Idaho Dispatch

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Senate Pro-Tem Chuck Winder Goes After Idaho Freedom Foundation

By • June 7, 2021

With the 2021 Idaho legislative session essentially over, legislators across the state have been speaking about how they felt the session went.

One Senator, Chuck Winder (R-Boise) is speaking out against the Idaho Freedom Foundation now that the session is over. Winder serves as the Senate Pro-Tem.

Winder spoke virtually with the City Club of Boise recently and said that the IFF was the biggest threat to democracy in Idaho.

Here is what Winder said,

I think my greatest disappointment, is how many legislators are willing to follow the direction of the Idaho Freedom Foundation. And to me, that’s one of the biggest threats we have to our democracy in our state, is we’ve got a small group of people that are very vocal, they’re very aggressive towards anyone that doesn’t agree with them, and they’re willing to do and say anything they want to say to try and get rid of anybody.

Several lawmakers and the Idaho Democrat spoke about Winder’s comment on social media.

Sen. Melissa Wintrow (D-Boise) felt that Winder should have done more to fight against the IFF during the session. Here is what Wintrow said on Twitter:

Thankful Winder finally said something! BUT why didn’t he as a LEADER say something during session?

Why not confront the racist legislation & language & punishment to higher education while it was happening? Why acquiesce, sit quietly while hatred & lies were unleashed? : (

The Idaho Democrat Party supported Wintrow’s comment as well. Here is what they posted on Twitter:

Finally, a group called “The Idaho 97%” praised Winder as well. Here is what they posted on Facebook:

Senator Chuck Winder, a veteran Naval Aviator and long time leader, takes a stand for Democracy in Idaho and against the inaptly named Idaho Freedom Foundation.

Idaho GOP leaders, are you IFF dupes, or are you leaders that stand for Idaho’s shared values too? #idpol #idleg

Idaho Dispatch reached out to the IFF for a response to Winder’s comment. IFF’s Vice-President Dustin Hurst told us,

Chuck Winder embodies everything people hate in politics: He is a career politician who campaigns one way and votes another. A look at this 2021 Idaho Freedom Index score shows he votes much like Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, a liberal Boise Democrat. Worst of all, Winder cast the deciding vote for the toddler indoctrination grant in the Idaho Senate. In reality, he is the huge threat to Idaho’s free future.

Rep. Chad Christensen (R-Idaho Falls) went after Winder on Facebook. Here is what Christensen said,

These guys love to bash IFF, because IFF exposes them for who they are. They consistently vote to trample on rights, expand government and spend, spend, spend! IFF consistently exposes that. So of course, we get the gnashing of teeth as a result.

What is your excuse for having the same shitty score on the American Conservative Union index, ol’ Chuck?

They don’t like to bring up the ACU….nearly the same scoring index as IFF. Call yourself what you really are…a Democrat. News flash, Chuck. Our form of government is a republic. If you can’t even comprehend that, no wonder you don’t understand what it means to be Republican.

I would much rather stand with IFF and our mutual principles of freedom than flop around in the wind standing on no principle while voting to regulate and tax Idahoans on every whim.
What are you so afraid of Chuck? This reeks of fear. #chadforidaho #chadchristensenidaho #idleg #idpol

Sen. Christy Zito (R-Hammett) also responded to Winder’s comment. Zito told Idaho Dispatch,

 Those who are in the legislature that attack the Idaho Freedom Foundation are not happy with being held acountable for voting for legislation that does not protect our freedom. Does those same legislators also feel the same way about the American Conservative Union and Club for Growth scores which are usually the same as the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s scores? Would the ACU and Club for Growth be considered a threat to our republic according to legislators that attack the IFF? Certainly the Democrats feel that way but why would any Idaho Republican say that?

While I may not agree with the Idaho Freedom Foundation on every single issue, my promise to my constituents was that I would vote to limit government interference in your lives and that’s a promise I have kept.

Idaho Dispatch also reached out to the Ada County Republicans to ask if they agreed with the assessment by Winder. Here was their response:

Our consistent answer is that the Party does not have an opinion. The senator is elected by the voters of his legislative district and we respect voters’ decisions. Our role is to elect Republicans and defeat Democrats/Socialists or other political party foes. We help the Republican candidates the voters send to us.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

Do you believe the Idaho Freedom Foundation is one of the biggest threats to Idaho?

Let us know in the comments below.


Tags: Chad Christensen, Christy Zito, Chuck Winder, City Club of Boise, Idaho 97%, Idaho Democratic Party, Idaho Freedom Foundation, Melissa Wintrow

8 thoughts on “Senate Pro-Tem Chuck Winder Goes After Idaho Freedom Foundation

  1. This brings out exactly what many of us have said all along. It was a bit disheartening to hear one of the Republican districts coment that they go on what the voters want. How do us voters know exactly who we are voting for if there isn’t a clear place to go see for ourselves which politicians voted for what. Thus the IFF. When the voting starts, the truth comes out. And by then it’s too late for voters to make a decent choice. I think the IFF needs to be published more! Thankyou Mr Christensen, Ms Zito and Idaho Dispatch!

  2. Amen to all that was said. Sen. Winder’s military and public service is to be commended. IIF is enjoying success because they are the tip of the spear of what traditional and conservative GOP voters are concerned about and want to happen. They are giving voice to our concerns and desired outcomes, much like Pres. Trump is doing on the national level. Thanks to IFF. Keep up the good work.

  3. If a political hack like Little Chucky Winder has issues with the IFF, Dustin and company are certainly doing the right thing and touching a nerve. Like almost every Progressive RINO, Chucky is very confused. He’s actually describing the Radical Leftwing MOB, BLM, Antifa loving, Social Justice, Gender Neutral promoting morons when he says, “we’ve got a small group of people that are very vocal, they’re very aggressive towards anyone that doesn’t agree with them, and they’re willing to do and say anything they want to say to try and get rid of anybody”.
    Long before there were Liberal Progress Democrats, I recognized a common trait that applied to EVERY RADICAL on the left. They always criticize in others what they dislike about themselves the most!! (take a minute and mull that over). They despise anyone who challenges their intellect and consider
    us a bunch of inbred rubes incapable thinking for ourselves.
    Speaker Winder is a worthless political hack who will scratch any backs he needs to if it furthers his agenda.
    Idaho is not a better state with political miscreants like Winder under the dome. Like some many Anti-Idaho RINOS, he needs to go. Change is coming!!!

  4. He needs to go…
    IFF, I am looking forward to insight information from y’all on all Republicans who will be running for 2022.
    Keep up the excellent job your doing.
    Thank you sooo much.

  5. With your indulgence, I have a Maya Culpa regarding some very unkind things I said in this forum regarding the frictions between the IFF/Wayne Hoffman and Senate Pro-Tem Chuck Winder. In my over zealous defense of conservatism, the Idaho Dispatch and the IFF, I expressed several unverified and harsh comments about Senator Winder. It was a horrible mistake to say such harsh things about a man I have never met based on the reporting of people I have come to trust on political issues.

    Since my post, I had the chance to meet and talk to Senator Winder about some current issues from the last legislative session, specifically SB1110, and found him to be a polite, intelligent and thoughtful man who cares deeply about the sovereignty of our great state.

    I will always a patriot first, a conservative second and a republican third. After more than 40 years of watching politics at the state and national level I accept that good people on the same side will have differences but can still work toward the same goals, albeit sometimes in different ways.

    Unfortunately, I got caught up in the negative energy surrounding the argument between Senator Winder and the IFF and failed in my due diligence before weighing in. For this I offer my sincerest apology to both Senator Winder and the staff at the IFF.

    I am always striving to be a better Idahoan and apply my time and effort where it will do the most good. I am active with the GOP Central Committee and in District 19 where I live. I hope to be elected the Precinct Committeeman for precinct 1919 at the July GOPCM meeting. I plan to raise HOLY HELL with the liberal progressives in my precinct and help elect strong conservatives to the Boise city council and beyond. It is important that I am committed to honesty and fairness in my political activism. I will need the trust and support of every conservative in my district as we do battle with the progressive socialists who want to erase our freedoms and ruin our great state.

    I can only pray that Senator Winder and the staff at the IFF will accept my apology. I want to move forward on behalf of our great state knowing that I have not made enemies of those who I will need going into battle. To the those who may read this post I hope you will take it a face value and look before you leap and not say things that you will regret. My pops used to say that sometimes I ran my mouth before my brain. I certainly did this time. We have plenty of enemies on the LEFT. In this fight we need to stick together. God bless the Great State of Idaho.

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