Having it their way
You can't help but laugh about our shape-shifting, "Do as I say, not as I do" friends at the Statehouse. When it's the Feds on gun control, immigration, unfunded mandates, health care, taxation, public lands management or other topics, their cry is "Man the ramparts, build the barricades, call our lawyer, sue, states' rights, our freedoms are being infringed, this will not stand," and on and on.
Then Boise city has some objections to a 550-stall parking garage so they can have their own stall to use about three months out of the year, and the cry becomes, "We are the state and who does the city think they are?! We'll just pass a law and build the garage. So there."
BOB FRITSCH, Boise
How to get around rules
I am glad to see that our elected state officials are following the examples that our national elected officials go by. Rules are meant for everybody but us. City of Boise says no to the parking garage and rather than do what everybody else would have to do, they are going to pass a law that they can do anything they want. Keep up the work.
TODD GODFREY, Meridian
Lawmakers again sweep aside educators' voices
Recently, teachers went to the Statehouse to voice concerns over the education bills being considered in the Legislature. Believing in the democratic process and thinking there would be no repercussions, several testified before the House Education Committee.
Following teacher testimony, Bill 307, restricting local control of reapportionment money, was voted down. Two days later, when we were back in class, Rep. DeMordaunt not only got the bill back to committee as House Bill 325, he added part B. Now the bill takes away even more local control. Wasn't local control the Republican platform?
If not teachers, who should the Legislature listen to? They obviously didn't listen to their constituents, because the Students Come First legislation, commonly known as the Luna laws, was resoundingly voted down in November. Now Prop 1 has risen from the dead. When we met, he implied the voters didn't understand the laws, a sentiment voiced by many leaders. Is this the way legislators should be expected to look at voter results when they don't get their way?
Educators must have a voice! There should be no place in the political process for vindictiveness. The kids deserve better!
ANGELINA WILSON, KIM SCHMILLEN and LAURIE HARVEY, dedicated teachers, Boise
Legislators dismiss voters' wishes
The Idaho Legislature never ceases to amaze me.
1. The people of Idaho voted down all three education props, the Luna laws, in November, and now the 2013 Legislature reintroduces the same defeated props in new bills.
2. The governor sets up an Education Task Force, but the Legislature will not wait for their findings. The Education Task Force was set up to make improvements in the education system of Idaho. The people on this task force have knowledge about how to improve the education system in Idaho. Instead, the know-it-all legislators do as they please.
3. Once again, the legislators thumb their noses at the will of the people of Idaho and Gov. Butch Otter.
I urge Gov. Otter to veto these hastily written and vindictive bills. Let's hear from the task force before enacting legislation that is in direct conflict with the wishes of the people of Idaho.
GARY HARVEY, Boise
Otter diverges from Constitution
Socialized medicine is not the way for America - nor for Idaho.
Gov. Butch Otter has explained to us that under Obamacare, he was given three options, and chose a state-managed program as the least troubling.
But clearly Mr. Otter has forgotten something, for there is a fourth option (actually his first and foremost option): that of honoring the solemn oath he has sworn repeatedly to obey the United States Constitution and that of Idaho.
Neither of these supreme documents mandates universal health coverage, nor authorizes a governor to impose any such plan on his constituency. So why did the governor volunteer Idaho? Maybe he has forgotten where he lives, and should take his misunderstandings and try out for governor in places like Cuba, Haiti, China or some other socialist state where an ideology like "of the government, for the government and by the government" rules.
Our governor is wrong in stating that Obamacare is "the law" and must be followed, for, as he should know, any "law" action not specifically sanctioned by the supreme law, the Constitution, is no law at all, but is null and void from its inception. Why did he not simply tell this to Mr. Obama?
CAROL J. ASHER, Kamiah
Many companies support gun rights
I am amazed how folks like John R. Love twist a fact by conveniently leaving out some pertinent information. He stated (Letters to the Editor, March 18) that "Quality's newly adopted rhetoric is bizarre, if not treasonable," as if it were the only company to refuse to sell its product to government entities if the states passed laws violating the Second Amendment. Quality Arms is one of more than 115 companies in the U.S. that have adopted the position of "if it cannot be sold to the civilian population, then we will not sell to any government entity in the state, either." This list of companies continues to grow weekly, and I for one thank them for supporting the Constitution and the civilian population.
Oh, by the way, I am retired military plus a retired law enforcement officer, and still say kudos to Quality Arms and all other companies supporting the Second Amendment.
ROBERT LINDSEY, Meridian
Environmental groups close off access
I nearly spewed my morning coffee over the newspaper as I read the Idaho Conservation League's John Robison bemoan the idea of the state of Idaho taking control of some of the federally managed lands in Idaho. (March 19 edition; House panel agrees to study public land transfer). Robison reportedly told the House State Affairs Committee that Idahoans should be opposed to state management because it will somehow result in No Trespassing signs.
That is rich coming from Robison. He works for one of the many environmental groups that are responsible for a lot of No Trespassing signs in Idaho. Indeed, as Robison was testifying before the committee, his attorneys were in court trying to close even more roads and trails.
If ICL and other so-called environmentalists are really concerned about No Trespassing signs, they should tell their lawyers to drop their lawsuits.
BRIAN HAWTHORNE, public lands policy director, BlueRibbon Coalition, Pocatello
Hunters beware of local control
Land should be valued at its highest and best use. As for public land, it is not mining, grazing or logging, but recreation that brings more revenue to the citizens of this state than all the others combined.
As a hunter I am worried about this state gaining control of public lands. While most sportsmen are looking with fear about what the federal government is doing about gun control, they should be much more afraid of what the state is doing about your place to hunt, fish and camp, and your access to public lands.
Local control is only the best option when those in control have the interest of all the people in mind and not how to maximize profits for a few.
PAUL VALAS, Meridian
Distracted to death
Assisted suicide in Idaho?
Idaho already has "assisted suicide" in the form of "texting" or "talking on their cellphones" while driving. People have been killed and have killed innocent people while texting and talking on their phones.
Idaho needs to pass laws that prohibit both.
How about taking their phones away for a while?
SAUL H. HERNANDEZ, Nampa
Problems in society went unsolved
My generation, like past generations, says we paid our dues and we've been around the block more than a few times. We like to think we are libraries of wisdom and knowledge, but few seek our advice, and rightfully so.
We couldn't stop wars. We didn't make a dent in hate. Racism and bigotry are alive and well. Truth in politics isn't any more prevalent today than it ever was. Bullying in schools is still here. The numbers of sick, weak and poor continue to grow. The drug world is doing just fine.
In short, we were unable to change the status quo. We were not that generation the world has so longed for.
We failed because we became complacent, content to a fault. We were satisfied to kick the same can down the same road that generation after generation has kicked. Perhaps, someday, a generation will come along that says, "Enough is enough," and picks up the can - signaling it is that generation.
ROY LUNSFORD, Kuna