Statists of the Week: 33 state senators fail to produce conservative results

May 25, 2021

It’s time once again for our Statist of the Week. Who gets this week’s trophy for outstanding, relentless dedication to Big Government? Well, it’s none other than almost the entire Idaho state Senate. That’s right. To make it easy on you, there are 35 members of the state Senate. Thirty one people scored lower than 70 percent on the Idaho Freedom Index. And only two senators scored above 80 percent on the Idaho Spending Index. 

So out of the entire Senate, only Senators Regina Bayer and Christy Zito could be counted on to keep government in check. The rest of Senate, republicans and democrats alike, voted to grow government, or stood in the way of government being made smaller. Bayer and Zito have the best Senate scores on the Freedom Index, and Sens. Steve Vick and Carl Crabtree do OK on the Freedom Index too. But neither Vick nor Crabtree could be counted on to keep state spending under control, according to the Spending Index. Only Bayer and Zito did that. 

By comparison, the Idaho House of Representatives did very well this session, with 41 of the chamber’s 70 members voting consistently to limit the scope of government and around 15 consistent votes to keep spending in check. The House still has some more work to do when it comes to defending and advancing conservative principles, but my gosh, how far that chamber has come in a short amount of time. It has proven, as I have said many times, the House has proven to be the most conservative in the state’s history.

But the Senate. The Senate is a dumpster fire when it comes freedom, free markets, and generally, conservative principles. The Senate’s Freedom Index average was 53.6 percent, and there’s very little distinguishing the voting records of leading Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats. In fact, The highest scoring Democrat, Janie Ward-Engelking, got 43.5 percent on the Freedom Index. While returning Statist of the Week superstar Fred Martin, a Republican, scored 42.7 percent on the Freedom Index. 

The leading Republican in the Senate, Chuck Winder, scored 44 percent on the Freedom Index, exactly the same as Democrat Janie Ward-Engelking. 

Clearly there’s something really broken in the state Senate. It’s controlled by Republicans, or so we’re told, but there’s really little daylight separating Senate Republicans from Senate Democrats. And in the end, party does not matter a lot in that chamber, because it’s, for the most part, a party of statists. Which is why Idaho’s entire state Senate, except for Christy Zito and Regina Bayer, are our Statists of the Week.

Who should be next week’s winner or winners? Drop me a line, [email protected] and let me know who you think is most deserving of the honor. Be sure to hit the like button, the notification, share this with your friends and family, and we’ll talk to you again next time. 

Idaho Freedom Foundation
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