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Gov. Little’s record is more than debatable 

Gov. Little’s record is more than debatable 

Wayne Hoffman
April 18, 2022
Wayne Hoffman
April 18, 2022

There’s a certain amount of hubris that Gov. Brad Little’s campaign team had to muster up in order to issue the decree that the governor’s tenure is “non-debatable.” After all, that wasn’t some off-the-cuff remark that was released last week when Little bowed out of any debate with his primary opponents. It came in a press release from the governor’s campaign. 

Non-debatable? This from the governor who two years ago ordered the complete shutdown of the state’s economy, resulting in mass unemployment and the permanent closure of some businesses. Little’s administration threatened to remove state licenses for businesses if they didn’t comply. Some were fined. A Meridian woman was arrested for taking her kids to a playground. A family from Rathdrum was cited for holding a yard sale. An outdoor church service in Moscow led to multiple arrests. 

The governor kept the state in a two-year state of emergency, which Little was supposed to end last week and only under threat of legislative action. During that time, the governor freely rewrote state laws and spent more than a billion dollars without legislative approval. 

On education, Little has been silent about the advancement of social justice indoctrination in Idaho’s public schools and college system. Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho ignored a law that required them to cut social justice programs by $2.5 million. Instead, the governor decided to reward the schools with a 7.5% increase this year. Now his State Board of Education is engaged in a hostile takeover of North Idaho College, the one campus in the state where the conservative elected board is pushing back against campus leftism. 

The governor had a historic opportunity with a massive surplus this year to reduce the state income tax to near zero, dramatically cut property taxes, and follow through on his campaign promise to eliminate the grocery tax. He opted instead for a measly decrease in the state income tax and one-time tax rebate checks. Much of the rest of the surplus went toward a spending spree that increased the state’s year-over-year spending by an incredible 20%.

The governor boasts about the state’s budget being balanced, as all governors do, but Idaho’s budget is only ever balanced because of funds from the federal government. When Little started his term in 2019, about a third of the state’s budget came from the federal government. It’s around 45% today. The budget is “balanced” on money borrowed from future generations. Meanwhile, Medicaid has become the largest program operated by the state, eclipsing K-12 schools. 

Little is also the first governor in state history to violate the state constitution’s clear language requiring him to surrender power to the lieutenant governor whenever he’s out of state.  

This governor has a record of government growth and spending, miniscule tax cuts, unfulfilled campaign promises, leftist education system protectionism, and brash exercise of executive authority. These are more than deserving of a public debate. 

View Comments
  • Hari Heath says:

    Non-debatable because he won't. He can't! Any and all challengers will shred his record. A pathetic fraud. Incompetent order taker, run by interests not in the best interest of Idaho!

  • enemyofthe state says:

    Not debatable? Little Brad deserves nothing but ridicule, and Alinsky tells us that ridicule is effective.

    Separated at birth: Little Brad and Jed Clampett, difference being that Jed had common sense.

  • Bruce Hendricks says:

    It is interesting that leftists are always carrying on about our precious so-called "democracy." So if it is so precious, why shouldn't voters have the opportunity to hear the people that they may vote for in debate? The answer is that this is a faked up system designed to keep people brainwashed.

  • john livingston says:

    Conservatives have failed to frame the debate for Governor and Lt. Governor properly. This election is all about corruption in State Government that begins at the top. I am sure it was a mere oversight on your part, but the most corrupt agency in State government is Medicaid with a 39% false billing and claims filing rate that is recognized as being the 39th most corrupt Medicaid program in country. Fred "gets it": "One of the biggest drivers of the huge growth in spending has been the Medicaid budget. The FY18 appropriation of $2.285 billion and FY23 appropriation of $4.045 billion, a 77% increase in five years and a staggering compounded annual increase of 12.1%". The Governor supported Medicaid and every Medicaid budget increase each year of his administration. The people who sat on his advisory committee were lobbyists who represented the interests of large hospital systems that were the beneficiaries of over $3trillion of Federal transfer payments via DHW with little legislative oversight. If JFAC were a corporate board, the SEC. would investigate them Our Governor in his role of CEO of the State would be fired. No audits. No accountability. A "lap dog" JFAC that will all show up at The Governor's Cup this summer.

    There is no bigger example of corruption and cronyism between State government and private and non-profit organizations that hurts Idaho families than the corruption we see in health care. More so than any other part of government including education.

    Every candidate for Governor and Lt. Governor should be crying out for audits of Medicaid and the DHW. Until they do conservatives across the State will question their sincerity in really understanding the priorities of Idaho families.

    Why has IFF been so silent for so long on this issue?

    • Al says:

      Dr. Livingston, you and I have debated and have had differences, but I give you credit that the issues you raise here are the types that a libertarian think tank should be addressing. It's the stuff that got me interested in IFF a few years ago.
      I just posted a critical comment on Wayne's article because IFF has gone so far in addressing issues that are fundraising-friendly, controversy-friendly, and seemingly just interested in gaining popularity and money by dumbing down the masses.
      I agree that Gov Little ought to debate his opponents, even though he has more to lose than win.
      I also would state the Giddings ought to debate her opponents. Agreed? Where is the comment on that here from Wayne?

      • john livingston says:

        Al, thanks for your comments. Debates are and were critical. Janice had the opportunity to debate Ed and Ammon in November and she followed the recommendations of "experts" who recommended against debating. Governor Little is now simply following the same advice that Janice was given by her "expert advisors" in November. Remember what President Trump said when he came down the escalator---"I will debate anyone, anyplace, anytime". An avoidance of risk when one is ahead in the polls is understandable---but still cowardly. Idaho people deserve to have their leaders stand publicly and defend their positions. There is no position that is "nondebatable". Priscilla would also be well advised to follow Mr. Trump's advice---"any place anytime----Scott". By refusing to debate Brad, Janice, and Priscilla are showing an arrogance and lack of respect for everyday people that is disappointing. Idahoans deserve leaders who are willing to fight (debate publicly) early on, often, and even under adverse conditions--just like Mr. Trump was willing to do. Idahoans deserve better leaders in all branches of government----people who will reflect our virtues and shared courage. Not much of that to be found in the Capital building in Boise. Nobody will get my vote who isn't willing to take a "risk for liberty". There is a difference between participating in an election and competing in an election. Time for conservatives to start competing. Debate Janice, Debate Brad, Debate Priscilla.
        Anybody, anyplace, anytime---but I am not an "expert" just a citizen.

        "If not now, when? If not you, who?

        • Al says:

          David Leroy yesterday on the Nate Shellman show quoted Reagan and his "11th commandment" of not criticizing your fellow republicans in primaries. If candidates would follow that, we would not have Giddings and Little backing out. The divisiveness is more widespread and contagious than the pandemic.
          Oops! Slipped and used that word that you don't agree with, right! 🙂

  • Al says:

    Separately as Wayne posted this article, Fred Birnbaum posted an article in which he seems to believe Agenbroad (and, probably other legislators) are fighting against IFF because of its index.
    I believe there's so much more that IFF has been doing that's led to the fight back against IFF. At least that's my viewpoint.
    For example, Wayne here brings up the Meridian woman arrested at the playground. The video shows the officer trying very hard to avoid arresting her. He gave her many opportunities to walk away from the playground. She sought martyrdom. She argued with him and said "arrest me". Let's not forget important details nor offer sympathy for a person who got what she specifically asked for.
    Nor should we forget the details that IFF is the source of the doxxing of the police officer's residence, which led to protests while he was at home with wife and children.
    And speaking of the Moscow church people, Wayne, again it was members who refused to identify themselves - per law - and were arrested for Resisting and Obstructing/Delaying officers. The city provided space for the church and had nothing to do with the church's willful violation of ordinances, which wasn't the basis for the arrests, again it was 3 members who defied police. Those members sought martyrdom and only those who ignore important aspects of the incident are willing to give it to them.

    The State Board of Education would presumably desire NOT to be involved at NIC, but is compelled to, because the board there can't even make quorum. If the State Board of Education was so intent on advocating a leftist agenda, or conversely, stopping a conservative agenda, it would have acted proactively to prevent the colossal blundering going on there rather than after-the-fact repairing the problem after inexperienced board members gained control and are running NIC into a gutter. Let's just hope that sensibility is restored there and the accreditation obstacles are overcome so that existing students don't have to flee like what happened to law students at Concordia Law School in Boise. What a mess.

    As far as clarity in our constitution regarding the power of a lieutenant governor when the governor physically leaves the state, Wayne knows there are 2 opposing views on that among the states. Our own AG office has said it's a difficult issue, citing support for both views. And references other states' judicial opinions on both sides of that issue. Suffice it to say, though, the reason we've never had a governor prevent a lieutenant governor from exerting such authority is because we've never had a McGeachin before. Who, Wayne overlooks here, promulgated an executive order that was deemed unconstitutional by the AG office as it was an improper creation of law, which is separately delegated to the authority of the legislature.
    Can't wag the finger at Little on that one - McGeachin was simply grandstanding and violated the constitution in the process. Whether Little violated the constitution is arguable, certainly not "clear" unless you've got blinders on.

  • Bruce Hendricks says:

    Gov. Small is merely an empty suit. He epitomizes everything wrong with the GOP. Just another grifter...

  • Bruce Hendricks says:

    Never seen such a pasty-faced, low IQ, low T dude as Gov. Small. He is corrupt though, so that's a plus...

  • Bruce Hendricks says:

    For a supposedly "conservative" state, Idaho has a less then impressive bunch of politicians at both the state and Federal level. The two US senators are clearly bought and paid for, by among others, the military industrial complex, as they are more then eager to send young Idahoans to fight in our neverending wars. Don't see any of their kin in foxholes though. They never take any controversial stances and merely work to get reelected.They are not interested in representing the average person.

    As for our pathetic state legislators, with some notable exceptions, it's obvious that they too are in the clutches of corporate interests. No doubt, Gov. Small's campaign is handsomely funded by Big Pharma; hence the neverending "emergency", and outrageous and nonsensical edicts such as a sitting governor deciding who is an essential worker and who is not. Gov. Small is not impressive; merely a pasty-faced nonentity of average intelligence at best, but definitely oily enough to know how to increase his net worth while in office.

    Unfortunately, Small is representative of the GOP which talks a good game of representing Middle Americans, but sells to out at every chance. IFF and it's supporters have their work cut out for them, but we have no choice but to remake the party.

  • Bee says:

    RINOS have to go!
    Too many are ''using'' the ''R'' to gain office, but not walking the walk. It's time for an Independent that loves this state and ALWAYS walks the walk even when it means jail:

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