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IACI’s Legislative Scorecard is Rubbish

IACI’s Legislative Scorecard is Rubbish

Ronald M. Nate, Ph.D.
May 5, 2023

Last week, we explained the power of the Idaho Freedom Index (IFI) as an objective measure of how well legislators vote according to the principles of freedom and limited government. This week, we take a dark turn to try to explain what the heck the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI) scorecard measures.

There is not much to explain, really. IACI took a position on just nine — that’s right, NINE — bills to assess legislators. The big business lobby stated no rationale or standing principles for why those nine bills were chosen or what determined their support or opposition for those bills. The score for legislators is simply stated as, “vote in line with IACI, plus one; vote out of line with IACI, minus one.” Then a percentage for each legislator was calculated from the total possible of nine (in the House) and seven (in the Senate).  

By and large, IACI’s chosen bills were ones working against freedom and prosperity. No surprise there because IACI is a special interest lobby working for Idaho’s big corporations (like Clearwater Paper, Micron, Blue Cross of Idaho, Idaho Power, Simplot, St. Luke's, etc.). Rarely do bills favoring the vested interests of big corporations align with the principles of freedom, limited government, and protecting the Constitution. Big corporations go hand-in-hand with big government. 

Of the hundreds of bills rated in the Idaho Freedom Index, and the nine bills on the IACI scorecard, there was only one bill scored in agreement: H292, the property tax reduction bill by Rep. Monks and supported by Speaker Moyle. The bill was a modest decrease in property taxes by using general funds to offset property tax needs by local governments.

There it is. One narrow overlap of the Venn diagram circles for slightly lower taxes scoring well on both indexes. To be clear, IACI’s support was only because the big corporations will see a decrease in their property taxes from the bill. Remember, IACI only supports corporate tax cuts, not tax cuts for Idaho households; for years, IACI has opposed repealing taxes on groceries.

Other than the small property tax bill, there was no other position taken by IACI to help everyday Idahoans. It supported expensive Biden-like training programs for kids in high school and entering college, but only for jobs found to be “in-demand” by Governor Little’s cronies on the Workforce Development Council (WDC) (bills H267 and H24). IACI also supported a dramatic expansion of the WDC budget and staffing (S1179). IACI opposed bills for voting integrity (H205) and for preventing tax dollars from going to woke corporations (H189).  

It’s obvious IACI works for big corporations, and by the organization’s actions, Governor Little and extreme middle and extreme left legislators all apparently work for IACI. Idahoans would be wise to ask the governor and those legislators why they are so beholden to this special interest lobby. 

No legislator scoring above 90 percent on the Idaho FREEDOM Index scored above 50 percent on the IACI Scorecard. While the Freedom Index works for the forgotten man, the IACI scorecard works against the little guy. There is nothing conservative about pulling the levers of government in favor of the vested special interests of big corporations. 

The graph below says it all; there is a distinct inverse relationship between legislators’ scores on the Idaho Freedom Index versus the IACI Scorecard. IACI works against freedom, period. It is a worthless, self-serving measure of just some of the garbage a big special interest lobby can produce. Idahoans deserve better.

Idaho Freedom Foundation
802 W. Bannock Street, Suite 405, Boise, Idaho 83702
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