(OpenCdA.com Note: Bill’s post, below, is looking for comments on this same meeting. Here’s my take on what happened:)
This past Saturday morning there was an open, public meeting between our area legislators and the citizens who got out of their houses on a Saturday morning to express their thoughts and concerns. This type of local Legislative Update happens about twice during the three months the legislature is in session between January and the end of March. Usually there are about 25 people who brave the morning cold to attend the meeting. This time there were more than 100. Quite a turnout. And these people had some things to say!
The most passionately discussed topic was our Second Amendment rights. Citizens told their legislators, over and over again, in every possible way, that they expect Idaho to stand strong. They want our State to rebuff the Executive Orders recently issued by the President. Those present were articulate and well-versed, both in the Constitution in general, and the specific simplicity of the Second Amendment. It is, as one person described, the most important of the Amendments because it guarantees our ability to defend the rest of them. The audience and the Legislators audibly concurred.
The bad news is that, sadly, in the Press the next day, there was a slanted article about the meeting which, among other biased efforts, went out of its way to misinterpret a comment by Brent Regan. Brent is a very smart conservative and is the newest member of the CdA School Board, which puts him directly in the crosshairs of many at the Teachers Union and the Press. Brent relayed a personal story about a comment his wife made, which he deemed to be humorous, and the Press went all out to make look racist. He is not. But the Union wants to paint everyone on the current conservative School Board as being radical, racist, hicks-from-the-sticks. They want desperately to take back the school board in the elections coming up this spring, and they’re feeling strong after the defeat of the Luna Laws, so they’re on the warpath. (oops, is that a “racist” term?)
The other big topic at the Legislative Update was Obamacare. The Feds are asking every state to set up health care exchanges. So far, 25 states have refused. Our Governor, Butch Otter, is leaning toward setting them up, as is Senator John Goedde. Reps. Ed Morse and Luke Malek are still undecided. Part of their concern is the Federal money that is being offered for setting up the state exchanges, and no one is sure what will happen if the states resist. But if most of the states refuse, and stand together, it will at least create difficulty and draw the process out, allowing time for legal and other operational defenses and alternatives.
Brent Regan read the existing Idaho law that clearly and specifically prohibits any citizen from being forced to buy any kind of health insurance. But I guess that tidbit of information was not as titillating as an offhand comment by his wife, so the Press didn’t report it…it’s only the current law, for goodness sakes. The audience was adamant about resistance. Many people spoke to the need for push back against the Obamacare efforts to force us all to buy insurance, or any mandated product. It is another assault on our quickly diminishing freedoms.
The Legislators, with the exception of Goedde, Malek and Morse, strongly agreed. Sen. Bob Nonini asked if Gov. Otter’s representative, Katie Brodie, was still in the room, but she had just left, so he suggested that everyone contact Katie this week or stop in to her office and let her know that we don’t want our state to comply with the Obamacare exchanges. We want to join the other 25 states and resist. You can call Katie at 446-4983, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sen. Nonini, who is staunchly against the exchanges, went on to explain that citizens should “follow the money” by looking at elected officials’ Sunshine Reports to see who is donating to their campaigns. Blue Cross and Blue Shield are big benefactors for some Idaho politicians and are pushing hard for creation of the exchanges.
Rep. Ron Mendive, in his closing remarks, addressed the concept of resistance to Federal intrusion by reminding us of the challenge, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” And Rep. Vito Barbieri followed with the essential question, “What price is on your freedom?”
The final good news is that, if we stand together, we can make a difference. Please contact your legislators and give Katie a call. Let them know we value our rights and freedoms, and we will not bow to political pressure out of Washington DC, whether with Obamacare Exchanges in Idaho or any infringements on our Second Amendment rights.
“A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” – George Washington
Have a great week! –Mary