The outcome of the primary election was to be a major blow to the Idaho Freedom Fund (IFF). Many politicians who have danced to his pipe in recent years have been defeated, including Janice McGitchin, Priscilla Giddings, Dorothy Moon, Brendan Durst, Ron Nate, Carrie Hanks and Chad Christensen.
The IFF has deployed and thrived on a policy of divisions and confrontations in Idaho since the Republican Party closed the primaries in 2012. Using a suspicious rating system, the organization sought to build the King’s reputation among Idaho’s legislators by scoring high marks in the IFF. “Freedom Index” and win, few points and lose. The more extremist legislation the IFF supports the candidate, the better the rating will be. Many lawmakers were afraid to vote for the bill until they found out how the IFF evaluated it.
This election was to open the eyes of those lawmakers who believed that the non-adoption of the IFF was a kiss of death. Several other organizations worked hard during this election cycle to show that candidates can think for themselves and overcome the contempt of the IFF at polling stations. One I am affiliated with, Take Back Idaho (TBI), supported the list of candidates, including most offices across the state and 40 legislative positions.
Only one candidate who supported the IFF, Raul Labrador, received a position in the state. His overwhelming candidates lost the post of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and head of public education. IFF board member Brian Smith lost his second bid to Congress.
The candidates approved by the TBI were the exact opposite of those who blindly followed the IFF example. They demonstrated a commitment to responsible, pragmatic representation, rather than to inciting and benefiting from hateful conflicts. Of the 40 candidates approved by TBI, 27 won and 13 lost. Some races were very close – Scott Syme, the star man, lost to IFF member Judy Boyle by only 6 votes.
Some of our losses were quite painful. Senator Jim Woodward, a Navy veteran and remarkable lawmaker, lost in a hatred-filled, unjustified onslaught of his opponent.
The loss of Lawrence Wasden as Attorney General of Idaho will be felt for years to come.
It is likely that IFF’s opposition to Wasden played a role as a result, but a number of other groups involved in black money have targeted it. The Club for Growth spent nearly $ 300,000 on an obscene advertising campaign against Wasden, falsely claiming he was RINO (a Republican by name only). Wasden’s problem was that he took his oath of allegiance seriously Constitutions of Idaho and the United States. When faced with a situation where he could either serve his personal political interests by concealing his legal opinions, or honestly express the law as required by his oath, the rule of law always prevailed. It requires true courage and devotion to sacred duty. His detractors distorted his honest stance. Truth be told, Wasden was one of the best AGs that have been in this state.
The TBI intends to take an active part in every upcoming primary election until the vicious power of extremist groups such as the IFF and the Club for Growth is removed from our great state. Now that lawmakers and prospective candidates know that IFF’s bark is much worse than its bite, this time may be closer than some think.
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