Debbie in the Idaho Statesman

Debbie Holmes: Idahoans will take Simpson's actions into account at polls

In the July 15 edition of the Statesman, an article was published in which my campaign against Mike Simpson was deemed a "longshot" bid, based on the amount of money that I have raised, compared to the amount of money that Congressman Simpson has raised. This seems like a sorry measure of viability; the fact is that some messages carry farther per dollar than others. I believe that Idaho is ready for the message of health care reform, protection of civil liberties and financial protection for American homeowners. Mike Simpson has a very mixed record on all three counts, and the people of Idaho deserve to be made aware of this.

I won my primary with 69 percent of the vote. I received more votes than Mike Simpson in two of the most populous counties in the district (Blaine County and Bannock County, which includes Pocatello). My primary opponent and I received 46 percent of the total Ada County vote, well within striking range, with similar margins in several other counties. In a state where the primary voters often strategically vote in the Republican primary, I consider this an extremely promising result.

I've always thought it was odd how the press judges a candidate by the amount of money they raise. This standard would make sense if candidates were businesses; they are not. They are out to spread a message, not to make a profit. I think that many Idahoans know what principles I stand for. With Mike Simpson, voters cannot be as sure. At the same time that he paints himself as a moderate, he votes with Bill Sali on major legislation much more often than he votes against him. At the same time that he calls for bipartisan leadership in Washington, he refers to the leadership of the House as an "iron-fisted dictatorship;" this is not the sort of language that will move our national discourse forward.

When he does make a stand, it is usually not in the interests of Idaho families. Simpson had the chance to move oil subsidies into failing Idaho schools. He declined to do so.

He had a chance to protect American homeowners though the Foreclosure Protection Act. Again, Simpson is on the wrong side. He is also staunchly against legislation providing for better labor conditions for Idaho's working families. These are the issues that Idaho voters will take into account in November, not the size of the candidates' pocketbooks.

Debbie Holmes, Democrat, is a candidate for Congress, District 2.

For an updated list of events at which I will be appearing, you can visit my website. We can also use funds so that we can continue to travel the state and meet Idaho voters; you can donate money to the campaign through ActBlue.