Cleveland For Congress
Cleveland For Congress

Idaho Dispatch

Your Local Media Ally

Op-Ed: Unofficial IDGOP Caucus Rules Supersede the Constitution?

By • February 15, 2024

The Presidential caucuses are approaching here in Idaho, and everyone knows the strange journey that has brought us here. Regardless of who is to blame for the elimination of the statewide primary, the situation we find ourselves in is the same.

The Idaho GOP has not held a caucus since 2012 so many have been curious about the process and procedure that will be followed. Conservatives have become aware of election fraud since the stolen 2020 election, and it has since become a top issue for Patriots. With our well-founded skepticism of elections, GOP officials should make it a priority to have fair and transparent elections.

Unfortunately, leadership at the IDGOP has given the directive to shut reporters, journalists, and other media out of the caucuses. While we all have become fed up with fake news, this anti-free speech move will also apply to conservative citizen journalists like myself, who simply want to document the caucus to ensure everything is run properly. It is of course our Constitutional Right, especially when political party business is concerned, to be citizen auditors utilizing the First Amendment.

I reached out to local GOP leaders in Ada County and was shocked to find out that filming will not be permitted at the caucuses. From my emails with Ada County GOP Chair Thad Butterworth (who I presume is a good conservative man), it became clear that the IDGOP is using a top-down method of leadership where state party leadership is forcing local GOP units to shut out individuals simply for possessing a camera to document the event and votes. Is this being done to cover up nefarious actions? Are they worried that on-the-ground documentation of the caucus would lead to false news reporting?

When informed of this so-called rule, which is nowhere to be found on the IDGOP caucus rules page, I inquired further because it shocked me that the so-called “Party of Free Speech” would be willing to disregard our First Amendment Right (for this case) to speech, press, and peaceably assembling. After noting that nearly every individual now-a-days possesses a cell phone with audio, video, and picture capabilities, I asked how a camera could be perceived differently than a cell phone.

I was informed that there are not rules preventing voters from using their phones to capture video, audio, and pictures. No clear distinction was made as to why cell phones are permitted for this end but not better video equipment. The hyper-sensitivity that appears to have permeated the IDGOP is in conflict with our Constitution and may prevent citizen journalists (or other media) from exposing wrong-doing in the caucuses.

While political parties are private organizations and not governmental entities, they do have the authority to violate our Rights, but is that the road the IDGOP really wants to lead us down? Fear of transparency should be alarming, especially when no caucus has been held in 12 years. There will be many learning moments and mistakes for volunteers and workers in the caucus. This clunkiness should not fear a camera, we should be fearful when there is no camera to document it! How much will be swept under the rug simply because the IDGOP leadership is afraid of citizens utilizing the First Amendment? Also, why not have clear rules that govern this instead of word-of-mouth communication?

As a proud supporter of President Trump’s re-election bid, I fear that our concerns of election integrity could go unheard and left completely in the dark. If media and citizen journalists will be forced outside, how can potential fraud be uncovered?

In order to protect Free Speech, Free Press, and Free Assembly of We the People, the IDGOP must reverse their decision and allow for citizen journalists and other media to witness and record the caucus proceedings. If the caucus will be fairly and honestly run, then there should be nothing to fear when individuals, like myself, take it upon themselves to independently provide coverage. We the People cannot allow party leaders to disregard the Constitution and hide from transparency. If you want to be the “Party of Free Speech” then you have to live up to your word!

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

Amazon Outlet

Tags: 2024 Presidential Caucus, 2024 Presidential Election, Ada County GOP, Constitution, Donald Trump, Dorothy Moon, First Amendment, GOP Party Rules, ID GOP, Idaho Republican Party, Journalists, Reporters, Thad Butterworth

19 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Unofficial IDGOP Caucus Rules Supersede the Constitution?

  1. You want to report on the caucus, then go to your caucus site and participate. Be respectful, yet most reporters aren’t, don’t take pictures of people voting. You can’t take pictures in a polling place of people casting secret ballots, so why would you in a caucus site? Read the rules reporters.

    1. Exactly, Steve.

      I am a chief election judge. We do not allow any media into our polling stations during the primary. NONE. Why should the caucus be treated differently? Could it be that the people, the press, and Democrats are upset that there will be a TRUE Republican vote count untainted by last-minute Democrat cross-overs and left-leaning “Independents” that plague the primaries?

      Give me a caucus ANY DAY…..

  2. The press is not allowed in polling places. There’s no reason for the press to be allowed in caucus locations where people are voting.

  3. The media has proven it can not be trusted as a source of truth. When the media gets back to reporting the truth and facts maybe they can gain back some integrity, although doubtful. We don’t want a reporters opinion, we want truth and facts, then we make our own informed decisions.

  4. All I see is an Idaho GOP removing constitutional freedoms in a knee jerk reaction while putting in place the same fascist playbook as Commiecrats. The solution is so simple and yet it eludes those in power.

    I do not need the Idaho GOP telling me who I can vote for or which candidates are okay. I can do that on my own.

    1. Then go be a Democrat…..I mean go authentically be what you have always been. The days of the Idaho GOP being shiny shoed, RINO, “look at me, I voted for lower taxes but we still have the 20th worst tax picture” days are coming to a close. All hat and no cattle ain’t cutting it anymore.

      1. Typical for a fascist to just say if you don’t like it and align with the overlords of the ruling party, then leave. That is a pretty weak argument. That said, it looks like you are plenty fine removing freedoms and oppressing people as long as it gets you what you want. You should try some actual critical and analytical thinking to come up with actual solutions.

    2. Um… Jay? Caucus attendees are expected to stay 90 MINUTES to hear from the candidates or their representatives before making THEIR OWN DECISION and CASTING THEIR OWN VOTE for their preferred presidential candidates. The party is NOT telling them who to vote for.

      I trust no journalist to report the facts and hold my privacy sacrosanct.

  5. Hmmmm, you are upset about no filming and yet, most liberals love to DOX people

    What I find more disturbing is Democrat cheating by changing parties to put in the bad politician they want and not what the Republicans want. We need a law stating, whatever party you vote in the primary/caucus is the party you will be voting for in the election. No switching from democrap to republican and back.

  6. I’m struggling to see this as anything more than a petty gripe. Can you still attend the event and report on it? Yep. You just can’t film people filling out ballots. Which is as it should be. And nothing is stopping you from setting up a camera outside and asking people to be interviewed about their observations, either. It’s scheduled to be all over and done by noon, right?

  7. Yep. Controlled opposition. I am a staunch conservative using all the right buzzwords whilst slamming conservatives. Just another “common sense” conservative; all whilst bemoaning the inability to film a PRIVATE event and purposefully omitting the fact that reporters CANNOT film inside a PUBLIC GOVERNMENT conducted voting either. (Eyeroll)
    Really??? Have to wonder who is going to fall for this? 🙁

  8. Having been on the Caucus planning committee in 2012 I find it just a bit hypocritical that the “Mainstream” Republicans that planned the 2012 event allowed the press in virtually everywhere besides the booth where the tokens were placed in the can labeled for the candidate being chosen, this for every individual vote. Everyone had privacy and the whole process was public. Not this time. There’s certainly a lockdown concerning the press and privacy for each vote. The 1st Amendment was disregarded, for whatever reason, this time. I’m not surprised, either.

    1. For whatever reason, Kent?

      Try the 2020 election fraud and the media covering it up TO THIS DAY. That’s what has changed since 2012 and THAT IS WHY the media is rightfully shut out.

  9. We are wise to so-called citizen journalists feigning concern for the Constitution and efforts to gaslight conservatives with disinformation. It is clear the majority of the NGO press are not free. Transparent caucus rules are designed to protect the process from interference by anyone, including untrustworthy media.

  10. I’m certain that the main motive here is that the well-founded fear of Fake News Orgs, chiefly KTVB, will use any opportunity to misrepresent the GOP caucus as something to be ridiculed or frightened of, would result. So, I suspect that the decision to look non-transparent overruled the greater fear of opening up to Pravda and Tass….oh excuse me….Corporate Media….and let them have their way with the process. I don’t like it….I want transparency…but I can sympathize with decision. I would say to honest reporters that you can still interview caucus goers and relay what you learn that way. No great options, in my view.

  11. According to the author, “It is of course our Constitutional Right, especially when political party business is concerned, to be citizen auditors utilizing the First Amendment.” Well, not really.

    The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, not unfettered access.

    The Party is not denying access to individuals simply for possessing a camera. They are allowing access only to members of the private organization. All members of the organization, with full transparency, will get to witness the caucus and its results firsthand.

    Just like I have no right to access, film, and broadcast my neighbor’s Thanksgiving dinner, there is no “First Amendment Right” to access a private Republican function. A federal Judge confirmed the private nature of the Republican Party when he rightly declared that non-members had no right to vote in the Republican primary.

    Let’s not do as the abortionists did and invent constitutional rights that don’t exist, like the “right” to kill a baby. It might also be wise to understand a subject matter before offering criticism. Declaring things based on assumptions is also something that should probably be avoided.

    The answer to the question, “Unofficial IDGOP caucus rules supersede the constitution?” is a resounding, NO they aren’t.

    Hillsdale College has great online Constitution classes where one can familiarize themselves with what are and are not Constitutional Rights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *