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This morning I heard some sad news from Idaho Democrat Executive Director Jared Deloof. Jared informed me that Fred Cornforth is stepping down as Chair of the Idaho Democrats. Unfortunately, Fred is leaving us for health reasons. Go to our Facebook page to read Jared’s and Fred’s messages to all of us. It is sad to hear about Fred and we wish him well. Despite this unfortunate announcement, the year 2022 could present Democrats with a unique opportunity to gain political ground. Moreover, I know that Fred would want us all to rally our forces to take full advantage of it. Therefore, we must carry on without him. Note: My post was written before hearing about Fred’s announcement.

A Political Tide Is Rising to Oppose GOP Radicals

As Democrats, we strive to oppose the radicals in the KCGOP/IFF. However, many of us (myself included) know that we can’t do it alone. In fact, many believe that it will take open-minded Republicans and unaffiliated voters to shift the GOP in a new direction. Fortunately, we are starting to see some favorable signs that this idea is gaining traction. In fact, several groups have formed, with the intention of shifting power away from the GOP Radicals. For example, a bi-partisan consortium of past elected officials and public figures have formed Take Back Idaho (TBI); a political action committee working to defeat radical candidates. According to their website, TBI is working “to take Idaho back from the grip of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, its partner organizations, and their acolytes in the GOP legislative ranks”.

TBI is NOT ALONE

Other organizations who are joining the fight to remove extremists from State Politics include The Idaho 97 Project and the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry.

The Idaho 97 Project is a grassroots organization. It began as a campaign to defend healthcare workers and District Health Boards from public intimidation amid the COVID crisis. Now, they are shifting their focus to help oppose extremism and hold legislators accountable. According to their website, “The Idaho 97 Project supports the democratic process in Idaho, counters disinformation and extremism through proactive, fact-based action and media messaging, and protects free expression and good governance for the public and public officials alike.”

Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI) is a state lobby consisting of three hundred businesses representing diverse industries. During the last legislative session, the IACI defied the GOP. They issued a letter opposing GOP led efforts to pass bills placing restrictions or liabilities on businesses regarding vaccines.

And don’t forget Reclaim Idaho (RI). Despite legislative roadblocks, RI continues its efforts to gather signatures to qualify a ballot initiative to better fund our public schools.  

All these organizations share a similar view. They all know that radical officeholders have acquired too much influence over the Legislature, especially the House of Representatives. The rise and engagement of these groups to counter GOP extremism in our state is a very encouraging development. With their help, the political fortunes of Democratic candidates can only improve.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

You can help us help them.

  • Go to the Reclaim Idaho site and find out how you can sign the ballot initiative to increase education funding.
  • Identify your Precinct, then find out who your Precinct Captain is so you can get to know them. If your precinct is without a captain, please consider taking the position. Find Out How.
  • Encourage a friend or a neighbor to join this coalition by engaging with the Democratic Party or by supporting these allied organizations.
  • Donate a few dollars to support our political organizing efforts. Note: We are working to update the ActBlue contribution form. For now, it still says “2021 Pledge Drive”.  However, it is still OK to use.

Thank you for all that you do.

As the great chef Ina Garten reminds us: “It’s a pandemic. We’re all doing what we can.”

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