City Government

Voters Get Chance To Abolish Right To Vote

Thanks to the generosity of the Idaho Legislature, voters in November will have a chance to abolish their constitutional right to vote on public debt. Most voters probably won’t be inclined to give up rights they already hold.

Idaho’s constitution currently mandates that all public debt in excess of a single year’s revenues be approved by voters. After GUARDIAN editor David R. Frazier won an Idaho Supreme Court decision in 2006 blocking the City of Boise’s attempt to build an airport parking garage without voter approval, banks throughout the state forced cities to follow the constitution and ask voter assent prior to loaning funds. Few cities wanted voter scrutiny and they have now used public money in efforts to lobby for constitutional amendments.

They chopped up the proposals to cover hospitals, airports, and electric generating facilities owned by cities.
Here is an ASSOCIATED PRESS story by John Miller at the Statesman site that explains the issues.

The proposed amendments required 2/3 approval of both the House and Senate. Now all three will appear on the November ballot statewide.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Tell Everyone You Know
    Mar 16, 2010, 8:08 pm

    OK – Let’s all get busy and tell EVERYONE we know to vote against these bills. They will allow elected officials – who don’t care what the voters think – to go around us.

    Please pass the word!

    EDITOR NOTE–From what I can see, all but about 5 senators voted in favor of the amendments. When the voters turn them down it will certainly show how out of step the legislators are with the people.

    Editor – who voted for these bills – tell us so we can target them in November. TX!

  2. Tell… what do you bet we see a TON of advertising from cities and Counties….and it will likely be our own tax money paying the bill for them to promote support for this stuff.

  3. Sounds like they all went to the Obama School of “How To get Around the Voters”.

  4. Idaho calls itself one of the most “Rebublican States in the USA”.

    How do they hold onto this moniker in light of expanding the ability of geoverment to tax and spend our property tax dollars without a vote?

    Where do I sign up for the TEA PARTY!

  5. Just watch…these bills may be closer to passing than you all think. They’ll write in a “yes means no” and “no means yes” sorta way that has been far too prevalent in the last few elections.

    Who oversees how these damn proposals are written????

    EDITOR NOTE–Ready for this one? The GUARDIAN editor has been informed he will be writing the “con” interpretation for the statewide ballot!

  6. The GUARDIAN editor … will be writing the “con” interpretation for the statewide ballot!

    FANTASTIC! I know of no one better to be brief and concise (so people will take the time to actually read it). ¿Who will provide the español version?

  7. Well that I can count on!!!

    Keep us posted as much as possible! Glad to have an advocate!

  8. Hmmm. So they can pass a new tax, but what can ya get from someone with nothing?

    EDITOR NOTE–No new tax involved, just abolishing your right to approve expenditure of public funds. The amendment wil indeed cause tax increases to make up for all the tax free deals they will be allowed to build.

  9. I am 100% against all of this, and I agree the Republicans in our Legislature should be ashamed. This is the kind of crap that has alienated so many Republican voters in recent years.

  10. The Republicans in our legislature have become incredibly arrogant. They dictate what they want. They don’t hear bills they don’t like. They set the agenda and plug bills through. That’s why we need to vote against every damned one of them whether we agree with the Dems or not. We need some discourse and some honest competition in the Statehouse. Nothing good comes from our 1-party system.. even less than we get with a 2-party.

  11. Rod in SE Boise
    Mar 17, 2010, 9:59 pm

    Mary P. can say any outlandish thing she wants but she cannot provide one example of Obama “Getting Around the Voters”. He was elected by a large majority to enact an agenda. It is the Republicans in the Idaho Legislature who want to get around the voters.

    We have much more to fear from our state and local governments than we do from Washington.

  12. Editor:

    Congratulations on being chosen to write the “con” interpretation on the statewide ballot for this bill that would con the public out of its right to vote.

    As a Democrat, I am extremely disappointed in my vote for the current president, whose agenda is whichever the wind blows on a certain day. He has lost my vote, and my vote counts.

    I am not opposed to all Republicans who try to hold line on taxes or to all Democrats who try to help the poor and underserved. It’s time for voters to vote their consciences as Americans and for lawmakers to come down off their high horses and work together to solve ever-increasing economic woes that threaten this nation. Do they ever look around at empty restaurants and businesses; do they ever consider what would happen if suddenly all they worked hard for came crashing down and they were subjected to harassment and intimidation from bill and tax collectors; do they ever see veterans and others on street corners begging for handouts to live; do they give up vacations to tend to work as other Americans do; do they even have a clue of what’s really going on in this country? I hope the elections this year send a clear message that the American people are sick and tired of being second to corporations, banks, mortgage companies, credit card companies, auto companies, insurance companies and other elitists. “We the people.”

  13. “We have much more to fear from our state and local governments than we do from Washington,” -Comrade Rod in SE Boise

    Last time I checked the locals didn’t get me into any wars, take the biggest chunk out of my paycheck, force an unpopular healthcare bill down my throat.

  14. Vote the bums out!

  15. Kappa TA– That is one of the best comments ever written at the BG.

  16. Rod: We have much more to fear from our state and local governments than we do from Washington.


    The State is compelled to balance the budget every year. They will never bankrupt us. (Actually our kids and grandkids and THEIR grandkids.) More than 40 cents of every federal dollar is going to pay the interest!

    Imagine if there were a federal Balanced Budget Amendment!

    Imagine if 2/3 of the voters had to approve any long-term federal debt. I bet we’d have a lot less of it.

    If you like how the Feds spend your money, just sign away your right to approve or reject how the local entities spend it. (So your arrogant state and local “representatives” can pat you on the head and remind you that they know what’s best for you. And that they know better than you do, how your money should be spent.)

  17. note to Robert(and others):

    As Americans we have a pretty abysmal record for participation in the electoral process. The primary this May will probably have less than a 20% turnout. The general election in the Fall not much better.

    Politicians know this and are counting on the fact most people are just not going to take the time and trouble to vote. The TEA PARTY efforts may actually change this. We will have to wait and see if people are fed up with the status quo.

  18. Mr. Editor

    PLEASE PLEASE post names of those that voted for this sham, also a suggestion:

    For too long in this country we have dealt with CAREER politicians who have caused this mess we are in, how about the Guardian start providing info and support for “citizen statesmen” to run for some of these political offices….

    Isn’t that the way it is supposed to be? you leave your job, farm, career behind for a term in offcie then GO BACK! Not make a lifetime career out of fleecing the people who elected you.

    EDITOR NOTE–All but about 5 voted in favor including both House and Senate.

  19. Rod in SE Boise
    Mar 18, 2010, 12:52 pm

    Comrade??? Wasn’t it the Soviet system that had an informer on every block? Just the kind of local abuse of police power I often object to on this website.

    For every example of federal government lunacy you guys can come up with I can come up with 2 or 3 examples of state or local nuttiness or abuse. Just right off the top of my head – trolley, tazer (and other examples of police brutality too numberous to go into), bus service, train depot, testing emmissions on Ada Country cars but not Canyon county cars, approving more subdivision lots than can ever be sold and built on, only raising lot rents on state land (Payette Lake, etc) from almost nothing to next to nothing, right to work, sueing the federal government, trash cans, etc.

  20. In all seriousness how many voters here in Idaho and across the nation have gone to cast their votes, and are STUCK with the choice of the lessor of two evils because they are the ONLY names on the ballot besides a possible write in. Let’s face it writing in Mickey Mouse just doesn’t cut it.

    The way our politicians have treated us over the course of the last decade or so they have proven that they don’t give a damn about what WE THE PEOPLE want, so help us out Guardian.. PLEASE… let’s see some NEW names on the ballots next time around I for one would select ANY name over the same old crooks that are there time and time again and basically win by default.

  21. You guys will all cave when it comes time to vote. The R’s who support this bill will tell you the other guy’s going to take your guns, burn the flag, bring on socialism, abort your daughter, let illegals vote, make you test your car, get rid of God, prohibit prayer in public, raise your taxes, license your cat, and send your parents to a government death panel.
    The Tea Party folks will roll on this. Just you watch. Why? Because Americans are pathetic on the real issue of who runs the program. They are going to scare you into supporting this bill and they know most won’t even bother to vote. American Idol or basket ball is way more important. Keep being a patriotic American, vote R.

    EDITOR NOTE–Dog, gotta disagree on this one. You are talking GUARDIAN people and they come from Dems, Rs, Ls, and TPTY. You aren’t preaching to Daily Paper people here!

  22. Not so sure he is wrong here Guardian. Given the dismal turnout in elections over the past 10-15 years, when the multi- million ad campaign comes out in October (paid for with our money) there will be an awful lot of people sucked in. Certainly not the regular readers of the Guardian, but still the majority of a very small minority that votes.

    EDITOR NOTE–Since it is now on the ballot officially, don’t forget the supreme court ruling AGAINST using public funds or resources to campaign for one side of an issue (Ameritel Inns vs G-BAD). We will be watching closely for any abuse of the law on that issue.

  23. OK G-Man, I’ll concede that perhaps some of the ones who post here might not roll. You can bet your readers will. The TPTY unfortunately will fall over itself in welcoming the F35 squadron and all the development it will supposedly bring. This bill supports that effort as reported by Mr. Miller.
    The politicians see this as a free jobs bill. Imagine, creating jobs and business at no cost to taxpayers. So what if it shifts expense to Boise tax payers! Most of the guys in the Leg live in rural Idaho. AND IT’S PATRIOTIC. If you didn’t support this bill it makes you look anti jobs and against America.
    The Idaho status quo will win in May TPTY be damed. If I’m wrong, I’ll buy lunch. (if I have a job)

  24. Rod in SE Boise
    Mar 20, 2010, 6:22 am

    Fact check for Bikeboy. A very quick check of my records shows that my wife & I paid more taxes to state and local governments than we did to the federal government in 2009, and I didn’t even have to try to calculate how much sales tax we paid to the state of Idaho.

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