A new group is taking shape in Idaho to push back on what they call “extremism” and “political violence.” Idaho Leaders United refers to their business members as “messengers,” and calls on these messengers to help end political speech the group does not approve of. Their website explains,
“ILU messengers leverage their personal and professional networks to speak out against bigoted and violent appeals and remind fellow Idahoans that we are better off when we work together across divides without resorting to extremism.”
Leaders of the group include Tommy Ahlquist – CEO BVA Development, Doug Gross – Gross Farms, Odette Bolano – CEO St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Bill Shawver – Retired Idaho Air National Guard, Gary Raney – Former Ada County Sheriff, and Cortney Liddiard – CEO Ball Ventures.
In the group’s ‘statement condemning political violence,’ they write,
“…violent political extremism is once again emerging across our state and threatening the safe, secure Idaho we know and love. Extremism poses a dangerous threat to our public safety and civil society.”
Idaho State Senator Scott Herndon (R-District 1) responded to the video saying,
“It is strange that the story featured video of a group of non-Idahoans being arrested in CDA, and then one of the group’s leading speakers issued Democratic Party talking points in which it is claimed that our abortion and minor genital mutilation legal policies are driving legitimate healthcare practitioners out of state. It is pretty hard to de-politicize the rhetoric when your group is all about political rhetoric and polarizing talking points, including opposing Idaho’s current abortion laws and exercising liberal use of the word ‘extremism.'”
ILU’s website invites people to take their pledge, which includes submitting personal information and company/business affiliation.
Tags: 1st Amendment, Bigotry, BVA Development, Extremism, Free Speech, Gary Raney, Hate Speech, Idaho Leaders United, Odette Bolano, Political Violence, Protests, St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Tommy Ahlquist