UPDATE Region VII Republicans’ Annual LINCOLN DAY BANQUET on Saturday, March 5, 2016

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Idaho Republicans Leading the Way                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Lincoln                                                 

Region VII Republicans Annual


Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison & Teton Counties



Saturday, March 5, 2016

6 pm  Social Hour    •    7 pm  Dinner

Shilo Inn Convention Center, Idaho Falls



Rafael Cruz

Invited Guest Speaker

Pastor Rafael Cruz

Father of Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz

 Born in Cuba, Rafael lived and suffered under a cruel, oppressive dictator. As a teenager he was imprisoned and tortured for his role in fighting against the regime. Rafael arrived in Texas on a student visa in 1957.  He became a conservative grassroots activist during the 1980 Presidential Campaign of Ronald Reagan.  He travels the country sharing his story and speaking on the Biblical foundations of our nation, it is his passion to encourage what can be done to return our nation to the principles that made America exceptional.  



Other Invited Guests:

*Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot

to speak for Presidential Candidate Marco Rubio

*Invited guests to speak

for Presidential Candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson


Please support this annual Republican fund raising event! Money raised by the saleof corporate tables pay the expenses of the event and allows 100% of the individualticket sales to be distributed to the nine counties in Region VII.

For Tickets:

Purchase from County Party Officials


Students $20 in Advance | $25 at Door

Individuals $30 in Advance | $35 at Door


Presidential Straw Poll will be taken at event using your cell phone.


  12 Gauge Shotgun


Shot Gun Guy

Drawing For A 12 Gauge Shotgun

Must Be Present To Win

One Free Ticket Issued At the Event Per Person

Tickets can also be purchased from:

Stephanie Gifford, Treasurer – (425) 890-1771

Questions: Bryan Smith – (208) 524-0731









Be sure you put your feet in the right place,then stand firm.   Abraham Lincoln

Paid by Region VII Repubicans Stephanie Gifford Treasurer.  Not Authorized By Any Candidate or Candidate’s Committee.

Idaho Freedom Foundations Legislative Update

Lindsey RussellFreedom Index

Dear fellow freedom fighters,

As I travel back and forth from Boise to Idaho Falls, I am reminded of the beauty and great people that live in Eastern Idaho. I am thankful everyday to call Idaho Falls my home. As the sixth week of the legislative session comes to a close there are several things I would like to bring to your attention.

First, I’d like to update you in House Joint Resolution 1, sponsored by Rexburg Rep. Ron Nate. As I mentioned last week, Chairman Tom Loertscher still continues to refuse the resolution a hearing. Sadly, I wish I could tell this is an isolated case of the top-down approach with which the leadership handles issues, but I cannot.

By the way, did you happen to see Rep. Nate give a great lesson on the minimum wage on the House floor last week? If not, click here to listen to his great floor address. 

What I can tell you, though, is that I promise to continue to support HJR 1 and keep politics out of the way of our children’s learning opportunities until the final gavel drops.

Second, I applaud the House State Affairs Committee for killing Gov. Butch Otter’s five-year funding request for his new welfare program. In short, the proposal was an unfunded mandate that would have grown into an open-ended, D.C.-style entitlement.

Third, in a very confusing turn of events, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee blocked a bill to prevent food stamp fraud. This is the same committee that gave a full hearing to Obamcare’s Medicaid expansion. It’s just another example of leadership playing politics at the expense of Idahoans.

Lastly, Eastern Idaho has the good fortune of housing several key members of legislative leadership and I wish I could say they are the beacons of freedom, liberty and democracy at the state house. Sadly, that is not the case and I’ll give you a prime example where they have an issue very, very wrong.

Last year, Sen. Pro Tem Brent Hill from Rexburg helped quash a bill to end the Politician Pension Payoff, a perk legislators wrote themselves a while back and don’t have the courage to end now. After the House passed the bill in 2015, Hill tucked it away in a favored committee, where it died an unremarkable death.

This year, the bill likely won’t even get a hearing in the Capitol. This is incredibly bothersome. Protecting million-dollar pensions is more important than doing the right thing by closing the loophole. Sad.

There is some good news, though. A Senate panel will hear a bill this week to give local authorities more tools when fire ravages their wilderness areas. We are excited to support the plan, and our vice president is planning to testify at the hearing.

There are other victories forthcoming, but I’ll share more details next week.

By the way, I’m planning a mid-session update for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Perkins Restaurant on 2000 Channing Way here in Idaho Falls. Would you like to join me? I’ll even buy coffee, hot chocolate and pastries. 


Email me at Lindsay@IdahoFreedom.org if you’d like to come.

Again, thanks for all you do for us and liberty in general. We’ll keep pushing and pushing and pushing.


Lindsay Russell Dexter

Senior Policy Director

Eastern Idaho Field Officer


P.S. If you like the work IFF does on a daily basis, please donate to the cause by clicking here. Even $5 helps fight back Boise’s Big Government ways. 

Eastern Idaho mid-session update: you’re invited! 

When: Saturday, Feb 27 at 10 a.m. 

Where: Perkins, 2000 Channing Way, Idaho Falls

Who: You, interested friends and me, IFF’s senior policy director


I’ll spring for coffee, hot chocolate and pastries. RSVP by emailing me at Lindsay@idahoFreedom.org. 


A Platform Moment

By Mark Fuller,

A Bonneville County Repubican Vice President

Our Republican Party Platform establishes our foundation beliefs in responsible government. Our First Platform Article recognizes that that all government is financed by taxing its citizens. We believe the size and cost of government, as well as the national debt, must be reduced.

We believe that Social Security must be stabilized, diversified, and privatized to allow expansion of individual retirement options. We believe in a balanced budget and support congressional action to pass a balanced budget amendment.

We believe the unnecessary growth of government has a negative impact on both the conduct of business and our individual lives. We endorse the review of all government programs and encourage their assumption by private enterprise or local government where appropriate and workable. Programs which are not cost effective or have outlived their usefulness should be terminated.

We expect the government entity which mandates a program to provide the funding for. Its implementation.

Only by understanding these principles of financial responsibility and requiring that our elected officials abide by these foundation principles, can our financial liberties be preserved. Teach these principles to your children and grandchildren that they may love financial liberty and sacrifice for their own freedom. Each dollar we allow government to exact from us is a dollar we cannot donate to a worthy cause or use to bless those in need. As taxpayers, we should allow government only the money necessary to fulfill appropriate governmental functions.

House Highlights As of February 7th By State Representative Tom Loertscher

Tom Loertscher

House Highlights

                                                       By State Representative Tom Loertscher    

The other day, after the House had adjourned, a few of my colleagues gathered around my desk and our conversation was reminiscent of the way we used to talk to each other before the capital was renovated. In our civil discourse workshop we had during the first week of the session, one of the things that we learned was that we need to talk to each other and get to know each other a little better. I’ve been making an effort to do that and have found interesting stories about some of my colleagues.

One said that she did not want to run for office at all, but was told by people in her district that she needed to do so. She told them no! They got the paperwork together and persuaded her to file. There are several here who are no stranger to hardships in their lives and those stories are very interesting and sometimes heart wrenching.

This past week was the week that County commissioners and other County elected officials found their way to Boise for what they call their Midwinter Conference. It gives them a chance to visit with everyone from the Governor to their legislators. One of the topics of discussion was the proposal that the Governor has made for the state to create a new public defender program. The biggest concern that our counties have is that they would lose control and possibly end up paying for services that they would not receive or have no use for. For the most part, the counties of district 32 just want to be left alone, and they are telling us that they are doing just fine. When it comes to government that is how a lot of people feel.

I was approached by one of the press corps asking about my feelings on how frequently Idaho seems to amend its constitution. Right now there are several proposals that are being looked at, one of which is referred to as the Blaine amendment. Because there is a prohibition in the Constitution about using state funds on religious schools, and the fact that we have established what is known as the Opportunity Scholarship, there is concern that such a scholarship could not be used at any of the religiously sponsored colleges in the state. What the amendment would do would be to clarify the language to make it possible for scholarships of that kind to be used in that setting. A couple of examples of those colleges are Northwest Nazarene College in the Treasure Valley and BYU Idaho a little closer to our area of the state. The email stream on that has picked up substantially and it looks like we will be having a hearing on that in State Affairs in the coming week.

The budget committee is still working diligently on putting a budget together, or at least hearing from all of the agencies along with their wish lists. We are still on track to keep our commitments to education that we began last. Educators at home still want to make sure that they have discretionary funds, aka, money without strings attached.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee took up the subject of Medicaid expansion and the result was about the same as poking a five hundred pound gorilla. They called it informational, with very little testimony taken. Dr. Krell from Idaho Falls blamed the Legislature for the death of a thousand people for not doing expansion. That did not sit well and it also unleashed blistering editorials around the state on both sides of the issue. While it is easy to play the blame game, there is as with most things more to the story. For me, I just wish my colleagues would do their homework and decide what is best for Idaho.



House Highlights

Tom Loertscher

by Tom Loertscher

Member of The Idaho House of Representatives

The pace of the session has picked up and we now find several bills coming forward. We just hit a deadline last Friday which was the time for the filing of personal bills. A personal bill is one that is taken directly to the Chief Clerk of the House and is introduced to the whole without having gone through a committee first. On Friday a large number of personal bills were read across the desk, more than in recent years. Subject matter ranged from permitless concealed weapons carry legislation to constitutional amendments.

A rarely used maneuver on the house floor occurred on Friday as well, and that was the motion to lay on the table. It takes a simple majority of the body to lay it on the table which means that it cannot be considered unless two thirds of the body agrees to take it off the table. In effect it kills a bill. The motion was not successful and one of our age-old customs of the crow flying occurred. It is a little statuette in the form of a crow that passes around the body from time to time when a member makes a motion that does not get at least 20 votes in support. The effort made didn’t even come close, and the crow flew.

There’s a lot of background things going on right now, one of which is discussion on water. The governor has called for money to be used for recharge. We of course are very hopeful and there seems to be more snow around at the moment than we’ve seen for a couple of years. If that is any indication we might actually have water available for recharging our aquifers.

It might be of interest that this past week there were personal bills introduced in the Senate for the expansion of Medicaid. The chairman of the health and welfare in the Senate has agreed to hold hearings on the bill. It’s a pretty heavy subject for a committee to consider in the short time available, and it will be interesting to see how it is handled there. I had a chance to visit with some folks this week about the governor’s proposal of primary care and at this point it looks a little bit like it might have a tough sell among some legislators. Most of the discussion centers around how the program would be funded and is felt that if it is to get anywhere it will have to be modified some.

It was good to get home over the weekend and to take care of a couple of pressing matters there. The good news is, at least a portion of them got completed in time for my speedy return back to the capital city. It started to snow almost the moment I got home on Friday, snowed some more on Saturday, and it was snowing when I left home. And I only got stuck once. Together it accounted for approximately 10 inches of new snow. The little grandkids had a ball playing in the fluffy white stuff but not so much in the heavy wet snow that fell on Friday. Some places I traveled over the weekend, I noticed the fences starting to disappear little by little. Keep your fingers crossed, maybe this is one of those one year in ten recharge years. One of my friends commented that he didn’t care for the snow a whole lot and then admitted,” We sure do need it, so we’ll take it.” My sentiments exactly.