This week we learned that distinguished Boise attorney Tom Arkoosh is the new Democratic nominee for Idaho attorney general, running against former Republican Congressman Raul Labrador. It is significant in that Jim Jones, former chief justice of the Idaho Supreme Court and former Republican state attorney general, will be Arkoosh’s campaign treasurer.
This race ultimately will show how many Idahoans truly buy into the dangerous ideology of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, which has helped isolate the more principled wing of the Republican Party. The platform passed at the recent Republican convention is chilling — a set of beliefs and policies that would effectively reduce personal freedoms, undermine public education, and weaken the essential separation of church and state in governmental actions and in personal health care decisions.
It is increasingly clear that our constitutional democracy is under assault by right-wing extremists seeking to impose their beliefs on the rest of us Idahoans. It is up to Democrats, unaffiliated voters and honorable Republicans to end this cancer and soundly defeat the so-called liberty candidates.
In contrast with the cruel, divisive shenanigans on display at the Republican convention, we at the Democratic convention in June approved a platform with six pillars all Idahoans can support:
• A quality education for every Idaho student.
• An economy that works for all.
• Equity, justice and opportunity for all.
• Quality and accessible health care for every Idahoan.
• Strengthening democracy, fighting extremism and ending corruption.
• Protecting our natural resources.
In future opinion columns, Bonneville Dems will further describe these six pillars of our state party platform. Here is the official statement expounding on protecting our natural resources:
“We extend gratitude to the Indigenous peoples and their elders who have called this place home since time immemorial. We offer gratitude for the land itself and its original caretakers. As stewards of our natural resources, we are committed to protecting them to preserve the quality of life they afford. We have a duty to preserve their use for conservation, agriculture and recreation as our heritage for future generations.”
What marks this pillar is the respect Idaho Democrats show for those who were the original inhabitants of this land and to whom we still turn for stewardship wisdom and guidance. Our outlook is long-term in contrast with the more short-term thinking of resource exploiters. Idaho Democrats recognize that our quality of life is dependent on the landscapes we share with others — those who have been here for generations living off the land or raising crops and livestock — as well as urban newcomers.
In addition, the delegates passed resolution No. 14 recognizing that extreme weather events are worsening in frequency and severity and that climate change is threatening life, property, and ecosystems in Idaho and around the world. The resolution calls for:
• Science-based actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
• Less reliance on fossil fuels and exploring alternative modes of transit.
• Incentives for more energy-efficient facilities and robust energy and building codes.
• Job creation incentives in clean, renewable energy technologies.
Jan Brown is the newly elected state committeewoman for the Bonneville County Democrats. She is a retired nonprofit executive with a life-long commitment to conservation and environmental education.