JEERS ... to the voters of Nez Perce and Lewis counties.
On Nov. 8, they returned Dan “don’t piss him off” Foreman, R-Viola, to the Idaho Senate.
The people who know Foreman best — the Latah County voters who endured his one previous term of service — liked him least. Democratic incumbent David Nelson of Moscow carried Latah County by more than 1,800 votes with 55%.
But the portion of Nez Perce County within the 6th Legislative District voted by more than 2-to-1 in Foreman’s favor, giving him a margin of more than 1,460 votes.
Over in Lewis County, it was a landslide, adding nearly 800 more votes to Foreman’s edge.
It was enough to put Foreman narrowly over the top.
And the results were on vivid display Wednesday as Foreman introduced himself to the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce. He showed himself to be:
No. 1 — Uninformed. Property taxes are collected and spent by local units of government and school districts. Foreman doesn’t know that. “The problem with taxation in general, and specifically with property taxes, is your government, your state government,” he said.
No. 2 — Extremist. Foreman, who previously has supported prosecuting women who have abortions with murder, now wants to force victims of rape and incest to give birth. He calls the rape and incest exception a “loophole.”
No. 3 — Anti-public education. He wants to siphon off scarce tax dollars from Idaho’s struggling public schools into a $2,000 voucher for parents of private academy students.
No. 4. — Dangerous. Not deterred by the rise of militant white nationalism, Foreman wants to remove legal barriers to the formation of private militias.
See No. 1 — Whatever Foreman lacks in knowledge about gender transition treatment for minors, he compensates with certainty that it’s “nonsense” and ought to be banned.
See all of the above — “Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles of decency and morality,” Foreman said. “We need to stand on guard and honor those principles, because large parts of our country are getting away from the very things that made America unique and different.”
A performance like that literally sucks the oxygen out of the room and the chamber audience left speechless.
But none of this behavior is unknown.
During his two years in the Senate, Foreman literally barked at any constituent with the temerity to disagree with him.
“Go straight to hell, you son of a bitch,” Foreman told one man at the 2017 Latah County Fair.
“I’m a Roman Catholic. I’m a conservative Republican and I think what you guys do stinks,” Foreman told a group of University of Idaho students who had come to Boise in 2018 as members of a Planned Parenthood-affiliated group.
The population center of his district, the city of Moscow, was a “cesspool of liberalism.”
The economic engine of his district, the University of Idaho, did not deserve his support on a budget bill because it pursues a “left-wing, exceedingly liberal agenda.”
Now he’s back.
Voters of Lewis and Nez Perce counties, you did that.
CHEERS ... to former state Sen. Carl Crabtree, R-Grangeville.
The day an orchestrated right-wing insurgency defeated the three-term Republican in last spring’s GOP primary, Crabtree got even worse news: The problem with swallowing that had nagged him for some time was stage 4 esophageal cancer.
He had six months — maybe longer if he underwent chemotherapy.
He handled it with courage, humility, perspective and even humor.
“Now, you want to know about hard times?” Crabtree told the Lewiston Tribune’s Kathy Hedberg. “(I’m) going, ‘What election? I don’t even care about an election.’ ”
Then he drew upon an inspiration provided by former Rep. Neil Anderson, R-Blackfoot. There’s always room for a miracle.
And that’s just what happened.
About two weeks ago, doctors found Crabtree was cancer-free — something that happens no more than 2% of the time.
“Talk about a lucky dog, eh?” he told Hedberg.
So what’s ahead? He plans on maintaining his public service commitment to his neighbors: “It’s been an important experience in my life to try to help these people in the area from which I came.”
JEERS ... to Idaho County Commission Chairman Skip Brandt.
Earlier this year, Brandt went hat in hand to the Biden administration’s Treasury Department, seeking a favorable interpretation of the Local and Tribal Consistency Funds. By prevailing, Brandt brought home $5.1 million each of the next two years — more than any other county in the Gem State.
How does he show his gratitude?
By posting outside his home a Trump campaign sign featuring in big, bold white letters, this message: “Impeach Biden.”
Impeach President Joe Biden for what?
Calling for the “termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution”?
Promoting the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen?
Instigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection?
Biden didn’t do that. Former President Donald Trump did.
If Brandt believes Biden should be impeached, he’s delusional.
If he knows better, then he’s playing his constituents for a bunch of fools.
CHEERS ... to Congressman Mike Simpson, R-Idaho.
Alone among his Idaho congressional delegation colleagues, Simpson voted for the Respect for Marriage Act.
Actually, Thursday marked the second time Simpson voted to preserve marriage equality should the radical right-wing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court reverse the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling in favor of same-sex marriage and the 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision that recognized the rights of interracial couples to marry.
Language preserving the rights of religious institutions brought support from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others.
That gave Simpson political cover to join 38 other House Republicans in voting “for American adults to marry without regard to gender, race or ethnicity. Marriages in one state will continue to be recognized and be legitimate in every other state. It does not create any new rights or categories of marriage and includes new provisions to ensure religious freedom will be protected for all.”
Good for him. — M.T.