Idaho Dispatch

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Op-Ed: Change Tactics

By • May 21, 2022

The following Op-Ed was submitted by Doug Nickle. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

Republican voters in Idaho just completed yet another rotation on their political merry-go-round. Ever optimistic, they keep thinking they will ride their trusty, shiny horse to victory. Round and round they go. Yet the Establishment GOP also gleefully rides the same carousel-  with endless special interest funding, and on the back of their favorite RINO.

In Idaho’s 2022 primary, there’s no question Democrats changed party affiliation and helped many RINOs win primary elections. Such is the unprincipled behavior that comes so naturally to Dems who otherwise have no chance at victory in Idaho. For now.

Idaho RINOs knew the Dem strategy (and in fact counted on and promoted such behavior), and the establishment GOP laughed all the way to their victories in the primary.

There were a few noteworthy conservative victories in key races, victories that removed career RINO politicians from key leadership positions, particularly in the Idaho Senate. Conservatives should celebrate this, but also understand the ultimate ramifications of continuing to allow Dems to switch parties specifically to sabotage the Republican primaries, and also what it means to continue to support the “Republican” party.

There’s another segment of the Republican Party that deserves blame for RINOs like Brad Little, Scott Bedke, Phil McGrane, and Chuck Winder continuing in office as pretend conservatives. The “reform the GOP from within crowd” helped many RINOs win, and reaped yet again the negative return from trying to “reform from the GOP from within,” playing by rules that don’t exist for the RINO establishment.

Constitutional conservative candidates Janice McGeachin, Priscilla Giddings, Dorothy Moon, Ron Nate, and Karey Hanks lost their Republican primaries because of a couple fundamental issues. Firstly, voter apathy and low turnout was and is always a key factor in the primaries. Secondly, vast numbers of Democrats changed parties to vote for their RINO opponents.

But the aforementioned conservative candidates also lost because of their commitment to a Republican party machine that no longer serves actual conservative Republicans.

The reality is, until Constitutional Conservatives realize that, despite their well meaning claims of being “people first” constitutionalists, by staying registered as Republicans and fighting the establishment GOP in the primary, they are actually “party first loyalists.” They put party registration ahead of winning- and leading on Constitutional Conservative values. They spent vast amounts of time and money while their RINO opponents spent more.

The Republican Constitutional Conservatives still lost, and so did we.

If Janice, Priscilla, Dorothy, Ron, Karey and other Constitutional stalwarts had registered Constitution Party prior to the primary, each of them would be going head to head versus the GOP RINOs in the general election in November. That’s a fact.

I’m not listening to any more “reform from within” whining that a conservative third party would divide conservatives and pave the way for a leftist to win in the general election. Conservatives are still the majority by a wide margin in Idaho, and Democrats know this. In the general election, liberal progressives would have to choose between voting for their leftist messiahs (and get crushed) or vote for the RINO vs. the actual conservative Republicans who are simply registered as Constitution Party.

Incidentally, diluting the conservative vote is what Republicans do EVERY SINGLE PRIMARY. The “Ahlquist” factor typically has 3-4 Republicans running in key primary races, and the RINO Republican incumbent wins 9 out of 10 times, often with considerably less than 50% of the vote.

Honestly, with a RINO like Brad Little, who really cares if a Democrat becomes governor? What’s the difference?

A Democrat governor would actually force the majority “Republican” Idaho legislature to do its job, vetoing any unconstitutional Executive Orders that might be attempted by a Democrat.

And you know what? Constitutional Conservatives could always change their party affiliation back to Republican after the election if they wanted. Unprincipled? Not in the slightest. The means justify the Constitutional Conservative ends because we are at war for the future and very existence of our nation and our state.

In the general election, voter party registration doesn’t matter because all voters get to vote for whomever they want. So do Republicans want to stay loyal to the Republican party name and lose, or do they want to win, to lead and promote Constitutional Conservative values and policy?

Based on the 2022 primary results, it seems too many Idaho Republicans still want to lose the general election in the primary. Because that’s what just happened for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Secretary of State. Who needs Dems when you’ve got RINOs like Little, Bedke, McGrane, and Winder- and the rest of their watering carrying RINOs-in-waiting in the legislature?


Once Republicans realize we are at war- literally, war for the future of the Republic and Idaho- they will realize it’s time to change failed tactics.

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Tags: Constitution Party of Idaho, Doug Nickle, Primary Election

15 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Change Tactics

  1. The question that you need to ask is what is the likely outcome of this strategy? Are you going to get the bulk of Republicans to register Constitution Party? Absolutely not. You’re better off taking over the party, precinct by precinct, and closing up your primaries. At a minimum, there should be a moratorium on how often you can change parties. Solicitations to change back the day after the primary were public and instantaneous. Close up your primaries, and stack the precinct committeeman slots with actual conservatives.

    1. Doug won’t come out and say it, but he not only doesn’t believe in reforming the GOP, he doesn’t believe in Democracy. If he could get enough guns and enough people in his “Constitution Party” to declare McGeachin governor by force, he’d do it.

  2. Brian- you’re assuming we are in the same political paradigm of 20 years ago. The rules have changed, not that the establishment plays by “rules.”

    I assume you are also in the perpetually losing “reform from within” crowd.

    Conservatives would have a candidate in the general election for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Secretary of State if they had registered and run as Constitution Party in the 2022 primary.

    Take a look at Ammon Bundy. He’s in the general for Governor because he ran as Independent.

    Are you a proponent of the two party monopoly?

  3. Consider this:
    Janice McGeachen received 90,682 votes in the Republican primary.
    Chantyrose Davison received 344 TOTAL votes- from all of Idaho- in the Constitution Party primary.
    Chantyrose Davison is in the General election versus RINO Brad Little and the Democrat nominee.
    Janice is not.

    Priscilla Giddings received 114,628 votes in the Republican primary for Lt. Governor.
    Pro-Life (Marvin Richardson) received 376 votes- from all of Idaho- in the Constitution Party primary.
    Pro-Life is in the General election vs. RINO Scott Bedke and the Democrat nominee.
    Priscilla Giddings is not.

  4. But the goal isnt to get a good candidate into the general. It’s to get people to vote for your candidate. I was a precinct chair for Ron Paul. Hands down the most successful insurgent candidate. We worked within the system to get delegates elected at the state level. That’s what you have to do on a local level in state politics. Take over the party one city at a time. Train up committeemen. Slots are open all over the state.

  5. Great article here…good job explaining it Doug. Another major factor in the “Election” steering program is the fact that the majority of the local and MSM media are extremely biased against Conservatives and patriotic genuine Republicans and are paid propaganda fake news machines. We Idahoans will need to take up some space in the “Media” circles and will need to start writing our own “Narratives” instead of paying attention to the globalist, socialist MSM BS and the paid activist words that do NOT align with real Idahoans. Those who use “extremist” and “white supremacist” and all the buzz words are doing no one in Idaho a favor. Let’s send them on their way and rope Idaho back in…We will need voter turn out, and an understanding of the stormy climate we are in at the moment….Idaho will have to fight to win.

  6. The other alternative is to do what Scott Cleveland has done: he collected 1,000 signatures to appear on the ballot against Crapo in NOVEMBER as an Independent Conservative. In so doing, he skipped the crowded primary and didn’t spend $$ to go against the big money of the RINO establishment. Ammon Bundy did the same and BOTH Bundy and Cleveland will be on the ballot in November. Smart move.

    If Janice or Priscilla or Bryan had collected the 1,000 signatures, they could have had six more months to campaign, raise money, etc. A thousand signatures is all it takes–and honestly, if you can’t find 1,000 voters to back out with a signature, you have no business running in the first place.

    The hardest part of last Tuesday: Janice, Priscilla and Bryan ALL could have gotten those signatures, but instead went the “play by the rules” route, which only benefits RINOs. Not trying to rub salt in the wounds, but seriously: conservatives in Idaho have to be better at strategy, especially when the RINOs and Dems play the games/tricks they do….

  7. Well organized a Bundy and Cleveland campaign now should be able to focus the light on these issues.

    Weather they win or not the enlightenment should be strong in showing the state’s weak republican leadership, bias news media and potential voters who need to actually show up at the polling booths.

  8. When I voted was asked which party ballot I want; current party registration didn’t matter. Thought I had to register as a Republican to vote in that primary, not the case. Now I never need to stain my life with a Republican party registration to vote in primaries. Republican party is a RINO platform, always has been, always will be. The power of money corruption and the uni-party with a D and R wing is no longer an option. Stop supporting the enemy, the enemy you know (D) is better than the one you don’t (R) because Democrats tell you what they want, Republicans tell you what you want to hear, they are on the same money train, your ticket is void.

  9. Great article, Doug. Unfortunately, with the exception of most of the insightful comments herein, all this is way over the heads of the typical Idaho voter who is living in a world that is 20+ years past. Most voters here can’t comprehend the strategy, nuances and tactics necessary in modern elections in Idaho.
    Maybe they will wake up when (not “if”) Idaho has become “Idafornia”.

  10. The Idaho GOP is corrupt. The RINOs like the Dimrats voting in the GOP primary. The RINOs will lie and tell you they want to keep Dimrats out of their primaries. They lie. The patriot challengers could wake up and get out of the GOP. The reason the Libertarian and Constitution parties had so few voters in the primary, these parties have small numbers of primary voters, because their people vote in the GOP primaries. Idahoans are getting fooled and most of them must like it. Public colleges dumb down the people.

  11. Good observations for sure. I would add that RINOs running as spoilers also protected the Establishment candidates, especially in the SoS and Education races.

    It may be possible to split away from the GOP and run strong 3rd party races, but great caution is recommended.

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