I’ve read with interest Sage Dixon’s long and rambling response of April 2 on the Idaho citizen’s initiative regarding the Medicaid expansion. Mostly he seems to be hiding the real issue by trying to impress us with a history lesson based on his own interpretation of history. In his response he states, regarding the initiative process, “The words ‘the people’ were never intended to promote a purely democratic process.” Wow, I thought that was exactly what they intended.
Sage and his special interest buddies in the Legislature have totally ignored the people’s will. After six years of a do-nothing legislature on the issue of health care affordability, Luke Mayville and his organization of Reclaim Idaho finally got fed up and took it to the people to force action, only to be thwarted again by the same Legislature. In spite of the overwhelming majority of testimony by the public and four former attorney generals in favor of passing the legislation as presented, Sage and his cohorts took the side of paid lobbyists. Their cover for siding with special interest is once again to spread unfounded fear that newcomers to Idaho will taint the process and that rural areas won’t be represented. Funny, but I haven’t seen one letter in our local newspaper expressing that concern or heard or read about anyone else testifying in front of the legislature about those concerns except for paid lobbyists. Jim Woodward stated in the Daily Bee, “I’ve heard from folks at home across the political spectrum that we are not interested in limiting the citizens’ ability to initiate legislation. I’ve voted accordingly.” Heather Scott is quoted as saying the bill stifles the voice of the rural voters she was elected to represent. Who is Sage listening to? Apparently not the same people the other legislators in his same area are listening to. Perhaps Sage missed his calling and should have been a lobbyist instead.
Here are my suggestions: Since Sage and the special interest people are so intent on revising the citizen’s initiative process, why doesn’t he and those special interest buddies start and follow the same process that Reclaim Idaho went through to get an initiative on the ballot that will overturn the current initiative process. And they should conduct that initiative process under the new more difficult rules that they are proposing. That seems only fair. That way they can prove it truly is the will of the people of Idaho.