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Op-Ed: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly of the 2022 IDGOP Convention

By • July 21, 2022

My friends,

Our county delegation fully attended and participated in the state GOP convention this past weekend. At the convention, in addition to electing new state party leadership, we confirmed a strong pro-life platform, and affirmed that Republican county committees may endorse candidates as they choose.

As you probably know, the incumbent state chair, Tom Luna, sued the Bonneville county committee over that issue. I spoke personally with Mr. Luna, whom I have always respected, about his suit. I was very troubled when he admitted that the lawsuit’s funding was guaranteed by Frank Vandersloot, the powerful CEO of Maleluca. This was a suit against Vandersloot’s political enemies, after all.

I felt sick when the Bonneville volunteers told me that Mr. Vandersloot flew in a group of Washington, D.C. lawyers on a private jet to argue the case against unrepresented volunteers. For the grand crime of volunteering in grassroots politics, these guys were served with a huge complaint and summons. One of them showed me the inch-thick complaint and agonized about how to even retain a moderately capable lawyer for which he had no funds and no insurance.

Most of all, I was bothered that our party judiciary committee, the normal avenue for these disputes, was not consulted. Mr. Luna told me that he could not do so for time constraints. But this was the most divisive action taken by a state party chair in living memory. And Mr. Luna told me he hadn’t even consulted our executive committee for the same time constraint reasons.

The division and tension this caused in the party was palpable at the convention. Most of the 41 volunteer delegates from Bonneville wore t-shirts decrying how they had been sued without warning or consultation. They passed out flyers and loudly objected to Mr. Luna’s objectives throughout the convention.

What is puzzling to me is how Mr. Luna, who had won the previous election by just 12 votes to my recollection, could reasonably consider running for re-election. He lost in a landslide unseen in many years. To my view, it was heart-breaking that this talented, smart, hard-working man had decided to act as political operative for his powerful benefactor rather than remembering his ultimate duty to the people of the state. I’m not sure that everyone at the convention shared my specific opinion, but one thing was certain, Mr. Luna could not remain in office after doing what he did. As I told Mr. Luna, actions speak louder than words.

Dorothy Moon won the election for chair by 147 votes – 434 to 287.

Shenanigans

If there is one reason I force myself to attend these conventions, it is to prevent the political tricks and shenanigans that always seem to surface. On the credentials committee, Tracey Wasden, apparently upset about the election results in her county, attempted to have the entire Canyon County delegation disqualified from voting. There had been a good-faith clerical error, and the leadership had done everything they could to retroactively fix it. Folks were shocked when I asked Ms. Wasden what it was she wanted us to do about it and she responded that the entire delegation should be disqualified. It was an ugly, divisive attempt that we were able to prevent from happening.

For the record, we also had to shut down a similar attempt to disqualify the entire Twin Falls delegation. These folks almost universally vote with the neocon establishment (opposite of my personal views), but it wasn’t right to try to throw their votes out on a small good-faith error either.

Then there was the dark-money mudslinging. As we got closer to the leadership elections, text messages and emails from anonymous sources came at us furiously. Many of them spouted straight up lies about the conservative candidates. This did not work however, because as delegates, we personally know most of the candidates. Dorothy Moon’s honesty and integrity, as well as her solid (not extremist) views are well known to us. So the sneak attacks that can sometimes work in a general election just didn’t work at all.

Finally, there was an attempt by Steve Millington of Twin Falls to avoid a vote on the resolution directing Mr. Luna to dismiss the lawsuit on Bonneville and affirming the rights of county committees to endorse candidates. At around 5 PM, with the delegates tired after a long convention, he tried to get enough delegates to walk out so as to deprive the convention of a quorum to finish its business. Many shamefully did just that. But, to the credit of most of the decent honorable delegates (many who don’t agree with me on every point) who stayed and endured the 20-minute delay, the little trick didn’t work.

And so, despite all the gamesmanship, a lot actually got done at our 2022 IDGOP convention. We clarified our intent as to county endorsements. We passed a solidly conservative, unambiguous platform. And we elected a new slate of dedicated, honest people to our executive committee.

The division within the Republican party continues to plague us. But at least there won’t be a Stalinist purge of one side or another. Small victories I suppose. And outside the convention, a group of pro-abortion protesters screaming their rage at us helpfully served to remind us of our real opposition. We’d do well to remember that. We still have a lot we agree on.

This Op-Ed was submitted by Christopher Boyd, Adams County Delegation Chair. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.


Tags: 2022 Summer Convention, Dorothy Moon, Frank Vandersloot, Idaho Republican Party, IDGOP, Tom Luna

21 thoughts on “Op-Ed: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly of the 2022 IDGOP Convention

  1. “talented, smart, hard-working man…” Can’t be talking about Luna.

    To hell with the GOP. It hasn’t been a force for conservativism for decades.

    Let the tent burn to the ground!

      1. This was my first venture into the political arena. I attended the convention and was disturbed by the divisions and factions. Personal biases and opinions aside, the Republican Party cannot be the voice of the people if the main focus and energy of those in the party is defending their position or attacking someone else’s. There must be a concerted effort at some point to come together, face the real issues that threaten our communities, and work together to develop solutions to those threats.

  2. The majority of politicians in Idaho GOP are liberals, they don’t stand for the people’s rights or the Constitution.
    Idaho’s republican party is among the most liberal in the entire nation.
    There is a huge problem here that needs to be corrected.
    Thankfully there where indeed a couple strong changes accomplished at this year’s convention.
    The message remains the same: Protect The People, Uphold the Constitution, Believe in God.
    The Idaho Republican Party’s funding monies and membership numbers depend on Idaho’s Republicans turning conservative now.
    There are plenty of political parties in Idaho to choose from…..So, Your Choice!
    PS: Fancy local and national PAC monies spent to say you’re a conservative are seen right through.

        1. Lots of Californians moving in and if you pay attention the Californians will destroy Idaho as they destroyed California

          1. An uninformed comment for sure. If you took the time to meet the former Californians, you would see they are far more conservative than many Idaho Republicans. They are political refugees after all and love being in a state that supports their values. Californians didn’t vote in Little, Bedke and Winder who are in the pocket of special interest. If anything, Californians will turn the state a darker Red.

          2. Bigoted comment, Jenna R.
            It was the Democrats and complacent/impotent Republicans that ruined CA. Republicans are good at being asleep at the wheel, squandering their opportunities. But to blame ALL Californians is unthinking and unfair. There are 14 MILLION conservatives in CA, and their votes never count for anything, not even for the POTUS, which is why they are fleeing. In my experience as an Idahoan, it’s the conservative ex-Californians who will save Idaho. The majority of ex-Californians are a conservative Idahoan’s new best friends. We’re on the same team, Jenna.

    1. Well said I-7…this is very true. Idaho GOP, and ultimately the elected officers, are our only firewall against Fed overreach amongst other issues. A conservative, more “brave” approach, will appeal to more people than a get along “be safe” liberal faux conservative approach…”by their deeds you will know them”. Actions speak louder than Pac money…

  3. I am new hear, and I moved hear because I believe in conservative values. What you must be careful of is RINO’s moving into Idaho. They will destroy this State if given a chance. They come with big money backing them.

  4. The difference between the two evils is the Demos just bend you over and jam it in, where as the republicans give the dimwitted voters some sweet talk use some lube and gentile slip it is. Either method used,,, we are being screwed.

  5. This is a well-written article by someone who knows and understands the facts of the situation.

    Well done Christopher Boyd

  6. I think that Jaun Hildalgo has it right. Can’t say the same for Tom P. I Know too many Californians who aren’t even close to being conservative. Couple that with the “growth” factor, and the greed factor being displayed by many local and state politicians and Idaho will soon be another Californium dictatorship. God help our children. And I can’t even come close to thinking that Luna came close to doing a good job. I delt with him on education issues and I know his character and his methods – he hasn’t changed and I’m glad he’s gone! As far as the initiative being placed on the ballot in November (IMO) it has.nothing to do with quality education for the children – it’s about taxes, greed, and government control. It already has my “NO” vote.

    1. Hunter, you may know ex-Californians who aren’t conservative–so do I–but it’s def not the majority. There’s data on this. And the truly conservative ones are much more rabidly constitutionally-conservative than the average Idaho Republican. I was speaking to the Idaho House of Reps in favor of a pro-firearms bill only one month after I moved here. When did you last speak at the statehouse? When did anyone who posts here do so? We HAVE to codify conservative values. We should all be taking action, not just talking. I’d bet the conservative political refugees from CA (that some Idahoans like to blame for the state’s pending purpleness) are more politically active than the average Idaho-born conservative. The complacency of Idaho Republicans surprises and scares me. Because THAT’s what’s going to turn this state blue. See CA.

  7. I appreciate the commentary in this article. Tom Luna is a supercilious political hack who should never have been elected to the office of chairman of the Idaho GOP. He is a charter member of the Good Old Boys club and will always be remember for bringing Common Core to our school system. Luna is no different than the rest of the Rino’s who infest our legislature and Idaho’s bureaucratic swamp. I for one am glad to see him lose as he should never have been in that position in the first place. Thank you Dorothy for helping throw out the political trash.

  8. Excellent statement by Tom P. I couldn’t have said it better. Secure the elections or we are going to get another California!

  9. This is where the battle is fought!

    Good job to all who held the line!

    The RINO infiltrators need to be purged.

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