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GOP politics on the menu

County Republicans gather for dinner, briefs on issues

Approximately 120 people attended the Feb. 25 Lincoln Day Dinner at the Greencreek Community Hall, presented by the Idaho County Republican Central Committee. Among the evening’s speakers was (pictured) Dist. 7A Representative Priscilla Giddings of White Bird.

Photo by David Rauzi
Approximately 120 people attended the Feb. 25 Lincoln Day Dinner at the Greencreek Community Hall, presented by the Idaho County Republican Central Committee. Among the evening’s speakers was (pictured) Dist. 7A Representative Priscilla Giddings of White Bird.



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Approximately 120 people attended the Feb. 25 Lincoln Day Dinner at the Greencreek Community Hall, presented by the Idaho County Republican Central Committee. Among the evening’s speakers was (pictured) Dist. 7 Senator Carl Crabtree of Grangeville.

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Approximately 120 people attended the Feb. 25 Lincoln Day Dinner at the Greencreek Community Hall, presented by the Idaho County Republican Central Committee. Among the evening’s speakers was (pictured) Rod Beck, who served as President Donald Trump’s Idaho chairman during the 2016 campaign.

— Attendees talked politics, reminisced and focused on the year ahead for Idaho and the nation at last Saturday’s Lincoln Day Dinner at Greencreek. Approximately 120 people attended the Feb. 25 evening event at the Greencreek Community Hall, sponsored by the Idaho County Republican Central Committee, which raised nearly $2,500 for local party activities and to support candidates and GOP issues.

“And everyone had a nice time,” said event organizer Marge Arnzen, “and that is what it’s all about.”

Speakers were District 7’s Representative Priscilla Giddings and Senator Carl Crabtree, along with keynote Rod Beck, who served as President Donald Trump’s Idaho chairman during the 2016 campaign.

Among the positive legislative actions this session, Giddings noted, were lifting some regulations on crop residue burning to ease burdens on producers, and removing the ISAT (Idaho Standards Achievement Test) as a requirement for high school graduation. She was critical on legislative efforts requiring background checks for massage therapists; as well as on a sign language provider bill current en route to the senate, which required the person to be at least age 21 and be licensed.

“We’re budgeting for significant tax relief,” Crabtree said, such as working on the grocery tax repeal and in making decisions through the appropriations committee (of which he is a member) “on spending $3.6 billion of your tax dollars.” He touched on education, which comprises 60 percent of the state budget, stating, “It takes a lot of money to do this,” around $11,000 annually per child; however, it costs $25,000 annually to incarcerate someone in Idaho, “so it’s cheaper to educate them.” Referring to Giddings’ discussion on massage therapists, he was one of 17 who voted no in tied decision broken by the lieutenant governor who cast the deciding no vote.

Overall, Giddings said, about her freshman year legislative experience, “It’s been more fun than a female fighter pilot should have.”

Commenting on the new message coming out of the White House, Beck said, “Politics as usual in this nation cannot survive. You can’t do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.”

Beck commented on Trump’s position outside the status quo, addressing topics the president will focus to complete within his first 100 days of office that include reducing regulations, eliminating corruption and special interest influence in Washington, D.C., judicial appointments that support the U.S. Constitution, and cancelling funding of U.S. climate change programs and using the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure. Trump’s motivation in serving as president, he said, was to “contribute to this nation.”

“This man’s been busy,” Beck said. “He’s put a great team around himself, and he’s going to get things done.”

The evening was preceded by a eulogy on long-time committee member ‘Grampa’ John Brandt of Kooskia, who died Jan. 30, given by John Solberg of Kamiah, with comments by Don DeArmond of Grangeville and Don Simmons of Kamiah. Brandt was noted for his support on Republican and conservative issues, including efforts against adopting land use planning regulations in Idaho County.

On Brandt’s genial nature, Simmons concluded, “You could argue with him about anything, and at the end of it you still had a friend.”



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