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Trent Clark is a liar and sleazy politician, and his attack on IFF proves it

Trent Clark is a liar and sleazy politician, and his attack on IFF proves it

Wayne Hoffman
November 1, 2021
Wayne Hoffman
Author Image
November 1, 2021

For more than 40 years, much of Idaho’s state government has been controlled by liberals posing as conservative Republicans. 

The myth that Idaho is a bastion of conservative public policies is easily disproved by the facts. Idaho has among the highest taxes in the region, unions have control of the state's education system, government regulations are extensive, and state taxpayers are compelled to pay for a litany of leftist programs including social justice indoctrination, National Public Radio, and public television.

Over the last dozen years, the Idaho Freedom Foundation has worked tirelessly to educate lawmakers on the principles that they often claim to intuitively embrace, such as the beauty and importance of defending our God-given constitutionally-protected rights and keeping government small. As a result of this education effort, Idaho’s House of Representatives is at its most conservative since statehood. Liberal Democrats have noted that their long-standing unholy alliance with lefty Republicans has come to an end in the House, but they cling to the status quo power structure in the Idaho Senate.

As conservative values have gained prominence at the Statehouse, establishment Republicans and special interest groups have been fighting back, penning all sorts of insulting letters with sensational, hate-filled, and thoroughly debunked claims about the Freedom Foundation. 

The latest — but probably not the last — comes from disgraced former state GOP chairman Trent Clark, who last week used his weekly column space to smear IFF. Clark, you might recall, once infamously told a reporter, “You probably cannot find an African American male on the street in Washington, D.C. that hasn’t been arrested or convicted of a crime.” Clark later tried to walk back that embarrassing, untruthful, hurtful, and racist statement, but the damage was done. 

Later, Clark became chairman of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, where he oversaw the organization’s turn from a champion of businesses big and small to an organization obsessed with political power and the expansion of Big Government programs. 

It’s a poorly kept secret that Clark would very much like to be a member of Congress, and he’s been courting support among moderates while trying to also build a brand as a pretend conservative. It explains his unwarranted and completely fabricated attack on the IFF. 

A week ago, Clark came by the IFF offices in Boise pretending he wanted to discuss school choice messaging. I wasn’t in at the time, and I called Clark’s cellphone because I didn’t sense a setup. We spent 40 minutes talking. At no point did Clark indicate he was writing the previously mentioned smear column about IFF. At no point did he mention his ridiculous hypothesis that tries to link President Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland to IFF. At no point did Clark ask whether we’ve lost interest in engaging parents or school board candidates.

It is also abundantly clear he didn’t even try to do an ounce of his own research to see where the IFF stands on parental involvement. Had he done so, he might have noticed that the IFF contacted every school board in the state earlier this year to let them know that the Idaho School Boards Association misinterpreted a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in order to encourage schools across the state to set up transgender bathrooms in their buildings.  

Had he spent two seconds on our website, Clark might have noticed that we mailed surveys to every school board candidate in the state. He would have noticed that we’ve been holding meetings and seminars with parents about the importance of their participation in school board policies, vetting candidates, and asking questions about critical race theory and social justice indoctrination.

And of course, he would have noticed how the IFF continues to lead the way in exposing and replacing the social justice agenda from our schools. 

But Clark didn’t bother because he knew I would shatter his column’s premise, and Clark’s No. 1 job is to make himself attractive to moderates. The truth does not matter to Clark. Scoring a political point here and there does. He’s a liar and sleazy politician. Remember that the next time you read what he has to say.

View Comments
  • RINO Hunter says:

    Trent Clark is a Cecil Andrus Republican!

  • Trent L Clark says:

    Not mentioned in this "response" (sic): (1) whether telling parents to abandon public schools helps get them engaged or accomplishes the same thing Merrick Garland is after, (2) why IFF only talks about critical race theory in PUBLIC schools and doesn't mention its a problem in private education as well, (3) why IFF sent public officials on a witch-hunt to "root out CRT in K-12 curricula" when anyone who knows how CRT works would know it doesn't show up that way, (4) how opposing CRT while associating with organizations still opposing the landmark US Civil Rights Act is outlandishly hypocritical and actually hurts the effort to curb Marxist philosophy . . . but at least he attacked my character with everything he could come up with after my 40 years as an advocate for freedom. The meager attempt is kind of a compliment. Thanks.

    • Al says:

      I think you're actually being kind, Mr. Clark. Thanks to Wayne's standard response to people who don't agree with him: "You're a liar!", I read your op-ed from the Idaho Ed News. Others should read it as well. Thanks for the referral, Wayne!

      The only "lie" I read in your op-ed is that Wayne Hoffman has "bungled" the definition of CRT. Actually, he's distorted it, manipulated it, and it sure appears intentional, not just bungled.

      To illustrate my point, months ago Wayne called Jim Jones a "liar" (you've got good company, Mr. Clark!) and, when I challenged that, Wayne said there is "a mountain of data" IFF has produced that CRT is being instructed in Idaho K-12 grades. I was directed to an Anna Miller article. In summary, that article said this:
      1. "Teacher Leaders" in Idaho are required to be trained in Culturally Responsive Teaching
      2. Culturally Responsive Teaching is defined in Idaho schools as "Pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students' cultural references in all aspects of learning." IDAPA 08.02.02(15)(iii).
      3. Miller contended that, since that definition is attributed by Ladson-Billings, whom Miller describes as a "notable Critical Race Theory advocate", therefore, it must be bad. Right?
      4. Therefore, IFF concludes, Teacher Leaders are being trained in CRT. That's the "mountain of evidence". I'm not making this up.

      Well, that doesn't pan out either in fact or in logic. That's especially true because Miller quoted the wrong IDAPA reference when she implied all teacher leaders are trained in Culturally Responsiveness. In fact, the correct IDAPA reference is ., not the one she quoted in her article. The correct one says only teacher leaders with endorsements in literacy are trained in it.
      And I conducted a public records request to obtain a list of ALL teacher leaders in Idaho for the 2020-2021 academic year. Each teacher leader's special endorsement is listed. There were NO teacher leaders endorsed in literacy. So even if we accepted Miller's logic that a definition provided by a CRT proponent morphs that definition of a separate pedagogy into CRT itself, even with that leap of logic, we still find NO ACTUAL certification of cultural responsiveness among teacher leaders.

      So the "mountain of data" turned out to be nothing whatsoever.

      And, with that long-winded background concluded, I'll get back to my main point: This past month, Wayne has now claimed Idaho schools are changing terminology and hiding CRT in the guise of Cultural Responsiveness, saying they're synonymous. Failing to find ACTUAL evidence of CRT being taught in Idaho, he changes the definition himself while claiming others are.

      Gaslighting, plain and simple. I only briefly met Ralph Smeed years ago. I don't know him as well as you did, Mr. Clark, but I can't imagine that's the style of propagandizing he desired.

      Now, I'll start my stopwatch to see how long it is for Wayne to call me a liar and a sleazy blog-troll...

  • KJ says:

    Clark. Another worthless idiot politician. He wants to get rich so his next goal is congress. How long will the people of Idaho start educating themselves and quit voting against their own interest?

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