Local Election Misdeeds Are Cause for Concern
For those familiar with the KCRCC’s militancy, reports of polling place irregularities with respect to their most fervent followers come as no surprise. In fact, following the recent Primary Election, we have received reports of GOP actors flaunting election law. For example, Democratic poll workers witnessed their Republican counterparts openly advocating for conservative candidates. In addition, voters have reported seeing GOP campaigners working inside the restricted 100-foot distance from designated polling locations. Plus, Democrats reported a church barring them from campaigning on their property which was a designated polling place.
To the extent possible, we are taking these reported transgressions to hand. For example, we referred to the Idaho Democratic Party the case of a Precinct 312 poll worker allegedly handing out wrong ballots. We hope the IDP will succeed in bringing the facts of this issue to light.
The other instances show that the Elections Office is negligent with respect to maintaining legal standards during our elections. Although I hope they take steps to quickly resolve these issues, I will be surprised if they take them seriously.
So, what can we do?
One, we can aggressively raise public awareness about these election misdeeds. In other words, we can publicize the most egregious cases of suspected partisan meddling and work to hold local officials to account. This option may be necessary, but it will also add to the divisiveness that already permeates our local politics.
In addition, we can choose to Vote by Mail. Voting by mail is safe and secure. Plus, it allows you to avoid potential conflicts on Election Day. So, request your mail-in ballot now and you will receive it weeks before the November election. In addition, urge your friends and loved ones to do the same. You can submit a Mail-In Ballot Request at voteidaho.gov.
Recent Mass Shooting Evokes Public Response
On Sunday, May 29, a small group of Democrats and others gathered at the McEuen Park Pavilion for a brief Candle-Light Vigil for the mass shooting victims in Uvalde Texas. This act of violence rightly evoked a public response and demands legislative action. Therefore, we must not let our elected representatives remain deaf to our concerns.
America Demands Action on Reasonable Gun Legislation
The awful mass shootings in Buffalo New York and Uvalde Texas are further evidence of our nation’s abhorrent reputation for mass gun violence. What is worse is that this shameful legacy is intentional. It is the result of years of obstruction by Senate conservatives. Since the lapse of the assault weapons ban in 2004, the GOP has increasingly used the filibuster and other tactics to restrict hearings on gun violence and prevent reasonable gun legislation on the sale and ownership of military style assault weapons. Now, we are witnessing yet another horrific case of mass violence perpetrated against innocent children.
You would think that these deaths would move conservative lawmakers to enact universally accepted gun legislation. Legislation other developed nations freely adopted following similar acts of gun violence. For once, American exceptionalism is not a good thing. In this case, our national distinction is not worth celebrating. What sets us apart is our myopia and callousness toward enacting reasonable measures for gun control. Measures that are proven to reduce mass gun violence
If left to the GOP, they will distract and dissemble until voters move on to another issue. Therefore, it is up to us to maintain the focus on enacting reasonable gun legislation in the public consciousness. Consequently, it must be a key element of discussion as we move toward the November Election. The fact is that most Americans want Congress to reduce gun violence in America. So, it is time to put gun safety back on the legislative agenda and make it a top priority for November.
Keeping a Watchful Eye on Textbook Selection in Our Local Schools
During a recent visit to the Coeur d’Alene School District office, myself and other Democrats reviewed and commented on the proposed textbooks selected by the district. My focus was on the American history and high school economics.
The history book summarized the usual list of wars and social upheavals including the Storming of the U.S. Capital on January 6, 2021. It should come as no surprise that people with very conservative views have objected to this content.
The economics book covered the conventional financial forces that account for human behavior in the marketplace. However, to my dismay, it did not fully account for the current confluence of economic pressures we face. To be specific, I do not think that the text accounts for the environmental impact of global economic activity. In other words, we overlook the effect of climate change at our peril.
Help Celebrate Diversity in Our Community
On a brighter note, June is LGBTQ Pride Month. Consequently, the North Idaho Pride Alliance is hosting its annual Pride in the Park Festival on June 11th at the Coeur d’Alene City Park Bandshell. As always, the Kootenai Democrats will host a booth at the event. So, make plans to come down for the festivities and stop by for a visit.
You can find other Pride events on the KCDCC Events Calendar at kootenaidemocrats.org.
While I’m Away
And finally, I am taking a two-week vacation in Canada before attending the 2022 Idaho Democratic Party State Convention in Boise. Look for a surprise guest columnist next Wednesday.