Voters need to trust that their elected leaders are beholden to them — not their donors, lobbyists, or party bosses. Unfortunately, we’re seeing a rise in tribunals and censures by local GOP leaders across the state when they see elected Republican lawmakers and even the governor stray from the party platform. Most recently and shockingly, the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee is attempting to prevent one of their legislators from running as a Republican — a move that is not backed by legal precedent.

The Idaho Republican Party’s new trend of punishing and purging independent thinkers would be alarming on its own. It’s unnerving when you consider the extreme, fringe positions in the platform.

First, the platform equates all abortion with murder — a crime punishable by execution. This is, of course, even more draconian than the current abortion ban that has driven 22% of our obstetric gynecologists from practicing in Idaho. Party officials rejected an amendment that would have created an exemption to save the life of the patient by a two-to-one vote.

Second, the platform seeks to abolish the Federal Reserve Bank and tie the U.S. dollar to gold and silver. This is a dangerous, antiquated policy that would make recessions much longer and deeper. In fact, there is consensus among economists that the gold standard is one reason the Great Depression was so devastating. This move would take away our ability to use monetary policy to stimulate the economy when a downturn looms near.

Third, the platform seeks to repeal the 17th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allows the voters to elect their U.S. senators directly instead of having the state legislature appoint them. Idaho voters have been electing their senators for over 100 years.

There are many more dangerous provisions, like the privatization of Social Security. We must bolster and protect seniors’ retirement security, not squander precious dollars by inserting a corporate middleman. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act with no replacement would allow health insurers to again deny coverage for preexisting conditions, eliminate the tax credits that tens of thousands of Idahoans use to purchase coverage through Your Health Idaho, and take Medicaid away from 95,000 Idahoans.

If you don’t want to let a patient die when a medical procedure would save them, if you want modern economic policy tools at our disposal, or if you respect the right of the people to elect their senators, Chair Dorothy Moon would say you are not qualified to hold office as a Republican.

The future of our state is on the ballot this November. Voters must reject this new Idaho Republican Party that generations of Idahoans don’t recognize and elect more Democrats to restore the political balance that prevents extremism from taking root.


Lauren Necochea
Idaho Democratic Party Chair