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Op-Ed: How Should Patriots Vote on the Idaho Constitutional Amendment and Ballot Initiative?

By • October 31, 2022

Two important issues face Idahoans at the back of the ballot. Many people may not even look that far back or take the time to read the questions, but they should.

The questions are laid-out in a way to confuse and misinform voters. The first question expects voters to comprehend state legislature legal wording and the second question gaslights us. While an explanation is provided for question 1, it is incomplete in its explanation and misses the entire point of the Amendment. Despite this deception, there are positives to this Amendment.

Question 1: SJR102
The first ballot question is a Constitutional Amendment that would allow Legislators to convene the Legislature if 60% of both chambers agree via a petition. There are several pros and cons to such an idea.

Under the tyranny of RINO Brad Little, we have seen the Legislature be side-stepped time after time. We saw Little’s clenching of power with the forced mail-in ballot primary of 2020, mask mandates for kids in schools, vaccine mandates for healthcare workers, lockdowns, and lobbyist projects. There were many instances where our conservative legislature would have intervened and given us our freedom back if they had the ability.

There are also times where we deal with a budget surplus at the end of Legislative Sessions and the Legislature is reliant on the Governor to call a Special Session. The state Legislative cycle is not year-round, but everyday life is, and politics is too. It could be very useful to have a Legislature who can step in to represent their Constituents if need be. Petitions on these issues would have to be applied situationally and narrowly for lawfulness and to obtain the necessary 60% support.

This action will exist beyond Little’s reign as Governor. This could result in positive changes enacted by citizens promoting good ideas to their Legislator. As a co-equal branch of government, there are times to assert.

The unpredictability is both a pro and a con, however it is a more likely con. Governments typically function in a clunky, bureaucratic, and anti-citizen fashion so we should not give them more power willy-nilly. The Idaho Legislature has proven to be good and bad, sometimes very bad. They are a mix of liberals, RINOs, good ol’ boys, knuckleheads, moderates, independent thinkers, and liberty champions. Many are unresponsive and have their minds made up, sometimes because of special interest money and backroom deals.
The Legislature could abuse this power and disturb the livelihoods of regular people with unwanted politics and government cronyism. Covid has given us reason to want a check on Governor Little’s power, but what if we had a real conservative as Governor and a big government, liberal Legislature that fights liberty year-round. Legislators should not be year-round.

This battle is between our trust for the Legislature or the Governor. Many bad actors exist in the Legislature and in recent Idaho history, a bad actor has always held the Governor’s office. Though many poor actions are made by Legislators in our state, they are more trustworthy than the Governor. If abused, We The People will fight it via another ballot initiative. We should vote YES on SJR102.

Question 2: Quality Education Act
The second question is deceiving on purpose, it is designed for common people to support it. It includes lowering taxes, returning surplus money, and funding education. This is the designated plan supported by the Establishment and makes us think we cannot get all of our money back.

A budget surplus means that the state government is totally appropriated for, and taxpayers were overtaxed. In this case, we were overtaxed by $1.4 Billion and there is an additional $600 Million in the rainy-day fund. This should all go back to the people who funded it. There are issues that make negating this proposal reasonable as well.

The pros to supporting this proposal is that we get $500 Million refunded to taxpayers and $150 Million in income tax cuts. There is an additional $410 Million spent on education, you can call that a pro or a con if you’d like. This proposal would get money back in the hands of regular Idahoans. There is also reason to cut taxes, so the surplus issue does not continue to arise. And while schools need more money, how long are we going to allow public schools to be funded through surpluses and levies?

The majority of the Surplus will stay in the hands of the government that stole it from us. Public schools are owed some tax dollars, but it should not be at the expense of our overfunded dollars. We also see that money spent in schools is not always for education or teaching children properly. Critical race theory, gay pronouns, Communism, and anti-God teachings are in the public-school classrooms in Idaho. Throwing more money at this problem has not helped our state in the past. Test scores continue to struggle, and children deserve quality education without political influence.

The other major issue is that $500 Million of our tax dollars remains with the state government to be spent on who knows what. The question is if we can trust the Legislature to return the Surplus in the first session. Everyone should be contacting candidates now and asking if they support returning the full surplus to the people. Assuming that the Legislature should be more conservative after this election, especially the State Senate, there is reason to believe they will be better stewards of returning the surplus than this ballot measure does.

Brad Little cannot be trusted with our overtaxed money. If we have reason to think the Legislature will return the whole Surplus, vote NO. If you believe a better deal will not be brokered, vote yes. We deserve the whole surplus and, on that principle, alone, I will vote NO on 2nd ballot measure.

Vote YES on Ballot Measure 1 and vote NO on Ballot Measure 2!

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

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Tags: 2022 Idaho Election, 2022 Idaho General Election, Ballot, Brad Little, Constitutional Amendment, Education, Education Budget, Public Schools, Special Session

13 thoughts on “Op-Ed: How Should Patriots Vote on the Idaho Constitutional Amendment and Ballot Initiative?

  1. Good Content Jeff, it’s appreciated.
    Consider, if you would, writing more Op-Eds on various subjects with this type of clarity.

  2. Schools will never ever ever not ask for more money they will always claim to be underfunded. Regardless of the fact that some of these schools are bigger than they ever needed to be theyre literally palaces. Then you take into effect the original budget probably gave the schools a raise, now we need to give them more its all a grift. What did Piglosi say “its all about the children”. The excuse to always ask for more money.

  3. There is no accountability in the school monies question. Just give them more money with no way to see if it produces better results. More than likely it wont.

  4. Thank you very much for comments..ideas..and concerns! .It is great hearing ideas from all points of view..and this was ainterestesting and informative! Thank you very much again!

  5. The school district somehow lost 4 million dollars in 2003, still to this day no one has been held accountable, and until that happens I will never vote to give schools more money. Also, we were told when cigarettes went from $1 a pack to $6 that money/tax was going directly to the schools, and when we allowed the lottery to come in that revenue was supposedly going directly towards the schools. So my question is…How much revenue comes in from cigarette sales & the Idaho lottery, and where has it been going-apparently not towards Idaho Schools.

    1. Good points Samantha! Giving schools more money is not going to solve the root issues of mismanagement and flat out corruption. I decided long ago I was not going to support any funds going to “public” services, until transparency in spending is priority #1.

  6. Measure 2 options are ;
    – Approve
    – Disapprove
    Along with the ‘wording’ of the measure the options are confusing and not a black and white YES / NO

    1. The reason for those options is because it is only an advisory question. If the people “approve” the RHINOs can say they were wonderful and did what the people want. If the people “disapprove “ they can pretend they never asked and do it all anyway. There are no teeth and no binding commitment to an advisory question.

  7. I think the stated explanation for this Op Ed is a bit insulting to the voters:That we cannot figure out how or if to turn the ballot over and that, if we manage to do that, we won’t understand the not really terribly legalize statement explaining the amendment. Further, those who actually care to understand will probably have looked at the voter’s pamphlet that was sent out before they headed to the polls.
    What you failed to mention regarding the second question on the ballot is that it is an “Advisory Question”. Which means that it is relatively pointless and without teeth. I also think that it does what no bill, amendment, proposal, or suggestion passed by any branch of government should do, and that is incorporate multiple subjects in one piece of legislation. Yes it is all about the budget surplus (available because the state government buckled to bribes from the federal government, not because they did anything to reduce the costs of state government), but funding schools, cutting taxes, and a small rebate are not the same thing IMHO.

    1. Actually, several people wanted someone to explain the two items because they weren’t sure. Unless someone lives in the State for awhile, it’s sometimes difficult to sort it all out. The State we came from had initiatives and Ballot Propositions” up the a–. It was difficult then, and it is now. I appreciated Mr. Braga’s analysis, even though I had already decided.

  8. I concur, Jean T, on the “Advisory Question”.
    There are several issues put to the voter. So it’s not an Advisory Question, it’s Advisory QuestionS.
    The only way you can logically and truthfully respond Yes is if you agree with ALL of them. The only way you can logically and truthfully respond No is if you disagree with all of them.
    If you agree with part and disagree with any other part(s), there is only one possible way to respond.
    I wish everyone, no matter what they agree or disagree with in this “Question” (falsely so called), would just ignore it and leave it blank.
    Maybe the lying sneaks that composed this garbage would get the idea they shouldn’t waste everyone’s time, not to mention insulting our intelligence .

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