And in the end, hysteria triumphs in Idaho Legislature

” . . . our Legislature has completely abandoned reasoned discourse.”

Editorial basically says Idaho legislature has gone bonkers. And in the end, hysteria triumphs in Idaho Legislature. Magic Valley (Twin Falls, ID) Times-News.

Most of the comment on the blog has been about what happens to the wolves, but my take has also been if they pass crazy legislation like this in the Idaho legislature, can you imagine what other laws must be like? As they say, “when the legislature is in session, lock your gate and prepare to protect your life and property.”

I have been thinking about this and all the other frightening things the legislature has done this year (fortunately not to me directly). Sane Idahoans need to organize or they will lose their freedom, property, and many other rights.  Because it is such a Republican state by tradition, there might have to be a third party.

The legislature also just closed their primary election (that is they will now only allow registered Republicans to vote in it). The effect of this is to permanently lock craziness in power because independents and Democrats will have no say in who the Republicans nominate for office. In Idaho the winner of a primary election is pretty much the one who will win in November. Otherwise, the only hope is reform from within the Republican Party.



, ,



  1. jon Avatar

    It’s going to be real funny when you see cops in Idaho chasing after wolves rather than the criminals who are a real threat to human safety. lol Suzanne Stone got it right, fear mongering and little red riding hood theatrics. I would hope that the lunatics such as Gillette and Rockholm are a small minority in Idaho. Both of these nuts are short on facts and big on lies and fear mongering.

    1. Ken Cole Avatar

      Yeah Jon, that’s going to be hilarious….. Not really, not even remotely.

    2. Rita K.Sharpe Avatar
      Rita K.Sharpe

      I don’t find it funny at all.

  2. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    for the Times-News to come out with that strong of a statement, I would say these piss-ants in state government better rethink their spot at the public trough.
    The Times-News is nothing if not conservative.

  3. Ken Cole Avatar

    I was told that after the legislature passed the $35 million cut to the Department of Health and Welfare, program managers were caught so off guard that one was throwing up in the bathroom.

    The true terrorists are the legislators who have supported the gutting of nearly the entire social safety net in Idaho. What they have done to this state is morally despicable. That is the headline of this legislature, not the wolf disaster declaration.

  4. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    The poll cited in the article showed the citizens of Idaho were much more frightened by the legislature than by the wolves in the mountains.

    If I saw Lenore Barrett coming down the trail, I’d be really worried 😉

    Not really, a sorry joke. 🙁

    1. Savebears Avatar

      I don’t know, I know I would avoid the Montana Barrett at all costs, she is an evil witch..

      1. Elk275 Avatar

        The English lexicon does not have words to describe Debbie Barrett.

    2. timz Avatar

      I’ve seen Lenore, if you saw here on the trail and took a picture you could pass it of as a bigfoot sighting.

    3. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      I hope Independent reasonable people are watching and paying attention to whats going on right now in our country. Conservatives should be ashamed for politicizing this budget debate with their narrow social agenda. They will pay a political price for this. Today on the floor of the house the Republicans tried to block a straight up and down vote on funding the troops without any of these stupid riders attached. Politicizing and using our troops as pawns to push this backward agenda is dispicable. This is what happens when people don’t vote- we are paying now. These people have no soul

    4. Phil Avatar

      My Animal Behavior professor worked on an assignment in Idaho and Canada in the late 90s related to insect behaviors (I believe it was colonies of ants). To begin one of his lectures, he mentioned that the entire team was not fearful of wolves or grizzly bears, instead they were more fearful of confronting some drunk person with a rifle. At the beginning of the assignment they confronted a couple individuals who were much larger then they were. Lucky enough that my professor and the group were accompanied by a former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman who played in the 70s.

  5. Daniel Berg Avatar
    Daniel Berg


    Look under “Elections” then the first “2008” and read that line that starts out, “On November 4th, 2008………..”.

    Possibly a freudian slip by whoever wrote that profile?

    1. timz Avatar

      Funny, that pic also must be from a while back

    2. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      What type of a name is Hardy? Could explain some of her hostility

  6. Bill in colorado Avatar
    Bill in colorado

    Kick ass, awesome!!! Idaho is great!! People that are not republican’s should not be allowed to have any say who is nominated as the republican candidate……. If you disagree why?????? Is it that you want to control elections to reflect you and not the majority. Do you really believe in freedom?????

    1. skyrim Avatar

      Judging by the number and content of your recent posts Willy, I’d say you dropped in to pick a fight. Would that be a safe assumption? We just need to know the rules of your game.

    2. Dude, the bagman Avatar
      Dude, the bagman

      “People that are not republican’s should not…”

      People WHO are not Republicans (no apostrophe and capitalized) should not…

      “Is it that you want to control elections to reflect you and not the majority.”

      Is that a question? If so, I’ll answer. I want to be able to vote on the real issues. That means I don’t want a party whose constituents are mostly illiterate “values voters” who are manipulated into voting for the candidate who beats his chest about non-issues like gay marriage and wolves so they can push their pro-business, pro-corporate policies that really only benefit the economically elite.

      “Do you really believe in freedom?????”

      That’s definitely a question. I believe “freedom is the recognition of necessity.” Do laws that restrict robbery make the average person more or less free? Do laws that restrict air pollution make the average person more or less free? Free to breathe polluted air? Or free to pollute? One man’s freedom is another man’s burden.

      I shouldn’t feed the trolls, but I couldn’t resist trying to make an example of how stupid the average Republican voter actually is.

      1. Salle Avatar

        Dude, that’s usually what I do when they post like that. The best way to take care of that issue, the closed primaries, is to register as a repug for the primaries, you can always change your party affiliation at any time, so do that before the general election. Problem solved, they can’t dictate when you can change your party affiliation… Perhaps if more folks changed party often it might have an impact, it could disrupt the malice of preemptive campaign strategies.

    3. Jeff N. Avatar
      Jeff N.


      Wolf “Moderate” was getting lonely, now he/she can at least claim he/she isn’t the only troll here. Maybe this blog site will serve as an on-line dating site for the both of them.

      1. wolf moderate Avatar
        wolf moderate

        I wouldn’t date anyone off this site. I like girls that shave there arm pits 🙂

        Jeff, we wouldn’t want you to get information from anyone that has differing views from you, so I say we institute a test prior to anyone posting on this site. Then we can all live in this unreal world, even if it’s only here on this site…

        I think you are on to something!

  7. Jon Way Avatar

    I wonder if they are having some of the same fitness problems (inbreeding) as the wolves are in Isle Royale. They need some dispersing males to infuse into the population of legislators.

    If they go into extinction like the wolves in IR are predicted to, will they import some “East Coast Liberals” to repopulate the state.

    1. wolf moderate Avatar
      wolf moderate

      Oh dear god, let it be so! Recolonizing w/ “eastcoast Liberals” will solve all problems for sure.

    2. Dude, the bagman Avatar
      Dude, the bagman

      I think they do have an inbreeding problem. Or at least a groupthink problem. It seems like they’re only talking to each other rather than the populace and really psyching themselves up with their ridiculous ideas.

      For example, look at all the education reform crap that just passed and all the protesters who showed up. Give laptops to 9th graders? Great idea! That way we can repay the tech companies that donated so generously to our campaigns. And those damn teachers don’t need job security. The best way to attract highly qualified candidates to a position where they are subject to every accusation of every little hormonal monster with absentee/drug addict parents is to remove their job security and make other states look far more favorable than they already do. Maybe that’ll free up some money so we can finally get that road to Tamarack built so we can get up to our summer homes faster to play golf.

    3. Phil Avatar

      Jon Way: Inbreeding on IR has been going on for atleast 2 decades that the experts have known about, but possibly even longer then that and the population is still there.

  8. timz Avatar

    And this is what happens if you don’t play like the nazi’s want you to.
    “Citing their failure to support GOP leadership on procedural votes, House Speaker Lawerence Denney stripped the chairmanships of Reps. Leon Smith, R-Twin Falls and Tom Trial, R-Moscow.”

    1. WM Avatar

      Now there is some goose stepping politics for ya. Moderates in decline as the reactionary right asserts its muscle to assure party loyalty as dictated from the top. Do they do summary executions for those who refuse to follow, too?

  9. DB Avatar


    I share your deep concern but I don’t think a third party is the answer. We must support and work for candidates who support education, fiscal responsibility, economic and social justice, environmental protection, endangered species, etc. on the state and national levels. If we get behind a few candidates with a rigid and relatively narrow third party agenda, we’re doomed and may do more harm than good. And, above all, if we are lucky enough to get those good people we must cut them some slack (but let them know when they screw up, of course) and stand with them. A third party is just abandoning them and any hope of achieving anything in the face such rigid Republican party control.

    1. timz Avatar

      “We must support and work for candidates who support education, fiscal responsibility, economic and social justice, environmental protection, endangered species, etc. on the state and national levels.”

      I thought they all did that, just listen to any one of them they’ll tell you so.

    2. Brian Ertz Avatar

      Democrats have demonstrated no conviction with respect to the issues that we care about – particularly in the west.

      Politicians only respond to the threat of losing their power — we see it with Western Democrats in their shameful willingness to reach out for right-wing voters by outflanking (to the right) their Republican counter-parts – that’s where they believe the votes to be – those are the issues that they will respond to in an attempt to get those votes.

      Meanwhile, the blocks of people who care about the environment, education, health-care, etc… are taken for granted – after all, what are we going to do ? vote for the other guy ? You say what happened to Minnick, Obama, etc. etc. etc.

      This two-party sham of a choice is not serving the interests that so many people care about. Democrats don’t stand up for issues that we care about because they see no political liability in capitulating to our adversaries — the best way to support a Democrat is with ‘tough love’ – to show them that they must be responsive to the issues in a real way – in a way that demonstrates CONVICTION if they are to maintain the votes of those who care about them.

      The best way to elevate these issues within the Democratic Party is to give these issues a voice outside the party – such that Democrats must recapture them by being genuinely responsive to them – NOT by taking them for granted, NOT by straddling the fence in a way that is marginally better than the other guy. From this position, third party candidates can negotiate platforms, legislation, and resources with the Democratic Party and offer to either stand down – once adequate assurances are secured – or split the blocks and face certain defeat.

      A third party is a way that we ORGANIZE with CONVICTION and leverage blocks of voters to influence the two-party system in a way that is ACCOUNTABLE. Absent that – given our current two-party system – Democrats are NOT accountable to the interest-groups that vote for them. That very real lack of accountability is not healthy, and I would argue is largely responsible for the lack of success of the Democratic Party in terms of issues.

      THAT is how we re-invigorate the Democratic Party – give it the backbone it needs to have a chance at gaining relevance within political institutions — and states like Idaho, where the Democratic Party is all but irrelevant anyway – are perfect places in which to do this and send that clear message without “spoiling” much of anything anyway.

      the Audacity of CONVICTION

      1. David Avatar

        Brian, I think you’ve nailed it here. In another post, someone was talking organizing the SANE people of Idaho. Well, it’s not just Idaho…. and it’s not just “liberals” who care about education, human rights, the environment and are alienated. You said it very well. The issues BOTH parties stump hard are the ones they think they can use to get the votes. Who loses? ANYONE with conviction about anything. Sane people are party-less. The system is defunct. My best hope for Obama was that he would actually follow through on his campaign promise to at least fight against the influence of lobbies.

  10. Ken Cole Avatar

    I’ve had it with Democrats. I don’t know what they stand for anymore other than complete and utter capitulation.

  11. Tom Page Avatar
    Tom Page

    This is what you get in a one-party state, where candidates rise through the ranks based on their ability to stick to an ideology, rather than their ability to govern responsibly.

    Yes, Idaho is a conservative state, but the Legislature is far more conservative than the average Idahoan. It’s getting to the point where some traditional Idaho Republicans are starting to be concerned about a stable business environment. Would you want to move/start your business here if you operated anything other than a CAFO or an open pit mine?

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      Tom Page,

      I don’t know if you saw my reply to Kayla on another thread about this, but yes these people are no longer conservatives.

      They have moved into the territory of reactionary. I am using the four part distinction: reactionary, conservative, liberal, radical.

      They have become a destabilizing factor to the economy, not to even mention the quality of life that has been used to attract people and businesses to accept a lower salary to live in beautiful Idaho.

    2. Salle Avatar

      That’s the point, none of those industries care about quality of life for their workers or neighbors and certainly not for wildlife. And that’s all these radical right-wingnuts care about since they get tax money in their public paychecks, no contest there… the rest comes from the perks from the industries. I think their pensions should be eliminated.

  12. Woody Avatar

    Thanks for the link.
    I have always had a lot of respect for Tom Trail from Moscow, Idaho. Nice to know that there are some worthy heads in the legislature. It gives me a ray of hope for Idaho.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ralph Maughan