Robert Ehlert: New Year’s resolution advice to our politicians

December 27, 2013 

With just a few days left in 2013, I asked readers to suggest some 2014 New Year’s resolutions for the Idaho congressional delegation.

You can still do that at IdahoStatesman.com/facebook. Below, you’ll see some of the suggestions.

Meanwhile, here are some of my thoughts for Reps. Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson, and Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch.

FOR ALL OF THEM:

- Resolve to explain every “no” vote by suggesting specific, alternative ideas and why they will work better. It’s too easy to just say the recent budget deal was “a bad deal.” Rep. Labrador and Sens. Crapo and Risch, where’s your deal? How should the cuts have been made, and how would you get your bill passed? I think people want to know. I think you’re on the right track by scrutinizing entitlement programs, but that’s not what was on the table. Only Rep. Simpson had common sense enough to see the long view and work with colleagues — especially that superliberal, big-government champion Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., whose ideas and plans were endorsed by another budget-busting big spender, Gov. Scott Walker, of Wisconsin.

- Resolve to keep up the pressure to secure the freedom of Idaho soldiers and citizens such as Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (Afghanistan) and Pastor Saeed Abedini (Iran). It is unconscionable that a country such as ours would front-end negotiate with countries such as Iran on sanctions without first arranging for the release of U.S. citizens. Is our country really so helpless that it can’t find a way to exercise its military and economic muscle to free citizens? Does it take a You Tube message from another captive [0x14]to challenge President Obama to get serious? Get these men home in 2014. In the meantime, begin every public announcement or press release with a reminder that Americans citizens are held captive. Idaho delegation, keep up the good work.

- Resolve to stop signing “no-tax” pledges for out-of-state and out-of-touch king-makers and start signing pledges to constituents to do what’s best, even though you might lose an election.

FOR SEN. RISCH:

- Resolve to continue your leadership and strategy of restraint when our president and State Department decide to “punish” the despicable behavior of some Middle East regimes while ignoring the atrocities of others.

FOR SEN. CRAPO:

- Resolve to make good on your pledge to bring tax reform.

- Resolve to continue to work with Sen. Risch and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to properly fund firefighting agencies and find win-win solutions so logging/forest-thinning efforts can coexist.

FOR REP. LABRADOR:

- Resolve to go beyond winning debates and arguments on immigration reform and against Obamacare, and lead bipartisan discussions toward drafting workable solutions.

FOR REP. SIMPSON:

- Resolve to accept that a primary is secondary to Idaho’s needs.

FACEBOOK SUGGESTIONS:

Mike Ludlow: Repeal Obamacare, no new gun control, arm teachers, ban violent video games and take kids off SSRI drugs.

Enrique Alex Lewis: I second that!

Sky Adams: Legalize medical marijuana, industrial hemp. Regulate recreational marijuana. Learn the difference, learn compassion.

Mary Defayette: If you care to include Ada County Commissioners, I have a few thoughts.

Ann Ludington: Work for the best interests of all your constituents, not just the special interest groups or the donors with deep pockets.

Gary L Condon: That compromise be reinstated as part of the legislative process.

Bill Hathaway: Vote Democrat!

Bob Ewing: Yea, we need more Democrats in Washington. That's going so well with Obama and Reid.

Nells Tisthammer: Sober up and pray the people don't come out of the coma!

Crystal Sverdsten: Understand the job description, definitions of: republic and representative. You were elected (hired) by the people. you need to represent — your personal agenda/opinion is mute.

Deane Blakeslee: Quit and let someone in who wants to serve the people of Idaho.

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