Preserve citizens’ rights

Idaho Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, the assistant majority leader, proposed a bill this legislative session that would effectively strip Idahoans of their constitutional right to make law by ballot initiative.

It’s tempting for people in power to limit access to those who think differently. This anti-ballot initiative bill appears to be an attempt to limit and silence the will of the people, plain and simple.

Governance is a shared responsibility between the elected and the electorate. Being elected does not give one the right to eliminate every possibility for citizen participation.

The initiative process has not been overused in Idaho. The Medicaid expansion initiative, the only Idaho initiative to be enacted in the past 18 years, received signatures from all 44 counties, disproving Vick’s argument that rural counties do not have a voice.

The wisdom of the initiative option is that it takes a lot of hard work by citizens to place something on the ballot. In a state where one party holds most of the power, this is the only avenue for citizens’ voices to be heard.

Vick’s bill will make it virtually impossible for any grassroots campaign ever to qualify another initiative for the ballot. The bill amounts to an attempt to revoke one of our most cherished Idaho constitutional rights.

This letter is a plea to Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy to vote no on this legislation, so all Idahoans can actively contribute to our state governance.

Ellen McKenzie


Democratic power-grab

In the dark of night on March 3, Democrats in the House of Representatives passed a democracy-destroying House Bill 1.

The 800-page bill would annihilate vote integrity and lock Democrats in power forever.

HB 1 would:

l Force the states to implement early voting, online voter registration and accept late ballots.

l Create automatic nationwide voter registration for college students, anyone leaving prison, applying for a driver’s license or inquiring about unemployment, Medicaid, Obamacare or welfare.

l Let illegals and anyone else register on the day of the election, without identification, and simply sign a statement, that claims they are who they say they are.

l Require states to allow 16 year olds to register, even though they cannot legally vote.

l Ban courts from enforcing any legal penalties on anyone who votes.

l Penalize anyone who even attempts to establish any person’s eligibility to vote and they would face five years in prison.

l Allow illegal immigrants to vote.

l Ban state and local officials from preserving paper ballots.

l Create a commission of unelected bureaucrats who would decide the boundaries of voting districts in each state.

l Create a commission to consider giving voting rights to five U.S. territories.

HB 1 openly breaks the Constitution because it takes responsibility for elections away from the states, and gives that power to Congress and bureaucrats.

Only totalitarians seeking a one-party, socialist America could endorse this voting bill. But Democrats passed it anyway.

Jim Emmert


Stop complaining

It is time for the criticism of the 2020 election to stop.

Here are the reasons for the suggestion.

1. The secretaries of state in 50 states have certified the votes.

2. Sixty issues about the election have been taken to courts across the land and they were all dismissed for not raising valid reasons. This includes the Supreme Court of the United States.

3. Hundreds, if not thousands, of election poll workers selected from certified voters in their counties were tasked to take extreme care of and count the ballots. These folks are our friends and neighbors and would take great care to see the ballots were taken care of and counted as they should have been.

Please, let’s all give these folks the respect and gratitude they deserve.

Stop the complaining.

Robert Williams



Today’s kids are rebellious and have no rules.

It seems they don’t have to listen to their parents.

My teenage twin boys are different and like their own kind of music. For that, they were shunned.

Along with the songs they sing, they want to be big in the music field.

Three years ago, my kids and I were getting harassed by a bunch of boys on bicycles. These sessions of harassment would come and go for a week or two, then nothing at all.

Sometimes it got bad, such as last summer on a hot night. They started doing what I call the knock and run. But there were 20 of them in a gang. We realized we were caught off guard. The knocking went on for almost three to four hours.

The people across the street called the law. After that, listening to the scanner, the police were involved in what sounded like a Western roundup. Boys on bikes were speeding everywhere, around Lewis-Clark State College, the bike path, etc.

It stopped for about four to six months.

Just in the last month, five or six kids started it up again. These are boys ages 13 to 17 who are tormenting us nightly.

They are organized. They have been getting picked up and driven around our area, the alley, up and down the block and so on.

My boys are getting bullied at school daily and it has not stopped yet.

Vale Lee Dexter


Fitting mascot choice

Recently, there was an article about the Dayton-Waitsburg students choosing “Wolfpack” as their school mascot. This was a worthy selection, as wolves are fast runners, strong, brave, playful and loyal to their packs.

The article offered two possible illustrations for a future logo — one was a caricature of a snarling wolf, the other was a drawing of a wolf that shows a more realistic and regal depiction.

For most of history, wolves have been given the reputation of ruthless killers that are dangerous to humankind. It has been proven that this is not true, but still humans have tortured and killed them without mercy. Wolves kill prey to feed themselves and their packs as they have done since time immemorial. They are a vital part of the ecosystem in which they live. I would suggest this is a perfect opportunity to begin to break the cycle of the myth that wolves are vicious and ruthless killers and dangerous to humans.

A more honest depiction is their ability to bring down prey to feed pack members, their playful nature and their generous and affectionate behavior toward members of their family unit and extended pack.

They will protect those pack members to their last breath.

They are a fitting example for a school mascot.

I hope the students depict the same strength and determination, playfulness, loyalty to each other and generosity that wolves in the wild show their pack members.

Susan Westervelt


Media sold out

It is a shame I have to keep expounding on this point.

The American people need to wake up and reject the unmitigated bile the mainstream media keep trying to indoctrinate them with. ...

I will continue to point out the total lack of journalistic competence of the so-called journalists and ... the inability of the mainstream press to report honestly or to even make an attempt to investigate today’s issues.

Today’s press refuses to act as an investigating force about any issue that may put a negative slant on anything that could reflect badly on the Democrats or, more precisely, the radical left. For today’s press to act the way it does is nothing more than pure cowardice.

The press refuses to acknowledge issues created by the Biden administration, such as:

l The crisis at the southern border, and, yes, it is a crisis.

l The over-abundance of executive orders issued with no regard for the system of checks and balances created by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

l The total disregard of Hunter Biden’s alleged crimes.

l The complete disregard of the criminals who burned cities after George Floyd’s death.

l Joe Biden’s loss of cognitive thoughts.

l The cowardice of Biden to not handle spontaneous questions.

These are just a few of the crimes committed by mainstream media. ...

What happened to investigative journalism?

What happened to the search for the truth?

What happened to their responsibility to the people? ...

The mainstream media is a complete sellout to the left-wing radicals.

Mike Gormley


Opinion page takeover

The Idaho Senate recently considered a memorial opposing Congressman Mike Simpson’s plan to breach the four lower Snake River dams in an effort to spare salmon and steelhead runs from extinction. My friend, Sen. David Nelson, earned a Cheer from Marty Trillhaase for the following statement: “I am voting yes with the full knowledge that, I think, the salmon are going to go extinct.”

Certainly give Nelson credit for his honesty, albeit an unfortunate failure to fully consider the Simpson plan, which seeks to protect the salmon and protect the interests of agriculture.

On the same page, Reps. Priscilla Giddings, Mike Kingsley, Brandon Mitchell, Charlie Shepherd, and Aaron von Ehlinger earned a Jeer for supporting Wendy Horman’s voucher bill that would give public money to private schools, thereby siphoning money from Idaho’s already underfunded public schools.

I suppose if one of those representatives had commented that, “I am voting yes for this voucher plan with the full knowledge that, I think, the public schools will go broke,” there would have been a Cheer rather than a Jeer.

For good measure, the political cartoon on that page suggested that President Joe Biden suffers from dementia (he very clearly does not) and a conniving Kamela Harris is planning a takeover.

I fear that there has been a takeover of the Tribune editorial page by an extremist posing as Marty Trillhaase.

Shirley Ringo