The Idaho Senate's New Right Wing

The Idaho State Senate changed control last election. The change did not manifest itself overtly or immediately. The change evolved with the session, with a couple self serving factions coming together for mutual gain in tapping majority power. The change happened recently by way of a a turf battle championed by Senator John Goedde, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, and joined by Idaho's extreme wing of the Republican Party. And to celebrate the event, many of them gathered at a downtown Boise bar on the eve of a delayed sine die.

When the secretary took the roll, Senators Hagedorn, Bayer, Goedde, and Nuxoll were in attendance plus Rep. Anderson from Priest Lake. Each of these senators voted nay on the education budget forcing the extended session. The connection between Goedde and Anderson is well known, but Goedde and Hagedorn don't often hang, yet shared a private conversation at the arrival of Goedde and Anderson. Like Anderson, Goedde is reviewed typically as a moderate but no stranger to ideological extremism, especially when education is concerned. Of major interest was Taliban Barbie who dominated the center of the group. Yet the ring leader appeared to be Phil Hardy, who once famously said that "regressive is the new progressive". Mr. Hardy was recently let go after an unfortunate tweet on his boss's twitter account (Congressman Raul Labrador) which stated "Me likey Broke Girls" during the Super Bowl which was airing a risque ad.

Given Senator Goedde's turf battle caused the legislative session to go long, at the expense of the taxpayer, the celebratory atmosphere seemed untoward, particularly since little changed from the education budget this group rejected. Yet these were lawmakers, who wouldn't otherwise socialize together, sharing drinks with extremist Senator Nuxoll and a stakeholder for some of the most socially conservative issues facing Idaho and the country. Senator Goedde proved his point, that he matters, and power brokers better salve his ego, if they want government to work. But the cost of this alliance has yet to materialize. The social conservatives have not yet been paid for their fealty to Goedde's revolt, which might be as small as a tax exemption, or as big as a full frontal assault on Roe v. Wade. Of more interest to some, is whether Phil Hardy is becoming a power broker in his own right, or still working for Labrador, as Labrador ponders a run for Governor, in an attack from the right.

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I'm thinking "factotum"

would be appropriate in there somewhere. And "ilk," of course. Thanks for the rundown.

Ah, Well . . .

. . . we aren't really surprised, are we?

My thanks, too, for the rundown!