Why our nation is in trouble
By Carol Cunningham
As the president of Bannock County Republican Women I need to disclose the following opinions are mine and do not necessarily represent any members of that organization or the Bannock County GOP.
As someone who promoted the Friday night Emergency GOP Meeting called to discuss the Idaho Insurance Exchange, I feel that I personally owe those who came to learn about the bill and share their views a big apology regarding how disrespectfully they were treated.
The reason the Precinct Committeemen (PCs) called an emergency meeting was because there was not a regular meeting scheduled before our Elected Representatives were going to vote on the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange bill that is being rushed through the house and senate.
Some of the elected PCs felt that it was important for our elected officials that are voting on that bill to hear from them, and those that they were elected to represent. The meeting began with Sen. Jim Guthrie and Reps. Kelly Packer and Ken Andrus explaining their positions on the bill.
A motion was then made to end the discussion/meeting and seconded and a vote was taken. I was shocked the motion was made and then even more shocked and disappointed that all of the public elected city, county and state representatives that were present (except one and half of the PCs) voted to end the discussion/meeting.
Of those voting on the bill, Sen. Guthrie and Reps. Packer and Andrus, the only one who voted in favor of the PCs and public being allowed to speak was Rep. Andrus.
With the motion to end discussion/meeting failing, the packed house was then limited to a very short 25 minutes to share their concerns and questions. After the discussion was closed an additional 2 minutes of discussion was maneuvered to allow Evan Frasure the opportunity to address the crowd and explain, yet again, how important it is for the GOP to back our elected officials, that we sent them to do a job, we need to trust their judgement and unite behind them and be good/supportive Republicans.
If our chair had allowed a response to this new item of discussion, I would have told Mr Frasure that is exactly why our nation is trouble. For too long we have blindly trusted our elected officials to honor their campaign promises and oaths. Because the citizens have been trusting they have become un-involved and un-informed.The price of that blind trust is a nation that is on the brink of bankruptcy and is losing security, freedoms and the opportunity to live the American Dream.
Blind trust is the perfect environment for corruption and for a honest man to lose his integrity. I would have asked that the GOP become more friendly to public input and more concerned about what we are doing and less concerned about winning elections. I would have reminded him that our form of government is from the people up not from the elected down. I would have added, that because of the importance of the parties, that elections have become about the parties and not what needs to be done and because of that our nation is being destroyed. When elections/parties are more important than our Constitution and Bill of Rights we all lose!
To rescue our great nation the public must become engaged and informed. We need to keep track of all elected officials and know their voting records and if those votes are allowed within the Constitution. We need to know what a new law is going to cost in tax dollars and perhaps lost rights. We also need to know what businesses, PACs and special interest groups are paying for their elections and why. Sadly contributions tracked in the Sunshine Reports and votes often go hand in hand.
I encourage every citizen and taxpayer to please GET INVOLVED. Ask questions, attend at least one GOP, Democrat, city, county or school board meeting every month, learn what is going on and MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Carol Cunningham of Pocatello is president of the Bannock County Republican Women.