The Take Back Idaho PAC formed two years ago for the purpose of restoring civility, responsibility and pragmatism to Idaho politics. Our aim was to change the outcome of the closed Republican Party primary in 2022 by opposing extremists and supporting those who actually wanted to serve the public. The result was mixed. Only one extreme candidate, Raul Labrador, won a statewide office. We endorsed 40 legislative candidates, 27 of whom won, while 13 lost. The results from Ada County on East were generally good, but results for Canyon County on North were disappointing. Nevertheless, we are gearing up for 2024 with renewed vigor and a revised strategy. The attached press release announces our renewal.
Take Back Idaho has listened to reasonable, pragmatic legislators who lost to extremists in the 2022 primary elections and we have devised a promising new plan for 2024. The problem is that there is no real counterweight to the propaganda spread throughout the Capitol and across the State by the confuse-and-conquer tactics of the Idaho Freedom Foundation and its allies. Without a strong media campaign countering the IFF’s propaganda and coercion tactics, the outcome of legislative races is often largely determined by the time the Legislature adjourns. By that time, the IFF has set the narrative. When good legislators return home, they find hostile voters who have been convinced by IFF falsehoods that they support all kinds of vile and/or wasteful legislation. On the other hand, extremist legislators have been built up by the same propaganda to the extent that it is difficult for challengers to defeat them.
Instead of raising money to contribute to reasonable candidates, like we did in 2022, Take Back Idaho intends to level the information playing field during the 2024 legislative session. We have engaged a savvy, experienced media expert to counter the propaganda machine of the IFF and its fellow travelers. We will meet them head-on to counter falsehoods, explain the value of legislation they oppose and expose every flaw in their positions and tactics.
For instance, when they continue their crusade for school voucher programs that would drain the public treasury for the benefit of a few, we will call them out with solid data, facts about how it would be violative of Idaho’s Constitution and how it would be particularly devastating to Idaho’s rural schools. We will point to the many real problems affecting our state that they disregard because those problems don’t drive voters by fear and outrage. While the extremists fritter their time vilifying defenseless librarians and fighting other culture battles, there are serious problems they completely ignore, including water policy, adequate funding for pre-K through higher education, property taxes, infrastructure and important social programs. The thrust of our effort will be to dispense with the meaningless culture war fights and fill the legislative halls with civic-minded problem-solvers who want to buckle down and do the job.
There is a crying need to fill this new lane. Employing military terms, it will prepare the electoral battlefield for more successful election campaigns by reasonable, responsive candidates who want to make Idaho a better, more civil place to live and raise a family.
It will be expensive, but well worth it. It will produce a better bang for the buck than merely making cash contributions to individual candidates. This program will be a great supplement to individual campaigns, providing support, sound bites and talking points that decent candidates can use. Our plan does not call for advising or directing individual candidates, but advancing the truth, supporting sound public policy and deflating the lies of IFF extremists.
To make this work, we need your financial support. If you are so inclined, you can make a contribution directly on the Take Back Idaho website. Or, checks can be made out to “Take Back Idaho” and sent to P.O. Box 2574, Boise, ID 83701. The effort to restore responsibility and pragmatism to the Legislature in next year’s elections will dovetail nicely with the Open Primaries Initiative, which is a long-term plan to take governing out of the hands of party bosses and place it back with the people. The initiative is attracting signatures at a rate to ensure its place on the 2024 general election ballot and it will likely be approved by the voters. This one-two punch promises to return Idaho to a time when people campaigned on real issues, comported themselves civilly and worked together to move the Gem State forward. Your support will be greatly appreciated and well spent.
Take Back Idaho PAC, David High, Treasurer