In response to Steve Hartgen’s op-ed, I will agree, Idahoans lean red, but most of us are solidly in the purple. We are the ones who vote for the person, not the party. We are willing to reach across party lines to make our communities better for our families, friends, and neighbors. When one party dominates the landscape, no one wins. This is a diverse state and it’s time to stop assuming we are like-minded when it comes to Idaho politics.
The Democrats are to blame for their losses in this state. For years, party policies have alienated rural and ag-based voters. But, the state party has new leadership and has recognized that all roads do not, in fact, lead to Boise. A great example of this is the Idaho Working Families Agenda. The Democrats in the state legislature have proposals that would provide Idaho families some healthy tax benefits and boost education investments. In contrast, the Republican majority has moved the tax burden from the wealthy to the middle class and all but eliminated the grocery tax credit. Republicans claim they cut property taxes, but actually they shifted the burden small taxing districts so the local agencies will be the bad guys who increase taxes…not the state legislature.
Democrats in this state have a long way to go to prove themselves worthy of the moderate, rural Idaho vote. While there are a few strong Republican leaders in the statehouse, those in control have done nothing but divide this state and their party.