From the time President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill establishing Idaho Territory on March 3, 1863, through the early part of the 21st century, Idaho has been a haven for independent, community-minded people and reasonable, problem-solving government.
Idahoans of all political persuasions were able to work together for the education of our children, advancement of our economy, and development of a harmonious Idaho identity. All of that began changing after the turn of the century. With a dramatic 44.5% percent increase in the state population from 2000 to the present, politics in Idaho have become increasingly divisive and many of its politicians have forsaken the concept of responsible government.
The hearty, forward-looking men and women who founded this great State and nourished it through good and bad times into this new century would be greatly saddened to see the depths to which far too many of the Republican members of our Legislature have descended. Reason and common sense, which used to be the guiding stars of that party, have given way to conspiracy theories and manufactured facts among too large a number of GOP legislators. Divisiveness and dysfunction have replaced pragmatism and civility.
Three factors seem to account for the sad state of affairs of that once-admired party. First, the party adopted a closed primary election in 2011, which ensures that the most extreme and disruptive candidates end up on the general election ballot in this essentially one-party state. Second, the Idaho Freedom Foundation, which draws substantial support and direction from out-of-state interests, has managed to gain a stronghold over a sizable minority of Republican legislators. Third, the national political environment in the United States has taken a drastic turn for the worse in the last five years.
The Take Back Idaho PAC and its members and supporters are determined to take Idaho back from the grip of the IFF, its partner organizations, and their acolytes in the GOP legislative ranks. We will do this through educational efforts and political action, directed toward electing responsible candidates in the 2022 and subsequent primary elections. We plan to support individuals dedicated to educating our children, working together to solve our chronic problems, and restoring a sense of community and common purpose in Idaho. Working together, we can bring back common-sense, responsible representative government to that Gem of all States.