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David Ripley: Haskell Shows Us the Face of Evil

March 20th, 2014 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Ohio abortionist Martin Haskell, the creator of the partial birth abortion method of killing preborn children, is under assault by Operation Rescue for his violation of a recently-enacted law. Defiance might be a better word.

The Ohio Legislature passed a statute requiring all abortionists working in the state to have a transfer agreement with a proximate hospital in cases of an emergency. Haskell refuses to do that, despite being ordered to do so by the Ohio Department of Health. According to a recent email from Operation Rescue, a court has stayed the Department’s order.

Meanwhile, another woman has suffered a botched abortion at Haskell’s hands. Operation Rescue reports a 911 call from Haskell in which he apparently laughs while talking with the operator.

We must ever remember that there is genuine evil at work in the abortion industry. The systematic destruction of human beings in the name of “liberation” threatens our collective humanity. That does not mean that every person working in the industry, or certainly every person affected by the industry, is “evil”. But make no mistake about the powerful, corrosive poison being pumped into our society through the work of people like Martin Haskell.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highligts – March 17

March 17th, 2014 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

After arriving home for the weekend, I took a few minutes to wander outside the house and take a look around. There was no wind to speak of and no cloud cover to be seen. There was however a beautiful full moon and it was scarcely necessary to turn the lights on in order to get around. After being in Boise for the week it was a pleasant experience to be able to just observe such a beautiful sight.

I think if you were to ask almost anyone in the House they would tell you that it was an exhausting week. Usually, a couple of weeks before the session ends each year, there is a lull with very few things on the third reading calendar. This year however, our calendar has been full and out of necessity we worked a couple of days into the evening in order to clear the legislation from the board. As a result of that we have in excess of sixty new laws passed in two days.

Probably the most memorable of debates in the House was a bill about lengthening the terms for highway district commissioners. After the discussion started the Majority Leader stood and made an impassioned plea in opposition to the bill. The assistant Minority Leader then spoke about not very often agreeing on matters with the previous gentlemen, and then just said, “Amen.”

All of this “jamming” of legislation through the process reminds me of a quote I heard someplace. “When you hurry you are more apt to make mistakes.” That certainly is the case as we move very rapidly through legislation in the final days of the session. It seems like every year when we act in haste that we pass legislation that may have consequences that we did not anticipate. When that happens we find ourselves in the situation of having to fix things in the future. So when we get in a big hurry around this place I sometimes think we would be better off if we would take just a little bit more time. As a result of jamming things through at the pace we have been over the past few days, it looks like it is possible for us to adjourn by March 21. That of course depends on whether or not we have some sort of wreck along the way.

There have been some sharp disagreements over the rules of the Racing Commission and we now find ourselves deeply scrutinizing those rules and trying to make a decision about what to do with them. It’s awfully late in the session to be doing so, but the House State Affairs Committee wants to make the right decision, especially when it concerns wagering.

Robert Louis Stevenson said, “He who sows hurry reaps indigestion.” In the legislature however, hurry seems to reap inferior law in addition to indigestion. So with Tums in hand, we’ll hustle to the end of the session.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights – March 9

March 10th, 2014 by Halli

By Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

Ronald Reagan said, “Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them.” With some of the things we do I think that we are not really solving much but rather we are trying to correct what we have done or not done in the past. One of those items this week is what we call the annual “Codifiers bill” that corrects small errors in the law that have crept in over time, misspelled words, incorrect references, and stuff like that. What is most interesting is that there is someone whose job it is to read and re-read the law books looking for these things.

Along the lines of trying to solve a problem, I had a little tax bill in the Revenue and Taxation Committee to correct an oversight having to do with the renewable energy producers’ tax exemption. In spite of the Tax Commission having the bill to review for a couple of weeks, thirty seconds before the presentation they explained a problem that needed to be addressed. I guess I should be grateful it happened before the meeting, rather than my being rearranged in front of the committee.

At long last we have begun the process of setting the 2015 budget. It seems like it happens every year in the same way, the smaller budgets first, then the budgets that spend very little General Fund Revenue, and last of all come the big items. One budgetary item of interest to our smaller school districts, at least, is what is called “use it or lose it” money. It is just what it sounds like, if a district could not use the funds for the purpose it was designated, we have provided the flexibility for them to use the money in other ways. That flexibility has been extended for another year with a gradual phase-out in the future. It’s not a real problem solver but a rearrangement that gives some time to adjust.

A bill that would have helped reduce the expenditures for the county medically indigent program and the Catastrophic Health Care Cost Program passed the House easily and then met with an ignominious death in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. It provided that individuals would become responsible for their own medical care by their use of the Idaho Health Exchange and federal subsidies. Here again, it really didn’t solve much but did rearrange who pays in the end. If we do nothing, our local taxpayers will have a much larger share of funding medical care into the future.

And then there is daylight savings time. A House member from Boise introduced a bill that would have kept Idaho on daylight savings time year round. That created quite a firestorm of comments from all over the state. Some want regular time, some want daylight savings time, and the rest don’t see a need to change. It is like cutting a foot from one end of a blanket and sewing it on the opposite end and saying you have a longer blanket. The sponsor asked me to hold the bill. I think President Reagan was right. It is now 10:30 PM. Oh! Wait a minute, its 11:30. My life has just been rearranged, by government of course.

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Posted in Education, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, February 24

March 1st, 2014 by Halli

By Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

It is thought that Americans are not much on tradition. On the other hand there are many who think that the legislature operates mostly on tradition. It may seem that way because we have a certain way of doing things. This week however, there were several traditional things that occurred that have become annual events.

Each year on the Monday we celebrate Presidents’ Day, it has been customary for 4-H young people to come to town for what is known as the Know Your Government Conference. On the Monday morning of their stay, before they return home, the tradition is to have breakfast with government officials from all three branches. We had a large number of young people from our district attend the event this week.

Another tradition we observe, is to have a memorial service for former legislators that passed away during the last year. We honor these people for their achievements during their time in office and the impact they have had on their families and on the state. We honored ten former members of the House last week.

Another event that takes place each year in Boise is the girls and boys basketball tournaments. This last week a team of girls from Teton County stopped by and I was able to spend a few minutes with them in the governor’s office and have a mini tour of the capitol. We were able to spend a few moments on the House floor and they asked several questions about how we do business in the House.

This was the beginning week for another tradition that we see each year. The Lincoln Day celebrations got underway and it was good to be able to get home and attend a couple of them over the weekend. It’s always a pleasure to visit and talk about legislative matters and life in general.

It may not be a matter of tradition, but it seems that around this time of session the pace picks up quite a bit. Our daily agendas are full and we are spending more time debating legislation on the floor of the House. One item was a little Fish and Game bill that would discount leftover big game tags. It must be traditional to debate Fish and Game issues vigorously because we took much time on the bill.

As the movie Fiddler on the Roof begins there is a long discussion by the main character Tevia about tradition. He said that tradition defines who we are and what is expected of us. Around this place it isn’t much different with some things. We are required to operate under a set of rules for our actions to be valid. If that is tradition, it is a good one.

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

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