Former Governor Otter’s endorsement of Ranked Choice Voting shows he has lost touch with Idaho conservatives

By Dorothy Moon, IDGOP Chairwoman

September 14, 2023

What is it about this time of year that brings the ghosts of politics past out from the shadows?

A group of so-called Republicans from ten, twenty, thirty or more years ago joined former three-term Governor Butch Otter in endorsing Reclaim Idaho’s ranked choice voting and blanket primary initiative this week.

This initiative would overturn the time-tested American principle of “one man, one vote” that has been the foundation of our republican system of government since the beginning.

Beyond being disappointing, this endorsement goes to show how out of touch the old guard has become. They are so afraid of grassroots conservatives upending their gravy train that they are joining hands with Democrats to destroy the Republican Party, and destroy Idaho in the process.

Isn’t that the very picture of cutting off your nose to spite your face?

The overlap between the so-called Republicans who are supporting the ranked choice voting initiative and the ones who endorsed the Democratic candidate in last year’s race for Attorney General is striking. In both cases they demonstrate how little they trust Republican voters to select Republican candidates.

Now, when it is apparent they cannot win, they want to change the rules.

Like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Dianne Feinstein, the old guard of Idaho politics is desperately clinging to power, and is willing to do anything to keep from losing it — even playing games with our elections. For too long they have enjoyed unfettered rule over our state — appointing donors and cronies to executive positions, appropriating public money to their friends, and generally acting like they rule, rather than serve, the people of Idaho.

Those days are over. The conservative men and women of Idaho have had enough, and are making their voices heard. That is what scares Idaho’s political establishment the most.

Governor Otter, Jim Jones, Bruce Newcomb, and the rest of the so-called Republicans who have endorsed this initiative are not representing the rank-and-file GOP. By making common cause with the other party, they are showing us the worst of the uniparty establishment.

On the other hand, the Idaho Republican Party passed a strong resolution against ranked choice voting at last year’s winter meeting, the Legislature followed that up by voting overwhelmingly to ban it, and even the Republican National Committee passed a unanimous resolution against the practice. You have to ask yourself who Otter, Jones, and their friends really represent?

The Republican Party is built from the ground up, not the top down. We don’t take orders from governors, legislators, or party leaders; rather we follow the lead of our voters and the precinct committeemen who represent them. Governor Otter and his friends in Reclaim Idaho say that’s not good enough, that we need leftists and Democrats to make our decisions for us. That’s not the Republican way, and that’s not the Idaho way.

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