On Feb. 7, Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch voted with the GOP majority to confirm Betsy DeVos as secretary of education even though DeVos has absolutely no experience as a student or parent with public education. She and her children are private school graduates. DeVos was widely opposed by education professionals at the local, state and national levels. She is, however, a major donor to GOP causes, including to the Trump campaign, which by GOP standard qualifies her for the appointment. Crapo and Risch did what was expected of them by the GOP — despite going against the will of professional educators, the general public and basic common sense. It will be interesting to see how DeVos does in her new role and what effect her work has on Idaho schools. As for Crapo and Risch, we usually know how they’ll vote — following the GOP party line. GOP Sens. Murkowski and Collins voted their conscience. Probably listened to their constituents and the overwhelming opposition of the public. Idaho senators, you’re on notice. You are accountable for your votes, not just to the GOP, but to us good folks back home.
Tom Ratcliff, Emmett