Idaho Dispatch

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Op-Ed: Protect Freedom: Vote Yes on SJR 102

By • November 1, 2022

Imagine for a moment that an emergency comes up in Idaho. The governor of the state decides to wield unilateral power — to shut down the state’s economy, change laws with the stroke of a pen, and even appropriate millions of dollars from the federal government.

Imagine also that some local government agencies — cities, counties, and public health districts — put in place their own emergency protocols, further challenging our very rights: the freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and bodily autonomy.

You call your legislators, and they tell you there’s nothing that they can do because only the governor, per our constitution, is allowed to call a special session of the Legislature.

This is, as James Madison warned us in the Federalist Papers, the very definition of tyranny, all power in the hands of just one person. This is the reason a yes vote on SJR 102 on the November ballot is so important. What I just described did happen, and it can be prevented from happening in the future.

SJR 102 is a constitutional amendment that would allow the Legislature to call itself back into session if 60% of the members of both bodies signed a written petition demanding that lawmakers tackle specific topics. Had this been in place in 2020, the governor would not have been able to unilaterally spend $1.25 billion in federal Covid relief money, move the date for the May 2020 primary election, or shut down the state’s businesses. Local governments would not have been able to assume unchecked power to cite people for being in a park, holding a yard sale, attending church, or not wearing a mask.

One might note that the state’s big business lobby, the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, opposes the amendment. So do the state’s remaining elected Democrats. The reason they stand opposed to this change is because they have a lock on the governor’s office and have for decades. They like the idea of one person — their person — being in control of the government, making decisions that cannot be countermanded about how vast amounts of money get spent and which businesses get to be open during a pandemic. They like the idea that lawmakers get no say in such a situation because they like the expediency of tyranny.

Opponents of SJR 102 contend the legislation would change the character of the Legislature by making it a full-time body. That’s simply untrue. Lawmakers would continue to be part of a citizen legislature, comprised of people with full-time jobs, businesses, and families to get home to. A full-time Legislature is a body made up of full-time politicians, whose sole job is to be in office. It would take other changes to the state constitution to achieve what opponents say is being achieved with SJR 102.

Idaho is one of just 14 states where only the governor can call a special legislative session. This fact of life means that our elected senators and representatives are forced to sit on the sidelines no matter what actions the governor may be taking on his own. Gubernatorial tyranny needs to be stopped. Let our elected senators and representatives do their jobs. Vote yes on SJR 102.

Image courtesy of Idaho Freedom Foundation

This Op-Ed was submitted by Wayne Hoffman and Fred Birnbaum of Idaho Freedom PAC. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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Tags: 2022 Election, 2022 Idaho General Election, Constitutional Amendment, Extraordinary Session, Governor, Idaho Legislature, SJR 102, Special Session, Tyranny

7 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Protect Freedom: Vote Yes on SJR 102

  1. Thanks Wayne for the Op-Ed.
    Little and Bedke are prime examples of the times showing that we must pass SJR 102.
    Otter’s nonsensical ramblings on radio the other day of his past experience only showed that much more that the Executive Branch needs to be held accountable by the House and Senate.

    Eliminate the Dynasty: Vote YES on SJR 102

  2. Thank you for the Op-Ed. Vote yes on SJR-102 to keep our RINO Governor and Lt. Governor in check.

    I see many Republican and Independent voters going for Ammon Bundy. I think it may be significant. Maybe not enough votes to keep Little and Bedke from winning but I hope its enough to send a message “we’re not gonna take it any more”.

    The other part of this “keep’em in check” strategy is to elect Raul Labrador as AG. He’ll do the peoples work in making sure “Top Down” governance will be a thing of the past and the US and Idaho Constitutions are honored and upheld..

    To victory!!
    For Liberty.

    1. Unless those candidates unseat Little and Bedke we gained nothing. RINO’s learn nothing unless it comes from their sponsors, aka lobbyists.

  3. While Little was shutting down our lives, schools, businesses, churches, because all were non-essential as were we, our elderly suffered in isolation. Incredibly cruel to our loved ones, a punishment usually reserved for prisoners. Little is still keeping his heavy hand on our long term nursing care facilities, requiring masks and testing and quarantine. We couldn’t advocate for our loved ones in the hospitals. The propagandist continue the fear mongering today tying to hide the truth which is leaking out every day. When the shot was forced on so many we hear he doesn’t want to tell businesses “what to do.” What a line of poo, he tells businesses what to do all the time, he has entire state agencies that tell businesses what to do. His licensing boards tell doctors what they can say, what they can prescribe, how they have to treat patients and how to run their offices. Comply or they will trump up complaints from other doctors who no longer work independently but for an industrialized medical system. Turning good people against each other, and for what? Was it just money? Governor Little did exactly as his blue state friends. Now we are seeing agencies grow exponentially so the bureaucrats can fix the problems they created. What we need is independent hospitals and doctors and insurance companies. Competition and private markets, it’s coming, this is America and we can never forget how great and Resilient we are. God Bless!

  4. It’s not amazing how simply society is distracted and blindly takes sides

    It should be criminal how politics functions, and seems to only work through the dysfunctional system of dividing the population into the supporting bodies that they have become

    As the people involved supporting sides adopt some false sense of a moralistic population, and it seems that happens all the while making those who rather not be involved with such bottom feeding practices, to actually be the built up trash collected at the bottom, and holding back the good strong healthy growth that should be showing up at some point in time involved with this giant human experiment⚠️

    Makes me think of the song by the Kinks (Apeman) and go back to living in a place and time where Hope still existed⚠️

    And I didn’t have to count on some party, or monkey that’s acting out more like a puppet

    Than a real educated compassionate leader who sincerely cares about everyone, not just their own bottom line agenda politics stinks⚠️

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