THE LATEST


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Rising pension costs contribute to higher property taxes

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Idahoans fed up with skyrocketing property taxes hope state lawmakers will step in and offer relief. But raising the homeowner’s exemption, which reduces the taxable value of owner-occupied residences, is not the answer and never has been. Raising the exemption only shifts the rising tax burden from homeowners to other types of properties, including commercial real estate and rentals. This has a downstream impact on the cost of food, clothing, housing, cars, and so on.

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Common Core hearings scheduled, a chance to undo bad policy

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Some long-overdue public hearings and discussions regarding Idaho’s education standards are coming your way. Hundreds of Idahoans asked the State Board of Education to open a discussion on Idaho’s decision, nine years ago, to adopt Common Core. (Though revised a bit in 2017, much of the troublesome standards remains). As a result, the petitioners got their wish.

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BSU’s diversity agenda doesn’t work in the corporate world

By Fred Birnbaum | Vice President

In a recent commentary, former BSU President Bob Kustra attempted to deflect scrutiny from the university’s radical diversity agenda by comparing it to corporate diversity programs.

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Neo-segregation is real, and it is wrong for Idaho

By Wayne Hoffman | President

The Post Register would have its readers believe there’s nothing controversial about “diversity” programs at Idaho’s public colleges and universities. Actually, they are controversial. Quite so. So much so that the National Association of Scholars has a name for these types of programs: neo-segregation. The president of the NAS, Peter Wood, says neo-segregation “is a disguised form of political oppression.”

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Lawmakers have a duty to oversee public institutions

By Fred Birnbaum | Vice President

Boise State University is going in the wrong direction.

Instead of prioritizing academic excellence and achievement above all else, the BSU elites have decided to implement a radical social justice agenda that won’t lead to anywhere good.

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Campus segregation programs raise many questions that deserve answers

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Writing recently in the National Review, Peter N. Kirsanow, an attorney and member of the U.S. Commission on Human Rights, calls for an end to segregationist activities on college campuses across the country. He notes that they have done nothing to reduce the student achievement gap and have increased racial resentment.

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Legislature has a key role in diversity debate

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Idaho House Majority Leader Mike Moyle recently told a crowd in Twin Falls that the Legislature should address divisive programs on state college campuses. His comments are significant not just because he’s a key member of legislative leadership, but because this isn’t Moyle’s first rodeo. Unlike his colleagues, Moyle was on deck nearly two decades ago when lawmakers confronted another state agency that went rogue.

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Are Idaho colleges and universities adequately funded?

By Fred Birnbaum | Vice President

Earlier this month, Idaho’s 21 legislative Democrats signed a letter to BSU President Marlene Tromp to voice support for BSU’s diversity and inclusion agenda. Their letter also addressed higher education’s funding with the following statement:

“Because of the legislature’s neglect, tuition costs are rising… While some Majority legislators don’t see the need to effectively fund higher education, our educational leaders, like you, continue to demonstrate creativity in the quest to keep college affordable.”

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BSU leaders suggest Ehardt letter was 'painful' for students

By Dustin Hurst | Communication director

If civil discourse in this country isn’t dead or on life support, it’s almost certainly doodling in an adult coloring book while cowering in a safe space. 

We experience the ugliness of overheated rhetoric everywhere: It’s on the news, where talking heads scream at one another and never actually discuss anything. It’s on social media, where otherwise rational, thoughtful people spend hours arguing with strangers. It’s in our homes, where politics can break apart valuable relationships. 

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To Rep. Erpelding: Name-calling is fun and all, but how about some real dialogue?

By Janae Wilkerson | Donor communication specialist

Have you ever tried to raise a question, only for misinterpreting responders to make legitimate conversation impossible? That’s how I felt reading a recent op-ed rebuttal by Rep. Mat Erpelding, the House minority leader from Boise’s North End.

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Dems and BSU elites to critics: Don’t question school’s radical agenda

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Shortly after 28 Republican legislators let Boise State University President Marlene Tromp know they’re concerned the school is using student and taxpayer dollars to advance an openly leftist agenda, top college officials and Idaho’s legislative Democrats made it absolutely clear there’s nothing to talk about—unless we discuss how much more money the school will get.

While Tromp hasn’t rescinded her promise to hear legislators out, other university officials dug in their heels. BSU Interim Provost Tony Roark snootily opined in an email to colleagues that it’s just “difficult for people outside of higher ed to understand the nature of the work that we do.” Tromp will engage in “enlightening dialogue” with legislators, Roark said, about the programs that drew their ire.

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IFF urges BSU's Tromp to drop radical social justice agenda 

BOISE—On Thursday, the Idaho Freedom Foundation urged Boise State University President Marlene Tromp to cease a number of activities and programs that advance a radical social justice political agenda, but do nothing to provide excellent academics for students.

“Boise State University’s new president, Marlene Tromp, faces an important choice: Will BSU adopt the radical social justice agenda that has roiled so many campuses?” asked IFF Vice President Fred Birnbaum. “Or will she prioritize academic excellence over progressive social engineering?”

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State lottery: 30 years of victims is nothing to celebrate

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Ronald Reagan once quipped that a government agency “is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” So it’s hard to see a good reason to celebrate the state government’s lottery, which turns 30 this month; No doubt the state lottery will still exist 60 years henceforth, perhaps outlasting the readers and writer of this column. I’d rather ask Idahoans to use this occasion to scratch below the lottery’s surface to reveal a government program that liberals and conservatives should equally oppose. 

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Lawsuit against state treasurer continues path toward full-time Legislature

By Wayne Hoffman | President

House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill contend that Julie Ellsworth is a squatter in the Statehouse. They say the newly-elected Idaho state treasurer has been served an eviction notice but refuses to comply. They’ve sued Ellsworth so the House can take over the treasurer’s office space and build private offices therein. Ellsworth is right to stay put.

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Lackluster results prove Idaho must end Common Core

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Almost nine years after Idaho adopted Common Core, state officials still can’t say whether the supposedly-more-rigorous education standards have made a positive difference. Worse, mounting evidence from across the country shows the standards are nothing short of a disaster.

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Idaho’s public colleges’ “inclusion” efforts promote victimhood

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Idaho’s post-secondary schools have joined the legion of left-leaning institutions that are using their campuses as state-sponsored platforms for intolerance, division, and victimhood. Hurt in the process are students, taxpayers, and donors to college scholarship funds, all whom are misled in believing they’re paying for “higher education.”

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Jobs are plentiful, but Idaho teens aren't working

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Though their population has increased, there are fewer Idaho teenagers in the workforce than there were 20 years ago. In 1998, more than 25,000 Idahoans between the ages of 14 and 18 were employed, two decades later, about 24,500 Idaho youngsters earn a paycheck, according to government data.

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