Different DIFFERENT Slants On Urban Renewal

At least four bills aimed at getting more citizen approval for debt, election of commissioners or creation of Urban Renewal Districts are headed for the floor of the Idaho House.

Politicos bent on keeping the public from having any authority over their tax spending as mandated by the Idaho Constitution are rallying to oppose the measures. A group of Ada and Canyon conservatives are pushing for the reform, but the SLANT of legacy media is interesting for the GUARDIAN–which is openly slanted toward allowing the public a right to vote on debt and tax issues.

The TWIN FALLS TIMES-NEWSn never mentioned a word from the proponents of citizen oversight on creation of UR districts and election of commishes. The paper referred to the supporters as “critics.”

The IDAHO PRESS TRIBUNE didn’t cut much slack for Nampa Mayor Tom Dale in its coverage of a speech before the Chamber of Commerce, a private special interest lobbying group. The paper quoted the mayor claiming legislators have a “disconnect” with locals and said the mayor “scolded” legislators.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Want to talk about the public not having authority over their taxation? How about the 2/3rds super-majority for bond elections? Please tell me how 33% get to dictate what 66% can or can’t do. Even ultra conservative Texas doesn’t require super-majoritys for their bond elections.

    Allen, Texas is building a $60 million high school football stadium. We can’t even get a new convention center even though the majority has voted in favor of one, twice.

    Check what Allen, TX is doing:

    EDITOR NOTE–Wrong Cynic! The Majority voted it down and they came back after having illegally spent public money for slick brochures. Supreme Court ruled the use of public funds to influence an election is “not in the public purpose doctrine” and cannot be done. The second time they did get a simple majority, but the CONSTITUTION calls for a supermajority. I’ll ask you: How is it right for them to come back for another vote when the citizens said NO? That is one of the justifications for the supermajority…politicos can come back as often as they wish and wear down the opposition until it passes.

  2. You are correct Guardian. The GBAD bond election of Feb 2003 received only 48% approval. The repeat of Feb 2004 received a 51% approval. The devil’s in the details though. The 2003 election had only a 5% turnout while the 2004 election had a 25% turnout. Make of that what you want.

    I agree that use of public funds to sway the elections was wrong but that has no baring on whether the project is worthy or not.

    In response to your question how is it right to conduct repeat elections, how is this wrong? You’re a stickler for the nuances of the law, so where in State law does it deny repeated bond elections? GBAD was denied at 2 bond elections— so does this mean they can never hold another for the rest of eternity?

    Nor does your response answer the question of why the voters can’t be trusted with a simple majority. A simple majority, heck even a popular vote minority can give the presidency to a candidate. The man with his finger on the nuclear triggers can take office without a majority.

    I find the concept of super-majority utterly reprehensible. Why even go to the voters at all? Just leave such issue in the hands of State Legislators. The republic nature of our government is what prevents mob rule by the ignorant masses right? What if it was the other way around? Only 33% required to pass a bond, you’d be up in arms about that.

    I’m not a constitutional scholar but I’m willing to bet the super-majority clause of the Idaho Constitution is a violation of the US Constitution and I would love to see an argument about it in the US Supreme Court.

    Also, what is this paranoia over long term bond financing? When have the taxpayers ever footed the bill for a failed bond in Idaho. I’m not aware of such an instance.

    I think your agenda is just one of anti-growth and stopping a new convention center through legal technicalities is a convenient and relatively easy way to further your anti-growth agenda.

    Sorry for the long winded comment.

    EDITOR NOTE–Various supreme court decisions note that on important issues–like debt–the “founding fathers” left control with the citizens. I see the 2/3 as a safeguard, leveling the playing field–especially on property tax issues. About half the assessed value in Ada county is taxed without representation because it is commercial property or owned by absentee landlords who cannot vote. Room tax is PUBLIC MONEY, but not from property, so perhaps 2/3 IS too high.

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