Pro-Biden leftists pose as gun owners to support Marco Erickson, Kirk Adams, Dave Radford, Brenda Richards

A dark-money environmental organization is funding a phony sportsmen group to bolster the campaign of moderate Republican Marco Erickson. The dark-money group is also funding other pseudo “conservatives.”

According to recent filings with the Idaho secretary of state’s office, the Conservation Voters for Idaho Action Fund spent $6,570 to support moderate challengers to several liberty-minded House members.

But, the Conservation Voters PAC wasn’t courageous enough to slap its name on campaign materials. Instead, the political action committee spent the money as Sportsmen for Idaho.

The funds were spent at a Boise print shop.

According to its filing with the state, the Conservation Voters for Idaho Action Fund acted as phony sportsmen to support the campaigns of Erickson, Brenda Richards, Kirk Adams, Dave Radford, Matthew Bundy, and Peter Riggs.

It’s a curious move for the Conservation Voters for Idaho Action Fund, which usually supports left-wing candidates.

For example, in last year’s hotly contested race for Boise mayor, CVIAF spent more than $260,000 to support Lauren McLean, who beat four-term incumbent Dave Bieter in a December run-off election.

The local CVIAF used big money from its national parent organization, LCV Victory Fund, to support McLean. According to a disclosure report filed with the city of Boise, the national LCV Victory Fund gave the local affiliate, CVIAF, $310,000 in 2019.

Nationally, the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund, the parent group of the Idaho affiliate, spent $80 million to beat up on Republicans and support Democrats during the 2018 election cycle. Interestingly, a post-election brief released the national League of Conservation Voters boasts of its success in flipping the Ada County Commission to “pro-clean energy.”

During the 2018 election cycle, of that $80 million, the national LCV and its local affiliates lavished $16.2 million on congressional campaigns. Roughly 95 percent, or some $15.4 million, was spent attacking Republican candidates.

At the national level, LCV continues to support Democrats in the race for the nation’s highest office. In the last decade, LCV endorsed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for president. This year, LCV endorsed Joe Biden in his run against Donald Trump.

LCV’s largest donor is former New York mayor and failed presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, in 2018 Bloomberg gave LCV at least $5 million.

Contribution history aside, the Idaho chapter of the League of Conservation Voters isn’t new to campaign hijinks. IFF first reported on similar activities by the Conservation Voters for Idaho Action Fund in the 2016 election, when the group posed as gun owners to support the campaigns of Republican Doug Ricks and Merrill Beyeler.

Both men lost their respective races that year.

Candidate survey: Julianne Young

Q1. The K-12 Education budget is the state’s largest by far, yet some people still believe that we are not spending enough. What would you do to help Idaho’s K-12 students receive a stellar education?

A student-centered funding formula is an important piece of the picture, accompanied by eliminating: duplicate administrative costs and burdens, costly testing that doesn’t actually provide beneficial feedback to teachers and students, and multi-layer education evaluations– the kind that evaluate the evaluation! Student-centered education options are also important. Early graduation is an increasingly attractive option where students have covered the basics and have a particular technical interest or are ready for university level work. I believe student performance is improved when the system is set up to reward achievement with increased opportunities and options.

Q2. Graduation rates at Idaho’s four-year universities are stagnant while tuition continues to increase (with the exception of the one-year tuition freeze). What would you do to bring down the cost of higher education and help students graduate with less debt?

We have a lot of administrative bloat on the University level. State spending should be focused on academic programs, not controversial social and political agendas. In addition, technology offers ever increasing opportunities to effectively deliver educational content at a reduced cost. State institutions should be piloting and taking advantage of these opportunities.

Q3. Idaho has both an income tax and a sales tax, while five of our six neighbors have only one or the other. Idaho also has high property taxes. What changes do you suggest, if any, to Idaho’s state tax structure?

I would like to see a shift from property tax to sales tax. Sales tax is more fair than property tax or income tax. It doesn’t penalize ownership and productivity, nor does it undermine the protection of personal property rights.

Q4. The grocery sales tax has long been debated in Idaho. Should Idaho repeal the tax on groceries? If yes, when?

Fundamentally, I appreciate the concept that food shouldn’t be taxed because it is necessary for supporting life. I also think that grocery tax repeal has some issues when it comes to determining which things qualify and which don’t. An across the board repeal of tax on food would be more attractive to me than one that tries to pick and choose which foods are favored– OR another option could be a repeal of tax on raw produce, grains, and milk which would translate into lower prices on processed foods and would benefit farmers, food markets, and consumers from the bottom up.

Q5. Urban renewal districts receive all the increases in property tax revenue within their borders, which forces other property owners to fund increased service requirements. Should Idaho end urban renewal? If not, should state lawmakers change urban renewal law?

Yes, urban renewal should be phased out. It distorts markets in a way that unfairly straps existing business with the cost of subsidizing their own competition.

Q6. Healthcare is a significant expense in Idaho’s state budget, rivaling education in total appropriations. How would you tackle ever-increasing state Medicaid costs? More broadly, what ideas do you propose to help make quality healthcare more affordable for all?

Opening up opportunities for competition and innovation in the insurance industry, including competition across state lines would be helpful. Also, transparency in costs prior to providing services would be helpful. Fundamentally, we have a problem with too many layers of regulated bureaucracy between customer and provider, driving up costs and often making it difficult for providers and patients to pursue the options which are really in the best interest of quality care. The more government gets in the middle, the more costs will grow and the choices will shrink. I believe Health Savings Accounts, tele-medicine, and cooperative arrangements where patients pay a flat monthly fee directly to a provider for routine care are innovative solutions that may help many people.

Q7. Criminal justice reform has become a bipartisan issue in recent years. Should Idaho explore further reforms? If so, which reforms would you support?

Yes. I believe we should start inside the prison by revamping the way we focus resources. The purposes of prison are (1) to keep society safe and (2) to rehabilitate. Prison should begin and proceed with the end in mind. All inmates with addiction issues should be required to enter addiction treatment at the very beginning of their sentence rather than jumping through this ‘hoop’ just months before they are eligible for parole. If they remain sober and successfully complete other required programming, they should have increased opportunities to make restitution, pursue productive endeavors, and prepare to integrate back into society. I am open to the idea of rewarding consistent positive choices with a reduction in sentencing. I am supportive of incarceration facilities specializing in addressing those who commit certain classifications of crimes– for example: addiction driven crimes, violent crimes, money crimes, etc. Individuals who commit non-violent money crimes should have sentences more focused on restitution rather than traditional imprisonment. The purpose of prison should be to exercise justice and mercy in a way that changes lives and leaves individuals and society better.

Q8. In 2020, Idaho saw some reduction in occupational licensing mandates. Should Idaho continue to identify and implement alternatives to licensure burdens? If yes, which licenses should be reviewed or repealed?

Definitely. We should begin by repealing licensing for professions the practice of which does not place the public health and safety at risk. In many instances, a shift from licensing which criminalizes someone for practicing a profession without permission to more of a professional credential indicating to the general public a level of expertise extended by an organization directed by members of the professional community but independent of government could be a reasonable step toward less regulation.

Q9. Federal dollars always come with strings, yet a significant portion of Idaho’s annual state budget is funded with federal money. Should Idaho work to reduce its dependence on federal funding? If yes, how?

Yes– one program and one vote at a time. Idaho needs to recognize the many ways that the benefits of independence outweigh the financial perks of federal hand-outs. Increasing state control of natural resources within the state so that our publicly-owned resources are used to directly benefit the state, rather than allowing federal control of these resources and recouping PILT money, which is a miserly amount at best, could significantly strengthen our ability to be financially independent.

Q10. Education choice allows parents and students to choose the education that best suits their needs. What policies would you support to strengthen education choice in Idaho?

Idaho should maintain a clear respect for parental control and choice. Our constitutional responsibility is to provide a thorough and uniform K-12 education system, not to mandate or dictate the personal choices of individuals. Education savings accounts offer families the opportunity to fund their own child’s education directly without burdening the public system or asking others to subsidize their personal choices.

Q11. What is the proper role of state government?

To oversee the collected state tax money, and ensure that it is being utilized to the highest of standards for the residents of the state, and to be a voice for the residents of the state, and to give that voice at the national level. Not to think for them.

Candidate survey: Christy Zito

Q1. The K-12 Education budget is the state’s largest by far, yet some people still believe that we are not spending enough. What would you do to help Idaho’s K-12 students receive a stellar education?

For our students to receive a better education, the money must follow the children, no matter if they are homeschooled, charter schooled or public schooled. Much of our education budgets go to administration and meeting useless federal regulations. In states that have choice school programs, the top-performing schools have a waiting list. There is a demand for quality education, those that provide it will receive the money that goes with the child. More money does not make a better outcome. Choice makes a better outcome.

Q2. Graduation rates at Idaho’s four-year universities are stagnant while tuition continues to increase (with the exception of the one-year tuition freeze). What would you do to bring down the cost of higher education and help students graduate with less debt?

It is time for universities to return to the business of educating job-ready graduates and leave the business of social engineering behind. These same universities are administratively top-heavy. This is money that is better served going to the classroom and providing the resources that will further hands-on education. Students leaving high school should be job ready so that they can work through higher education and pay as they go, rather than acquire expensive and burdensome student loans. When the government gets out of the business of funding higher education and the institutions have to create a system of accountability, being self-sustaining and focus on what is important and has real-world value the student will benefit, financially and educationally.

Q3. Idaho has both an income tax and a sales tax, while five of our six neighbors have only one or the other. Idaho also has high property taxes. What changes do you suggest, if any, to Idaho’s state tax structure?

Idaho cities and counties will have to reduce spending before there can be much tax relief. It is time for citizens to decide if they want to choose where their money will be spent, or allow bureaucrats on all levels to decide for them. Taxes are high because government entities on all levels spend to much money. We should do away with the sales tax on food. I believe that there should be no income tax and that our tax base would work best is a sales and use tax. The property tax system should be simplified, again cities and counties have to cut spending.

Q4. The grocery sales tax has long been debated in Idaho. Should Idaho repeal the tax on groceries? If yes, when?

The grocery tax repeal should have happened 10 years ago.

Q5. Urban renewal districts receive all the increases in property tax revenue within their borders, which forces other property owners to fund increased service requirements. Should Idaho end urban renewal? If not, should state lawmakers change urban renewal law?

Idaho should simply end urban renewal.

Q6. Healthcare is a significant expense in Idaho’s state budget, rivaling education in total appropriations. How would you tackle ever-increasing state Medicaid costs? More broadly, what ideas do you propose to help make quality healthcare more affordable for all?

Medicaid is the worst thing that could have happened to the citizens of our state, and our country, it is a huge step toward socialism and the evils that follow that shift. It is time to return to a market-driven system for healthcare and insurance. Get the government completely out of our health care. Market competition will benefit the consumer. The spirit of competition drove innovation and customer service, and pricing that favored the patient for years, making the United States the global leader in the health care service.

Q7. Criminal justice reform has become a bipartisan issue in recent years. Should Idaho explore further reforms? If so, which reforms would you support?

Past time to do away with mandatory minimums and extended prison sentences for nonviolent crimes. We are simply feeding the industrial prison system, with the hard work of tax-paying Idaho citizens. To make matters even worse, we are simply not assisting those incarcerated with their re-entry to society. This is criminal. We can not justify setting those who make bad choices up for failure when they complete their punishment. When they have completed their time, there must be a vehicle for entering the workplace, and society in a way that they can hold their heads high with a feeling of accomplishment and not be degraded and looked down upon. There absolutely has to be job training and placement assistance.

Q8. In 2020, Idaho saw some reduction in occupational licensing mandates. Should Idaho continue to identify and implement alternatives to licensure burdens? If yes, which licenses should be reviewed or repealed?

Licensing is begging permission from the state to be able to perform a job. In some cases licensing is nothing more than a vehicle to prevent entry into the market. I believe this is also a place where the market will drive excellence. If a craftsman, for example, provides excellent service, quality workmanship, and at an acceptable cost, their business will naturally grow. Word of mouth is the best referral. This same person to person referral is also the way that the consumer is protected from those who would provide poor quality. Anyone who is in a business that requires licensing will be the best, and safest if they know their job depends on it. Insurance companies and bonding agencies will not cover those who have claims against their work.

Q9. Federal dollars always come with strings, yet a significant portion of Idaho’s annual state budget is funded with federal money. Should Idaho work to reduce its dependence on federal funding? If yes, how?

The state of Idaho is constitutionally bound to operate on a balanced budget. It is dishonest to state that we do when much of our budget is federal money that is part of trillions of dollars of debt. Every bureaucratic agency in the state should be required to review their reason for existence and cut their budgets to fit the original intent. Those that receive federal money should be held to the standard of operating within the budget of the state. Be it state or federal money, it is the taxpayers money. Each agency has to be audited, and the federal funds done away with.

Q10. Education choice allows parents and students to choose the education that best suits their needs. What policies would you support to strengthen education choice in Idaho?

Education money should follow the child. Those who home school should get a credit on their property tax. A marked driven system where schools of all kinds have to raise the bar to have students attend their institutions will ensure the best education for our children. Federal funds with the strings attached, that create a system of federal compliance is not in the best interest of the child. Most primary schools are administratively top-heavy. It is more important to have the money in the classroom.

Q11. What is the proper role of state government?

State governments are to make sure the roads under their care are well maintained. It is the responsibility of the state to provide for the education of the children, in Idaho common education. It is the role of the state government to collect revenue to fund the operations of the state. A state judicial system is to be set up and operated. It is the responsibility of the state to assist in protection against loss of life, loss of property, and loss of liberty and to protect the right and control of private property.

Candidate survey: Bryan Zollinger

Q1. The K-12 Education budget is the state’s largest by far, yet some people still believe that we are not spending enough. What would you do to help Idaho’s K-12 students receive a stellar education?

I would attempt to return control of the education system to families and communities by reducing federal regulations and guidelines. I would also like to see salaries tied to performance and see administrative positions eliminated so that funds could go towards student achievement.

Q2. Graduation rates at Idaho’s four-year universities are stagnant while tuition continues to increase (with the exception of the one-year tuition freeze). What would you do to bring down the cost of higher education and help students graduate with less debt?

I would continue to focus on eliminated administrative bloat and social programs and return the focus of our universities and colleges to educating and not creating social safe spaces and social clubs that are supplemented with tax payer dollars.

Q3. Idaho has both an income tax and a sales tax, while five of our six neighbors have only one or the other. Idaho also has high property taxes. What changes do you suggest, if any, to Idaho’s state tax structure?

Eliminate the grocery tax completely, reduce income tax rates further and work on controlling local government increases on property tax. By reducing the costs of administration in schools and limiting the amount of property taxes a local government can raise, local governments will have the money for items that are properly the role of governments and will have to learn to stop spending on wishes instead of needs.

Q4. The grocery sales tax has long been debated in Idaho. Should Idaho repeal the tax on groceries? If yes, when?

Absolutely, it is a very inefficient tax because we collect it only to refund a large portion of the tax. It is unnecessary because Idaho is already bringing more than a sufficient amount of revenue to fund necessary programs.

Q5. Urban renewal districts receive all the increases in property tax revenue within their borders, which forces other property owners to fund increased service requirements. Should Idaho end urban renewal? If not, should state lawmakers change urban renewal law?

Yes, Idaho should end urban renewal. If we cannot end urban renewal, the laws should at least be changed to reflect the original intention of urban renewal programs of cleaning up city blight. Currently in Idaho and in my district, cities use urban renewal loopholes to create new developments, some of which were not even in city limits before the project was conceived.

Q6. Healthcare is a significant expense in Idaho’s state budget, rivaling education in total appropriations. How would you tackle ever-increasing state Medicaid costs? More broadly, what ideas do you propose to help make quality healthcare more affordable for all?

I would like to see Medicaid completely eliminated. If we can’t accomplish that then I would love to see block grants so Idaho can create it’s own system with the $3.1B we’re dumping into Medicaid. If that’s not possible right now I think we should add more work requirements or payback regulations to try to prevent fraud and waste. We also need to reduce other regulations on healthcare providers and increase competition among insurers and providers so that overall healthcare costs will go down.

Q7. Criminal justice reform has become a bipartisan issue in recent years. Should Idaho explore further reforms? If so, which reforms would you support?

Yes, many. Start with getting rid of mandatory minimum sentencing, then we could look at getting rid of jail time for drug users and other non violent offenses. Expungement of criminal records is also something that needs to be looked at so that people can find work once they are rehabilitated.

Q8. In 2020, Idaho saw some reduction in occupational licensing mandates. Should Idaho continue to identify and implement alternatives to licensure burdens? If yes, which licenses should be reviewed or repealed?

Yes, almost all of them. I am perhaps okay with license on heart and brain surgeons or those licenses that pose life threatening risks to users. However, I think the free market would even regulate those industries if we allowed it.

Q9. Federal dollars always come with strings, yet a significant portion of Idaho’s annual state budget is funded with federal money. Should Idaho work to reduce its dependence on federal funding? If yes, how?

Yes, stop agreeing to programs with strings attached and start telling the federal government to give us our tax dollars and let us spend it how we feel it is best used.

Q10.Education choice allows parents and students to choose the education that best suits their needs. What policies would you support to strengthen education choice in Idaho?

I believe dollars should be attached to the students and parents should be allowed to take their students and use those tax payer dollars to educate their children how they desire. And if they choose to home school, they should get the requisite tax relief. Make schools compete for students.

Q11. What is the proper role of state government?

To make sure the playing field is level for everyone, no special deals for anyone. The government should only be providing those services that individuals cannot provide for themselves. For example, I believe it is the proper role of government to provide highways, courts of law, and jails and prisons but not individual healthcare.

Candidate survey: Chad Christensen

Q1. The K-12 Education budget is the state’s largest by far, yet some people still believe that we are not spending enough. What would you do to help Idaho’s K-12 students receive a stellar education?

Combine districts to reduce administration costs, review admin salaries and replace Common Core with better, more applicable standards.

Q2. Graduation rates at Idaho’s four-year universities are stagnant while tuition continues to increase (with the exception of the one-year tuition freeze). What would you do to bring down the cost of higher education and help students graduate with less debt?

Get rid of the bloated salaries at these universities, cut garbage propaganda programs such as “If you are white, you are prejudice.”

Q3. Idaho has both an income tax and a sales tax, while five of our six neighbors have only one or the other. Idaho also has high property taxes. What changes do you suggest, if any, to Idaho’s state tax structure?

Property and income taxes are unconstitutional. Direct taxes on a citizen are not constitutional. Income tax needs to go. With property tax…we can start with ending yearly appraisals on homes and property. Once it is appraised it cannot be appraised again until it is sold.

Q4. The grocery sales tax has long been debated in Idaho. Should Idaho repeal the tax on groceries? If yes, when?

Yes, we can’t seem to give relief anywhere….so something needs to happen.

Q5. Urban renewal districts receive all the increases in property tax revenue within their borders, which forces other property owners to fund increased service requirements. Should Idaho end urban renewal? If not, should state lawmakers change urban renewal law?

Yes, it needs to end.

Q6. Healthcare is a significant expense in Idaho’s state budget, rivaling education in total appropriations. How would you tackle ever-increasing state Medicaid costs? More broadly, what ideas do you propose to help make quality healthcare more affordable for all?

I am an advocate for getting rid of all socialized medicine. We can make healthcare more affordable by getting government out of the way…meaning regulation and interference with the free market.

Q7. Criminal justice reform has become a bipartisan issue in recent years. Should Idaho explore further reforms? If so, which reforms would you support?

Yes, getting rid of mandatory minimums needs to happen. We need to lessen the incarceration of non-violent offenders.

Q8. In 2020, Idaho saw some reduction in occupational licensing mandates. Should Idaho continue to identify and implement alternatives to licensure burdens? If yes, which licenses should be reviewed or repealed?

Yes, Idaho should continue to identify and implement alternatives. All licenses need to be repealed.

Q9. Federal dollars always come with strings, yet a significant portion of Idaho’s annual state budget is funded with federal money. Should Idaho work to reduce its dependence on federal funding? If yes, how?

Yes, get rid of the excessive government agencies and programs.

Q10.Education choice allows parents and students to choose the education that best suits their needs. What policies would you support to strengthen education choice in Idaho?

Give a voucher to parents who do not want to use public education.

Q11. What is the proper role of state government?

To protect the individual rights of it’s citizens….nothing more.

Candidate survey: Adam Frugoli

Q1. The K-12 Education budget is the state’s largest by far, yet some people still believe that we are not spending enough. What would you do to help Idaho’s K-12 students receive a stellar education?

Get School Boards to engage in what is happening in their schools, instead of being a rubber stamp by the Superintendent.

Q2. Graduation rates at Idaho’s four-year universities are stagnant while tuition continues to increase (with the exception of the one-year tuition freeze). What would you do to bring down the cost of higher education and help students graduate with less debt?

We have an incredible amount of waste from inefficiencies and unnecessary duplication of services. the first thing that I would ask is that all universities have a specific focus that does not overlap with what another University is doing. Each university doesn’t need to overlap basic admin of purchasing, payroll, account and HR. Those should all be centralized within the State that we already have. I would also recommend compressive purchasing and a uniformed salary schedule would save cost.

Q3. Idaho has both an income tax and a sales tax, while five of our six neighbors have only one or the other. Idaho also has high property taxes. What changes do you suggest, if any, to Idaho’s state tax structure?

I believe that property tax valuations should be capped at no more than 3% per year of an increase. This is already done in Texas. I would work to get rid of the rest of the personal property tax.

Q4. The grocery sales tax has long been debated in Idaho. Should Idaho repeal the tax on groceries? If yes, when?

Yes, now or as soon as possible.

Q5. Urban renewal districts receive all the increases in property tax revenue within their borders, which forces other property owners to fund increased service requirements. Should Idaho end urban renewal? If not, should state lawmakers change urban renewal law?

Yes, we should end it. Now. It totally gets abused.

Q6. Healthcare is a significant expense in Idaho’s state budget, rivaling education in total appropriations. How would you tackle ever-increasing state Medicaid costs? More broadly, what ideas do you propose to help make quality healthcare more affordable for all?

More telemed options. The cost of Medicaid is not designed to be limited. I would have a health insurer like United HealthCare manage the Medicaid, claims and benefits.

Q7. Criminal justice reform has become a bipartisan issue in recent years. Should Idaho explore further reforms? If so, which reforms would you support?

Yes, we should. I would support increase to public defenders.

Q8. In 2020, Idaho saw some reduction in occupational licensing mandates. Should Idaho continue to identify and implement alternatives to licensure burdens? If yes, which licenses should be reviewed or repealed?

Yes, building, beauty nature medicine and as much as possible.

Q9. Federal dollars always come with strings, yet a significant portion of Idaho’s annual state budget is funded with federal money. Should Idaho work to reduce its dependence on federal funding? If yes, how?

Yes. We need to review each program and decide if we can illuminate it.

Q10. Education choice allows parents and students to choose the education that best suits their needs. What policies would you support to strengthen education choice in Idaho?

More charters are key.

Q11. What is the proper role of state government?

As limited as possible and as close to the people as possible. It shouldn’t be here to run people’s lives

Candidate survey: Ron Nate

Q1. The K-12 Education budget is the state’s largest by far, yet some people still believe that we are not spending enough. What would you do to help Idaho’s K-12 students receive a stellar education?
The state has plenty of money to pay teachers well, provide high education standards, and help our children achieve excellence. We can do this two ways: 1. Remove wasteful spending on mandates from the federal government (Common Core) and the state government. We spend way too much money on meeting regulations, reporting requirements, and administrative inefficiency. 2. Provide more opportunities for districts, schools, and parents to choose the best education possible: including standards, curriculum and even what school to attend.

Q2. Graduation rates at Idaho’s four-year universities are stagnant while tuition continues to increase (with the exception of the one-year tuition freeze). What would you do to bring down the cost of higher education and help students graduate with less debt?
Idaho spends a ton on higher education already (about 14% of the general fund budget). We know there is a lot of waste and extreme expenses at the administrative level. Many college administrators are among the highest paid in Idaho government. We also waste taxpayer dollars on disciplines not really belonging in higher education. Gender studies and “intersectionality” are not scientific and definitely not academic.

Q3. Idaho has both an income tax and a sales tax, while five of our six neighbors have only one or the other. Idaho also has high property taxes. What changes do you suggest, if any, to Idaho’s state tax structure?
We can start by immediately repealing the sales tax on groceries. Additionally, I would start the process of eliminating the property tax. We can fund government very easily if we both shift some of the property tax burden to sales taxes and also reduce taxes overall.

Q4. The grocery sales tax has long been debated in Idaho. Should Idaho repeal the tax on groceries? If yes, when?
Yes, as soon as possible. The people have been asking for it for too long already. It should have been done 3 years ago.

Q5. Urban renewal districts receive all the increases in property tax revenue within their borders, which forces other property owners to fund increased service requirements. Should Idaho end urban renewal? If not, should state lawmakers change urban renewal law?
Yes, Idaho should end urban renewal. It is a misguided program and has been abused by districts at the cost of Idaho education and other local needs.

Q6. Healthcare is a significant expense in Idaho’s state budget, rivaling education in total appropriations. How would you tackle ever-increasing state Medicaid costs? More broadly, what ideas do you propose to help make quality healthcare  more affordable for all?
We need to keep healthcare decisions as private choices; meaning people should be free to choose the best insurance and healthcare options for themselves. I will resist all attempts to centralize healthcare into a one or few sizes fits all program.

Q7. Criminal justice reform has become a bipartisan issue in recent years. Should Idaho explore further reforms? If so, which reforms would you support?
Yes, mandatory sentencing for minor drug crimes leads to many instances of injustice. I’ve heard their personal accounts of how their lives have been affected. We need to restore judges’ abilities to make the reasonable consideration rather than be bound by unbending restrictions.

Q8. In 2020, Idaho saw some reduction in occupational licensing mandates. Should Idaho continue to identify and implement alternatives to licensure burdens? If yes, which licenses should be reviewed or repealed?
Most if not all occupational licensing laws are ineffective in achieving their goals. They don’t keep consumers safe or free from harm. Licenses lead to higher costs and allow the state to collect fees for literally nothing in return.

Q9. Federal dollars always come with strings, yet a significant portion of Idaho’s annual state budget is funded with federal money. Should Idaho work to reduce its dependence on federal funding? If yes, how?
Yes, the federal dollars give away too much of Idaho’s sovereignty. We should wean Idaho off both education and healthcare federal funding so Idahoans can make the best choices about Idaho policy.

Q10. Education choice allows parents and students to choose the education that best suits their needs. What policies would you support to strengthen education choice in Idaho?
We need to repeal the Blaine Amendment and create a comprehensive voucher process for all Idaho families and include ALL education options in the mix.

Q11. What is the proper role of state government?
The proper role of state government is only that which is Constitutional. We get into trouble when we expect government to provide for everyone or to be everyone’s caretaker. Government is intended to protect rights, not interests, and we have gone astray of those principles to great expense and inefficiency. We can do better.

Candidate survey: Mila Wood

Q1. The K-12 Education budget is the state’s largest by far, yet some people still believe that we are not spending enough. What would you do to help Idaho’s K-12 students receive a stellar education?
It is my humble opinion that more money does not solve any problem long term, and believe that, just like with my own wallet, some cost benefit analysis should be done with all education reform expenditures. As a parent, I was not seeing a correlation between money in my child’s classroom -or to the teacher, in relation to my tax increases.

Q2. Graduation rates at Idaho’s four-year universities are stagnant while tuition continues to increase (with the exception of the one-year tuition freeze). What would you do to bring down the cost of higher education and help students graduate with less debt?
I’d have to look further into this- but My guess is that there is likely some wasteful spending in every area of education. I also support knowing the financial risk before you go.

Q3. Idaho has both an income tax and a sales tax, while five of our six neighbors have only one or the other. Idaho also has high property taxes. What changes do you suggest, if any, to Idaho’s state tax structure?
I’m not a fan of the current “success tax” , maybe a consumption tax that doesn’t punish those savers amongst us. Or less taxes overall- if we look at eliminating certain taxes, then perhaps grocery tax was a real missed opportunity. I am also not a fan of property tax- especially for our friends with fixed income. It is my hope that people in government could spend tax dollars as they would their own.

Q4. The grocery sales tax has long been debated in Idaho. Should Idaho repeal the tax on groceries? If yes, when?
Like I said above- if a consumption tax is not an option, then certainly elimination of food tax was a missed opportunity.

Q5. Urban renewal districts receive all the increases in property tax revenue within their borders, which forces other property owners to fund increased service requirements. Should Idaho end urban renewal? If not, should state lawmakers change urban renewal law?
Urban Renewal is taxation without representation and is a huge contributor to increased taxes in the counties.

Q6. Healthcare is a significant expense in Idaho’s state budget, rivaling education in total appropriations. How would you tackle ever-increasing state Medicaid costs? More broadly, what ideas do you propose to help make quality healthcare more affordable for all?
Look for other places to cut.

Q7. Criminal justice reform has become a bipartisan issue in recent years. Should Idaho explore further reforms? If so, which reforms would you support?
I would be supportive of things like elimination of mandatory minimums, work on alternative sentence options, and I am concerned with increasing the economy of incarceration.

Q8. In 2020, Idaho saw some reduction in occupational licensing mandates. Should Idaho continue to identify and implement alternatives to licensure burdens? If yes, which licenses should be reviewed or repealed?
Yes. I’d suggest Marriage License(not a occupation license, just an unnecessary)

Q9. Federal dollars always come with strings, yet a significant portion of Idaho’s annual state budget is funded with federal money. Should Idaho work to reduce its dependence on federal funding? If yes, how?
Perhaps if we reviewed how much the federal carrot was costing us, the stick of not receiving it might be a welcome punishment

Q10. Education choice allows parents and students to choose the education that best suits their needs. What policies would you support to strengthen education choice in Idaho?
Untethering the federal mandates from any choice.

Q11. What is the proper role of state government?
Limited in scope, within the layers, as defined in the US and Idaho constitutions.

Candidate survey: Tammy Nichols

Q1. The K-12 Education budget is the state’s largest by far, yet some people still believe that we are not spending enough. What would you do to help Idaho’s K-12 students receive a stellar education?
I believe there needs to be more accountability, transparency, less ‘upper management’, and proof that the money we are spending is giving us the return we are wanting. I think that until we starting seeing proof that our education is moving in a upward trend, that no additional moneys (and even cuts) should be utilized. We also need to get back to the basics of education and get rid of the costly fluff.

Q2. Graduation rates at Idaho’s four-year universities are stagnant while tuition continues to increase (with the exception of the one-year tuition freeze). What would you do to bring down the cost of higher education and help students graduate with less debt?
Get rid of the unessential positions, decrease the salaries of ‘upper management’, demand transparency and accountability. Further freeze the tuition cost, get rid of the fluff.

Q3. Idaho has both an income tax and a sales tax, while five of our six neighbors have only one or the other. Idaho also has high property taxes. What changes do you suggest, if any, to Idaho’s state tax structure?
I would still like to get rid of the grocery tax; also the income tax, and find a real way to fix property tax. Much of the cost of property tax needs to be addressed at the local level because budgets drive taxes, but at the state level we can address this issue by decreasing the county/city budgets, end urban renewal, quit giving so many tax breaks to companies, and figure out a way for people to truly own their homes and land when the have paid off their homes.

Q4. The grocery sales tax has long been debated in Idaho. Should Idaho repeal the tax on groceries? If yes, when?
Yes…Should have been done in 2017.

Q5. Urban renewal districts receive all the increases in property tax revenue within their borders, which forces other property owners to fund increased service requirements. Should Idaho end urban renewal? If not, should state lawmakers change urban renewal law?
Urban renewal is a double tax and should be eliminated in actuality. If that cannot be done at this time then I believe that urban renewal boards should be elected positions if they are to exist at all, and that they should be reformed back to their original objective, which was to help areas that had gone into disarray, not pet projects.

Q6. Healthcare is a significant expense in Idaho’s state budget, rivaling education in total appropriations. How would you tackle ever-increasing state Medicaid costs? More broadly, what ideas do you propose to help make quality healthcare more affordable for all?
Healthcare should not be controlled nor funded by the government, with the possible exception of helping the poor and elderly. Now, it is out of control and the more the government gets involved the worse and more expensive it has become. We need to go back to basics…let the free market work, open state lines for insurance purchasing, encourage real non-profit health clinics, end the tax exempt statuses for hospital on property and equipment. Reform Medicaid and get it back to its true purpose of helping the poor. I also like the idea of upfront cost…I know of no other industry where you do not know what you will be paying upfront.

Q7. Criminal justice reform has become a bipartisan issue in recent years. Should Idaho explore further reforms? If so, which reforms would you support?
Yes, it needs to be reformed. Some areas I would like to see are mandatory minimums done away with, providing opportunities for inmates to learn trade skills so that they have the ability to provide for themselves once they are out, and to do away with some of the drug laws especially with possession.

Q8. In 2020, Idaho saw some reduction in occupational licensing mandates. Should Idaho continue to identify and implement alternatives to licensure burdens? If yes, which licenses should be reviewed or repealed?
Yes we should continue. I would like to see further repeal with licensing regarding the trade industry, and to continue to remove obsolete rules/fees from the books.

Q9. Federal dollars always come with strings, yet a significant portion of Idaho’s annual state budget is funded with federal money. Should Idaho work to reduce its dependence on federal funding? If yes, how?
Yes, we need to stop the dependency on the feds. We need to regain out state
sovereignty, and stop spending so much money as that will help alleviate the amount we need.

Q10.Education choice allows parents and students to choose the education that best suits their needs. What policies would you support to strengthen education choice in Idaho?
I would support a form of parental choice in education. I believe a savings account could be plausible, or a form of school vouchers (as long as the feds stay out).

Q11. What is the proper role of state government?
Governments role at the state level is to manage the affairs of the state, specifically the economy, creating state legislation that can become state law, and they are responsible for approving the state budget. Powers not granted to the federal government are reserved for the state.