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David Ripley: Go Out and Annoy an Abortionist

February 8th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The winning ad from this year’s Super Bowl has to be the Doritos ad, which shows a playful interaction between a Dad and his preborn baby. It was warm, funny and made the point that Doritos are pretty tasty.

On the way, it also built upon the common sense understanding that the preborn child is a conscious human being while yet in the womb.

That was enough to outrage the folks over at NARAL – the association of professional baby assassins. They actually blasted out a tweet denouncing the ad: “Not Buying It – that Doritos ad using the anti-choice tactic of humanizing fetuses ….”

This tells us everything we need to know about the mindset over at NARAL – an understanding of the world which hinges upon a delusional fantasy in which the “fetus” is not even human. These are the lies they must tell themselves to get up each day.

We urge our friends to go out and buy a bag of Doritos in the next couple days, if only to annoy an abortionist.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, Feb. 8

February 8th, 2016 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

The other day, after the House had adjourned, a few of my colleagues gathered around my desk and our conversation was reminiscent of the way we used to talk to each other before the capital was renovated. In our civil discourse workshop we had during the first week of the session, one of the things that we learned was that we need to talk to each other and get to know each other a little better. I’ve been making an effort to do that and have found interesting stories about some of my colleagues.

One said that she did not want to run for office at all, but was told by people in her district that she needed to do so. She told them no! They got the paperwork together and persuaded her to file. There are several here who are no stranger to hardships in their lives and those stories are very interesting and sometimes heart wrenching.

This past week was the week that County commissioners and other County elected officials found their way to Boise for what they call their Midwinter Conference. It gives them a chance to visit with everyone from the Governor to their legislators. One of the topics of discussion was the proposal that the Governor has made for the state to create a new public defender program. The biggest concern that our counties have is that they would lose control and possibly end up paying for services that they would not receive or have no use for. For the most part, the counties of district 32 just want to be left alone, and they are telling us that they are doing just fine. When it comes to government that is how a lot of people feel.

I was approached by one of the press corps asking about my feelings on how frequently Idaho seems to amend its constitution. Right now there are several proposals that are being looked at, one of which is referred to as the Blaine amendment. Because there is a prohibition in the Constitution about using state funds on religious schools, and the fact that we have established what is known as the Opportunity Scholarship, there is concern that such a scholarship could not be used at any of the religiously sponsored colleges in the state. What the amendment would do would be to clarify the language to make it possible for scholarships of that kind to be used in that setting. A couple of examples of those colleges are Northwest Nazarene College in the Treasure Valley and BYU Idaho a little closer to our area of the state. The email stream on that has picked up substantially and it looks like we will be having a hearing on that in State Affairs in the coming week.

The budget committee is still working diligently on putting a budget together, or at least hearing from all of the agencies along with their wish lists. We are still on track to keep our commitments to education that we began last year. Educators at home still want to make sure that they have discretionary funds, aka, money without strings attached.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee took up the subject of Medicaid expansion and the result was about the same as poking a five hundred pound gorilla. They called it informational, with very little testimony taken. Dr. Krell from Idaho Falls blamed the Legislature for the death of a thousand people for not doing expansion. That did not sit well and it also unleashed blistering editorials around the state on both sides of the issue. While it is easy to play the blame game, there is as with most things more to the story. For me, I just wish my colleagues would do their homework and decide what is best for Idaho.

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

David Ripley: Death Lobby Descends on Utah

February 4th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Utah Democrat state representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck introduced legislation today that would create a right to physician-assisted suicide in the state of Utah.

HB 264 is called the “End of Life Options Act”, and would allow a physician to prescribe deadly drugs for a patient diagnosed with a condition that could reasonably be expected to cause natural death within six months.

There are various clap-traps in the bill – including a requirement that the attending physician determine that the patient is acting voluntarily, and encouraging the patient to share his or her determination to die prematurely with family members. But the primary purpose of the legislation is to implement the agenda of the Death Lobby. Under the rhetorical cloud of “compassion”, Ms. Houck and others seek to end the lives of elderly and sick citizens prematurely. This saves money and trouble for many.

A similar effort was threatened in Idaho several years ago. Fortunately, through the leadership of this organization and people like Russ Fulcher, Cliff Bayer and Governor Otter, Idaho instead implemented an outright Ban on Assisted Suicide.

We pray that the Utah Legislature takes a similar tack: The only way to be rid of the Death Lobby is to take decisive action in positively rejecting their message and agenda.

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

David Ripley: Democrats Side with Planned Parenthood

February 3rd, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan held true to his word, and brought a veto override motion to the House floor last night. Republicans attempted to override President Obama’s veto of the Planned Parenthood defunding measure. Unfortunately, the effort fell short of the two-thirds’ majority required.

The motion to override on HR 3762 received 241 votes, while 186 members voted with Planned Parenthood and Obama.

Only 1 Democrat (Colin Peterson of Minnesota) voted to override the veto.

Idaho’s Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador voted again to defund Planned Parenthood.

The effort to sever our partnership with America’s largest abortion chain must now await the election of a new president.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, Feb. 1

February 1st, 2016 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

The pace of the session has picked up and we now find several bills coming forward. We just hit a deadline last Friday which was the time for the filing of personal bills. A personal bill is one that is taken directly to the Chief Clerk of the House and is introduced to the whole without having gone through a committee first. On Friday a large number of personal bills were read across the desk, more than in recent years. Subject matter ranged from permitless concealed weapons carry legislation to constitutional amendments.

A rarely used maneuver on the house floor occurred on Friday as well, and that was the motion to lay on the table. It takes a simple majority of the body to lay it on the table which means that it cannot be considered unless two thirds of the body agrees to take it off the table. In effect it kills a bill. The motion was not successful and one of our age-old customs of the crow flying occurred. It is a little statuette in the form of a crow that passes around the body from time to time when a member makes a motion that does not get at least 20 votes in support. The effort made didn’t even come close, and the crow flew.

There’re a lot of background things going on right now, one of which is discussions on water. The governor has called for money to be used for recharge. We of course are very hopeful and there seems to be more snow around at the moment than we’ve seen for a couple of years. If that is any indication we might actually have water available for recharging our aquifers.

It might be of interest that this past week there were personal bills introduced in the Senate for the expansion of Medicaid. The chairman of the health and welfare in the Senate has agreed to hold hearings on the bill. It’s a pretty heavy subject for a committee to consider in the short time available, and it will be interesting to see how it is handled there. I had a chance to visit with some folks this week about the governor’s proposal of primary care and at this point it looks a little bit like it might have a tough sell among some legislators. Most of the discussion centers around how the program would be funded and is felt that if it is to get anywhere it will have to be modified some.

It was good to get home over the weekend and to take care of a couple of pressing matters there. The good news is, at least a portion of them got completed in time for my speedy return back to the capital city. It started to snow almost the moment I got home on Friday, snowed some more on Saturday, and it was snowing when I left home. And I only got stuck once. Together it accounted for approximately 10 inches of new snow. The little grandkids had a ball playing in the fluffy white stuff but not so much in the heavy wet snow that fell on Friday. Some places I traveled over the weekend, I noticed the fences starting to disappear little by little. Keep your fingers crossed, maybe this is one of those one year in ten recharge years. One of my friends commented that he didn’t care for the snow a whole lot and then admitted,” We sure do need it, so we’ll take it.” My sentiments exactly.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights Jan. 24

January 24th, 2016 by Halli

Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

Probably the hottest topic discussed around the legislature this last week, was all of the issues that are going to appear on our agenda soon. Even though several issues were discussed by various groups, not much actually came forward at least in a way we could begin introducing legislation. What will more than likely occur is that all at once we will have much on our plate and then we might hurry too fast getting things done.

I was asked last year and this to participate on what has been fondly dubbed the CEC Committee. The CEC stands for change in employee compensation and in other sectors they call it employee raises. The purpose of the committee is to recommend to JFAC (budget committee) what state employees should be paid in the next fiscal year. After much discussion and three different hearings on the matter and five different motions, the committee recommended that the governor’s proposal for salary increases be adopted.

What that translates into is a 3% across-the-board raise for state employees in the coming year and in addition the state will pick up all increases in employee health insurance costs. I thought there was a better motion out there that would have given a 2% across-the-board raise and then move the pay policy closer to the private sector by using the other 1% and have that pickup the increase or at least part of the increase in health insurance costs.

That decision was made very early in the morning on Tuesday and I had the privilege of reporting the result to House leadership and committee chairs in their regular weekly meeting. Because of the CEC meeting I arrived a little late and found that they had been discussing the governor’s budget and all kinds of brake lights were coming on in the room. The memory banks were alive with what occurred around this place in the year 2002, when a 13% increase in spending took place in spite of a 6% increase in revenues being predicted. That led to the longest session of the legislature in 2003 trying to find a way to close the budget gap created by overspending and revenues coming in at less than the 6% that had been forecast. So it looks like there is some caution being expressed and reservation about spending at a level that exceeds what we project for revenue increases. Alarm bells are beginning to come on for some.

We had the privilege of listening to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Jim Jones and I have to say that his talk was somewhat refreshing from others I have heard from the court. He had just finished his presentation to the Senate and as he began his comments in the house after we had waited for a few moments for his arrival he said, “I’m sorry that you were waiting for me so long but there was some windbag over in the Senate that prevented me from getting here any sooner.”

Representative Batt, the State Affairs Vice Chairman, spends a lot of time doing the rules review for the agencies that come before the committee. She discovered that two different agencies had written two sets of rules concerning the same matter. What was even more interesting was that neither agency knew what the other was doing. Her comment to me was that at least you would think they would talk to each other.

I received a call from the inventor of powdered alcohol who lives in Arizona. He sounded a bit unhappy about the bill that was introduced to ban the product. He wants to come to Idaho to testify before the committee. We’ll try not to hurry through this one or put it off too long.

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

David Ripley: Grieving for a Hurting Nation

January 22nd, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Today marks the 43rd year in which America has been shackled by an edict which allows for the mechanized destruction of some 4,000 innocent babies every day. The official total is something like 58 million babies lost to abortion – but that figure understates the carnage by a considerable degree.

A day like today is one in which we should take stock of the price being paid by this great nation for legalized abortion. The great scandal of organ harvesting revealed last year is an alarming sign of the darkening of America’s soul. Of course it is ghoulish to imagine Planned Parenthood chopping babies in the back room in exchange for Lamborghinis. Yet we must ask: Where is all the money coming from?

Behind the curtain of Planned Parenthood scandal is the mountains of money being spent to procure organs and tissue from tiny human beings who could not defend themselves. Presumably “respectable” companies and institutions are using these babies as organ farms to pursue research that once would have been widely denounced as clearly unethical. Does not the silence point to a coarsening of the American conscience?

Yet there are signs of awakening, as well: The U.S. Congress has finally had its fill of financing America’s largest abortion provider. The number of abortion clinics is at an historic low. Planned Parenthood is having serious trouble recruiting new abortionists. And the number of pro-Lifers continues to grow.

That strength will be on display today as the national March for Life takes place in the midst of a big winter storm. Snowflakes or not – tens of thousands of Americans will stand up for those who cannot defend themselves. That march offers the nation an invitation to repentance, to healing, to real freedom. May the Lord amplify those voices raised today and awake a people in need of healing.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, Jan. 17

January 17th, 2016 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

Due to all of the press reports that have been circulating before the legislative session started this year I have been repeatedly asked if this would be a short session. My response has been that you can’t use short and session in the same sentence.

As is the case every year the first thing on the agenda is to hear from the governor. He spoke more optimistically than some years especially in light of revenues that have been coming in stronger than expected. He outlined a robust increase in education spending both in K-12 and higher education, somewhere in the $150 Million range. He also put an item in his budget to create another community college to replace Eastern Idaho Technical College in Idaho Falls. Given that it will require local voters to approve such a move, and given that it has failed locally in the past it will be interesting to see how that would come to pass.

One of the more creative things he proposed is a four year freeze on tuition for college students. Can you say “administration nightmare?” The devil is always in the details.

After the speech each year he has a punch and cookie event in his office for all legislators. I told him that he had outlined pretty ambitious budget plans and he said, “Tom, we have the money.” While that may be true, reversals can happen very fast and some I have talked with want to make sure we don’t overdo it.

Leadership decided to have a training session for all of us entitled “Civil Discourse.” They began the meeting by telling us that this did not mean that we are not civil in how we do things in Boise. Even if we do behave civilly with each other and the public we can always stand improvement. I found it helpful while others around this place not so much. We’ll see if we learned anything as the session progresses.

State Affairs this week lived up to its reputation by introducing a ban on powdered alcohol and by not introducing a bill for the Public Utilities Commission. There are not many who have heard of powdered alcohol but our liquor control people are telling us it is becoming a problem. As for the PUC bill, it will be back in some form.

Other items that are out on the horizon but not yet drafted are a couple of ideas for constitutional amendments, so called constitutional concealed carry legislation, on-line voter registration, horse racing, and some other liquor issues. Needless to say there is no shortage in the number ideas for new laws around these halls.

So how long will the session be this year? The honest answer is that no one knows for sure. The only thing we are required to do by our constitution is to adopt a budget and it must be balanced. But I can promise you that there will be somewhere in the neighborhood of three hundred new laws to consider, and thankfully not all will become law.

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

David Ripley: Hillary Clinton’s Declared War on Minority Babies

January 15th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

In celebration of Planned Parenthood’s early and passionate embrace of her candidacy, Hillary Clinton immediately responded with a gush of promises to move their agenda forward if she is elected.

Among her commitment: Repeal the Hyde Amendment restriction on using tax dollars to directly pay for abortions.

Here is her quote:

“Any right that requires you to take extra measures to access it is no right at all. Not as long we have laws on the books like the Hyde Amendment making it harder for low income women to exercise their full rights.”

This revelation of Clinton’s radical agenda requires serious reflection because the implications are many.

The first thing we must note is that the Clinton/Planned Parenthood agenda on tax-funding abortions helps reveal the true motives behind President Obama’s drive to impose their “contraceptive” mandate on Americans. The press to impose “free contraceptives” is but the first round in a larger agenda. They want free abortions as well. We see all across the nation a coordinated drive to conflate “abortion rights” with guaranteed access to abortion.

Let’s skip – for a moment – the dark moral consequences of Clinton’s radical position.

Consider the rationality of the Clinton/Planned Parenthood argument: A constitutional right must be obtained for the citizen by the government. This would be akin to arguing that, since the 2nd Amendment guarantees Americans the right to bear arms – the government is required to purchase guns and ammunition for every citizen desiring a weapon, but who feels they cannot afford a firearm and the ammunition necessary to use same. (Imagine the Democrat response to such an absurd demand!)

But, of course, the pro-Life community’s defense of the Hyde Amendment is not based on saving tax dollars. It is based on the obvious fact that taxpayer funding of abortions means more abortions.

So the direct implication of Clinton’s demand for “free abortions” is a substantial increase in the number of abortions occurring in America. That cannot be disputed. That is evil.

We credit Rush Limbaugh for seeing that this policy push by Clinton has even darker practical implications. “Free abortions” means tax funding abortions for poor women through the Medicaid program. A disproportionate share of women on Medicaid are minorities. Thus, one of the unavoidable consequences of Clinton’s cry for more abortions is the destruction of even greater numbers of black and brown babies.

Here is how Rush Limbaugh framed the matter earlier this week:

“Here’s Mrs. Clinton promising free abortions, which is an incentive for Medicaid recipients. Now, if a Republican came out and said this, the first person erupting like a jack-in-the-box would be the Reverend Jackson, followed closely by Al Sharpton. They would both be screaming that this is tantamount to racial genocide, that this Republican is giving away abortions to the poor, and they would say, ‘We all know who the poor are’….”

But here we have the self-anointed champion of minorities pushing for a radical policy change that will actually lead to greater decimation of the black and Hispanic communities in America, and Democrats across the nation applaud. How shameful.

We will take this matter even further: At this point in her career, Hillary Clinton has become indistinguishable from her heroine, Margaret Sanger. Now Mrs. Clinton is too smart to use the hateful rhetoric of the Planned Parenthood founder – which means she is plenty smart enough to know that her rabid support of abortion will achieve the goals articulated many decades ago when Sanger proudly sought to weed out the human race of undesirables.

Sound too harsh? Comparing Hillary Clinton with Margaret Sanger?

Consider this: When Hillary Clinton received the Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood in 2009, Clinton said that she was “in awe” of Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger. And she is much too smart, too educated, not to be fully aware of Margaret Sanger’s contempt for minorities and the poor; or Sanger’s admiration for authoritarians like Hitler and Stalin willing to use their police powers to impose anti-Life policies upon their peoples.

At all hazards, Hillary Clinton must be stopped from following Barack Obama into the White House. Within months, she will make Obama’s awful abortion record look like some kind of pro-Life march.

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

David Ripley: Cruz Wins Idaho Straw Poll

January 15th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

A straw poll was held in Boise this past weekend around the meeting of the Idaho GOP Central Committee. The party hosted a reception on Friday evening, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz won 40% of the votes cast by party leadership. A total of 143 votes were cast.

Marco Rubio came in second, with 18% of the votes cast, followed by Donald Trump at 13%. Ben Carson also finished in double digits (11%).

Following the vote, the Cruz Campaign in Idaho issued a statement, in which State Treasurer Ron Crane said, “Ted Cruz has a proven record of not wavering or ducking the tough battles, and he stands with Idahoans and Idaho values by opposing Washington’s reckless spending and infringement on our rights.”

And just yesterday, Operation Rescue issued a statement stating that the national pro-Life organization will be supporting Ted Cruz for president in upcoming GOP primaries and caucuses. In doing so, OR President Troy Newman argued that Cruz “is the most solid, dependable and trustworthy pro-Life hero running for president. And he can win.”

Idaho will hold its first-ever Presidential Primary on Tuesday, March 8th.

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

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