Idahoans deserve elected officials who do what is best for Idaho and prioritize the people they
are elected to represent. Unfortunately, the track records of our longtime Republican Senators
Jim Risch and Mike Crapo indicate a different set of priorities, as recent headlines have shown.
Earlier this month, Risch made the news for his attempts to reroute flight paths at the Boise
Airport. Unhappy with the occasional sound of planes taking on and off near his 44-acre ranch,
he used his position to ask the Federal Aviation Administration to change the flight traffic
patterns. Despite being told by an administrator that this would threaten safety and reduce
efficiency, he convinced Sen.Ted Cruz to add a clause to must-pass legislation.
This isn’t the first time Risch has misused his influence. In 2018, he nearly caused a
government shutdown over a provision to rename The Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness after
his former political rival, Cecil Andrus. Such pettiness in the face of important legislation is
Meanwhile, Crapo has spent his decades-long political career catering to his corporate donors,
at the expense of regular Idahoans. He has accepted substantial contributions from payday
lending companies, which use deceptive practices to charge Idahoans a shocking average
annual interest rate of 652%. In 2021 he opposed a resolution to overturn a “true lender” rule,
which let non-bank lenders avoid state interest rate caps through partnerships with lenders. In
this way, even if Idaho passed a state interest rate cap, Crapo wanted to ensure his friends who
make predatory loans could get around it.
Further concerning is his recent hostility to a pilot program that would allow taxpayers to save
time and money by filing their returns directly to the IRS — rather than having to pay a
corporation for filing assistance. Crapo is happy forcing Idahoans to pay these fees, which go
right into the coffers of the financial services corporations that heavily fund his campaign.
Their recent votes also tell a story.
Last year, Risch and Crapo were among the 11 senators who voted against the PACT Act, a bill
to enhance benefits for veterans exposed to toxic chemicals.
Crapo and Risch’s opposition to capping insulin at $35 a month highlights their eagerness to
side with price-gouging corporations over people needing life-saving medication.
And they have voted against enshrining same-sex and interracial marriage rights, paid sick
leave for rail workers, and codifying Roe v. Wade protections.
These two senators have collectively amassed over 80 years in public office, solidifying their
status as career politicians. It’s finally time to hold them accountable at the ballot box and usher
in change that prioritizes the interests of the people of Idaho over personal gain.
Idaho Democratic Party Chair