Supremes Nix Redistricting Plan, Governments Just Change Laws To Fit Desires

Two different Idaho panels were unable to come up with a redistricting plan to comply with the constitutional “one man, one vote” ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Idaho Supremes have nixed the latest version after several counties filed suit protesting a split of legislative districts within their counties.

This politically charged issue comes up every 10 years, but with primary deadlines looming, it points out an attitude that is all too common in Idaho. Laws seem to be passed for the convenience of politicos rather than for the common good.

Rather than “get ‘er done,” the state legislative attitude seems to be, “Well, we can just CHANGE THE LAW and have primary elections at a later date.” When the reapportionment groups came up with their map, the counties didn’t like the result and filed lawsuits to ultimately CHANGE THE LAW.

When the Occupy protesters camped out on the state-owned annex lawn, they were not in violation of any laws. The group actually worked with state officials to keep the protest orderly and relatively sanitary (portable toilets are on site). Now, legislators are tired of being reminded of their presence and will soon CHANGE THE LAW to ban camping on state property.

When Senator John McGee got popped for DUI and auto theft, no one in officialdom had the cajones to “do the right thing.” Instead a prosecutor from Oregon was hired, thus relieving the local prosecutor and the attorney general from being forced to act. While they didn’t change the law, they avoided their duties.

When local governments were forced to obey the constitution by lenders and the Idaho Supreme Court, cities got the legislature to CHANGE THE LAW and pass a constitutional amendment (ratified by voters) that exempted airports and public hospitals from constitutional mandates to seek voter approval for debt.

IF we ever have an election, voters need to take stock of past performances–or lack thereof.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Republicans like it this way otherwise they wouldn’t keep getting elected. Besides, the other party will take your guns and force your daughters to get abortions. Remember, freedom isn’t free G-man.

  2. Steve Edgar
    Jan 19, 2012, 8:45 pm

    Dave, you forgot TERM LIMITS. Refresh my memory, didn’t the citizen’s vote for term limits 2 or 3 times in this state now? Only to be told by the Idaho law makers that we really didn’t want term limits.

    EDITOR NOTE–Steve, you are correct as usual. The supremes ruled that a law passed by citizens is just like any other law and can be repealed by the legislature which is exactly what happened. Montana citizens are grappling with a constitutional amendment that would NOT allow legislature to mess with laws passed by citizens.

  3. BoiseCitizen
    Jan 20, 2012, 8:26 am

    What do you expect when you live in a one party state? “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

  4. Moving the primary to August would also allow them to campaign for office after voter memories have gotten hazy about what they did in the last session.

  5. Personally, I like the idea of a August primary. We get all the election stuff done quickly.

    Reapportionment is always a nasty battle. August primary would give them more time to fight it out.

  6. I normally do not comment on your articles/investigations, but your interjection of the ‘occupy protesters’ into this article was NOT exactly true and I’m quoting part of your statement;
    “Now, legislators are tired of being reminded of their presence…etc, etc, etc.
    In fact legislators have been and are receiving e-mails, phone calls, etc. regarding the ‘OB camping site’: the presence of trash on the grounds, the close proximity to the Fallen Soldiers Memorial (when there was a agreement between the ‘occupy Boise’ organizers and Memorial organizers/FS families, Nov.3, 2011, to limit their occupation to the East side of the Memorial thru Veterans Day and placement of tents, etc. kept at a reasonable distance from the Fallen Soldiers Memorial)the ‘tents/structures’ are now within 10 (ten) feet of the Memorial and have been closer (not a reasonable distance) and some of the ‘so-called’ occupiers/squatters have not been orderly. This past Saturday, 01-14-2012,around 6:30 pm a ‘OB person’ was observed urinating at the front entrance (east side)of the old courthouse, now please refresh my memory, isn’t that violation of the law? Last November 2011, a Father of one of the Fallen Soldiers was at the memorial viewing his son’s name, when a ‘OB’ person approached him and declared how they (OB organizers) were going to occupy the entire area and so forth and so forth. The Gold Star Father was not there to engage in any conversation, only to view his son’s name and those of our Fallen, But this ‘OB’ person would not disengage, when the Father politely asked the OB person to do so, thereafter a confrontation of words ensued, which later translated to a news segment on CH 12,in which the OB people stated that ‘they’ felt threaten by this Gold Star Father/decorated Vietnam Veteran(combat wounded/disabled). So maybe what little you have viewed of the OB people is orderly or maybe your view is slanted, but the legislators aren’t acting entirely on their selfish egos,there has been public input! And, Yes I am one of many Boise residents that have said ‘enough is enough’ to the legislators. For I am a Gold Star Father of a Fallen Idaho Soldier and I do Not hesitate to question any misgivings of Any elected official.

    EDITOR NOTE–First off, a sincere “sorry for your loss.” I am a lucky Vietnam vet and based on what we were told and the message your son was no doubt given, we were fighting for the rights of people like those who were camped on the lawn–regardless of whether or not we support their cause. The point of the article was the number of instances where legislators amend or pass laws to cover own beliefs–which may or may not be the same as their constituents. If you and others have complained, that would surely qualify as “being reminded of their presence.”

  7. This is off the point, but Senator John McGee didn’t steal that rig, he “took it without asking.” HAHAHAHA (LOL)

  8. The OB have run their course. As seen in the news, other cities have taken back the occupy sites and its about time we do also. They believe they are in the 99%, but I will bet 99% of the Boise population would like to see that area cleaned up and taken back as state property as it was. They have out grown their stay and are now turning into a joke for this city. I applaud the legislature for seeing this and doing something about it!

  9. I am no particular fan of the Occupy Boise crowd, but they were completely within their legal rights to do what they did, and now we don’t like it so we pass a new law that makes an otherwise legal activity, illegal? You would think that everyone, even those who are conservative and certainly those who believed in limited government, would oppose the idea that one passes laws to suit a particular situation, or one’s desires as you so aptly put it. That is not an appropriate role for government.

  10. I know the quip about McGee is just a tangential example of your greater point… but you should know that prosecutors are ethically bound to conflict a case where the defendant is a public official of their jurisdiction. For instance, a Boise City Prosecutor CANNOT handle a BPD officer’s hypothetical open container ticket. Since McGee is a public official in the state legislature (and a prominent one at that) they did the absolute best thing by appointing out-of-state conflict counsel. It releaves ANY appearance of impropriety so that once a plea negotiation is made, there isn’t any question of whether the prosecutor was too lax based on internal pressure.

    I just thought I’d let you know since this looks like an obvious misconception of what was a very legitimate appointment.

    EDITOR NOTE–Given your reasoning it would be impossible for ANY elected state official to be charged by an Idaho prosecutor. I simply disagree and stand by “prosecutorial timidity.” The U.S. Justice department had no problem going after Rep. George Hanson…they didn’t get a Canadian prosecutor. Also I believe Otter was a high ranking legislator or Lt. Gov. when he had his brush with prosecutors.

  11. Diane Sower
    Jan 29, 2012, 6:34 am

    Take your guns and force your daughters to have abortions? Was that meant for a late night theme? I’ve been a democrat my entire adult life, and I’m 58, so that tells you how long, and never once have I heard, read, or bought into such ridiculous tea party logic. I want you to have your guns. I could care less if you have guns, but, the schizophrenic down the street who’s been homicidal is another question. And you can’t force someone to have an abortion. The conservatives would rather force women to not have abortions, especially during crisis times of rape, violence, incest, health concerns, etc. While working newborn nursery decades ago I cared for 2 twelve year old young mothers, and it never occurred to anyone that they might have been victims of incest or abuse. EVeryone just thought it was weird they never spoke a word, and their mothers did not want them given pain medication so they would be punished for their acts.

  12. Boise Citizen… amen on your statement…about power corrupting

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