I'm back in north Idaho! Ya-hooie! The Frank Church Banquet and IDP state meeting were terrific! I learned so much, I was surrounded by Democrats, and I could feel that political change is in the air. It is never good when radicals take over government, but the Republican choice of people like Bill Sali, will, I believe, finally convince conventional Republican voters that it's no longer in their best interests to vote a straight party ticket.
Or course it's not just the idiotic things that these elected Republicans say, it's also what they do as elected officials. Idaho is the worst in the nation for child day-care regulations, so what did the Republicans in our legislature do? The killed a bill meant to provide a minimum of safety regulations and criminal history checks! Rep. Tom Loertscher R-Iona and Rep. Steven Thayne R-Emmett voted against the bill because they think that mothers should stay at home! Excuse me, but what does a single mom do? How about two working parents since our minimum wage is not enough upon which to make a living? How could these two representatives even be elected since they don't inhabit reality at all!? Just read all about it here and tell me that your jaw doesn't drop....
Oh, and the vote on the minimum wage? Well, as reported in the Spokesman Review, the Republicans in The House State Affairs Committee voted to tie Idaho's minimum wage to the federal minimum wage, and backed off the Democratic plan that would have given our workers an annual cost-of-living increase, as well as gradually phasing out the lower service wage for workers who receive tips. I wish all waiters and waitresses in this state would rebel against this slave labor....
So the Idaho populace voted for Republicans who, basically, do not have the people's best interests in mind. And I can't even begin to describe how the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry consistently lobbies for legislation which gives big businesses big tax breaks and guess who pays for these breaks? Why, duh, the working taxpayer, of course. George Bush's strategy exactly. And that leads me down the scary, horrific path to the monster Republicans call privatization. I think I'll return to the goodness that was the Frank Church Banquet.
I didn't see much of Boise except the downtown, and Boise businesses are probably happy that my friend, Toni, and I stopped by. As for the state party meeting, I just love Maria's number-crunching - it enables me to actually see purple in this state. Our party chair, Richard Stallings, was, in turns, serious, witty, emotional, and very informative. Obviously he's doing a great job: we voted him, and our vice-chair, Jeanne Buell, into office again. We're such a great group! Gary Allen made the Rules Committee almost seem like fun. And nobody can make money matters as interesting as our treasurer, Stephanie Astorquia. Shelley Landry, our District 1, DNC-funded Northern Field Organizer, has united our district in a way that hasn't been seen in years. Her 24/7 work has renewed, re-organized, and revitalized the northern counties. And, thanks to Alex Jones, the ex-Southern Field Organizer and now our new tech person (thank goodness), Toni and I have actually become Van administrators for our county, which means we will be formidable at the next GOTV. Finally, even though I was on the other side of the room, the slide show was terrific! Especially since Boundary County's infamous billboard began the third part! All around this wonderful state the Democrats are making a difference.
In closing, one of my favorite parts of the entire trip was the blogger's breakfast. Of course it didn't last long enough (unfortunately I had to be abruptly pulled out of my seat for the advanced VAN training) and it was very informative and very productive. A very BIG thanks to Red State Rebels, not only for organizing our early morning rendez-vous, but also for carting Toni and I back and forth to the Canyon County event. And I can't leave out that she has probably the most important political blog in Idaho. I was also pleasantly surprised and appreciative when New West Boise arrived with some interesting topics for Idaho bloggers. Working together, we can become a very strong and resolute force. Thank you. I loved meeting The Sniff Test, one of my favorite bloggers, because, like me, she sometimes diverts from the political track to talk about wonderful side topics like food....but don't think that I don't appreciate her excellent reporting skills as well. It was wonderful that We have failed our duty as citizens..., who keeps such a good eye on national political chatter, came all the way from Gooding in the wee hours of the morning. And last but not least, a big thank you to A Seattleite in Idaho because as a member of our youth, she is also our future. We need the youth to participate, challenge, and help change our country, and this Pocatello student is truly a leader of her generation.
Ah...Idaho is such a great place, now filled with Democrats who want to take back our state from the forces of evil.... We shall prevail!