Idaho Dispatch

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Op-Ed: An Open Letter on S1220

By • February 22, 2024

Representatives of the Idaho House,

As an Idahoan who has been victimized by the political weaponization of labels, I’d like to fact-check the fear being pushed by Jim Jones and some private clubs in north Idaho. Jim Jones has had his op-ed published in every legacy media platform available to him. Jim’s two main claims are:

1) S1220 would change the State domestic terror law, and

2) S1220 would make it impossible to adequately punish horrific criminal acts.

Addressing Jim’s First Claim. Jim’s Terrorist Control Act (TCA) has no domestic terrorism clause. Period. S1220 would add one, with the proper safeguards in place to ensure that it is not used as a political weapon against citizens peacefully exercising constitutionally protected conduct. Jim’s second concern equates to nothing more than fear-mongering, using blatant misinformation, targeted directly toward the public. To suggest S1220 would limit the State’s ability to adequately punish violent criminal acts, such as the bombings that took place in North Idaho in the 1980s, is simply an appeal to emotion, due to our collective disgust for the Aryan Nations.

“Idaho law was not adequate at that time to deter and sufficiently punish such violent activity…” Jim Jones.

I would say to Jim, the law may not have been sufficient at the time, but it certainly is today, given Title 18 chapter 33. Idaho §18-3322 says,

“Use of weapons of mass destruction includes bombs.”

It’s a felony and is punishable with up to and including life in prison, without the ambiguous label of “terrorist” or “domestic terrorist.”

The maximum punishment for Jim’s TCA is the possibility of life in prison, no more than §18-3322. I believe that Jim is part of a broader effort to use Domestic Terror laws as precepts for labeling, designating individuals or groups he disagrees with, and stripping them of due process. I think this is further proved by the email to our House Representatives by the private clubs in North Idaho. While these private groups are just regurgitating Jim Jones’s talking points. Please note that by invoking the FBI, extremist groups, anti-government, and white supremacy, they are showing that they are only concerned with labeling groups they disagree with. They are not concerned with punishing violent criminal acts, perpetrated for political ends.

If this all seems partisan, I would remind our Democrat friends that the most recent example of a State using domestic terrorist charges was in Georgia, against members of “Stop Cop City,” including an attorney for SPLC. The political weaponization of labels goes both ways and is not a partisan issue. The safeguard placed in the definition within S1220 would have stopped that. Leaving them to be charged with individual violent crimes or any conspiracy that could be proven.

I would ask that all of you, Republican and Democrat, unite and stand for ALL Idahoans’ civil liberties and due process, and vote yes on S1220.

(1) Eric Parker on X: “@acluidaho @danielwinvw So my original question was would S1220, if it was in place in Georgia, have forced prosecutors to focus on specific crimes with Stop Cop City rather than the Domestic Terrorism charges you oppose?” / X (

(1) Eric Parker on X: “@MathiasForIdaho In New York it’s being looked at to use against the street sitters for Palestine. I think blocking traffic is already a crime and it shouldn’t be domestic terrorism. It’s not just about protecting parents at school board meetings its about narrowing the scope as much as possible.” / X (


This Op-Ed was submitted by Eric Parker. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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