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