Monday, January 20, 2020
Republicans Look at Impeachment, District 26 Races
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Bonnie Hovencamp checks out the vaunted Republican symbol greeting those at Saturday’s Lincoln Day Brunch at the Community Campus.
 
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

The chief of staff for Sen. Jim Risch outlined his thoughts on impeachment. And two relative newcomers to the Wood River Valley indicated their intention to oppose Dist. 26 Sen. Michelle Stennett and Dist. 26 Rep. Muffy Davis in the next election.

It all took place against the backdrop of Saturday’s 2020 Blaine County Lincoln Day Brunch hosted by the Blaine County Republican Central Committee and Blaine County Republican Women held at the Community Campus in Hailey.

About 60 men and women turned out for homemade quiche and strawberry and pumpkin breads against the backdrop of a silent auction items that included socks bearing President Trump’s image and a sweatshirt emblazoned with the words: “I Lived Through Obama. Now You Get to Live Through Trump.”

 
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An Uncle Sam, secured by Kim Baker, stood in the foreground as Julie Lynn greets a newcomer.
 

John Insinger, Chief of Staff for U.S. Sen. Jim Risch in Washington, D.C., told attendees that he believes there will be an impeachment trial, during which senators will be forced to sit at their desks with no access to cellphones or newspapers.

“They’ll have to pay attention to what going on. The public deserves to have a fair hearing on this,” he said.

 Insinger said the trial may even offer a look at how former President Obama used Vice President Joe Biden to clean up corruption concerning U.S. aid to Ukraine.

Insinger told listeners that Risch, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is in contact with the President, Vice President and Secretary of State daily and that he and the president have “an incredible relationship.”

 
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Kay and Bill Thorpe hope to run for District 26 offices.
 

“Risch says he’ll point a finger at the president and say, ‘You’re wrong,’ and Trump will yell back. But they respect one another,” he added.

Realistically, the days of all-out bullets and missiles is not the future, he added. Sanctions are where it’s at. And, instead of a shotgun approach, the government is now taking a rifle shot approach, targeting oil and the top people in Iran’s regime. That strategy can cause a lot of pain, he added, as Iran’s economy is in the tank.

 This current regime could be nearing its end, he added, as 70 percent of the population is under 30 years of age “and they don’t want to live this way.”

Insinger said that Risch is able to work with most of the Democrats among the 22 members on the Foreign Relations Committee, with the exception of N.J. Sen. Bob Melendez. Melendez, he added, is extremely difficult to work with.

 
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Cindy Jessinger showed off an axe that will be given to Gov. Brad Little to applaud Idaho’s status as the least regulated state in the nation.
 

“it’s believed (committee members) are fighting like cats and dogs, but they have each others’ respect,” he added.

Asked how best to get the facts about what goes on in Washington, Insginer replied; “I hope no one strikes me down but I actually watch CNN once in a while and MSNBC once in a while. And I watch Fox News a little bit.”

Insinger said that Trump is not the racist he’s believed to be.

“He is a different guy,” he added, to laughter. “He’s a take-charge, do-something guy.”

 
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Kim Baker leads the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
 

“If Barack Obama had done in eight years what Donald Trump has done in three, Barack Obama would be a figurehead on Mount Rushmore, and rightfully so,” he added.

  • Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who has a degree in finance and accounting from the University of Arizona, noted that paring the number of regulations in the state is freeing Idahoans to be successful. She said that some have ventured that doing away with regulations might have a dangerous impact on people’s lives.

    “But we’re not reducing rules that impact health and safety but ridiculous rules like how horses can’t be saying ‘neigh’ on a ridgetop,” she said.

    McGeachin applauded Gov. Brad Little’s efforts to grow the budget by only 3.7 percent. “That’s level of growth we can sustain,” she said.

    While the state economy is still growing, with growth expected at 7 percent this year, growth is expected to taper off to 6 percent the following year and more in the next year.

    “So, what our governor’s doing now is very responsible,” she said.

    McGeachin said the state has been able to cut things that won’t impact programs for its citizens. The state, for instance, has cut $600,000 by renting vehicles for state employees as needed. Before, some state cars were used only 29 days a year.

    “That’s the kind of cost cutting we’re talking about—the kind that will prevent cuts to important services down the road,” she added.

    The chair of the Committee to Re-Elect Trump, McGeachin also pointed to scrolls of paper hanging from a Trump sign that boasted of such accomplishments as the appointment of Dennis Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    “When people ask you why you support President Trump, you can reply, ‘Why do you not support President Trump?’ ”

  • Idaho State controller Brandon Woolf, a sixth-generation with an MBA from Boise State University, noted that people saying they trust government has fallen from 78 percent in 1954 to an all-time low of 17 percent in March 2019.

    To combat that, he said, he’s trying to be more transparent by opening up the state’s books at www.transparent.idaho.gov.

    “My long-term goal is to go to local governments—county governments, even the Blaine County School District—to encourage more transparency.”

  • As the brunch drew to an end, Kay and Bill Thorpe told of their decision to challenge Dist. 26 Rep. Muffy Davis and Dist. 26 Sen. Michelle Stennett in the next election.

The couple moved here five years ago from Long Beach, Calif, where he had been treasurer of a small town. They were familiar with Idaho, thanks to relatives who have a dairy farm near Bliss.

“As refugees of California, we have a mutual frustration,” said Bill Thorpe. “We don’t want Idaho to become California. When we found out no one was running. we decided we would.’

PHOTO

Bonnie Hovencamp checks out the vaunted Republican symbol greeting those at Saturday’s Lincoln Day Brunch at the Community Campus.

An Uncle Sam, secured by Kim Baker, stood in the foreground as Julie Lynn greets a newcomer.

Kay and Bill Thorpe hope to run for District 26 offices.

Cindy Jessinger showed off an axe that will be given to Gov. Brad Little to applaud Idaho’s status as the least regulated state in the nation.

Kim Baker leads the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

 

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