By Representative Tom Loertscher, R-Bone
This week I have been reminded a great deal about the comic strip “Pogo”, and if there is anything that can date you, remembering Pogo is it. In my younger years I really didn’t think it was that great, but I found some things in there that made my day from time to time. “We have met the enemy and he is us” is probably the most quoted of his lines. It looks a lot like that around here sometimes.
The pace his picked up and the issues are coming at us from all directions. The School Boards Association came to town last week, and there was opportunity to visit about their concerns. One comment I heard around the lunch table was that if the personal property tax repeal were to take place without replacement dollars they would just hand over the keys. Other discussions were about tech in the classroom, No Child Left Behind and seemingly useless reports required by the Department of Education. The ISEE report (I have no idea what that is, but will find out) takes a lot of time and personnel, and is not of any use for the districts. My take-home assignment is to track that down at the Department.
The Mining Association was also in Boise last week. In our group we talked about how vital mining is to our economy and the products that come about because of these resources. For example, there is about one pound of molybdenum in two ton of ore, which is a lot of material to move. Moly is used for lubricants and is one of the necessary ingredients of stainless steel. Imagine all of the things stainless is used for and it becomes clear how important our Idaho resource is. And you can make the same case for our silver mines in the North, and our phosphate and pumice mines in our area.
Another thing that Pogo talked about from time to time was Friday the thirteenth. It may not be a direct quote, but “Friday the thirteenth came on Wednesday this month.” Some around here were feeling that way as some of the Freshman Class got out in front on the Heath Insurance Exchange legislation. You have to admire their initiative in doing so. However, declaring a position on an issue before the details are fleshed out can come back to haunt you.
The Saga goes on in State Affairs and last week we had what one member of the committee termed The Big Four, elections, alcohol, gambling and guns. Another committee member, who is new to the committee this year, remarked that it is never boring to be on State Affairs. And that is pretty much how it is. The variety of things we work on is a good lesson on the inner workings of state government.
I was cornered up by a TV station at home, questioning the integrity of the members of State Affairs. It is my pleasure to defend them. They work hard and I am proud to be associated with them. And as for Walt Kelly, maybe the enemy is us, but sometimes it feels like it is someone else.
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