I write to respond to the Statesman’s May 9 misguided and unsigned editorial endorsement of my worthy opponent, Luke Malek, in the 1st District Congress race. Of course, the board is entitled to its subjective opinion. But surely the rationales used should stand an objective analysis.
The editorial offers two: The preferred candidate should be judged as a best partner to Mike Simpson, 2nd District Representative, based upon a willingness to criticize President Trump and a plan to serve long and attain seniority in office.
I support the president. I wish to keep him focused on the critical issues that matter to the Nation. I decry name-calling and am distressed when we lose focus searching for “collusion” and porn stars. However, telling the president to “go to hell” and announcing “I have never supported the president and never will” are not reflective of collaborative spirit the Statesman professes to seek. I propose to use Donald Trump as a change agent by putting conservative legislation on his desk and expecting him to sign it. If he does not, I will speak up.
Further, the seniority system has become a plague on the people’s right to direct and responsive representation in Congress. I support term limits. I have announced that I will term limit myself to six years of service in the House. Such a pledge is an asset to the 1st District, not a liability. That frees me to make the hard choices, the tough votes, and deliver the honest talk that our perilous national condition requires. Any young man, intent on building the long-term political career you envision, will be captured by the current system of party loyalty and lobbyists from the moment he enters the hallways on Capitol Hill.
However, I did appreciate your opinion’s references to my favorable temperament and my long-ago successful public service as attorney general and lieutenant governor.
The editorial also cited my closing quotation from the Idaho Public Television debate as to what is currently required in Congress: “The experience Washington needs right now is a little gray hair, a lot of good judgment and perhaps a touch of statesmanship.” Luke humorously replied, forgetting his full beard, “Washington doesn’t need any more hair.”
In that case, I would still offer my good judgment and statesmanship to the Statesman’s readers, along with a plan to work effectively with and not unnecessarily criticize the President, while promoting term limits for the next six critical years in Congress. My 20 years out of politics as “Citizen Dave” have convinced me that governance is much too important to be left to the professionals.
Leroy, a former attorney general and lieutenant governor, is a candidate for the 1st Congressional District.