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Absentee legislator, Shepherd, still gets paid

Letter to the Editor - web extra

Why does absentee legislator Paul Shepherd still get paid for not showing up to vote? Idaho House District 7B legislator and six-term incumbent Paul Shepherd was absent without excuse for nearly 80 key votes during the 2016 session alone. This legislative session was only 75 days long so it’s hard to estimate how often he was available at all. I have researched his record on the State of Idaho’s legislative website, and these missed votes concerned 100s of millions of dollars, mostly added to this state’s budget.

Just as bad were some of the votes he did manage to cast. He increased the tax we pay on every gallon of gas by about 22 percent and at the same time increased vehicle registration fees across the board. This bill also punished hybrid and electric vehicle owners with an extra high fee. The vote that really burned me up was adopting the federal government’s provisions in the “Real ID Act.” Besides being an unfunded mandate that we have to pay for, it reeks of another Big Brother surveilance database.

These things are contrary to the Idaho Republican Platform so it really looks to me like Shepherd is not a real Republican. This newspaper reported that during a recent forum Shepherd actually said, “I’m very pleased to have another conservative running” in reference to his Republican opponent Kris Steneck. Well, I am also pleased, and that’s who I am voting for in the primary. It’s time we finally got someone that supports the conservative values held by most of District 7. Someone who is new, eager, well-informed, and will show up for the votes.

Ken Lower

Elk City


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