First Things First

I know that you all join me in feeling relieved by the verdict in the George Floyd case. Although, the evidence was overwhelming, there was no guarantee the jury would see it the same way. Thankfully, we got a little justice for a change. Please keep Mr. Floyd’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.

Why Have Nonpartisan Elections?

The word “nonpartisan,” means not biased, particularly toward a political party. Therefore, when county or municipal governments hold nonpartisan elections, they do so to curtail political influence. As a result, election law states that candidates who seek to fill positions in these elections are supposed to represent themselves exclusively. The intention is to attract people who are community minded and focused on finding common solutions to shared concerns. For example, our county government fills positions on highway and sewer district commissions. Folks with practical experience working in these disciplines are ideally suited to fill these positions. What we do not need is political partisans. The same goes for our local municipalities. They run elections to fill positions on advisory boards for our schools, libraries, and hospital. These positions are not political. Therefore, people seeking to serve on these boards should have the best interests of the entire community in mind.

KCRCC Partisan Interference

Unfortunately, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee inserts itself into these elections. In fact, they actively recruit and vet candidates who pledge their loyalty to their Republican agenda. Furthermore, their criterion for qualifying candidates is passing their purity test. If you ask them, the KCRCC will say their efforts are meant to bring transparency to the election process. However, what they are really doing is imposing their political influence and agenda into these nonpartisan races.

A current example of their toxic nature is evidenced on the NIC Board of Trustees. Chairman Todd Banducci, along with his newly elected GOP majority, have harassed women, bullied the college president, and called for politically driven changes in curriculum. Another is the KCRCC attack on a conservative serving on the community library board. He recently revealed that the KCRCC pressured him to swear loyalty in exchange for their support. His refusal led them to withdraw their endorsement. These partisan actions diminish the quality of our library and college and do not conform to community-based oversight.

Acting for Fair Elections

Fortunately, many Republicans realize this. Some, like Christie Wood and Dan Gookin, are speaking out. Others like Community Library District Trustee Robert Fish are actively campaigning to stem this tide of radical rightwing influence. Although most people oppose partisan influence on our library or school boards, that is exactly what we will have if the KCRCC has its way in the May 18 Election.

Unfortunately, their actions are forcing your Kootenai County Democratic Central Committee to depart from its treasured hands-off approach in these elections. As a result, we are preparing our own list of qualified non-partisan candidates. We hope to have it available soon. Our intention is to vet candidates based on qualifications not partisan affiliation. Our goal is to let you know who will work on behalf of the entire community. We hope that this list will help retain and enhance the quality representation staffing the advisory groups overseeing our local schools, libraries, hospital, and county infrastructure.

Help us defend nonpartisanship in Kootenai County by using our reference list and voting for qualified candidates not the lackeys endorsed by the KCRCC.

In Other News

As you know, it is tax season. Therefore, as you go about filing your tax return consider this. Thanks to our conservative Idaho majority, the State allocates four million dollars per year to a “Constitutional Defense Fund.” In other words, it uses your taxes to defend conservative state sovereignty conflicts with the federal government. It should come as no surprise that most of the money spent has gone toward losing legal battles. The fact is that the CDF’s last victory came in 1996 which is a year after the fund was established. To put it another way, the CDF is a colossal waste of your tax dollars.