Wow, for those wishing the Idaho Democratic Party would speak up a little louder, well they just did. In a just-released editorial submission, IDP Chairman Richard Stallings eviscerates the "good-old-boys" club that "coronated" Lt. Gov. Jim Risch to replace Senator Larry Craig in 2008.
Here's the entire submission:
This past week, Idaho Republicans attempted to flex their political muscle at a press conference in Boise. The good-old-boy club wants voters to think Lt. Gov. James Risch has been coronated, knighted or otherwise chosen to be Idaho’s next U.S. Senator.
I have a problem with that. And, as a voter and an Idahoan, so should you.
There are at least two elections between now and the day when the people of Idaho get to choose who will replace Republican Larry Craig in the U.S. Senate. But I don’t think they will pick Jim Risch, a founding member of the good-old-boys who think they run Idaho. I think Idahoans are looking now for new leaders and a new direction.
It’s just about one year until the 2008 general election. Between now and then, Idaho Democrats will take every opportunity to remind voters of what the Republican establishment has done to damage our state. Here’s a short list of their “accomplishments”:
- They have made it clear that only certain kinds of Christians should be allowed to serve in office.
- They have voted against increasing the number of lower-income children who would receive health insurance.
- They have voted time and again with President Bush to “stay the course” in Iraq rather than consider forcing the Iraqis to stand up for themselves and bringing out troops home.
- They are trying to lock independent voters out of primary elections.
- They increased Idaho’s sales tax by 20 percent, only to give most of the proceeds back to big corporate landholders and out-of-state homeowners.
- They have refused to hold their No. 1 senior senator, Larry Craig, accountable for making Idaho a national joke; and they continue supporting his decision to stay in office without fear of public reprimand or reprisal.
And yet, these same people – from Gov. Butch Otter to Secretary of State Ben Ysursa – have the nerve to stand together this week and tell the people of Idaho “not to worry their little heads,” that they have found a suitable replacement for their fallen soldier, Larry Craig; and they will “boldly march on into the future toward the shining city on the hill…”
Baloney. Idaho and the nation are changing. It isn’t good enough anymore to have the “good old boys” decide what’s best for all the rest of us.
Idaho Democrats have a candidate who has experience both in Congress and as a military intelligence officer. Larry LaRocco is more than qualified to serve as Idaho’s next senator and he will give all Idahoans a voice in the majority party.
What really galls me is that the Republicans try to paint Democrats as the party of “elitists.” I can imagine no more elite club than the one currently formed by Sens. Larry Craig and Mike Crapo; Reps. Bill Sali and Mike Simpson; and Gov. Butch Otter.
This is the current Republican “establishment” that has been in charge for the past 35 years. It started out with strong conservative ideals, but it has become just a vehicle to keep themselves in power. And now, they want to promote Jim Risch while they privately throw Larry Craig under the bus.
I urge all Idahoans to carefully watch what happens over the coming months. The Democratic Party is energized, organizing and on the move, all the while focused on Idaho values and Idaho issues.