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David Ripley: Charlie Daniels asks – How About Sanctuary Cities for the Preborn?

April 11th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Legendary country music artist Charlie Daniels posed a daring question: If cities, counties and even states are able to ignore federal law by harboring illegal aliens – perhaps we can use the same logic to provide sanctuary for the most vulnerable humans in America: preborn babies.

Daniels posted a conscience-provoking challenge to his Twitter account:

“How about some cities declaring themselves a sanctuary for the unborn and refuse to abide by the federal laws allowing abortion?”

Of course, such a challenge to the various edicts coming from the nation’s federal courts would be met with violent protests from the anarchist Left which has sought to bully society in recent years. One can hope that their Democrat allies in Congress might see the contradiction exposed by Daniels, or feel compassion for the babies being terrorized while they rest in the womb. But reason and reasonableness seem to be in very short supply among Democrats these days.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, 27 March 2017

March 29th, 2017 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

As we came to this session, I thought it was interesting that House and Senate Leadership set a target date for getting our work completed and calling it a day. It is easy to do that given how long it takes for the budget committee (JFAC) to go through their processes and then allowing for the normal time to get those bills through both bodies and to the governor. That calculation would have ended the session on March 24th. Also a reality in most sessions is that there is always a potential for a train wreck or two that could gum up the works.

As is also normal for us, the volume of bills in the last few days of the session dramatically increases and are jammed through. In spite of our best efforts to avoid the end of session “bubble” this year, it happened anyway. So, at this writing it looks like there will be another few days needed to wrap it up. In addition to a few budget bills, there are two that we need to address, taxes and transportation.

One day this week we voted on the appropriations for Public Schools. Although there are several parts to that budget, the total exceeds two billion dollars. Those half dozen or so bills passed the full House quite handily in about thirty minutes, without debate. There has to be a record of some kind in that. The following day was Higher Education Day. One of those bills that spent about forty million dollars took an hour and a half of vigorous debate but passed easily as well. The day after that was Health and Welfare appropriations that exceeded two billion dollars passed in a short period of time, again with little debate. At any rate it was a lot of your money that was spent those three days. So, most of the money is gone as our good friends on JFAC would say.

And speaking of train wrecks, we finally got around to having one. As a result we slowed down enough to get us back to town for at least another few days next week. During the weekend it is hoped that the members of the body will get some rest, and more importantly study up on the remaining legislation and be ready to complete our work. There are some appropriations that need to be completed and some other things that are a must do.

It goes without saying that everyone here wants to get this session concluded. Someone told that it felt a little like a trip to the dentist when the anesthetic is beginning to wear off. I don’t know about that but because the things we have been going through this last week are a bit normal in most respects.

And down on the farm, Bruce called me and told me that he could use my help for some things there. Be patient son, I’ll soon be on my way.

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

David Ripley: Idaho Takes a Side-Step on Protecting Babies, Moms

March 14th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The House State Affairs Committee on Monday (03.06.17) took the unprecedented step of approving a bill to repeal part of a law approved in 2015 regulating chemical abortions in Idaho.

HB250 was brought forward by Idaho Chooses Life as a tactical response to the disastrous lawsuit still pending before federal Judge Lynn Winmill. After telling the Legislature in 2015 that it did not perform telemed abortions – and had no intention of giving out RU-486 after a “doctor” talks with a woman over an internet connection – Planned Parenthood sued the state in December of 2015. It claimed a “constitutional crisis” and demanded that Winmill issue a temporary restraining order to protect their “constitutional right” to kill more babies with greater economic efficiency.

The Attorney General’s office decided not to fight Planned Parenthood. Instead, it signed an agreement in the spring of 2016 saying it would not enforce Idaho law against the abortion chain.

So, effectively, webcam abortions became legal in Idaho last year. Planned Parenthood has been using the dangerous procedure at its Twin Falls facility for almost a year now.

We protested the move, but were told that it was part of a “larger strategy” to ultimately win the lawsuit. The state needed more time to organize its defense. Not to worry.

Well, by last December, it became abundantly clear that there is plenty to be outraged about. The Attorney General’s office signed a document, largely prepared by Planned Parenthood, called a “Stipulation of Facts” in the lawsuit. It is a twenty page document outlining the evidence developed by the parties – and the basis for any ruling by Judge Winmill on whether Idaho’s ban on webcam abortions is constitutional.

Our attorneys reviewed the document, after it was signed and entered into the court record, and came to the painful conclusion that there was no way the state could win the lawsuit. There is not a single piece of evidence before the court defending the Legislature’s decision to outlaw webcam abortions.

The Attorney General’s office apparently ignored the committee records developed through lengthy hearings in the 2015 Session. None of the expert testimony we presented was used in federal court. None of the research papers and studies we presented to the Legislature were given to Judge Winmill.

In lobbying the 2015 bill, we showed the Legislature that webcam abortions are dangerous and a disservice to women and girls choosing to undergo a chemical abortion. Women using RU-486 have died as a result of hemorrhaging, or undetected ectopic pregnancies and infection.

But none of that information was presented to the federal district court.

So not only can the state now not win in Winmill’s court – there is no record by which an appeal could be successful.

Given this disgraceful state of the case, we are asking the Legislature to amend the law in order to moot the lawsuit. This reduces the amount of money that state will have to pay Planned Parenthood in attorneys’ fees. More importantly, it stops Winmill from issuing a final ruling declaring our law to be “unconstitutional”.

That means Planned Parenthood can’t take his ruling to attack pro-Life laws in other states. And it means that we will have an easier time coming back to the Legislature to get these protections restored. It also means that we have protected the rest of the chemical abortion regulations approved in 2015 from Judge Winmill’s lethal overreach.

Make no mistake: This turn of events is tragic. We spent some three years getting those protections into Idaho Code. A number of legislators did a lot of heavy lifting to restrict the use of RU-486 in the state. Much more importantly, the legalization of substandard medical care for women and girls undergoing chemical abortions is going to lead to higher abortion rates in Idaho and greater health problems for women.

But our only rational course at this point is to minimize the damage being wrecked by this lawsuit.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, Feb. 20, 2017

February 21st, 2017 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

I was looking through some old stuff in my desk the other day mostly in an effort to clean it out a bit to have a place to put more current things away. As Linda can attest my filing system is of the “I’m sure it’s here somewhere” variety. It really is not a bad system, it just doesn’t look very good. But the worst part is finding things that are four to five years old that should have been chucked long ago.

Today was a good example. I had someone asking me about a proposal they thought I had received from Legislative Services (bill drafters). I knew I had seen the thing but no matter how hard I looked, it was nowhere to be found, and then I remembered I had seen it in my email.

We have had a number of items this last week that have seemed like they got lost in the filing system somewhere. I can’t remember a time when we have seen so many re-drafts of bills because of unforeseen problems the bills would create. In these cases at this stage of the session we have been able to start over. We are at the traditional mid-point of our time here and corrections will be more difficult.

In the found and lost column this week is the discussion about the coming of the total eclipse on August 21st. A member of JFAC told the Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce that there likely would be no funds coming from the state for the event. On a website I saw, I found an ad to sell eclipse viewing glasses for a mere $23.40 for ten sets. And I recall that we have been told repeatedly that there is no safe way to look directly at an eclipse. But then these are certified which begs the question by whom? A friend in good humor asked me, “What would happen if we had an eclipse and no one showed up? Or, what would happen if everyone showed up and the eclipse didn’t? Or, what would happen if the eclipse came and stayed?” Ah, what food for thought!

Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of things we are discussing that are far more serious that we are spending a lot of time working through the process. Those in the State Affairs Committee are immigration, special elections, Tribal gaming, abortion, desert wine, codifiers corrections, lottery, personal delivery devices, and guns just to name a few.

And then there is the budget, which is the main reason for the session. I have suggested that we could just adopt last year’s budget and go home. After all just how many new laws do you think we need? I think I know what you would say about that. As to the numbers found in the wish lists and what the governor wants the budget to look like, I have this piece of paper that I laid on my desk the other day and it is here somewhere. I’ll have to look through my filing system to find it.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, Feb. 13, 2017

February 21st, 2017 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

One day this last week I had a member of the press corps stop by to visit with me about a matter or two. He had his handy little digital recorder in his hand. That is a signal around here that they are looking for the “quote of the week.” His final question was, “Why does this session feel so much different than past ones? It seems like a more sluggish start than usual.”The real answer is that every session of the legislature has its own “feel.” It hasn’t seemed to me that it has been bogged down much around here.

I stay about nine miles from the capital and morning traffic is not my idea of a great time. For that reason I arrive at the House quite early every morning to avoid the big rush coming in from Canyon County and West Ada. All is quiet at that time and I get a about an hour or so to read up and do preparation for the day.

During the night calls come in from all over the state, some are interesting, some are rude and some border on threatening. One caller said he knew that I had a problem with how a certain bill was worded but the people of the state didn’t care about the words that are in the proposal they just want it passed. In other words we won’t know what’s in the bill until we pass it. Sound familiar? I think it’s better to know about what’s in it up front rather to have regrets later.

The counties were in town this past week with all six counties in our district being present. They have a lot of questions about what is going on that might affect our part of the state. One current issue that has been brewing for a while is the funding formula for the heath districts. It seems that the two largest districts want a bigger slice of the pie and have introduced legislation to make the change…after they had agreed to work it out by negotiation. In the Treasure Valley there is very little understanding of how things work in our rural counties. We have to remind them on a continuing basis. They have agreed to attempt negotiating the formula without legislative action. We hope it sticks.

Last week I wrote about the tax bill that passed the House. Since that time the weather has changed and the results of a more severe than normal winter are beginning to show up on our streets and highways. In some areas the potholes in the roads are as big as the cars causing tire failures and road closures. In addition, we have several roads closed because of avalanches and avalanche danger. And then there is the washout in the Raft River area and the closure of I 86. The tax bill is being re-thought.

Does it sound like things have been sluggish around this place? Probably not, at least from this vantage point. And at this writing, and to the great relief of the folks in Boise, today’s high temperature was in the sixties. However, it is still only February.

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

David Ripley: The Battle to De-fund Planned Parenthood Begins

January 14th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The new Republican Congress has begun work to make good on a critical pro-Life agenda item: Ending the coerced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood. It is our understanding that language is included in the current “reconciliation” bill which will end Planned Parenthood’s outrageous access to the U.S. Treasury. This is the same bill which will obliterate ObamaCare.

The defunding language cannot get to President Trump’s desk too quickly.

Approximately 40% of the abortion giant’s funding comes from taxpayers – now something like $550 million each year. It is that massive subsidy which has allowed Planned Parenthood to have such a devastating effect on the nation’s culture and the lives of millions of vulnerable women and girls.

Already the organization is brandishing sabers in the media, trying to persuade Americans that Republicans are waging a “war on women”. PP President Cecile Richards, still recovering from the loss of her White House desk next to Hillary Clinton, recently appeared on the Comedy Central channel. She argued that the end of public funding for Planned Parenthood is really “an end of access to care for a lot of folks in this country”. Pure balderdash.

The truth is, Republicans are likely to increase funding for women’s health care – but they are going to insist that public dollars are spent with legitimate health care providers. You know, the kind of professionals who put the patient – not their abortion ideology – first.

Short of overturning Roe v. Wade itself – the current defunding effort in Congress is the greatest single blow we can strike for Life. It will result in the saving of hundreds of thousands of preborn children. You can be sure that the enemy is well aware of the stakes, and will wage both political and spiritual warfare, at levels rarely seen, to protect the revenue stream of Planned Parenthood’s death machine.

Pro-Lifers must be in earnest prayer for the success of this effort.

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

David Ripley: Historic Election Night for Pro-Life America

November 9th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The decisive victory by Donald Trump yesterday was, for those with the eyes to see, an historic gift of mercy to the nation by a loving God. By His grace, we did not get the government we deserve, but one which can foster an environment in which virtue can grow. A major issue in this campaign was abortion, as evidenced by the $30 million Planned Parenthood invested in Hillary Clinton.

Thankfully, the nation rejected Clinton’s corruption and deadly radicalism.

The results of Tuesday’s election present the Republican Party with a new lease on life, and an historic opportunity to protect preborn children. They must begin by ending the coercive partnership with the evil empire that is Planned Parenthood.

The pro-Life movement saw important victories in Idaho as well. Democrat House Leader John Rusche was defeated in Lewiston, after building a “perfect” record of support for Planned Parenthood and its agenda. Idaho Chooses Life made a concerted effort in this district, and we are pleased that Rusche will no longer be there to obstruct the advance of protections for Idaho’s most vulnerable citizens.

We are happy to report that Thyra Stevenson won a strong victory in the other Lewiston House seat. Her return to the Legislature is a boon to the pro-Life movement and sensible government.

Democrat Senator Dan Schmidt (Moscow) was also defeated in Moscow. He is another Democrat who voted regularly against pro-Life bills in the Legislature.

And pro-Life Representative Lynn Luker (Boise) won another term yesterday, following an all-out assault by the Idaho Democrat Party to extend their influence into the last Boise City district represented by Republicans in the Legislature.

Thankfully, Democrat Deborah Silver was defeated last night in her effort to unseat Sen. Lee Heider (Twin Falls). Ms. Silver is a Board Member of Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest, which runs the abortion clinics in Alaska, Washington and Idaho.

In Ada County, pro-Life Republican Rick Visser won a rather surprising victory over liberal Democrat TJ Thomson in the contest to fill an open seat on the County Commission. Democrats invested something north of $130,000 into Thomson’s campaign, hoping to use him as a wedge in building a county-wide base of operations. No doubt Trump’s strong victory in Idaho helped Visser overcome his serious financial disadvantages.

There was one serious setback yesterday: Sen. Curt McKenzie, our endorsed candidate for the Idaho Supreme Court was defeated by Robyn Brody. She enjoyed the backing of the Idaho Trial Lawyers, who invested several hundred thousand dollars into her campaign. We will now have to await future events to see what kind of impact Ms. Brody will have on the high court.

All in all, there is a boatload of blessings in this year’s general election.

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

David Ripley: Common Core’s Social Agenda

June 6th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Socialization: A process by which the Left creates new standards of moral order.

Opponents of the common core agenda, which includes a nationalization of public education, have long feared that a major component of the elite’s agenda to “reform” education had nothing to do with developing basic intellectual skills. A good part of that concern is the result of the tremendous secrecy which surrounds the common core testing – to the point where parents and even teachers are prohibited from seeing questions. Such an approach to testing defies the logic of testing.

Yet here we are, in a land where private contractors working for bureaucrats in Washington are redefining “education” and “learning” without public oversight.

The worst fears were confirmed this last week when a student taking a biology exam sent a photo of the question home to his parents over his smartphone. The question was a blatant attempt to normalize abortion:

“John and his sister Brittany are high school students in a small town. Their mother Jill is 40 years old and has learned that she is pregnant with a child. Genetic testing has indicated that the child has Down’s Syndrome. Their family doctor has recommended that Jill have an abortion. John and Brittany’s mother and father have called the family together to discuss their options. Which of the following statements describes how the family should make this decision?”

The high school biology students were presented with four multiple choice answers – none of which included the option of choosing to give this preborn child life.

The student’s parents were outraged, of course, and contacted school officials. And they, of course, pled ignorance as to the content of the test questions.

It is important to note that this exam was not in Stockton or Newark. It took place in neighboring Utah – a well known bastion of conservative religious values.

Here is the original story from the Salt Lake Tribune:

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

David Ripley: Congressional Panel Continues to Press on Organ Harvesting Scandal

June 6th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The House Select Investigative Committee released more findings of its research into the gruesome partnership between Planned Parenthood and companies trafficking in aborted baby parts.

Led by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, the Congressional committee announced this week that it had uncovered serious violations of patient privacy and collusion to deceive women undergoing abortions at Planned Parenthood clinics. Given the sordid nature of the business, it is impossible for women and girls to avoid being treated like a commodity as organ harvesting companies hunt to buy valuable organs and tissue for resale.

The committee found that companies like Stem Express gain illegal access to patient files as they look for the best candidates to fill orders from their partners in universities and the pharmaceutical industry. Medical history, blood type, economic status and genetic information can all add special value to the tissue harvested from aborted babies. Such violation of privacy is illegal under HIPPA, and a gross abuse of those vulnerable women ensnared by Planned Parenthood.

But it gets worse as Stem Express goes in for the sale on the woman sitting in the lobby. The committee also found evidence of manipulation and even coercion of those mothers by the trolls looking for quick cash from the resale of their dead babies. And, as we have long suspected, the consent process used by these companies and Planned Parenthood is wholly inadequate and misleading.

We commend the work of Blackburn and her colleagues. It is imperative that they resist the politics of congressional Democrats – who have been turning up the heat to end the investigation into this national scandal. They must continue to move through this sewer and bring their findings before the full Congress for appropriate action: We must make harvesting and trafficking in aborted baby parts illegal in America.

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

David Ripley: Zollinger for House in Idaho Falls

May 14th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho Chooses Life strongly endorses Bryan Zollinger for the Idaho House in District 33 (Idaho Falls).

This seat has opened up because of the retirement of Rep. Linden Bateman. The loss of Bateman is a tremendous blow to the pro-Life movement, as the good representative was one of the strongest, most determined champions of preborn children in public office. It is unlikely he will ever be truly replaced.

That said, Bateman’s legacy is at stake in this race.

We sent both GOP candidates detailed surveys on their views regarding critical life issues. Only Mr. Zollinger responded. His answers inspire confidence that we can trust to carry Linden’s mantle forward.

By contrast, David Smith did not bother to respond. While that means we have no specific information about this views – experience teaches us that Mr. Smith will likely be no defender of babies in the womb. Even if he has vague pro-Life views, his failure to answer specific questions for voters in District 33 has to mean that the Life issue(s) holds no priority for him.

We urge the good people of Idaho Falls to send a strong pro-Life legislator to Boise: We ask for your support of Bryan Zollinger on Tuesday.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Falls Issues, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Taxes | No Comments »

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