The foundational principle of Idaho’s republic is that all political power comes from the people. The citizens select their representatives and send them to the Statehouse to draft and enact laws. Each legislator represents the same number of citizens, and each has only one vote. Unfortunately, those who have served too long in Boise have built a system where their vote cancels all other representatives. This is a system we must no longer accept.

Mark Fuller

Fuller

It has been our experience that as soon as someone has political power and influence over others, they immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion in an effort to increase that power. They pretend to care for the needs of their voters while lining their own pockets and helping their friends under the table. The Boise swamp runs directly under the Statehouse.

In Boise, a cabal has over many years allowed a few key leaders to prevent the will of the people from even being heard. Your representative can work for months or even years to draft a bill to help their constituents and work longer to build a consensus of support among other legislators, yet that proposal will never even get a hearing because one all-powerful man opposes. At the moment, the man in that position of authority is Scott Bedke, and he wants even more power.

Make no mistake. Bedke wants to be governor after Brad Little, and that path runs through the office of lieutenant governor. Bedke has been in the Legislature for 17 years and has been speaker of the house for over half that time. Rules adopted and maintained during Bedke’s time in office give him power that would be envied by any dictator. If he does not like a bill, it is sent to an obscure committee and never set for hearing. If you play his game, you are appointed to be a committee chair. Just ask Barb Ehardt. If you oppose him or seek to serve as speaker yourself, you lose all appointments and are publicly shamed. Just ask Wendy Horman. If you dare oppose him as a candidate for lieutenant governor, he convenes a bogus ethics hearing to destroy your reputation. Just ask Priscilla Giddings. Bedke’s abuse of power knows no bounds. That is the unrighteous dominion part.

Bedke will be House Speaker during the 2022 session, even while running for higher office, unless he resigns his position as speaker. As a candidate, he will ask for your trust and claim that he will use his power to serve, not to control. If that’s true, he should prove his honesty by changing the system that allows one person to dominate the Legislature. If my legislator goes to the effort of drafting a bill, it deserves a hearing. If it is defeated, fair and square, so be it. If Bedke does not relinquish power now, just think of what he will do as governor. That thought should be a concern for everyone.

Mark Fuller is chairman of the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee.

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