Tuesday, July 23, 2024

OPINION: Principle or power

by BRENT REGAN/Common Sense
| May 10, 2024 1:00 AM

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” — Alexander Hamilton

What is a Republican? Anyone who is qualified to vote can affiliate with the Republican Party and call themselves a “Republican.” There is no test or oath, just check a box and you are in. But what if there is a candidate who claims to be a Republican? Should you expect the candidate to hold the Republican values described in the Republican Platform? Is it your job to determine what being a Republican means for each candidate or should the word “Republican” have a standard meaning?

You have reviewed the Republican Platform so you know what being a Republican means to you and you expect others to have roughly the same idea. But what if they don’t? What if a candidate believes they are a Republican because they SAY they are a Republican and not because they believe in Republican Principles? What if the candidate is philosophically a Democrat and they just call themselves a Republican so they can get elected and bring Democrat principles into the Republican Party? Do you want the Republican Party to do nothing to inform the voters?

Imagine you have a peanut allergy and a candy bar company uses peanuts but fails to list peanuts as an ingredient on the wrapper. You buy one of these candy bars after reading the list of ingredients, determine it is safe, so you eat it and moments later you frantically call 911 as your throat swells shut. Whose fault is it? Is it your fault for believing the wrapper and not testing the contents or is it the candy bar company’s fault for misrepresenting the ingredients? Of course it is the candy bar maker’s fault and a jury would agree and award you a sizable settlement. 

If the Republican Party offers you a candidate that says “Republican” on the wrapper does the party have any obligation to ensure that what is inside is an actual Republican? Of course it does!

The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee’s (KCRCC) 73 unique precinct committeemen from every corner of Kootenai County agree with you that the Republican Party does have an obligation to inform you so you know if what is on the wrapper matches what’s inside. 

Four years ago we put in place a process involving questionnaires, interviews, candidate forums, background checks and ultimately a special meeting of the entire central committee where we discuss each candidate. After the discussion, a paper ballot is issued to each member so they can cast a confidential vote for the candidate they believe the KCRCC should recommend as the best Republican for a particular office. The ballots are tallied in full view of the members, the results announced and immediately posted online. 

We then publish the resulting list of recommended candidates for you to review. We also have the candidates questionnaires published on our website, KCRCC.com.

This year we are also publishing a VOTER GUIDE which will soon arrive in your mailbox. The Voter Guide lists ALL the candidates and their positions on nine key issues that are important to Kootenai County Republicans. The KCRCC believes that good decisions are the result of having good information so we spend considerable time, effort and expense to provide you with the information you need to make your decision. 

There are those that object to giving the voters this information. They don’t want their candidates to be closely examined. They object to the KCRCC making recommendations.  

Why? Simple, they want power and to get power they need to fool you and they can’t fool you if you know what is under the wrapper. They don’t like many of the Republican principles listed in the Platform but they do like having power. They want the benefits of being a Republican Candidate but not the responsibility of being honest with the voters.

Of course they don’t tell you the truth about why they object to being measured against the platform. They don’t tell you they want to fool you. Instead they make up crazy reasons to distract you from the truth. They say they want to be the party of Ronald Reagan while simultaneously trying to kick Pro-Trump conservatives out of the party. They want to silence conservative Republicans by replacing your precinct committeemen with one of their loyal followers.  

This isn’t just happening here in Kootenai County. It is happening statewide. There is a statewide coordinated effort to crush the Republican Party and turn Idaho blue. An organization called the Gem State Conservatives has raised over a million dollars from undisclosed sources to take over key counties in Idaho, and Kootenai County is top of their list. They have funneled money and resources through the North Idaho Republicans (NIR) to their handpicked candidates who also happen to be endorsed by their allies, the Democrats. 

The KCRCC is at a disadvantage because under state party rules County Central Committees cannot endorse Precinct Committeemen. Meanwhile, NIR has no rules so they endorse Biden Voters, LGBTQ+ activists, real estate developers, supporters of all age drag shows, proponents of mask mandates, hate crime hoax promoters and leaders of special interest groups. All of them handed prefabricated campaign kits funded from undisclosed sources. 

Will the KCRCC consist of grassroots MAGA Republicans like you, or “Astroturfed” — fake grass roots — members of special interest groups? You will decide Tuesday, May 21. 

This is all documented. Go to GemStateHeist.org to find out more.

Don’t be fooled.

It’s just common sense. 

NOTE: The Coeur d'Alene Press editors have embargoed my May 17 column but it will be available elsewhere.

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