Most Idaho Republican lawmakers are not conservative; why it matters and what you can do about it

Wayne Hoffman
May 3, 2022

Most Republicans in the Idaho Legislature vote with the most leftist Democrats as much as 90% of the time, and the results are telling. 

The Idaho House of Representatives voted two dozen times last legislative session against even considering a repeal of the state’s grocery tax. 

Proposals to expand education choice and protect parental rights in education were rejected by Republican senators and representatives. Bills to protect people against vaccine and mask mandates were also shot down. 

They voted to fully fund social justice indoctrination programs on our college and university campuses. Critical race theory continues to be taught in schools, and lawmakers decided to do nothing about it. 

Meanwhile special interest groups were awarded millions of dollars, paid with your hard-earned money — and money printed in Washington, D.C. Legislators voted to expand Idaho state government by increasing its involvement in housing, schooling, and daycare. 

In the last seven years, Medicaid’s budget has doubled, now costing taxpayers more than $4 billion, almost twice the size of the state’s public schools budget. 

The lawmakers who voted for such programs are all Republicans, and usually call themselves conservatives. They’re quite obviously not. In fact, when I say most of these self-described conservatives gleefully and reliably vote with the most leftist Democrats in the Legislature as much as 90% of the time, that’s including all bills technical and symbolic. On bills of substance that expand and grow government, there’s an even higher correlation.

This is the problem facing Idaho and by extension the whole country. If Idaho’s Republican-controlled Legislature can’t contain the size and scope of government, how can we expect the same of a Republican-controlled Congress? 

The country needs Idaho to lead the way in conservative governing. Idaho should not govern the same as California, Oregon, and Washington. Those states have learned that as government grows, families, churches, and charities shrink. This leads to mental health disorders, broken marriages, and broken people, and those lead to drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, and other forms of addiction, which all lead to poverty and homelessness. 

That then leads government to vote for even more government to solve the problems they created. As government grows, so does government dependency. Government dependency is precisely what the leftists are after. This recipe of leftist Democrats and Republicans working in tandem benefits special interest groups, including the government bureaucracy itself. 

All of this explains why extremist leftist groups — they’re extremist because they oppose constitutionally-protected rights — like the Idaho 97 Project are supporting the most leftist candidates for the Legislature in the GOP primary. Some groups have gone as far as to use words like “liberty” and “conservative” in their names so as to trick voters into thinking their slate of candidates is the most conservative when the opposite is true. 

They’re used to trickery. In 2018, labor unions conspired to form Independent Republicans of Idaho and used the word “conservative”  in literature to convince primary voters to pick Brad Little as governor. This year, a leftist former teacher’s union executive is involved in a group with the word “conservative” in its phony title. 

The media try to characterize all of this as a battle between competing conservative factions of the Republican Party, that on one side of the war are “common sense conservatives” and on the other state are “extremists.” In reality, this is a fight between Republicans who are “Republicans in Name Only” or “RINOs.” They are indistinguishable from Democrats in the Legislature, and actual Republicans who believe in conservative, constitutional principles and vote accordingly. Both call themselves “conservatives” but one side is lying about it.

The donors and members behind the Idaho Freedom PAC only want to stop Idaho from following other states down the path to socialism. There are no magic beans that keep Idaho from becoming like them, only a commitment to the conservative values of limited government and constitutional principles will do it. 

This is why it is important to learn about the candidates for the Legislature. Something is clearly wrong in Boise, and by educating ourselves about candidate voting records and statements, we can not only save Idaho from the fate of other states, but lead the way toward an America that is free, prosperous, and great once more.

Idaho Freedom PAC
750 W. Bannock, Box 346
Boise, Idaho 83701
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