Legislative Malfeasance

People who have lived in Kootenai County for decades know the awful legacy of the Aryan Nations. The activities of this neo nazi militia movement in Kootenai County gave our area a sullied reputation in the 1980s and 90s that lingers to this day.

As a result of their activities, concerned Idahoans took steps to protect human rights by preventing public threats of violence. This effort was led by concerned citizens, along with Governor Andrus, the Sheriff’s Association, and both the Republican and Democratic Central Committees. In 1987, this work culminated in the Legislature passing the Idaho Terrorism Control Act.

Now, two bills are moving through the Idaho Legislature which threaten to unravel this landmark legislation. Therefore, I urge you to note them and communicate your opposition.

The first bill is SB1220. This new legislation, referred to as the Terrorist Control Act, redefines terrorism to exclude domestic groups that promote violence.

Amy Marshak of Georgetown Law told the Idaho Statesman the new definition of terrorist “flips the federal definition entirely on its head.” Marshak said that under the proposed law, groups like the KKK, neo-Nazis, and Aryan Nations could still be prosecuted, but they “would no longer meet the definition of domestic terrorists.”

A related bill, SB1240, amends Section 46-802 of the Idaho Code, which prohibits members of organizations other than the National Guard, unorganized militia, or selected other groups from associating and parading in public with firearms. Dropping this section would weaken Idaho’s prohibition of private armed militias which were outlawed in Idaho 100 years ago. 

The Anti-Defamation League and other human rights organizations all over North Idaho and Montana are speaking out against both bills. Currently, they have been voted out of committee and are under consideration by the entire Senate.

Please reach out to your State Senators today and urge a NO vote on SB1220 and SB1240. 

More Problematic Legislation

Please urge a NO VOTE on HO415 which allows concealed-carry on school grounds.

Please urge a NO VOTE on HB419 which repeals Medicaid expansion.

Trump’s Primary Victories Are Misleading

Trump’s wins in Iowa and New Hampshire are evidence that his GOP base wants to see him back in the White House. Fortunately, a clear majority of voters still see Trump as a liability. They know that he is likely to be convicted for his numerous crimes and that a second Trump presidency would result in more of the same.

Therefore, there are reasons to feel optimistic. If Trump’s win in New Hampshire forces Governor Haley’s exit, the Republicans will have selected a Presidential candidate before 48 states have voted. This would be shocking given that the GOP primary voters casting ballots in these two states were an insignificant fraction of the national electorate. According to an article by Aaron Blake from the Washington Post, this premature decision would be a “huge gamble” for GOP voters. Blake says that Trump may be polling well but his track-record in elections is notably poor. Outside of his electoral college victory in 2016, he has been a complete failure. The pinnacle of which was the 2020 General Election. In 2020, Trump became the first president since Herbert Hoover to lose the White House and both chambers of Congress after serving a single term in office. This losing trend continued in the 2022 midterms when Trump-backed candidates were soundly rejected, and a GOP congressional red wave was effectively a dribble.

TRUMP’S BAGGAGE IS CONSIDERABLE

Also, keep in mind that his voters stay purposefully ignorant of the truth about his mounting legal issues. Eventually, they will be forced to face the facts about all the criminality he is accused of committing. Use this fact to encourage the conservatives you know to dig deeper into his appalling behavior. For example, say “I just cannot understand how anyone could vote for someone who is guilty of fomenting a political insurrection or stealing top secret documents from the government.”

Also, remind them that Trump’s mind is flimsy at best. The fact is he has not uttered a complete or comprehensive sentence in years. Instead, he utters nonsensical and unhinged gibberish. For example, while making closing arguments just prior to the New Hampshire Primary, he mistook Governor Haley for Nancy Pelosi in an incoherent rant about the January 6 Insurrection. Unfortunately, this wild and incoherent swerve from reality was not an anomaly but a consistent pattern of behavior.

Ways to Support the Biden/Harris Re-election Campaign. 

First, remind your social network of the futility of supporting third party candidates. Remind them that in 2016, votes for these unviable contenders tipped the balance unfavorably to Trump.

Second, don’t shy away from arguments about Biden’s age. His age has not been a factor in his successful first term as US President. For example, the Biden Harris administration has created 13 million jobs, reduced runaway inflation to 2%, and fostered record economic growth. In addition, they passed legislation to repair and replace our national roads and bridges, expand internet service to underserved rural districts, protect the environment, defend reproductive rights, and support worker’s rights. Keep informing people of this record of success.

Third, don’t let anyone tell you the border is Biden’s problem. The GOP has used immigration as a political football for decades. Now that bipartisan legislation is pending in the Senate, let’s see how eager they are to settle. If they don’t make an effort to compromise, it is because they think leaving the issue unaddressed will give them leverage in the fall campaign. Take action by contacting your US Senators and Congressman. Remind them that you are expecting them to accept a compromise.

Finally, commit to contributing to Joe Biden’s re-election with small regular donations. You can also buy swag for yourself or others at the Biden/Harris Official Store.

Taken together, these small steps will support President Biden and protect American Democracy.

Big Blue Democracy Dinner

And speaking of Democracy, please Go to ActBlue and get your tickets now for the Big Blue Democracy Dinner on February 17th. This event will be a special celebration of our shared Democratic values and we would love to see you attend.

That’s all for now. I hope you have a nice week.

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