Democrats Can Be Grateful

When I stop to consider what’s happening in our nation, in some ways, I like what I see. For instance, thanks to Democratic leadership, the economy is recovering from the pandemic, wages and unionization are up, inflation is down, and the threat of a recession is receding. In addition, the US is investing in critical infrastructure, expanding rural broadband, reshoring microchip production, and addressing the root causes of climate change.

In addition, Ohio voters defeated a special ballot measure that was set up to undermine citizen led initiatives in the state. The timing of this August ballot measure made the state GOP’s tactics blatantly obvious given that an abortion rights amendment is expected to be on the ballot in November. Like they did in Idaho, the right wing dominated legislature in Ohio schemed to make citizen led initiatives much harder to mount. Fortunately, the citizens of Ohio weren’t having it.

These are just a sample of the recent victories achieved by Democrats and moderate Independents throughout the nation. As DNC Guru Simon Rosenberg recently wrote: “Democrats are having a very good summer.”

Madness Reigns in the GOP

Meanwhile, a majority of conservative Republicans cling to a presidential candidate who has been indicted 4 times and now faces an unprecedented ninety-one felony counts. His hold on his voters is so strong that according to a recent poll 61% of potential Republican primary voters would back him — both in the primary and general election — even if he were imprisoned.

Tonight, the qualifying primary GOP candidates minus Trump meet to “debate” on Fox News. It will be interesting to see if they continue to tiptoe around Trump’s multitude of issues to avoid upsetting the base. So far, there are only a couple of candidates who have shown a willingness to distinguish themselves from this tarnished frontrunner by criticizing him. In any case, whatever happens, it is sure to be interesting.

Area Schools Still Face Big Challenges

With September nearly here, area schools are preparing to reopen. Unfortunately, Kootenai County will no longer have “Idaho Teacher of the Year,” Karen Lauritzen. Dr. Lauritzen decided to leave Idaho for a new job and life in Illinois. Her departure stems from the right-wing harassment she received while living and working here. The harassment centered on her classroom instruction about the United Nations, cross cultural awareness, and LGBTQ+ issues. Unfortunately, Lauritzen, like thousands of other Idaho teachers, chose to leave the profession in Idaho. This harassment is nothing new and it is most often directed at women and marginalized minorities. This is an intractable problem across the state, and I wish I had an answer to it.

West Bonner County voters must succeed in recalling Keith Rutledge and Susan Brown. These individuals are right wing members of the West Bonner County School Board. With their votes, the right-wing majority succeeded in hiring Branden Durst as the new superintendent there. Durst is a former Idaho Freedom Foundation employee and unqualified for his post. Since his appointment, he has refused to fill open teaching positions and implemented unwanted anti-LGBTQ policies.

There is still work to do to preserve good education in North Idaho.

Let’s Walk About It

Save the morning of Saturday September 9th for “Let’s Walk About It,” the 2023 Suicide Prevention Action Network 5-K Walk. As usual, your friends from the Kootenai Democrats will be on hand to support this annual event. Join us as we remember those we have lost and support those who may be in crisis. In you wish to take part in the visibility campaign, you can Register Here.

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