The following Op-Ed was submitted by Steve Bradshaw. Note: Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Is Idaho still the “Gem” State? Do we as adventure lovers, farmers, hunters, ranchers, outdoor enthusiasts, and transplants really grasp the serious state of peril Idaho faces? I do and I pray to God that you do too.
I have been traveling all over this beautiful State for the last few months. This experience has been invaluable to me. I’ve met so many wonderful people who have genuine concerns about our State and our country for that matter. A young woman and her daughter came to meet me at an event on a Saturday afternoon. She is a farmer, pregnant at the time, and tough as nails. Her husband works as a diesel mechanic during the day and farms in the evening. They have worked very hard to build their life. Generations of Idahoans, old and new, live and love this lifestyle too. Idaho is failing them.
I met with ranchers in the Magic Valley recently. All are very concerned about their cattle, crops, water, and the Feds. Do you know that the Feds have eyed massive acreage of Idaho land managed by the Bureau of Land Management for wind turbines? Imagine hundreds of huge turbines scattered all over southern Idaho – here’s the kicker – most of the power generated will be sent out of state! Yes, you read that correctly. Sounds a bit like the late Ted Kennedy, right? Remember when turbines were suggested for Martha’s Vineyard? Not in my backyard, but Idaho? Sure, let them deal with the eyesore. Idaho is failing them.
I met with a group of young adults and students who have many concerns about their future. This group has not experienced inflation. The rapid rise in food, fuel and housing costs have been a shock to their spending habits. Idaho small businesses were hammered by lockdowns with roughly 20% closing the doors for good. These students want to live and work in Idaho. Will good paying and stable jobs be available to them? Big tech companies, desperate for water are not the solution. Idaho is failing them.
As President Ronald Reagan eloquently put it, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Our Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorneys General, and Legislature, in part, are directly responsible for failing Idahoans. Idaho has been flooded with federal relief funding that has swelled state spending to levels not seen before. Clearly our representatives have ditched the idea of limited government along with the “represent” part. Balancing our budgets with borrowed money? What happens when the federal spigot is turned off? What happened to our sovereignty?
Idaho is on a precipice; the time is NOW to right the ship. Otherwise, we will never get our State back.
I do not claim to have all the answers, but we must start somewhere. Audits, balanced budgets, cutting spending and election integrity will not be taboo in our administration. We will hold people accountable. We will take back our lands, develop resources, promote small business and commerce. No more federal overreach. We are all essential. We will have freedom and liberty. We will not let Idaho fail.
Most importantly, we will bring TRUTH to POWER.