Livestock grazing is one of the most destructive land uses on public lands. Some 250 million acres of public lands including those administered by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, as well as some national wildlife refuges and even some national park units are grazed by d…

Affordable homes are essential for a thriving Idaho. Yet many Idaho families are finding it harder to obtain an affordable home as growth in rent prices outpaces growth in paychecks and folks continue to move to our state. Idaho U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo understands that Congress can help make su…

Two recent reports provide disappointing evidence that Idaho is far from having the workforce needed to create greater economic prosperity in our state, but there is also encouraging news we can build on with the support of key stakeholders.

Stanton Anderson’s recent rambling op-ed was so full of myths, generalities and deceptions that I was almost stunned into silence, especially given his claim of academic excellence. Just almost silenced.

On March 29, Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day was marked by a reverent flag raising at the VA Medical Center in Boise, followed by a wreath laying at Veterans Memorial Park. Idaho Gov. Brad Little said correctly, “America’s Vietnam veterans faced unique and extraordinary challenges, and it’s…

The pursuit of religious freedom has a long and storied history that has played an integral role in the American experience. Centuries before the Declaration of Independence declared that “all men are created equal” and that “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,…

Jim Okeson and Janice Stimpson have every legal and moral right to oppose President Trump’s construction of a wall on the southern border. Okeson is on less sure ground invoking his U.S. Navy enlistment/commissioning oath to justify his opposition as a defense of the U.S. Constitution.

Editor’s note: This guest column was submitted shortly before Gov. Brad Little announced that he had signed the bill in question.

Last year President Donald Trump signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 into law. That Farm Bill allowed states to grow hemp. With that, I only imagined our state politicians would loosen Idaho’s stringent anti-cannabis laws. When it comes to politicians, I need to learn to be more i…

What should citizens and rate players think about the proposed commercial nuclear reactor near Idaho Falls? I read with interest Kurt Hamman’s cautions. These concerns must be addressed. Ideologically motivated opponents will indeed seek to sabotage any nuclear technology project by appeals …

Merit is consequential. Some of its definitions include: excellence, distinction and worth. When merit rules, society prospers.

Last Friday, the Idaho House of Representatives voted 40-30 to pass Senate Bill 1159, legislation that would essentially revoke our constitutional right to organize citizen ballot initiatives. The bill will move to the governor’s desk sometime this week for either a signature or a veto.

In the presidential contests of 2008 and 2012, America elected Barack Obama, a progressive idealist who promised to transcend partisan politics. He ended up being the most polarizing president to date, until Donald Trump blitzed the 2016 GOP nomination and took the general election.

Last year, the City of Idaho Falls entered into a contract with Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) to develop and construct, and eventually purchase power from, a first-of-a-kind commercial nuclear power plant based on the NuScale small modular reactor design. In fact, our city …

The Constitution of the United States is the law of the land and the bedrock of our nation. Prior to the writing of the Constitution, the Founders of our country penned the rights of mankind and where those rights originated. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created…

Editorial Cartoons

I'm sure Lucy's Pizzeria is a wonderful place to eat, but why would you relegate to the 4th page the fact that a student at Sandcreek Middle School brought a gun to school? I happened to be at the school at that time along with four other family members, including two of my grandchildren. Th…

On April 4, Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, delivered the opening prayer in the House. She started with a Zen Buddhist quote about unity followed by the Unitarian Universalist prayer "Interfaith Prayer for the World" by Claudene Oliva.

In Saturday's paper, April 13, I wrote a letter that was critical of Idaho legislators that reintroduced the same legislation that would make the voter initiative process much more restrictive. I did not call legislators fascists or communists. I said "in Germany" when referring to fascism —…

I am appalled at the agreement between the attorney general and Paul Hathaway. Had he robbed someone of $50 at gunpoint he would have gone to jail. But to rob people of $8.2 million dollars through fraud is apparently not much of a crime. He is doing no jail time. He has not given up his fan…

Jim Key, in recent op-eds, claims our government should have components of both democracy and socialism and earlier suggested democracy is an essential element of liberalism. Winston Churchill said, "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its in…

The April 12 letter to the Post Register on reparations totally missed the point. A rational and dispassionate discussion of the potential benefits of reparations would not sink to an “us vs. them” argument about white and black sacrifices during the Civil War. It is also not just about givi…

Idaho’s largest day of online giving is right around the corner. This year, Idaho Gives will take place on May 2. Idaho has 7,000 registered non-profits, and I encourage you to find an organization or cause you’re passionate about and donate.

So much for Gov. Little living up to his campaign promise to back the “will of the people” — even if it clashed with his own. Interestingly, according to the Pew-MacArthur cost-benefit study, Idaho is one of only eleven states that do not study cost-benefit relationships on a regular basis w…

Privatization of the U.S. Postal Service would result in less service and higher prices, especially in Idaho. The USPS currently employs over 100,000 veterans using no taxes to provide universal service across America six, and in some areas, seven days a week. Congressional mandates that wea…

In response to the deceitful exaggerations in Darwin Wolford's letter: Sir, you have definitely have drunk the Kool-Aid dished up by the extreme conservative media. You should do more research into the reality of these claims.

When Idaho’s founders drafted our state’s Constitution, they went to great pains not to forget the source of their authority — the people. While Idaho is set up like most other republican forms of government with three co-equal branches, it also provides a system of checks and balances by th…

Mr. Fuller is to be commended for his compassion for helpless babies and the concern for the “soul of our nation” in his March 13 column. However, his stance weaves together personal beliefs, the role of government and political labeling. It would be better to unravel these strands in order …

We’ve debated Medicaid expansion for years in Idaho. On Thursday, that debate came to a head with HB277. My vote came down to one question: Did HB277 serve the best interests of Madison County?

If the voters of Idaho don’t act quickly and decisively, the 2019 legislative session may go down as the year we all lost a cherished constitutional right: the right to take matters into our own hands when our elected leaders refuse to.

Editor’s note: This column was submitted as a rebuttal to an earlier column by Carrie and Jerry Scheid. The author has imitated their question-and-answer format and made the Scheids fictional characters within it. The Scheids did not participate in drafting the column, and the views attribut…

In the last three months, the Idaho Legislature has moved to grab power for itself, and done so despite the express will of Idaho voters.

Bryan Smith asks: “What’s happening to the Democratic Party?” Put quite simply, they are sick and tired of the Republican hatemongers pushing with considerable success to greatly expand the income inequality between the rich and poor while hoodwinking the middle class into thinking that they…

The Idaho Legislature is currently debating a new Senate proposal, SB 1159, sponsored by Sen. C. Scott Grow and Reps. Sage Dixon and Jason Monks. If this bill were to become law, it would drastically change the initiative and petition process making it nearly impossible for Idahoans to use it.

Serving in a public position always invites criticism. While Theodore Roosevelt famously wrote that “it is not the critic who counts,” a wise friend also counseled me to always find the grain of truth in every criticism. And so, as the superintendent of District 93, the buck stops with me.

St. Patrick’s Day bears some unique traditions. The idea that forgetting to wear green for the day could cause you to get pinched could be described by some as crazy or even loony. Yet, it’s all in good fun.

As a member of the Blackfoot School Board, I would like to make the public aware of an issue that greatly concerns me. In the February board meeting, I made a motion that our board seek repayment of $13,233 from a bus company that had failed to perform a contract. Unfortunately, the motion f…

During ordinary times, when our government is functioning and our rights are protected, we all have the luxury to focus on raising families, going to work and enjoying leisure time free from concern about politics. We feel confident our elected officials listen to and represent us; that they…

When describing China’s future in 1925, U.S. Senator William Borah, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, “There is no power which can master (China) or hold them in subjection.” Today, instead, the discussion is whether any nation can hold back a China bent on subjecting…

We can all remember when we were kids and asked our parents for something and were turned down. That rejection made us angry at our parents. In the fullness of time, we realize as adults that not yielding to every demand pressed upon us is the natural course of life. As an adult, can anyone …

After months of speculation, we finally are beginning to move through the legislative process for work requirements, introduced in the House Health and Welfare committee by Rep. John Vander Woude.

In his recent Post Register article, “Finding a Balance Between Religious and LGBT Rights”, Sen. Brent Hill states, “Discrimination is ugly, and we condemn it. We want to send a message to all that bigotry and persecution are not tolerated by Idahoans.”

District 93 Superintendent Scott Woolstenhulme, quoted in the Feb. 5 Post Register, said, “I think in the past, we (District 93) may have been too casual sometimes with the money.” Thank you, Scott. That is what those of us opposed to past huge new bonds and giant tax increases have been scr…

In a recent op-ed, Sen. Brent Hill argued against adding the words “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” to Idaho Human Rights Act, unless people can be exempted from human rights for religious reasons. He said: “the only viable solution is a balanced approach” and we should be “seeking…

When science kept proving the fact that the Earth was not the center of the universe, Galileo was threatened by the Catholic Church to stop saying that because the church did not agree. And they had the political and social power, along with the “alternate facts,” so they forced him to acced…

After six years of seeking a solution to Idaho’s healthcare coverage gap, the Legislature has a chance to implement full Medicaid expansion with 60 percent of Idaho voters behind them. After 40 years advocating for people with disabilities, including mental illness, I see this as an historic…

About four years ago, the Ammon mayor and council started to dig deeper into how sales tax dollars are redistributed to cities and counties. We assumed that when you purchased goods or services in Ammon and paid sales tax those dollars returned to Ammon based on “point of sale.” They do not.

Medicaid expansion in Idaho is officially under attack. Just this week, Treasure Valley Rep. John Vander Woude proposed a laundry list of restrictions – including very unpopular forced work restrictions — designed to deny thousands of working Idahoans healthcare coverage. His bill, essential…

For some months now, we’ve discussed whether Idaho is a democracy or a republic. It seems we struck a consensus that we have a mixed democratic/republican form of government. Well, I thought we agreed — until this week when I discovered that we apparently live in an imperial state.

“My town Idaho” is the 2019 theme for Idaho Day, held annually on March 4 to celebrate the creation of Idaho Territory by President Abraham Lincoln on that day in 1863.

Let’s contrast the words above. First our precious freedom. People here live in wide-open spaces. Like unbridled mustangs, we declare: “Don’t fence me in.” In “Call of the Wild” a sled dog yearns to leave its traces to live free. As a child in southern Utah, I watched my uncle trap and sell …

The latest congressional voting record has just been published wherein we get to see just what our congressmen have done. It’s good to remind ourselves that each and every member of the House and Senate has sworn to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Let’s focus on o…

The recent efforts to change the Idaho redistricting commission from non-partisan to partisan is typical of nationwide Republican efforts to gain an electoral advantage. Efforts to discourage Latino voters in Kansas, to “harvest” absentee ballots in North Carolina, suppress Native American v…

I want to make something very clear, after reading a recent Post Register article: I do not favor the aggressive timber wolf inhabiting Idaho. On Feb. 18, I voted against the wolf depredation bill because it is outlandishly expensive, and it creates more government.

Idaho voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 2, a voter-led ballot initiative that will expand Medicaid to hardworking Idahoans. Proposition 2, signed into law by Governor Otter, will help the 62,000 Idaho workers that do not make enough money to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act b…

It’s always a fascinating read to see the Post Register call someone out for doing exactly that which they did. In last Sunday’s newspaper, the Post Register called on me to ‘do my homework’ regarding HB120, the bill I am running that gives parents the right to opt into sexual education or c…

The discovery of gold caused the Idaho territory to be established in 1863. President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill, creating the Idaho Territory on March 4, 1863. In 2014, the Idaho Legislature established an Idaho Day to be commemorated annually on or around March 4. Though not a legal h…

Fearing discrimination for their sexual orientation, some in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community have sought protection under Idaho’s Human Rights Act. Currently, the Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination against a person based on race, color, religion, sex, natio…

The Bureau of Land Management just released its decision on its proposed Bruneau Owyhee Sage-grouse Habitat Project (BOSH Project) which will degrade 617,000 acres of southern Idaho by logging juniper, creating linear weed patches known as fire breaks and using other questionable management …

Like thousands of families across Idaho, Vicki and I raised our children, and now our grandchildren, to enjoy the outdoors through hunting, fishing and recreation. Some of our best memories together have been spent on public lands across the state, which helped me develop a deep appreciation…

Terminology in the media of late has mentioned a “liberal world order” as Trump’s efforts to disengage with NATO and cozy up to Russia very well may confuse those that do not have an accurate understanding of liberalism.

Imagine you are talking on the phone to a loved one who is driving. You hear a scream, a crash, then silence.

Why should your personal freedoms be worth more than my life? This is the question I put to those who advocate for ever-increasing personal freedoms that put others at risk.

From time to time I receive feedback on my commentaries in print, from former co-workers or from social acquaintances. Other conservatives almost always end their comments with something along lines of: “Why bother, the media is hopelessly biased.”

Ninety-seven percent of Idaho suffers from a shortage of dentists. Almost half of Idahoans do not have dental coverage. Yet, low-cost, high-quality preventative dental care in Idaho is possible. All it would take to make basic dental care more affordable is for the Legislature to allow denta…

Humor me for a moment, while I set the stage for this example of total, ideological disregard for public safety:

Teton County, like all counties in eastern Idaho, is filled with people who want to see their friends and neighbors have a fair shot at success. You can’t have that if you’re constantly dealing with untreated health problems. I’m not surprised that 71 percent of voters in my county voted to …

Our human tendency is to see the obvious surface problem and want to simply eliminate it. It takes a lot more thinking, listening and discussion to find and face the roots of a problem. Generally, there is no quick fix that really works.

An 8-by-10 colored-glossy photo, put up on the Middle East Monitor, shows U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meeting in a crowded hall with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman (aka MBS) after Pompeo’s speech at Cairo University on Jan. 11.

Because I am human, I have basic human rights. I can work and earn a dignified wage. I can drink clean water and have access to food. I can get married and have children. I can keep them safe in a home in which I rent or own. But not if that human being is LBGT and living in Idaho.

Recently activist groups flooded the Idaho Capitol to argue for adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the civil rights section of Idaho law. They believe adding the words will end certain kinds of discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

The Targhee Pass Environmental Assessment fails to recommend the safest alternative or the best for wildlife and fails to assess all available data on wildlife-vehicle collisions. Further, it fails to plan adequately for increased traffic over the next 40 or more years.

Idaho has a great relationship to President Abraham Lincoln. History tells us he appointed 15 of our earliest officers. He signed a bill to create the Idaho Territory on March 4, 1863. He mentioned the Idaho Territory in his 1863 and 1864 address to Congress.

Reenlisting in the Idaho National Guard to deploy to Afghanistan to fight terrorists was a source of pride for me and my family. I sacrificed a lot, leaving my children behind in Boise and trading in my financially comfortable mortgage and home building career for combat boots and a dusty te…

On Feb. 4 at noon, hundreds will gather on the steps of the Capitol with a simple message: It’s time for our legislators to honor the will of the voters and fund Medicaid Expansion without restrictions.