City Government

Politicos Favor Self Interest In Election Laws

The recall petition campaign against two District 18 legislators will be historic if it is successful. The last time there was a successful recall of a legislator was 1971 when Aden Hyde and Fisher Ellsworth, both of Idaho Falls got ousted in a a special election–but the rules were different.

The next year–1972–the legislators got to work in what has since become an series of ongoing slaps in the face of voters. Those slaps included repealing the term limits law passed by voters and a 1% property tax limitation, and raising the bar on recall signature requirements.

Most recent swipe came from the Repubs who took $100,000 from voters in legal fees after they won the right to have closed primary elections.

The GUARDIAN did some research with the Secretary of State’s election people where we confirmed the history lesson.

Prior to 1972 it took a petition with signatures of “”20 per cent of the voters who cast ballots in the last election for governor” to force recall elections in legislative districts or counties. Once Hyde and Ellsworth got outsted, the law was changed to, “20% of the registered voters in the district or county.” That requirement made it nearly impossible to get enough signatures–in fact many times the requirement for signatures was MORE than the votes cast for the candidate.

At the local level in Boise an ordinance was passed that a candidate for city council had to get at least 50% +1 to get elected. This came after some races with four or five candidates for one seat allowed someone to hold office without a clear majority of votes. Councilor Dave Eberle beat former Councilor Paula Forney in a runoff and then promptly got an ordinance passed repealing the majority requirement. Eberle is up for election in November.

Bottom line: If you don’t like the law, just change it!

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Maybe I am looking for the proverbial “pony” in this room full of horse crap, but right now I am just glad they are gone before they could screw something else up!
    And the dems? they aren’t a nickle better than the repubs!!!!

  2. “It is a misfortune incident to republican government, though in a less degree than other governments, that those who administer it may forget their obligations to their constituents, and prove unfaithful to their important trust.” The Federalist #62,James Madison, published 1787-1788.

    Seems we have always worried bout politicos not keeping the faith with the people. If they would just do the job the people elected them to do, then they would not have to write laws to protect their public service.

  3. And the people are stupid enough to help them do it. Same problem with spending. People don’t know what government’s role was intended be. Living constitution anyone? No money? No problem, just float a bond and lie about how to pay for it.

  4. Perhaps it was just in my reading but was there a sense of surprise in your article that the agenda of politicos at all levels of government puts their self-interest at the very top?

    I didn’t really think so.

    Also, I was glad to see you got the Hyde/Fisher history correct. The Press-Trib referred to them yesterday as two “northern Idaho” politicians.

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