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Idaho officials protect vaccine mandate with lies about supporting limited government

Idaho officials protect vaccine mandate with lies about supporting limited government

Wayne Hoffman
July 23, 2021
Wayne Hoffman
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July 23, 2021

Isn’t it convenient that certain members of the Idaho Legislature and Gov. Brad Little are suddenly feigning interest in limited government? They say they’re not interested in stopping government-funded Idaho hospitals and clinics from imposing a vaccine mandate on all their employees, volunteers, and vendors because they're against regulation.

How disingenuous is that? Let me count the ways. Let’s start with Sen. Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls. He sent an email saying he won’t challenge the vaccine mandate because he’s against “big government dictating to all businesses in Idaho.” 

I laughed out loud, Because that’s not the Jim Patrick I know, who has a 44% on the Freedom Index for a reason. Is this the same Jim Patrick who voted for Democrat Melissa Wintrow’s bill to require that insurance companies provide coverage for 12 months of contraceptives? The same Jim Patrick who voted to expand the regulation of services between homeowners and contractors? The same Jim Patrick who voted to interfere in the businesses of landlords?

Patrick’s record for supporting bigger government goes back ages. But let’s just look at last year when he voted against ending the governor’s state of emergency, which as you will recall, was used to unilaterally shut down Idaho businesses. Isn’t that the epitome of “big government dictating to all businesses in Idaho?”  

He also voted for the ACLU’s bill ordering that employers not be allowed to ask potential new employees about their criminal histories. 

But maybe his email was written in haste, and might Patrick had thought to elaborate, he would have said it’s just hospitals and clinics he believes should be protected from government interference. If so, how does the senator explain his vote for the 2020’s Idaho Patient Act? That’s the law sponsored by billionaire Frank Vandersloot that imposes so many regulations on medical providers that it makes it challenging for them to collect the money they’re owed. The law is so problematic that lawmakers passed a bill this year delaying its implementation. 

Why would Patrick vote to support one law that regulates medical providers but not any attempt to stop medical providers from imposing a vaccine mandate? Weird, huh? 

Patrick, of course, isn’t alone in his opposition to the Legislature intervening in the vaccine mandate that Saint Alphonsus, St. Luke’s, and Primary Health are attempting to impose on thousands of Idahoans. The Senate Republican Caucus said in a press release last week, “As Senate Republicans we hold firm the belief that state government should not overregulate business.” 

Hats off to them for saying so, but it would be even better if it were actually true. With few exceptions, the Senate Republican Caucus is hard to distinguish as a whole from the Senate Democrat Caucus. 

That’s not to say the disingenuousness solely rests with senators. Indeed, House Speaker Scott Bedke has made similar pronouncements extolling the virtues of limited government. Bedke is not going to let his rhetoric be saddled by a 20-year-record of voting for the opposite. 

And what of Gov. Brad Little? He signed the Patient Act, so clearly he’s favorable to government intervention in medical practices. And he infamously ordered all Idahoans to stay home and made decisions about which businesses and which employees are essential. Yet he has the temerity to tell a town hall that his “default position is that it’s usually best if [issues are] worked out between the employees and employer.” 

I’ll be the first one to applaud anyone who stands in the way of government regulations, but it’s fascinating how legislators have chosen this moment and  particular issue to sit on their hands. Do they really believe what they’re saying, or are they hoping that their constituents aren’t smart enough to do their own research and figure it out? The record proves, quite clearly, that many in the Idaho Legislature have no problem telling the private sector what to do. 

I’m not calling on lawmakers or the governor to order hospitals around. But I’ve also been clear that they do have a role to play, as the state government has created the medical monopoly that acts against the people whose paychecks depend on whether they’re willing to submit to an experimental vaccine. These hospitals and clinics get revenue from every level of government and are exempt from all manner of taxation. That’s a system that was set up by the Legislature and is clearly within its purview to reconsider.

State officials who are insisting that they’re unable to get involved because they have some kind of penchant for limited government are simply being dishonest.  

View Comments
  • Carol Griffith says:

    Great job as always, IFF. You are the "watchmen on the gate" and are so impactful in educating citizens as well as tracking with the politicians and holding them accountable. Do they receive your posts, because they should, we're not going to be lied to. Thank you. Carol in Rathdrum

  • Vicki Sego says:

    And this is just the beginning. Say no to forced jabs.

  • Tom Humphries says:

    These 3 are so full of crap. Blow their nose and shit comes out. Perhaps after their political career is over (soon I hope), they'll go to work at The National Enquire. Great background on making crap up.

  • Al says:

    Wayne, you really should stop throwing stones while living in your glass house.

    You have criticized BSU for hiring a law firm to investigate claims of Critical Race Theory on campus, calling it a propaganda stunt, yet you did the very same thing a year ago when you paid a small firm in AZ to provide to you a specialized legal opinion, giving them the date in advance you wanted to march on the Capitol Bldg, and telling the media about your law firm's opinion to justify your action.

    And in that your request for that legal opinion, the Idaho Freedom Foundation referred to "the pandemic" as the justification for the march. It declared the pandemic as an intentional attack on the U.S. by China. In addition, various IFF articles from you and Fred Birnbaum referred to "the pandemic" and earlier this calendar year, remarkably, erratically I should say, IFF declares there never was a pandemic. Whitewashed away, I guess, despite previous references to it and your own paid law firm declaring it to be so.

    IFF and its Board members took in how much COVID loans, which have virtually no interest and are largely going to waived off? Over a million $, wasn't it? Yet you detest government subsidies, right?

    I could go on. Not all your readers have short-term memory.

    I'm being kind to say it's inconsistent. Or, I could take a page from your journalistic expertise and say your dishonest. Isn't that what you declare people to be when they're inconsistent? When they criticize others for what they do?

    • Carol Griffith says:

      Al, please tell us about these low to no interest COVID loans that IFF board members were granted, please? Thank you for the other side.

      • Al says:

        5 of 8 IFF board members received a collective total of over $2 million in the forgiveable loans. And IFF the organization received just under $130,000.
        Of course, while our hospitals say they are being forces to require vaccines as condition of employment because, among other things, there are too many people like Wayne Hoffman sowing doubt about the vaccines, he used a similar defense when IFF took out the loan. Its someone else's fault, IFF was "forced" to do it for business reasons, claiming govt lockdowns hurt IFF revenues.
        See the Dec 3, 2020 Boise State Public Radio news for details.

  • Marilyn says:

    Also, Brad Little restricted pharmacists from dispensing hydroxychloroquine for anything other than autoimmune diseases. Why is that??
    And likewise gave state workers four hours off if they took the COVID shot. Pretty strange behavior for someone who professes to be a libertarian at heart.

  • Dan Foreman says:

    Wayne, you are spot on! Our Senate decrying their support for government non intervention in the private sector is the epitome of disingenuousness. By saying they won’t intervene in the forced vaccine situation they are actually allowing incredible government overreach into the lives of Idahoans to go unchecked by the very legislative body constitutionally mandated to protect the rights of the people. Both the state and federal governments have grossly lied to the people about the Covid situation. Government has denied us the protection of the Bill of Rights and justified such action by uttering the refrain, “It’s an emergency!” Well, there is no emergency clause in the Bill of Rights. And now, by failing to act to stop forced vaccination ( and yes, if they threaten to take away your livelihood, it embodies the use of economic and psychological force) the Senate is by default virtually interfering in the private sector. Failing to act when constitutionally mandated to do so constitutes dereliction of duty and directly allows severe interference in the functioning of the private sector and our entire Republic.

    • Jim says:

      You are so correct on this.

    • Al says:

      There's a constitutional mandate to intrude into employers' right to hire or fire whom they want? Hmmm, the good ol' "terminable at will" law of Idaho is going to be thrown out the door, huh?
      It would violate current law to prohibit private employers from discriminating against non-vaccinate people unless they fall into a newly-created category, wouldn't you agree? So Idaho's govt would have to create a new class of specially-protected people, right?
      Current protected classes are age, religion, gender, disability, veteran status, race and national origin/ancestry.
      Is this the direction you want Idaho to start heading down? It sounds very much like the Social Justice Civil Rights programs that libertarians typically rail against, doesn't it?
      And Wayne says education unions are shoving civil rights ideas down our students' throats with civil rights propaganda! This is quite the turnabout.

  • John Howard says:

    Excellent points and well said!!

  • Jim says:

    If only a true honest statesman would run against Mr. Patrick. Wouldn’t hurt to see some decent honest Idahoans run against our local Reps in the primaries too. Unfortunately they run unopposed practically every time and they have monetary backing of their lobbyists that is hard to complete with.

  • William Alberts says:

    Sorry can't mix words on this subject with these, and other RINO's prior performances this year. The word cowards come to mind or a thought also comes to mind. I wonder if we have to follow the money trail, and find out if Hospital lobby money has made it into their pockets. These politicians have no problem with big government except when it helps the people of Idaho.

  • kj says:

    These political in-comps are thinking 're-election' and nothing more.

  • Black Irish Rose says:

    Wayne: I hope you are doing research on EVERY Republican in the legislature and executive branch r: campaign contribution. An enterprising researcher should start with Pfizer PAC. The RINO pukes Little, Widmer and Bedke have taken in thousands from Pfizer alone. I'm sure they are not the only ones on this list.

    Opposition research now! And yes, most Republicans in Idaho government are our opposition now...

  • Nancy McAninch says:

    “Doublespeak” when lacking in courage…..Rules for RHINOS

  • Dono says:

    what do you expect from people who collect thousands of $$ in campaign and kick back funds from big med?

  • john livingston says:

    To Tom Humphries: Thank you for your kind and considerate and to also say well thought out and logical responses. Bless your heart. jml

  • Bee says:

    Gov Ducey is a real Republican.
    Is Brad LITTLE 'r' dog which way the mandate winds are blowing? 🌬


  • Bee says:

    Apparently they didn't even read the so called 'Infrastructure'' cabal bill. Contact them!*



    18 Senate Republicans supported advancing the bill late last week without ever reading the bill’s final version, including:

    Roy Blunt (R-MO)
    Richard Burr (R-NC)
    Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
    Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
    Mike Crapo (R-ID)
    Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
    Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
    Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
    Rob Portman (R-OH)
    Jim Risch (R-ID)
    Mitt Romney (R-UT)
    Thom Tillis (R-NC)
    Todd Young (R-IN)
    Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
    John Hoeven (R-ND)
    Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
    Susan Collins (R-ME)
    Mike Rounds (R-SD)''

    *The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is that good men do nothing.
    ~ Sir Edmund Burke

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