” — Senator Scott Herndon, Freedom Caucus member.

“There is a LOT in the (Republican) Platform that I don’t agree with.” — Sandy Patano, North Idaho “Republican” (NIR) founder.

The NIR logo is a White Elephant and a “White Elephant” is something that is costly, of no use, and difficult to remove.

Idaho has a reputation as a deep red state. That fact attracts political refugees from blue states who are looking to escape Democrat policies that are ruining economies and lives. These refugees take comfort in the fact that 87 of the 105 members in the Idaho legislature (House and Senate) are Republicans, at least by title. 

The Institute for Legislative Analysis (ILA) did a deep dive into the voting records of the Idaho Legislature members and the results are alarming but not surprising to anyone paying attention. The ILA analyzes bills to determine where they lay on the political spectrum and uses this information to produce a scorecard for legislators. The legislators can then be identified as being philosophically to the left (Democrat) or to the right (Republican) of the Political Center. This is similar to what the Idaho Freedom Foundation does with their Freedom Index. 

When you tally the legislators that are to the left of center and those to the right; in the House you have 32 representatives who are philosophically Democrats and 38 who are philosophically Republican. Therefore in the House there are 21 “Republican” legislators (35%) who vote like Democrats. We saw this in the last session where these members vote with the Democrats against important conservative legislation. 

There is a worse situation in the Senate where we have only 14 philosophically Republican members and 21 philosophically Democrat members. One half of the Republican caucus votes like a Democrat. 

Taking the 105 members of the two chambers together you have 52 members who are right of center and 53 who are on the left. It should come as no shock that the Republican caucuses in Nevada, Oregon and Washington legislatures are more conservative than Idaho’s Republicans. Among the 50 states, Idaho ranks 41st for Republican Legislators upholding Republican values. 

How did it happen there are so many “Republicans” who vote like Democrats? It’s because the Republican Party wasn’t doing its job. The party remained silent when Democrats changed party affiliation so they could run as Republicans. 

Republican State Party Rules provide that “County Central Committees may endorse Republican candidates for any position being voted on in that county in the primary and general election. Endorsements may only be made by a majority vote of the voting members and available to all eligible candidates for any given office being endorsed.” 

The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC) voted to establish a vetting and rating system that complies with State Party Rules and over the last four years have developed a comprehensive system that fairly evaluates candidates against the Idaho Republican Party Platform. To make the final determination of who the Committee will recommend, all of the committeemen, one from each precinct, meet to debate and discuss the candidates and then vote by secret ballot to decide which candidates to recommend. 

Starting with this election the KCRCC has something new to better inform the voters, the KCRCC Voter Guide. We started with a professional poll of likely Republican voters in Kootenai County. In the poll we asked what issues are important to YOU. We then crafted a questionnaire based on the important issue and invited all the candidates to answer the questions; not just the KCRCC Recommended candidates, ALL the Republican candidates. Their responses are printed in their entirety in the Voter Guide. The KCRCC printed 80,000 copies of the 24-page voter guide for distribution to every household in the county. Yours should arrive soon.

Good decisions come from good information and the KCRCC works tirelessly so you, the voter can have as much good information as practical. 

Meanwhile the Democrats and their allies, the North Idaho “Republicans” (NIR) are working hard to fool the voters so they can disassemble the Republican Party from the inside. Funded by undisclosed donors in Boise, the NIR is trying to take control of the KCRCC by running special interest loyalists against the KCRCC grassroots conservative Precinct Committeemen.  

NIR tries to fool the voter by printing recommended voter lists that are nearly identical to the KCRCC lists but with Democrat endorsed candidates. They try to fool the voter by calling themselves “Official” and using the Republican Party Logo. They try to fool the voter by claiming to be “conservatives” while calling true conservatives extremists, or white nationalists, or racists or worse. They try to fool you by saying they are “Reasonable” while these Never Trumpers promote liberal woke policies, mandates and Rank Choice Voting. 

Their latest attempt to fool you may backfire on them. On all their candidate signs in the upper right corner is what looks like the Republican elephant logo. The official Republican Logo is red and white with three stars. The NIR logo is the identical shape but it is all white with no stars. 

The NIR logo is a White Elephant and a “White Elephant” is something that is costly, of no use, and difficult to remove. Perfect!

When people tell you who they are, believe them. Look for the White Elephant and vote the other way.

It’s just common sense.

• • •

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