Dear Representative Amador,
For many years, I believed in your reputation as a “moderate Republican.” After hearing you speak numerous times in local town halls, it certainly seemed like you were a good, reasonable guy. I sincerely appreciate your willingness to consistently show up, and engage with constituents. I can actually SEE the discomfort on your face when extreme right wing policies enter the public conversation which is precisely why I’m having so much trouble with the way you voted on some vitally important issues in the last legislative session.
Like thousands of Idahoans, you must have be frustrated with the amount of time and energy wasted on playing games with Medicaid Expansion funds. After all, 58% of your District voted for Proposition 2, Governor Little included funding for the program in his budget (interest from the Millenium Fund — tobacco settlement). Funding Medicaid Expansion didn’t have to be that difficult AT ALL. Citizens also watched attempt after attempt to repeal or restrict voter approved Medicaid expansion. I can assure you that it was incredibly disheartening to thousands of voters in District 4.
Then the anti-initiative bills came along. Legislators claimed it has nothing to do with Medicaid Expansion, but, obviously this is not true.
Additionally, bill sponsors denied that special interest groups like the payday loan industry had a hand in writing and pushing initiative restrictions, but, email evidence shows a clear connection to a MoneyTree lobbyist.
Clearly, the Idaho Legislature fears the people might use their power to bring another initiative that legislators fear — like marijuana legalization. No, it seems that the voice of the people is the LAST thing the Idaho Legislature wants to hear, for a number of reasons! Thankfully, Governor Little vetoed both bills, but we all realize this issue will be revisited next session. Will you AGAIN ignore the voices of both the people you serve and legal experts, and side with special interests? Those aren’t the actions of a “moderate.”
You know how many people in your home town VOLUNTEERED and worked their butts off to qualify Proposition 2. You know that reforming the initiative process in Idaho isn’t an “emergency” AT ALL. Public education funding, on the other hand, is an emergency the self-proclaimed “biggest education advocate in the state” should care about. How many policy issues are going unaddressed because of the time wasted on this nonsense? We have serious problems in Idaho — and the citizen initiative process isn’t one of them.
I’m seriously disappointed you didn’t vote to protect our initiative rights, and I didn’t hear a peep from you in the fight to protect Medicaid Expansion. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Campaign finance reports show you are just as generously funded by special interests as any of your colleagues. I hoped you might find the courage to do the right thing because you were the “moderate.” I was wrong.