Update at 4:30 p.m. on Augst 3. Rep Priscilla Giddings has sent Idaho Dispatch the following statement in response to the committee’s decision:
Sadly, this committee is ignoring due process and acting in blatant conflict of interest. The chairman is hand-picked by Lt. Governor candidate Scott Bedke, and the committee members are all beholden to the power Bedke wields as Speaker. Today’s decision makes a mockery of Idaho’s ethical standards and demonstrates that we are over the target in exposing the rampant corruption of Bedke and his allies. And removing me from the committee through which I passed H140, the bill to shut down Speaker Bedke’s forced vaccine agenda, does not silence the voice of the people as Bedke hopes, it just brings new focus on this vital issue. Speaker Bedke’s decision to run for Lt. Governor has been common knowledge since the beginning of this year, long before he trumped up these charges against me, and now he is using his office and tens-of-thousands of taxpayer dollars for his own campaign purposes. But that’s business as usual for Bedke, who is taking large donations from multinational corporations with one hand while flaunting state law to appoint his lobbyist friend, John Simpson, to the powerful redistricting commission with the other. This kind of unblushing corruption is why I am running for Lt. Governor. It’s time to clean up the swamp Scott Bedke is creating in Boise!
Original story below.
Today the House Committee on Ethics and House Policy concluded their hearing for Rep. Priscilla Giddings (R-White Bird).
Giddings was facing two ethics complaints that were filed after Giddings shared a news article that contained the name and image of an alleged rape victim. The complaints also stated that Giddings was not truthful in her answers before the committee and that other remarks made in her Facebook post and newsletter were inappropriate.
Today, the committee voted unanimously to recommend that the Idaho House censure Giddings and remove her from the House Commerce and Human Resources Committee.
The Idaho House must vote on a simple majority to agree or disagree with the committee’s recommendation. Because the House is currently “at ease,” they must return before the next legislative session to vote on the issue. If they do not return to vote before the next legislative session, the committee’s recommendation becomes void, and a new hearing would have to take place.
The majority of the committee’s work took place yesterday as witnesses called by the committee testified, and Giddings herself also testified before the committee.
Giddings also gave an opening statement yesterday blasting the committee process and her political opponent for Lt. Governor, Speaker Scott Bedke (R-Oakley.)
Today, the committee members gave brief statements explaining what they thought about Giddings’ remarks and actions throughout the process.
Rep. John Gannon (D-Boise) said that people wanting to report wrongdoings in the Capitol need to know they can do so without fear of retaliation.
Rep. Wendy Horman (R-Idaho Falls) and Rep. Brent Crane (R-Nampa) both said Giddings made statements that were lies. For example, Giddings had said that the entire Democrat caucus had signed onto the committee, and Crane said that not every Democrat had signed on.
Several committee members said that they wished Giddings had just “owned” up to the post and apologized for it. They said that if she had, they would not have had to go through the committee process.
Before a vote from the committee, Horman asked that the first complaint from Chaney be dismissed because the content from the first complaint was mostly contained in the second complaint filed by two-dozen legislators.
Idaho Dispatch reached out to Giddings to see if she had a comment for this article, but she has not yet responded.
What do you think of the recommendations made by the committee? Were they too strong or not strong enough?
Let us know in the comments below.
Tags: Brent Crane, Commerce and Human Resources Committee, John Gannon, John McCrostie, Priscilla Giddings, Sage Dixon, Scott Bedke, Wendy Horman