Fulcher: Idaho at a crossroads and my policies a roadmap to the future

December 19, 2013 

I love Idaho. Idaho has great people and incredible resources. I am a native of this state and have lived here my entire life. My family has been here since statehood. I grew up on a family farm and was educated in Idaho schools and universities. My adult life has been spent raising a family, working in the private sector, and traveling all over the world for Idaho-based companies. I currently serve as an Idaho State Senator. Now I am running for Governor.

Idaho sits at a crossroads between destiny and dependency — the direction we are pointed takes us towards the latter. We are dependent on federal resources to sustain critical services, and the federal government is both broke and broken. Idaho deserves to be self-sufficient.

Our current Governor is a likeable guy, I just disagree with the direction he is sending us. In a recent speech, Governor Otter claimed Idaho’s greatest challenge for 2014 is “gettin’ me re-elected” to a third term. He said that his plan for Idaho is to “stay the course,” and he’s offering a 2014 budget that is “more of the same.” With youth unemployment at 20 percent, the highest percentage of workers earning minimum wage in the nation, 220,000 people on food stamps, one in four Idahoans on public assistance, and one of the most burdensome tax climates in the West (according to the Tax Foundation), Idaho cannot afford “more of the same.”

Idaho needs to revitalize its economy by standing up to federal bureaucrats and responsibly tapping our natural resources. Idaho needs job opportunities from home-grown entrepreneurship and a tax climate that will attract high-wage and high-skilled jobs. I will work diligently to make Idaho the most attractive place to do business — not just in the West — but across the entire country.

The Governor says he wants to “under-promise” and hopes to “over-deliver” on healthcare. His solution was to prop up Obamacare with the state insurance exchange, but the result is that many of those who can afford health insurance are losing it — 105,000 at last count.

We cannot afford to let federal mandates decimate Idaho’s families. A Fulcher Administration will work to transform healthcare to a patient-centered, free-market system. We’ll encourage quality by incentivizing competition and keeping healthcare accessible for even the most vulnerable among us. Healthcare in Idaho needs to be decided by families and their physicians — not government. Idaho leaders shouldn’t stand on the sidelines while the federal government takes over our healthcare. We can do healthcare ourselves. We are Idaho.

On education, the Governor seems to view Common Core as a solution to solve our state’s education problems. I don’t see it that way. Under a Fulcher Administration, we will strive to improve the education system so parents and their children see stronger outcomes through local control, teacher empowerment, parent involvement, and school choice. Students will be challenged and our teachers will be supported with the resources they need.

Traveling around Idaho, fellow citizens told me they were discouraged and disheartened with the status quo. They told me they don’t want “more of the same.” I share their concerns, but I can see our destiny: it is a brighter future for Idaho—a future of freedom and prosperity. I will work hard to earn your trust and to listen to your concerns. I hope that you will support my effort to get us on the right track. Through creativity, innovation, hard work, and faith in God, Idaho can become the sparkling gem of the nation. Together, we can do this.

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