Rep. Ed Morse, R-Hayden, believes that his defeat in the Republican primary was partially the result of a campaign flyer highlighting his support for the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange. The flyer was apparently distributed by at least one pastor.
Rep. Morse intends to file a complaint with the IRS alleging “church” engagement in political activities. However, the critical issues really are:
Were the flyers accurate? Apparently.
Were his positions on issues like the health care exchange consistent with those of his constituents? Apparently not since he was defeated by a 61 percent to 39 percent margin.
Was his reaction appropriate? Hardly.
The overarching issue is that politicians don’t like to be held accountable when they cast votes putting them out of step with their constituents. In a Republican-dominated state like Idaho it is far too easy for politicians to offer platitudes in campaigns about free markets and limited government and then bow to the political class when legislative action is required.
It is, indeed, “sour grapes” when a politician attempts to unleash the IRS on churches in his community for the offense of identifying his votes in the Legislature.