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David Ripley: An Extraordinary Primary Election

May 29th, 2010 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho’s primary election this week brought numerous blessings to the pro-Life movement.

There was plenty of concern that grassroots conservatives would not participate in the numbers we needed to overcome serious cross-over threats. In fact, as the election day drew closer – that threat increased as Mayor Dave Beiter issued a clarion call to Democrats to help elect his candidates to the Ada County Commission.

While Beiter’s effort was partially successful – pro-Life conservatives across Idaho participated in strong numbers to nominate one of the most conservative legislatures in memory.

Idaho Chooses Life lost a couple of our endorsed candidates, but those losses are mitigated by the fact that the victors are also pro-Life. We want to thank Sens. Lee Heinrich and Mike Jorgenson for their consistent votes in defense of the innocent.

The clearest set-back came in Canyon County, where Steve Kren lost to newcomer Christy Perry. We don’t know where she stands on the abortion issue. Rep. Kren offered strong opposition to the Abortion Lobby’s agenda.

We are grateful for the return of a strong team of pro-Life leaders in Districts 21 and 20. Sens. McKague and Fulcher, Reps. Hagedorn, Palmer and Bayer have been a blessing and it is nice to see the voters of their district express their appreciation as well. It will be great to have John Vander Woude back in the Idaho House.

The victory of Lynn Luker in District 15 is another blessing. His legal background and attention to detail has proven invaluable to the pro-Life movement many times in the past several years.

There were some very exciting developments on Tuesday.

Voters in Twin Falls gave the Republican Senate nomination to Lee Heider over incumbent Chuck Coiner. Sen. Coiner had, without possible dispute, one of the most liberal voting records in the Idaho Senate. He was particularly hostile to the interests of preborn children and pregnant women. We are very hopeful that Mr. Heider will provide the kind of family-friendly leadership Idaho deserves.

And nothing short of a miracle occurred in Latah County. Sen. Gary Schroeder was finally turned out of office. Our analysis was that Democrat cross-over had helped keep him in office for some 18 years – during which he developed a consistent pro-abortion record. But this year, Democrats apparently abandoned him. Gresham Bouma won a strong majority of Republican voters to gain the nomination. We will have to work hard this fall to ensure that he gains a seat in the Senate.

Of course, everyone is talking about the amazing victory of our endorsed candidate in the 1st District – Rep. Raul Labrador. He graciously acknowledged the contribution pro-Lifers made to his victory on election night, and we will have to re-double our efforts this fall. Abortion is one of the major differences between Labrador and Walt Minnick.

There are many other races to discuss – but suffice it to say that the Lord provided us with a tremendous election night. A little rest, a little rebuilding, then on to secure these advances in the General Election!

Thank you so much for your prayers, time and financial support. May the Lord bless you many times over for your generous hearts.

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

Richard Larsen: Some Thoughts on Tuesday’s Primary Election

May 24th, 2010 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Two of the most fundamental responsibilities of any American converge this week with the election primary on Tuesday. It is incumbent (no pun intended) on all of us to be informed about what government is doing (in many cases to us rather than for us) and to exercise our franchise as voters based upon that information.

We have several statewide and local contested primary races and a few that deserve some special attention. In some races ideology creates the clear demarcation between candidates, and in others, competency is the distinguishing factor.

The Idaho voting system is somewhat different than most other states. At the time you register to vote in Idaho, you don’t have to claim a party affiliation, you just register to vote. The only time you actually indicate a party affiliation or preference through the voting process is when you vote in a Primary Election. At that time, you request either a Republican or a Democrat ballot. The reason is simple: it’s the parties that bring the candidates to the table in an election for the most part, and so the Primary provides the means of sifting through a party’s candidates to rally behind for the General Election held in November.

Independents and other parties, like the Constitutional or Green Party, may have their own candidates on the General Election Ballot in November, but typically don’t have contested primary races to determine the November finalists.

For the US Congress, 2nd District incumbent Mike Simpson is being challenged by several candidates, including most prominently, Chick Heileson from Iona. The Congressman gives great speeches, and articulates values that resonate with most Idahoans, but his voting record doesn’t necessarily reflect that. The Freedom Index, a congressional scorecard which tracks congressional votes vis-à-vis the Constitution, most recently ranked Simpson at 40, barely 4 points over the average for all congressmen. A perfect score of 100 indicates a voting record most true to constitutional governance. It would appear that the Congressman has been smitten by “Beltwayitis,” the affliction which smites most federal lawmakers after they’ve been in D.C. for too long, and is evidenced by votes for spending and government encroachment that they wouldn’t have supported as freshmen legislators. I’ve got to go with Heileson on this one. I think he’ll vote the way he talks and hopefully prove immune to the affliction Simpson suffers from.

A local race that is inscrutable from my perspective, is the challenge to Steve Hadley as County Commissioner by Dennis Spencer. There is no reason whatsoever to make a change here. Steve has done a superb job in keeping the county budget down at a time of great financial challenges all around us. His fiscal acumen is further evidenced by completing the fairgrounds improvements with no adverse impact on the budget, and saving taxpayers a million dollars by using county employees at the landfill. Steve is a proven leader and has a knack for fiscal management which has and should continue to serve the county well for years.

The Bannock County Assessor’s race is probably the hottest local ticket for this Primary. Incumbent Jo Lynn Anderson is being challenged by Geoff Ranere, a former county appraiser. Ranere left the Assessor’s office in 2008 along with three other appraisers due to internal politics and unscrupulous appraisal guidelines adopted by the office.

The Assessors office is required to abide by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) developed by the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB). These standards mandate equitable and ethical appraisal of property values. Yet I have heard many examples of excessive valuations next to properties virtually unaffected by reassessment, in spite of more improvements made to the neighboring properties. Also contrary to USPAP standards, if the Assessor’s office can’t gain access to a residential property, the Assessor has instructed department appraisers to value the property with a half-finished basement. When the reluctant appraisers were told to engage in these questionable practices, the issue was forced by telling them it was not optional.

Geoff is not only a licensed appraiser well versed in USPAP standards, but he has the ethics which will return the office to equitable and fair treatment of taxpayers. Perhaps even of greater value to us, Geoff has the demeanor and professionalism to make the office hospitable to taxpayers. After all, we are the collective bosses to our public servants. They need to be reminded that they are there to serve us. Geoff has that perspective.

If you’ve been critical of how our government is working, or failing to work for you, now is the time to do something. Collectively, we hire our public officials. Let’s choose wisely, starting this Tuesday.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | 1 Comment »

David Ripley: Idaho Chooses Life Statewide Endorsements

May 22nd, 2010 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

2010 Primary Election – May 25th

U.S. Senate

Mike Crapo

1st District Congress

Raul Labrador

2nd District Congress

Mike Simpson

Idaho Supreme Court

Roger Burdick

Governor

Butch Otter

Lt. Governor

Brad Little

State Controller

Todd Hatfield

Please make sure you vote on Tuesday, May 25th. ! Our next legislative victory in rebuilding the wall of protection around God’s little ones will begin with electing strong pro-Lifers to office on Tuesday.

Use your ballot as a shield of protection for preborn children.

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

Richard Larsen: Arizona’s Crackdown on Illegals Justified

May 17th, 2010 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

It is nothing short of astounding that Federal government officials including the president and the Speaker of the House would call Arizona’s efforts at border control “misguided” and “irresponsible.” After all, Arizona’s new law, which allows state and local law enforcement to request documentation of possible illegal aliens, is very similar to federal law already on the books. Control of a nation’s borders is an essential attribute of national sovereignty.

It’s clear that Border States have to do something since much of the expense burden in health-care and education is borne by the states. The federal government is AWOL on border security, and has been for years, which has facilitated illegal breaching of our border. The feds have acted with willful indifference in regard to border security, but now they’ve gone further. For them to now object to Arizona’s attempt to curtail the problem amounts to obstruction of justice (since Federal law also declares being in the country illegally is a crime) and outright aiding and abetting since the nation’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Eric Holder, has said they may sue Arizona for attempting to do what they themselves refuse to do.

I’m constantly amazed at those who side with law-breakers, whether it’s being in the country illegally or any other crime. “They’re just trying to improve their lives,” they might argue in defense of illegal aliens. Well, so are burglars, drug dealers, and most other criminals. Should burglars not be prevented from entering your home illegally since they’re trying to improve their station in life? To all such, the same counsel could be proffered, “Do it legally!”

Since we are a nation comprised of immigrants, we can hardly be accused of being “anti-immigrant.” What we are, however, is “anti-illegal-immigrant.” After all, we are a nation at least ostensibly based on the rule of law and we’re all engaged in our own pursuit of happiness. That’s not in exclusion to the laws that may stand in our way, but rather it’s based on those legalities.

The mainstream media takes great pleasure in isolating and commentating on some of the signs wielded at the Tea Party rallies. For some reason, they don’t seem to take note of those wielded at pro-illegal immigration rallies, such as the one held in Phoenix a couple weeks ago. One protestor’s sign read, “Give us free health care, jobs, no taxes, house, food. YOU OWE US AMERICA! We will shoot more Arizona police until we get free!” Since when do we “owe” it to the world to become a free-lunch provider?

Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen explained the need for Arizona to take matters into their own hands. “The border patrol is not on the border. They have set up 60 miles away with checkpoints that do nothing to stop the invasion. They are not allowed to use force in stopping anyone who is entering. They run around chasing them, if they get their hands on them then they can take them back across the border. Federal prisons have over 35% illegal’s and 20% of Arizona prisons are filled with illegal’s. In the last few years 80% of our law enforcement that have been killed or wounded have been by an illegal. The majority of people coming now are people we need to be worried about. The ranchers told us that they have seen a change in the people coming they are not just those who are looking for work and a better life.

“The Federal Government has refused for years to do anything to help the border states. We have been over run and once they are here we have the burden of funding state services that they use. Education cost have been over a billion dollars. The healthcare cost billions of dollars. Our State is broke, $3.5 billion deficit and we have many serious decisions to make. One is that we do not have the money to care for any who are not here legally. It has to stop.”

She also refuted those who claim Arizona’s new law is “Nazi-like.” She explained, “Federal law is very clear if you are here on a visa you must have your papers on you at all times. That is the law. In Arizona all you need to show you are a legal citizen is a driver license, MVD identification card, Native American Card, or a Military ID. This is what you need to vote, get a hunting license, etc. So nothing new has been added to this law. No one is going to be stopped walking down the street.”

Our Statue of Liberty proclaims to the world that we hold the doors open for those who seek liberty and freedom and wish to immigrate to America. “Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” states the inscription. But let them come legally!

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

Richard Larsen: US Close to Greek Tragedy

May 10th, 2010 by Halli

Richard Larsen

Tens of thousands of protestors looting, pillaging, wantonly destroying property, chanting anti-government slogans, and cursing the president. The images are not pretty, as even the mainstream media are finally covering the monumental story. With obvious regret that it isn’t the Tea Partiers being covered, international media are reporting the meltdown of a socialistic economic system.

The president of Greece has warned that his country stands on the “brink of the abyss” as anti-government mobs protest government efforts to reduce government spending, entitlements, and wealth redistribution. The mob is comprised of employees of the government they’re protesting. Civil servants and public employee unions have mobilized in opposition to governmental efforts at curtailing spending.

Even though Greece is relatively small on the global economic scale, it figures prominently as the portent of eventual European Union dissolution. The nation has only 11.3 million people, and its GDP is estimated at roughly $333 billion. Thanks to EU and U.S. taxpayers, Greece is in the process of being bailed out. First indicated at $60 billion, then $100 billion, then $120 billion, and finally $150 billion is now being promised by the U.S. funded International Monetary Fund and EU member nations to bail out the nation.

It’s impossible to know where this will all end. Portugal, Spain, and Italy are in nearly as bad of shape, as their appetite for spending has also far exceeded their ability to generate the revenue to finance it all.

Some states in the U.S. are in just about as serious of financial disorder. California, New Jersey, and New York are not in much better shape than Greece, and will undoubtedly be beating a path to Capital Hill to panhandle Congress on behalf of their debt-laden state coffers. Taxpayers will be hit up yet again to bail out those who have no logical grasp of reality or comprehension of simple laws of economics who have sought to create dependency on the government at the expense of those who really produce.

One of the most pathetic aspects of this mess is the fact that even the United State of America is rapidly approaching that same break-point. The Social Democrats in the European countries most in trouble have not only spent their nations to the brink of bankruptcy, but their promises for entitlements and continued wealth redistribution ensure financial instability and sovereign insolvency at some point in the future.

Our Social Democrats in Washington have proven as adept at illogical financial excess and fuzzy math as their European counterparts. Not surprisingly, since they took control of Congress in 2006, the nation has lurched into a left wing nose-dive. If not corrected by a more reasoned and logical congress in November, the U.S. will be facing the same prospects as Greece, yet with much more catastrophic consequences. A report issued in March by the Congressional Budget Office indicates that Obama’s 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected!

Over a third of Greeks work for their government, a figure not that far out of the realm of possibility for the U.S. The “stimulus” from last year has proven to be stimulative only to government growth. And like their Greek counterparts, American civil servants are the most represented segment of the workforce organized into unions. And as economic historian John Steele Gordon points out, “Federal workers now earn, in wages and benefits, about twice what their private-sector equivalents get paid. Government workers often have Cadillac health plans and retirement benefits far above the private sector average: 80 percent of public-sector workers have pension benefits, only 50 percent in the private sector. Many can retire at age 50.” While private employers were shedding jobs during the recession, state and local governments hired 110,000 new workers.

Mona Charen, in a Wall Street Journal column noted last week, “And in a corrupt feedback loop that may not be so very different after all from the Greek practice, public employee unions give generously to Democratic candidates, both in cash contributions and by manning phone banks, getting out the vote, and so on. It’s no coincidence that the states with the most powerful public sector unions — New Jersey, California, and New York — are facing the most severe budget crises.”

The nations’ politicians have got to get a grasp of reality, shake off the imprudent and fallacious Keynesian notion of a nation spending itself out of a recession. And unlike the anti-government demonstrators in Greece, who are employees of the state and are fighting for continued excess, American Tea Party demonstrators are speaking out in opposition to the kind of spending that is giving new meaning to “Greek ruins,” in hopes of staving off the same fate in our country. The Social Democrats in our Congress, of both parties, must be removed from office and replaced with people who know how to balance a checkbook.

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

Press Release: Gem State Voter Guide Now On Line

May 6th, 2010 by Halli

Contact: Jeff Anderson (208) 343-3982

BOISE – The 2010 version of the Gem State Voter Guide is now available to view online at www.GemStateVoterGuide.com.

This is the sixth edition of the online publication which was first produced in 2006 and covers each Idaho election on both a state and federal level – excluding judicial races and superintendant of public instruction.

Candidates throughout the state were asked 26 questions on subjects covering: Life, Marriage and Family; Education; Freedom and Liberty, Fiscal and Tax Policy as well as various other subjects.

The Gem State Voter Guide is a joint project of the Idaho Chooses Life and the Idaho Freedom Foundation and is designed to serve both the voters and candidates in Idaho’s upcoming primary election.

This guide is designed for the Idaho Primary Election to be held May 25, 2010.

For further information on the positions of the candidates, the Gem State Voter Guide encourages voters to contact candidates directly. Contact information may be obtained through the Idaho Secretary of State’s office at (208) 334-2300 or by visiting the Idaho Secretary of State’s website.

The purpose of the Gem State Voter Guide is to allow candidates to answer some of the many questions they may face in the upcoming election. Whenever a candidate’s answer did not fit within the scope of the questionnaire or the candidate expanded on their answer, additional comments were scanned and also appear on the website.

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

David Ripley: Stealth Liberal Seeks Supreme Court Seat

May 1st, 2010 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

District Judge John Bradbury is challenging incumbent Justice Roger Burdick in the May Primary Election for a seat on Idaho’s Supreme Court.

Bradbury very narrowly lost a similar bid in 2008, challenging Justice Joel Horton in that race. (As you read on … give thanks for the bullet we narrowly missed).

There are interesting – indeed, disturbing – backstories to Bradbury’s quest for higher office.

Part of that story is the very unusual lawsuit he has pending against the Idaho Supreme Court in federal court, because it had the audacity to require that he live in the judicial district over which he presides – a requirement laid out in Idaho Code. It seems Judge Bradbury doesn’t much care to live in Grangeville, and prefers to remain in Lewiston.

After being ordered to move to Grangeville, Bradbury sued the Supreme Court in federal court. Judge Lynn Winmill struck down his lawsuit. Bradbury has an appeal pending before the 9th Circuit.

It seems his back-to-back campaign(s) for the Supreme Court is driven by a mixture of ambition and revenge against the high court. That is a bit disturbing.

What is most important, however, is to realize that Judge Bradbury has a rather long political history.

In the early 1990’s John Bradbury sought a seat in the Idaho legislature as a Democrat. During his first quest in May of 1991, Bradbury wanted a nomination from the Democrat Central Committee. He told his fellow Democrats that he was “pro-Life” on abortion. For whatever reason, he failed to get the seat.

Less than a year later, he challenged incumbent Democrat Representative Chuck Cuddy in a primary. By this time, apparently, his views on the most important moral issue of our time had “evolved”. He was now a “woman’s right to choose” kind of guy.

Bradbury told the Lewiston Tribune (05.15.92), “I personally think forcing women to have children they don’t want won’t stop abortions.” In a later interview (05.23.92), he explained to this same paper that his views had “evolved” to the point where he sought, and earned, the endorsement of “Freedom Means Choice” in that primary election.

On many levels, John Bradbury seems to be a dangerous candidate for the state’s highest court.

Justice Burdick appears to be a temperate, conservatively-inclined member of the court – though we cannot absolutely declare him to be “pro-Life” in his moral and judicial philosophy. All we can say with certainty is that pro-Life Idahoans need to make darn certain that Bradbury does not win a seat on the Supreme Court, packing the ACLU’s agenda under his robes.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | 1 Comment »

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