COVID Thrives on Ignorance

COVID-19 is thriving in Kootenai County thanks to our low vaccination rate and the widespread rejection of mandated health protocols. Unfortunately, our community’s refusal to follow scientific guidance is exacting a toll. Anyone following the news knows that Kootenai Health has adopted crisis standards of care due to the overwhelming case load in their Intensive Care Unit (ICU). They are not only dealing with shortages of beds and ventilators, but they are also facing staffing shortages as well. As a result, our hospital is forced into rationing care and in some cases transferring local patients to health centers outside the hospital’s service area.

Yet, faced with such news, you would think that our GOP leaders in the statehouse would be rethinking their stance on rejecting science. Yet quite the opposite is true. Instead, they are doubling down. Currently, the rightwing extremists of their party are calling for a special session to specifically legislate a prohibition of vaccine mandates in Idaho. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Since the solution to the pandemic is known and based on the latest science as well as past responses to transmissive disease, the only explanation for their actions is insanity. Imagine the GOP reaction if Democrats were providing such reckless leadership.

Local GOP Poisons Our Politics

If you tow the political line, the Kootenai Republicans will praise your independent spirit. Yet, if your adherence to their platform waivers, a price will be paid. Take County Commissioner Bill Brooks for example. Bill is a confirmed conservative. However, in 2021 he chose to break his formal connection with the KCRCC and identify as Unaffiliated. This did not sit well with far-right Republicans. As a result, they started an unsuccessful petition to recall him. Not for a dereliction of duty in his role as Commissioner but for not being conservative enough in their eyes. In other words, if you are not with them in lock step, you are most definitely against them.

Their militancy extends to their interactions with our community. Rather than seek common cause, they encourage their unruly mobs to disrupt public meetings. Armed with disinformation and hyperbole, they have unleashed their unmoored anger at School Board meetings and the Optional Forms of Government Study Commission gatherings. The fact is, the GOP is not interested in finding common ground. They intentionally seek to recruit and elect the most partisan candidates possible regardless of their qualifications. Rather than serving the public good, they only seek to protect their partisan interests.

Stand Up to Partisanship

That is why we are calling for concerned citizens of all stripes, to take a stand against these firebrands. We need rational leaders who understand and value non-partisan public administration. Leaders who defend public education and independence in our community libraries. Leaders who put the common good ahead of partisan goals. Leaders who honor their obligation to the public trust at every level of government.

We have all seen how partisanship has poisoned the political process in Washington DC and Boise. It is up to all of us to reject it here in Kootenai County.

So, join me in supporting like-minded nonpartisan organizations and the growing number of disaffected conservatives to defeat the KCRCC’s slate of candidates in the fall elections. Here is who the Kootenai Republicans endorse. I suggest you use this list to determine who you should NOT be voting for this November.

As a reminder, these are nonpartisan elections. Consequently, political parties should not be endorsing candidates. The fact is that given our current health crisis and its ongoing impact to our economy, you should be asking candidates how they plan to address this crisis. You could also ask them whether they support adequate funding for public schools, and whether they support independent public libraries. Ask them to spell out their qualifications and how they will serve in the positions they are seeking to fill.

Get in the Game

Our Field Fellows Conor Proulx, Kyler Cummins and Sienna Hepworth are setting up phone banking sessions to register voters and get out the vote in November. Consequently, when they ask you help, please say YES.

Also, if you can’t give of your time, please contribute funds. Just click here to Donate on ActBlue or use the Donate button in the navigation bar on our website.

Congressman Jamie Raskin Joins the Club

Finally, I am excited to announce a special guest speaker is joining our September 24 Dem Club. It is US Congressman Jamie Raskin. Raskin is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee. He was also the lead impeachment manager for the second impeachment of President Donald Trump. This is an exciting opportunity to hear from a dynamic voice in the National Democratic Party. We hope you will make plans to join us on September 24 at noon on Zoom.

Have a fantastic week everyone. And thanks for being a Democrat.

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