The Idaho Way: Please, Idaho legislators, just go home before the session gets worse

Scott McIntosh
·3 min read

By Scott McIntosh, Opinion Editor

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As if this Idaho legislative session couldn’t go any lower, we now have a sexual misconduct investigation of a state legislator. Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger, R-Lewiston, is accused of committing this act at his apartment — which we’re all paying for as taxpayers.

Scott McIntosh is the Idaho Statesman’s opinion editor.
Scott McIntosh is the Idaho Statesman’s opinion editor.

To make matters worse, in an irresponsible display of shameful recklessness, one Republican legislator shared a website post that identified von Ehlinger’s accuser, under the paranoid guise that the alleged misconduct is fabricated as part of “the swamp” in Idaho meant to silence a “conservative” legislator.

Meanwhile, the legislative hits keep on coming.

This legislative session surpassed the 100-day mark Tuesday, and Idahoans have very little to show for it. Namely, lawmakers still have not addressed property taxes by simply raising the homeowners exemption and indexing it. This was widely considered one of the top priorities of most candidates during last year’s election — yet none have taken action.

As we inch closer to the horrible reality of a May sine die, legislators should do all they can to pass required budgets and get out of Boise before they do even more damage.

Please read our full editorial about this session here.

Allow legislators to call special session? They must be joking

Voters in Idaho will be asked in November 2022 whether to allow state legislators to call themselves into a special session. Given the Legislature’s horrible track record, this should be an easy “no” vote.

Local journalist shares her thoughts on Asian hate

Erika Lee
Erika Lee

Local TV journalist Erika Lee shared with us her thoughts on the recent spate of anti-Asian hate crimes as well as the subtle ways she’s had to endure anti-Asian sentiment. It’s a very good read, thoughtful, poignant and timely.

Two-part series on ‘worst session ever’

In case you missed it, I wrote a two-part series on this being what many are calling “the worst legislative session ever.”

In the first part, I spoke with many longtime Republican leaders and asked whether this will spur them to action in the next primary.

In the second part, I looked at the fact that the Idaho Republican Party grew dramatically with Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, suggesting that this is Trump’s party, meaning any shift to the center might be a long shot.

8 days on the Snake

Our canoe sits in a cove of the Snake River just a few miles downriver from the Swan Falls Dam and around the corner from a good-sized set of rapids.
Our canoe sits in a cove of the Snake River just a few miles downriver from the Swan Falls Dam and around the corner from a good-sized set of rapids.

Did you miss me last week? If you were wondering where The Idaho Way newsletter was, I was out of the office, on a 206-mile, eight-day canoe trip on the full length of the Snake River Water Trail, from Glenns Ferry to Farewell Bend State Park. My hands are still sore, and my shoulders are still stiff, but it was worth it. I’ll have a full story about the trip and the trail coming soon. Stay tuned.

What if we treated climate change like the space race?

Don Kemper
Don Kemper

This was the question explored by Don Kemper, of Boise, a local volunteer for the Citizens Climate Lobby. One could argue this race is even more important.

Boise Nice campaign

Bob Kustra
Bob Kustra

Bob Kustra wrote about the official “Boise Nice” campaign, a local effort from Boise residents to shine a spotlight on Boise Nice and remind Boiseans why this corner of southwestern Idaho has been such an attractive and pleasant place to live.

What you’re saying

This week, we’ve received letters on critical race theory, social justice programs, Mike Boren’s proposed airstrip in the Sawtooths, initiatives, vaccines, dam breaching and more. A lot of topics this week.

You can read those letters and more by clicking here.

You can submit a letter to the editor or guest opinion by clicking here.

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