Boise Mayor Lauren McLean is dishonest in trying to deflect criticism of her transition team’s radical policy recommendations, which infamously included taxpayer-funded abortions for all and sex education starting in pre-kindergarten. If Donald Trump were running against her, he’d probably call her “Lying Lauren” or “Mendacious McLean.”
McLean told the media that the documents are not policy reports, which is a head-scratcher. What are they, then? If they’re nothing, why did the mayor commit taxpayer money and manpower into staffing the meetings and generating more than 100 pages of recommendations on city letterhead?
The freshman mayor misleads when she claims critics were focused on a small part of a larger series of recommendations. “The Idaho Freedom Foundation picked up one report of six,” she complained to the press. Then she tried to apply misdirection, telling the media that critics “are dividing our community at a time when we need to come together around economic recovery and the deep and serious challenges we have.”
I read all six reports, and if anything, they’re even worse than people realize. Sure, sex education for pre-kindergartners and taxpayer-funded abortions for all strikes the ear as reprehensible. But so are her transition committees’ other recommendations, which are loaded with leftist buzzwords like “health equity,” “environmental justice,” and “white fragility.”
As concerns housing, McLean’s group recommended the city regulate short-term rentals, restrict private property rights for owners of manufactured home communities, and the creation of a public database that can be used to shame landlords who evict tenants. The mayor’s advisors recommended licenses for property managers and for politicians to be put in charge of deciding rent increases and late fees.
Her environment-focused committee drew on bad ideas developed in Portland, Oregon with the hopes of applying them here. The mayor’s panel favored: creating public “cooling” and “clean air” shelters, routine “environmental justice and health equity assessments,” a series of government-funded “climate change” programs, putting the city in charge of commercial food waste, and expanding the city’s composting program.
Other proposals include corporate welfare for start-up businesses and making Boiseans more dependent on government transit services.
McLean says she should be judged not by the content of her transition reports but by her upcoming budget recommendations. In that case, Boiseans should be more worried: the mayor backing a property tax increase. In other words, she’s concerned about the cost of housing, but she’s making housing more expensive. Huh. I guess that's how they do it in Portland. So much for supporting a community that needs to “come together around economic recovery.”
McLean says her budget proposal will put money into a $100,000 eviction prevention fund and another $800,000 into climate and alternative transportation initiatives. She plans to fund a city human rights commission and spend money on diversity and inclusion training, the details of which (including who will be trained) have not been fully disclosed. That will add another $150,000 according to the media. These look to be appetizers for her much larger agenda, proving there is likely little difference between her ambitions and those cataloged by her transition committees.
Don’t let McLean’s spin-doctoring make you complacent. This is a city government that is very much off the rails. And it doesn’t stop with the mayor. The city council should be a backstop to the mayor’s provocative and dangerous agenda. But members of the council might be just as radical as the mayor. That’s evidenced by city council member Lisa Sanchez who faces no rebuke for describing herself as a “brown woman who chose not to have children for fear of their abuse and murder by white people.”
McLean, and her media friends, will have you believe there’s nothing to see here. In reality, she and her inner circle have created a roadmap that will become the city’s future, unless Boise residents speak out now against it.
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