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Idaho Dispatch

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Op-Ed: Your Vote Just Disappeared

By • April 18, 2023

You snooze, you lose. What “didn’t happen” in the final minutes of the 2023 Idaho legislature may mean hundreds of thousands of Idahoans can’t vote to pick their party’s nominee for President in 2024.

The Legislature did pass a bill (H.B. 138) whose statement of purpose says it, “consolidates the March presidential primary election with the May primary election date.” When that bill hit the Senate, Ada County Commissioner Rod Beck correctly spotted a drafting flaw. The bill deleted the Primary in March but failed to put it back in May.

Technical drafting errors can be corrected with a non-controversial “trailer” bill fixing inadvertent mistakes to achieve original intent. Still, one must watch “trailer bills” carefully. But this error was in good faith, and an honest technical correction sailed through the Senate, straightforwardly putting a Presidential primary back in May – exactly what Senators and House members intended when overwhelmingly passing H.B. 138.

Not factored in was an Idaho Republican Party co-opted by power brokers who despise you. They think you’re stupid and can’t be trusted with important decisions like “who can run as a Republican.” They openly ask most Idahoans to butt out of what they consider “their Party.”

So, they killed the “technical correction” in the House State Affairs committee. Chairman Brent Crane was ready to pass it on the last day of the session but told Senate Leaders he couldn’t buck “the Party.” House Speaker Mike Moyle had assured me that, once out of committee, the correction would pass and be off to the Governor for signature.

Now, as Secretary of State Phil McGrane told Idaho Reports, by killing the technical correction “there will be no legal mechanism for political parties to request a presidential primary or for candidates to file for president in Idaho.”

So why would “the Party” destroy its only option for a state-run Presidential Primary? The answer: power and control.

Idaho GOP leaders now have until October 1st to advise the Republican National Committee how delegates to the National Convention will be allocated. And that “how” cannot rely on county clerks administering a secure statewide primary as was done in 2016 and 2020 when Donald Trump won the nomination.

Which partially explains why the cabal hates popular primaries. Many were not Trump supporters at first. They favored Ted Cruz in 2016, and even tried to give Idaho’s delegates to Cruz after Trump won the national delegate count. Donald Trump remembered this when endorsing Mike Simpson over cabal member Bryan Smith.

The bias against popular Presidential primaries reveals some “election integrity” rants as hypocritical. A secure state-run primary costing about $2.7 million will not now happen. Instead, the Party’s choices at this point include (a) an on-the-cheap privately-run primary, (b) a caucus or (c) a nominating convention — all options more open to corruption.

The damage to Idaho is serious. Candidates will soon budget whether to buy Boise, Spokane, or Salt Lake media, and prudence puts Idaho in the “likely not” column. Why spend campaign cash influencing public opinion when rank and file Republican opinions may not matter?

But the news gets worse. Cabal leaders see an opening. Failure to pass the “technical correction” may result in a small “Polit bureau” picking Presidential nominators. Couldn’t a similar group nominate Governor, State Senator, County Commissioner, or Sheriff? Proposals ending all nomination by party-wide primary are already circulating.

And consider this: your vote for Presidential nominee disappeared without a single state legislator who will attest “yes, I voted to take nominating power away from voters.”

Benjamin Franklin believed the America whose birth he witnessed was a “Republic,” meaning “of the People.” But he added, “If you can keep it.” When we tolerate “stealing the people’s power by hook or crook,” we should keep Franklin’s warning in mind.

Trent Clark, of Soda Springs, is Region VI Vice-Chair and former State Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, twice inducted in the Idaho Republican Hall of Fame as the state’s Outstanding Republican Worker.

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

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Tags: 2023 Idaho Legislature, 2023 Legislative Session, 2024 Presidential Election, 2024 Presidential Primary, House Bill 138, Idaho GOP, Phil McGrane, Presidential Candidates, Presidential Primary, Representative Brent Crane, Rod Beck

13 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Your Vote Just Disappeared

  1. Come on Trent, your disdain for REAL conservatives, is obviously not being blinded by your sordid corporatist past/present.

    In a column you wrote for the Post Register on Jan, 17, 2021 you said:
    “More importantly, we should learn that our choice of “friends” has consequences.”

    Well, Lets look at some of the company you keep…

    –IACI–Chairman of the board of this powerful lobby group advancing corporate interests in GOVERNMENT)
    –Monsanto–Public and GOVERNMENT affairs director at this massive agricultural biotechnology company that seeks to create a monopoly on many seeds by genetically modifying them, forcing small farmers to buy their tainted seeds instead of saving from the previous season. Monsanto is a serial violator of federal laws
    –Pfizer–“Regional spokesperson”… I think this one speaks for itself, especially after the international damage this company has brought during the scamdemic.
    –Bayer Pharma–Public and government affairs Director– Bayer, AKA IG Farben, formerly, and now Monsantos parent company. The abuses and crimes of this corporate behemoth are too vast to mention here. Here’s some more info if you so choose…

    –Mike Simpson and Crapo… Both career politicians who have been less than stellar voices for Idaho, but who may prove useful if you’re a lobbyist for one of the largest companies in the world. (no wonder the shot at Bryan Smith at being a secret cabal member, haha)

    And in regards to the continuous cabal references and your false inference that “the State GOP has been co-opted by power brokers who despise you…and think you’re stupid”…I would use the quote “Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty of” Some say Joseph Goebbels is attributed to that quote, others not, but regardless, it rings true with this piece as YOU are the very definition of a power broker as written about in the Idaho business review piece on the “Power List-50 most influential” in the state…
    I didn’t see any of the “powerful” cabal members you excoriate in this piece, and want to “protect” the people from on that list.

    I realize you may be unhappy with the outcome of the recent Idaho GOP state chair election, however that’s okay. A majority of the party has decided to put the State GOP on a different path…thankfully. One who is better beholden to the people, not one that is run by the ol’ boy dinosaurs and their profiteering cronyism.

    I too would much rather have Dorothy, and others of her Constitutionally Conservative ilk, at the helm, than your preferred candidate, given your history of advancing corporate interests in government.

    Good day to you, sir.

  2. Trent Clark is a frickin’ establishment RINO d1ck-he@d who swims in his own self-aggrandizement. He’s a disgrace to the GOP and should instead join the Democrats.

  3. Just more of what we should expect from the RINO’s led by Brad Little. He’s the one who picked these chairs who drawer-vetoed this bill, make no mistake.

  4. No one should be voting in a Corporate Board election unless you are a stockholder. Oh! That is right, you are a stock holder! You continue to participate in a de facto government! Every position up for election is a ‘For Profit’ Corporation with a D&B number. That is not our government.

  5. The state GOP RINO’s are in charge and not only in Idaho. The uniparty is our sworn enemy. Thankfully we have a large number of patriots in the GOP but we are at war..

  6. Please tell me how we are going to fix this? What can be done? Who do we speak to? What are our options, if any?

    Our country is on the blink of complete destruction, if not already. I write, call, talk to people everyday about all this and a lot of them don’t believe or care. It’s sicking. I hope they like living in Communism. It’s not going to be good.

    1. Valerie, we have to take down the Corporate structure! All these entities we have trouble with are Corporations; all 3-lettered government agencies, every municipality, every court and every political office! Liquidate all of the them! Return the assets back to the living men and women on American Land & Soil! Restore the American government back to pre civil war! That is our true government!

  7. The moving of the Presidential primary BACK to May was the intent of the bill. Obviously the LANGUAGE did not get correctly stated. However, there WAS a trailer bill meant to fix the discrepancy. It FAILED in the House, and NOT because of any RINO’s. It FAILED because a certain section of the state GOP WANTS to take the right to vote for a presidential candidate AWAY from the people, and put it squarely in the hands of delegates to the state GOP convention (and the other parties by default in their conventions). Of course, they will NEVER admit this publicly, but that IS their ultimate goal. “We the people” are too stupid to choose correctly. I don’t care which side of the GOP spectrum you fall, WHY WOULD WE LET ANYONE TAKE AWAY OUR RIGHT TO DECIDE?

  8. Primaries were not part of our governance when the nation or States were formed. States didn’t even have primaries until 1900. Now there are different ways States do this, and they all experience the same nefarious issues when it’s all said and done. Even though I don’t think primaries, or lack of, are as problematic as some other tactics (weeks of voting beforehand, some electronic issues, and so forth), I’m not against primaries. Fun fact: some elections here see less than 10% for some smaller elections in my District for example, and the general election, around 70% participation, as a rough estimate and my opinion. To me, this may negate the primary question as being the bigger problem. The session will come back. Now that we know, we can help get the Legislature to fix this next time.

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