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Bryan Fischer: Better to Keep Legislature in Session All Year than Raise Tax on Gas

April 30th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Values Alliancef

A friend pointed out to me yesterday that at a cost of $30,000 a day it would cost us another $8 million to keep the legislature in session for the rest of the year.

Meanwhile, the governor and the Senate want to raise our taxes by about $75-80 million. It would be less expensive for taxpayers by far to have them stay in town until Christmas than for us to let them raise our taxes.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Taxes | No Comments »

Bryan Fischer: Keep Monday Noon Open for Tea Party II

April 30th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Values Alliance

The governor, despite being dressed down by a grandma in Midvale – “If I had been your mother, I would have come up there and spanked your little butt” – seems foolishly and mindless determined to raise our taxes in the midst of the worst Idaho downturn in decades.

Rep. Raul Labrador said yesterday on the Nate Shelman show (on KBOI, 670 AM) that the messages from his constituents are running 4-1 or 5-1 against any gas tax increase at all. The governor and the senate are simply on the wrong side of the people, the wrong side of history, and the wrong side of economic policy on this one.

Since the House leaders I have talked with indicate that the House is not prepared to budge, an Idaho stand-off looms, with the likelihood that the Senate will call the House back into a fruitless and expensive extended session on Monday.

Remember, the meter will be running at $30,000 a day – of your money – and you will have the governor and the senate to thank.

If the House gets called back, please come if you can to the Capitol Annex – adjacent to the state capitol, which is being renovated – for a 30 minute rally from noon to 12:30 p.m. on Monday.

Several fiscally conservative lawmakers have already confirmed that they will speak at the rally on Monday, should it become necessary, and Nate Shelman has agreed to serve as the M.C.

It’s time for the people to let the governor and the senate know that we, the people, want them to keep their hands out of our wallets. Plan to bring your selves, your babies in strollers, your signs, and your energy.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Taxes | No Comments »

Andi Elliott: Napolitano’s Track Record

April 29th, 2009 by Halli

Andi Elliott, of Hamer

I ‘m sure that I’m alone when I question the ability and judgment of the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano. Let’s look at her track record for the short period of time that she has been at the helm of DHS.

Napolitano approved the release of a DHS report labeling a significant portion of Americans as “rightwing extremists”. Those of you who are single issue voters are targets as well as those stalwarts opposing open borders. And, don’t forget that those who attended Tea Partys have a bulls eye on their backs. She was forced to apologize to Veterans for their “reclassification” as a potential problematic source.

Napolitano also claims that is not a crime to enter the United States illegally. WHAT??? When did this happen? Now she tells us that 9/11 terrorists “entered our country…across the Canadian border”. A review of cardinal directions would be in order here for our illustrious DHS head.

Her current “project” is to work with governors (AKA re-educate/arm twist) to repeal the REAL ID program. I am sure that I am the only one to question the rationale behind this move.
I bet Arizonans were ecstatic to have Janet pack her bags and move to DC where she has become the “poster child” for the Peter Principle. This is the person responsible for the security of the United States. Is there a law against firing this incompetent?

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Politics in General | No Comments »

Idaho House Highlights – April 29

April 29th, 2009 by Halli

By Representative Tom Loertcher, R-31

Just before beginning the State Affairs Committee late last week a
member of the committee, Representative Lynn Luker, handed me this
little poem that I later read on the House floor just before adjourning
for the day.

The cattle are lowing,
The alfalfa needs mowing,
The weeds are all showing,
But the legislature’s still going.

Several times these past few weeks I have been saying that we should
have finished our work by now. We were on a roll to do so when the Veto
stamp made itself manifest in a big way. So now there are 33 budget
bills to redo or override but the latter is not likely to happen. We
have to pass the budget before we can leave town, just one of those
little constitutional duties.

It was an interesting week in the capitol to say the least only to be
outdone by the comments from folks at home over the weekend. To a person
the comments have not been favorable to the Governor’s position on
raising fuel taxes or his tactics. What seems like a small thing to tax
spenders is quite differently viewed by the tax payers. Everyone has
their reasons but the one that keeps coming up time and again is that
folks at home are a bit worried about the future. Somehow we survived
last year’s four dollar plus gas prices when the economy was doing
well. Now with layoffs, home foreclosures, investment losses, and the
nation embarking into enormous deficit spending, another round of high
fuel costs would be much tougher to endure.

Much negotiating by the House and the Governor is being done to get a
resolution. As we have looked at the numbers, we find that there is
going to be over a billion dollars available to spend on roads over the
next eighteen months from various sources, including unspent GARVEE
funds, new GARVEE authorization, all of that new stimulus money, and
some already agreed upon items that were vetoed. One thing I have
noticed is that government just never seems to have enough money to
spend.

Because of how we have funded roads with fees and taxes per gallon, a
phenomenon has made itself manifest. Government has been saying now for
years that we use too much fuel. For our own good we need to cut back.
We did what we were told and now our reward for being so thrifty with
the liquid gold, we are told we need to pay more taxes. Just another of
those mixed government messages.

With all of this going on you might think that nothing else has been
happening, but to the contrary there were some non budget matters
considered. One was a bill to make some changes in the redistricting
law, that will help keep communities of interest together. This will
help our district a great deal. Another item that passed the House this
week was a realigning of regulation of private driver education
businesses. Senator Geddes sponsored both of these bills in the Senate
and I was the House Sponsor. They both passed the House and are on the
way to the Governor.

In the early weeks of the session one member of the House predicted
that the final day of this legislative session would be May 1st. He got
a good laugh with that prediction. Guess who is getting the last laugh
now.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

Wayne Hoffman: Meridian Leaders to Begin Posting Financial Data Online

April 28th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Freedom Foundation

MERIDIAN, Idaho – Meridian officials have notified the Idaho Freedom Foundation that the city will soon begin posting line-item expenditure data on the municipality’s website. That makes Meridian the fourth Idaho community to agree to a new level of transparency, allowing citizens to see how every dollar is being spent. Eagle is already posting its transactions online. Nampa and Canyon County are preparing to post line-item reports online.

“Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd listened to the details of the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s transparency project, asked for more information, studied the issue and then ultimately agreed to this additional level of accountability,” said Idaho Freedom Foundation Executive Director Wayne Hoffman. “This decision will benefit Meridian taxpayers, who will now be able to review the city’s expenditure records without the need to file a public records request. This will lead to more responsible spending decisions and give taxpayers the means to hold elected officials accountable for how public dollars are spent.”

In addition to Eagle, Nampa, Meridian and Canyon County, the Idaho Freedom Foundation has received detailed expenditure data from the city of Boise, Ada County Highway District, Pocatello School District, Coeur d’Alene School District and the Greater Boise Auditorium District. The Foundation is in discussions with many other taxing districts throughout Idaho regarding the release and online posting of expenditure data. IFF is also in the process of developing its own transparency in government website database.

The Idaho Freedom Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan free market think tank. The organization began operating in January and promotes free-market solutions to issues at the state and local level, limited government, low taxes, private property rights and transparency in government.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Politics in General, Taxes | No Comments »

Action Alert: Thank Speaker Denney Today

April 27th, 2009 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

The leadership of the Idaho House is standing firm against any increase in the gasoline tax, telling the tax-increase-obsessed governor in a widely published letter that “this is not the day or the time” to raise taxes.

Further the House leadership points out in the letter that there is over $1 billion – that’s “billion” with a “B” available right now for Idaho’s transportation needs without raising taxes by a single penny.

It’s critically important that we let House Speaker Lawerence Denney know we appreciate his firm stance to protect the wallets of ordinary Idaho families during a recession.

Legislators tell me there is nothing quite as effective as a lawmaker receiving a bunch of call slips from constituents. Emails can be deleted, but phone messages that are left with the Legislative Services Office are delivered to lawmakers in printed form.

It will strengthen the Speaker’s hand if he can wave a raft of call slips from supportive Idahoans in front of the House and in front of reporters. This will be compelling visual evidence that the people stand with the Speaker and truly believe in the message of the Tea Party movement, that we are “Taxed Enough Already.”

Let’s ring the phones off the hook. Please forward this message to everyone you know in Idaho, and let’s nail this thing to the floor.

Please call 208-332-1000 with this message: “Please let Speaker Lawerence Denney know we support his stance against raising our gas taxes in a recession.”

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Taxes | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Conservatives Classified as Enemies of the State

April 27th, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Saul Alinsky would be proud of what one of his disciples is doing to transform America. Alinsky, you’ll recall, is widely considered the founder of “community organizing.” He maintained that the way to facilitate “change,” was by “capturing the culture and turning it inside out as the most effective means of overturning western society.” He advocated “a Marxist revolution achieved by slow, incremental, Machiavellian means which turned society inside out. This had to be done through systematic deception, winning the trust of the naively idealistic middle class by using the language of morality to conceal an agenda designed to destroy it. And the way to do this was through peoples organizations.”

John Perazzo of FrontPage, in his insightful examination of the Alinsky methodology, said last year, “In the Alinsky model, ‘organizing’ is a euphemism for ‘revolution’ — a wholesale revolution whose ultimate objective is the systematic acquisition of power by a purportedly oppressed segment of the population, and the radical transformation of America’s social and economic structure.”

One of Alinsky’s key strategies was to specifically identify and name “enemies;” those who stand in the way of “change.” As he said in his book, “Rules for Radicals,” “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Well, his disciple in the White House who studied Alinsky’s methodology and trained others with it, has put a face on the perceived enemy. And not surprisingly, it isn’t Islamo-fascist terrorists. It’s people like you and I!

In an Agency Assessment from Obama’s Department of Homeland Security, titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” the “enemy” to Obama’s transformation agenda is identified. According to the document which has the phrase, “For Official Use Only” on every page, the issues that motivate his enemies of the state, as identified in the communiqué are opposition to gun control, government infringement on civil liberties, abortion, hate crime legislation, anti-illegal immigration, and opposition to same-sex marriage. In a footnote, the document states, “[Rightwing extremism] may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.” In other words, everyone who is not a left-wing radical is now officially an enemy to the Obama Administration and accused of being a potential domestic terrorist! By their own admission, however, they have no evidence of potential threats, so the assessment is nothing but a political hatchet-job against those who don’t agree with them.

If that alone is not sufficiently disturbing to you, the most insidious portions of the report single out veterans who have served our nation bravely and proudly in combating those who seek our destruction. Veterans could be “recruited” to join “right-wing radical groups” and become “lone wolves” in attacks on the nation.

And for those of you who think your Second Amendment right to own guns is sacred, you’d better be sitting down for this one. The document states, “Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of rightwing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government.” Did you note that wording? “Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans…” In case you doubted Obama’s intentions toward the Second Amendment, it should be clear to you now.

Will this lead to curtailed free speech? Officially, perhaps not. But it can’t help but stifle it if everyone thinks they’re going to show up on a “domestic terrorist watch list” for speaking out against abortion, illegal immigration (which according to Janet Napolitano, DHS Secretary, is no longer a crime!), homosexual marriage, or in favor of gun ownership. What they have done is essentially criminalized all conservatives, for those tenets are fundamental. Nixon reportedly maintained an “enemies list,” which made the media and the left apoplectic. Essentially Obama has made public his list, and it was painted with a broad brush inclusive of everyone who doesn’t agree with him.

A notice was sent out in February by the FBI and DHS with essentially the same warnings. It went out to national, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

Now, for those of you who think this is no big deal, imagine if George Bush’s DHS had issued a similar warning about those who protest the Iraq War, were in favor of abortion, illegal-immigration, or same-sex marriage. If Bush had done this against those who opposed him, you’d be crying for impeachment. This is not just un-American, it’s unconstitutional, and threatens free speech for all.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

David Ripley: Obama Decision on MAP Adds Urgency to HB216

April 24th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The FDA announced this week that it will allow the “Morning After Pill” to be sold to underage girls without a doctor’s prescription. This is a logical follow-on to everything else the Obama Administration has done to encourage abortion. It is a “victory” for Planned Parenthood – which demanded that MAP be made available to all comers without prescription back in the Clinton days.

While Planned Parenthood may count it a blessing – they are certainly not alone. No doubt there is rejoicing among male predators as well, who use the drug the escape detection for their crimes.

Even for girls in non-abusive relationships, this decision is no blessing. Easier access to MAP will no doubt increase reliance upon it as a primary form of birth control. That may well pose a serious health problem over time. (No studies have been conducted on the long-term health consequences of swallowing mega-doses of hormonal drugs, especially on developing females).

What is certain is an increase in sexual activity, with its attendant rise in sexually transmitted disease rates – as well as more preborn children created and destroyed through chemical abortions.

This tragic development lends even more urgency to our efforts at the Legislature to enact HB216 – conscience protections for Idaho pharmacists. There is not much the Idaho Senate can do about the FDA, or Obama’s obsession with increasing the nation’s abortion rates. But it does have an opportunity to encourage pharmacists with a conscience to refuse to participate in dispensing death to teenage girls.

While the debate drags on about Gov. Otter’s transportation plans – perhaps the Senate can spend a couple hours moving HB216 into Idaho Code.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

David Ripley: National Pharmacy Group Endorses HB216

April 23rd, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

We have just received a letter from Pharmacists for Life International, urging Idaho lawmakers to enact HB216 before leaving town. The letter challenges many of the spurious charges leveled by Planned Parenthood and their allies.

In particular, the Executive Director, Dr. Bo Kuhar, was clearly agitated by suggestions that passage of conscience protections would somehow jeopardize patient health:

“PFLI has followed developments in Boise with great interest … .This amounts to the usual scare tactics employed by those who object to pharmacists who have a conscience sticking by their sincerely held religious, moral and ethical principles,” he writes.

This esteemed organization has been active on behalf of pharmacists across the U.S. and Canada.

Dr. Kuhar, it turns out, has a special interest in our Idaho work because he received his Doctorate of Pharmacy degree at ISU in Pocatello. He has been in the profession for some 31 years.

“I want to convey to members of the Idaho Legislature that pharmacists of conscience are guided by a strong commitment to the moral and ethical standards which inform and guide our practice based on the traditional, authentic Hippocratic Oath we took upon graduation,” he continues in the letter.

Dr. Kuhar concludes his letter by expressing hope that Idaho “will take this moment to strengthen protections for pharmacists who have a conscience. If it does so, I believe [the People of Idaho] will reap the benefit of improved health care for many years to come….”

With the session still knotted-up over transportation funding, there is plenty of time for the Idaho Senate to pass HB216 yet this session. Please take a moment to call Sen. Bob Geddes (208-332-1300) or Sen. Bart Davis (208-332-1305) and urge them to help us with HB216.

And, as always, your prayer support is heartily welcome.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Act Now! Oppose Otter’s Gas Tax Increase!

April 22nd, 2009 by Halli

A pitched battle is being fought between the Idaho House and Governor Butch Otter over a large increase in the gas tax. Though the Idaho Senate has already caved to the Governor’s veto tantrum the Idaho House is still standing firm, but could falter at any moment. They need to hear from you, now.

Please call your Representatives and leave a message at the Legislative Information Center at 800-626-0471. You may also email your Representatives at this link. Let them know you support their principled stand against increasing taxes during a recession, no matter how the Governor kicks and screams (and vetoes).

And please contact Governor Otter to let him know your opinion of behavior. You can call his office at 208-334-2100 or email him.

The time is now – please contact your Representatives now.

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Posted in Idaho Legislature, Taxes | No Comments »

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