South and Southeast Boise have a rich history of electing legislators from both parties that support our public schools. Unfortunately, in 2010, many District 18 residents were misled into believing that Mitch Toryanski was cut from the same pro-education cloth. He has proved otherwise.
Rather than listen to the clear objections of District 18 residents and our locally elected school board, Toryanski did as he was told and followed Tom Luna and party leadership by casting a key vote that helped pass the widely unpopular Luna laws. The Toryanski-Luna vision for our schools isnt good for our schools and doesnt reflect our values. I fully support repeal of the Luna laws while my opponent continues to embrace them.
As a husband, parent, small-business owner and lifelong resident of District 18, I know our values. I was beneficiary of our great public schools, just as my children are today. As your state representative, I fought hard for our schools and have a record of accomplishment to show for it. I developed strong and positive relationships with parents, teachers and our school district. By Toryanski following Luna, those relationships have been damaged. I will restore them.
This election isnt just about the past, however. Its also about having a vision for the future. I believe that supporting a strong public school system is critical to creating a workforce that will attract high-skill, high-paying jobs. This is accomplished by working collaboratively. I will work in a spirit of cooperation by first identifying those things we can all agree on, like increasing parental involvement and giving high school students more access to dual enrollment.
Creating prosperity for all Idahoans is my focus. I support the creation and funding of a small-business support fund so that entrepreneurs can grow their small businesses and hire employees. I support reducing the state sales tax by reforming the tax code to be fairer and less confusing. I also believe we must give the public a reason to trust government again. While my opponent was the lead sponsor of legislation that closed the public out of the ethics review process, I will increase financial disclosure and create of an independent ethics commission.
I need your support and your vote to help move Idaho back in the right direction again and make government accountable. I encourage you to call me directly at 891-2255 or visit durstforidaho.com.
Branden Durst, a Boise Democrat, is a candidate for state Senate in legislative District 18.