Idaho voters should be "disturbed" by the out-of-the-mainstream platform items considered last month by the Idaho GOP, the state Democratic Party said in a news release today.
In a news release, the Democrats blasted components of the platform — including the push for a GOP candidate "loyalty oath" embracing the whole of the party platform — and failed proposals to disband public schools and establish a state militia.
"If you are tired, irritated and frightened by the right-wing extremism of the Idaho Republican Party you are always welcome in our big tent," state Democratic chairman Keith Roark said.
Here's the full news release:
Idaho voters are astounded at the radical right-hand turn taken by the Idaho Republican Party at its recent state convention. It is now clear that the “new” Idaho Republican Party is interested not in governing but in ruling our state and its people.
The recent convention approved platform planks that would take away the right of Idahoans to vote for their U.S. senator, require Republican candidates for public office to sign a “loyalty” oath and “order” a candidate for Ada County Commission who has spent a lifetime in public service to renounce his candidacy because he has from time to time reached out to Democrats in working to solve common problems.
“The citizens of Idaho want elected officials who work together to solve the problems that are important to them and their children,” stated Keith Roark, chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party. “Instead, the Republicans delivered the very kind of high octane partisanship that voters across this state and nation are no longer willing to tolerate.”
In addition to items included in their party platform, the Republicans proposed measures so far out of the mainstream that Idahoans should be disturbed that they were even considered. Some of these extremist proposals included disbanding all Idaho public schools, creating a state militia, forbidding closure of poorly run publicly-funded charter schools that are drowning in red ink, and rejecting school-based vaccination clinics (vaccinations were called “unnecessary drugging of our children”).
“The Idaho Democratic Party welcomes all well-intentioned voters to join us in finding solutions to the problems this state now faces. We embrace a wide range of views and voters. At the same time, the Idaho Republican Party is quickly moving to the extreme right, far away from its traditional, moderate center,” stated Mr. Roark. “This election season we ask the people of Idaho to look closely at the candidates and decide, based on the issues, who will best represent you. Based on issues like quality education, fiscal responsibility, fairness in taxation, and pragmatic problem solving we think that you will choose Democrats to help solve the problems that are important to you and your children. We will never ask that you sign a loyalty oath or pass a litmus test. We respect and treasure differing views and don’t believe that there is only one path to successful problem solving. If you are tired, irritated and frightened by the right-wing extremism of the Idaho Republican Party you are always welcome in our big tent.”