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Republican Legislative District 33 

Public Statement by the Republican Legislative District 33 Chairman

regarding meeting, January 11, 2024

Platform Enforcement, Article XX, Idaho Republican Party Rules

The Idaho Constitution provides for electing 3 legislators, one senator and 2 representatives for each legislative district in the state. Those legislators gather once a year in a legislative session to create laws safeguarding our rights.  We believe that it is important for the people who elect those officials to maintain communication with them, even questioning their voting records, if necessary, to assist them in representing their constituents.. 

 

Each legislative district is divided into geographic areas called precincts. Registered Republican (or Democratic, etc.) voters living in those precincts elect an individual called a Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) to represent them locally. This person volunteers his/her time to be the communication link between the voters in the precinct and the legislators.  There are several precincts in a legislative district, and the PCOs of those precincts elect a party legislative district chairman. Legislative District 33 (LD33) comprises Precincts 1-20. 

 

At the Republican summer meeting in July 2023, a formal procedure, Article XX, was adopted as a new Rule which formalized a way for PCOs to bring to the legislative district chairman any objections to the way an elected legislator has been/is voting. If enough (20%) PCOs in a legislative district question an official's voting record, a legislator could be asked to visit with the PCOs of the whole legislative district and explain why votes weren’t in accordance with the values and standards of the party platform.

 

The Idaho Republican Platform is a dynamic document, which states the values and standards that Republicans agree upon. It can be changed as needed through the proper voting procedure. Having a platform helps the people of the party unite together in promoting the principles which they believe create freedom, personal responsibility, and a prosperous society..It gives direction to our elected officials to inform their votes, advance Republican values and goals, and thus protect the rights of “we the people”.


 

In Legislative District 33, the procedure of Article XX was followed at the end of the year, 2023; the required objections were brought to the chair. LD33 PCOs were asked to study them carefully and then meet to “...give fair consideration to alleged violations and provide a meaningful opportunity for the official to be heard; determine if substantive violations of Party Platform or Constitution have occurred; provide censure and/or guidance upon the first determination of substantive violations;...” (Quoted from Article XX) In short, the goal was to determine whether Senator David Lent, Representative Marco Erickson, and Representative Barbara Ehardt were representing their constituents according to the standards of the Republican Party Platform, which they signed an oath to support. Each legislator was invited to the meeting. Although Representative Ehardt and Senator Lent communicated by phone, neither they nor Representative Erickson were willing to come and explain to the LD33 PCOs the reasons why some of their votes in past legislative sessions were not in accordance with the tenets of the Republican party platform. This essentially means that they were not representing the Republicans who elected them to office.

 

A quorum of PCOs gathered on January 11, 2024 to deliberate the objections to their legislators’ voting records. The vote determined that Senator David Lent and Representative Marco Erickson should be given a “vote of No Confidence”, with a request that they vote more in accordance with the Republican Party Platform in future legislative sessions. The chairman broke a tie vote which resulted in not censuring Representative Barbara Ehardt.

Our goal as a legislative district committee is to work with our elected representatives. We are grateful for their dedication and commitment. We urge them to learn more about the principles of natural law upon which the Idaho and U.S. Constitutions and the Republican Party Platform are based and vote in accordance thereof. We also thank the PCOs who studied the objections and cared enough to express their desires and concerns.

Jilene Burger

Chair, Republican Legislative District 33

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