The Statesman editorial board has endorsed my opponent in the District 16 Senate race, reasoning that sometimes it takes persistence to get things done at the Statehouse, especially for a Democrat, and because he managed, after three years, to get a ban on texting while driving passed. He gets the nod over a qualified GOP challenger, Joan Cloonan. I am indeed the best qualified candidate to effectively represent the people of District 16.
I have worked with mayors, governors, legislators, business associations and nonprofit organizations to help create a healthy business climate in Idaho. My career has led me from representing government as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice to working with business interests to assure that they have complied in both action and spirit with statutes and regulations aimed at protecting our environment.
I have successfully negotiated complicated environmental laws and regulations which are protective of the environment while recognizing the scientific and economic realities of operating manufacturing and agricultural operations in this state.
I worked with the legislature as a representative of industry through the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, as a member of numerous committees, commissions and organizations including the Idaho Groundwater Council, the Pacific Northwest Hazardous Waste Advisory Council, the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Council, the Idaho Council on Industry and the Environment, the Boise City Public Works Commission and the Idaho Board of Environmental Quality. (My term on the DEQ board expired in July and I did not renew my application to avoid any issues of conflict of interest.)
The basis of a strong and vibrant economy is solid infrastructure. That means an excellent education system, K-12 and higher education. Businesses need good transportation and broadband Internet across the state. I believe in good government with laws and regulations that are specific, narrow, necessary and understandable by those they affect. We should not have to consult a lawyer to understand how to stay in compliance with our laws. Our regulatory system should not unduly burden small businesses.
I understand the importance of a solid education system, which I believe requires committed teachers, family support and community involvement to thrive. After listening to the voters on their reactions to Propositions 1, 2 and 3, I continue to believe that the Students Come First laws represent a solid path forward. But whether the referendums pass or fail, the laws would benefit from further consideration by the Legislature with the input and involvement of parents, teachers and all of the community.
Joan Cloonan, a Boise Republican, is a candidate for Senate in legislative District 16.