Wayne Hoffman, the chief bottle washer of the so-called Idaho Freedom Foundation, announced on December 3 that he was contemplating the horrible fate that would befall Idaho’s colleges and universities for an alleged failure to follow IFF’s curriculum instructions. On December 7 (the Day of Infamy) last year, Hoffman decreed there would be “hell to pay” if the schools did not stop toying with social justice. Now he says he’s trying to figure out “what’s worse than ‘hell to pay” because that’s the punishment he wants his captive legislators to hit the schools within the 2022 legislative session.
Some folks might think that Hoffman is a bit arrogant, full of himself, for thinking he and IFF are in control of Idaho’s colleges and universities. Well, IFF’s many legislators jump to its every command, so even though neither Hoffman nor IFF were elected by the voters, they do control much of what happens in the Legislature. One question that does arise is why Boise State has a tenured, IFF-linked professor on its faculty who spews out misogynism, if the school is really a social justice incubator?
But, while it is doubtful that the colleges are dabbling in any untoward social justice practices, it is not clear that doing so would constitute a mortal sin. After all, most major religions are committed to the concept of social justice, probably because both the Old and New Testaments are chock full of commands to perform social justice. For example, Psalms 82:3-4 commands: “Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.” Maybe Hoffman should be doing battle with organized religion.
Hoffman has been busy because in a speech the same day in Coeur d’Alene, he suggested that the Idaho Legislature could eliminate Idaho’s Medicaid, “food stamp” and other “welfare programs.” He said Idahoans could cross the state line to get medical, food and other assistance in Spokane. The YouTube video showed that Hoffman and his IFF-inspired crowd greatly enjoyed his remarks. Not sure how they would comply with the written word of the Maker. Hoffman’s video can be found at:
Freedom Foundation board member Doyle Beck would certainly agree with Hoffman, though. In a December 1 opinion piece, Beck proclaimed that IFF is leading the fight against social programs, presumably meaning the kinds of programs Hoffman was talking about. It should be remembered that Idaho voters supported the expansion of Medicaid by a vote of 60.6% in 2018. IFF strongly opposed Medicaid expansion and unsuccessfully sued to kill it. Hoffman was suggesting the death of the entire program.
Beck says IFF wants to do away with socialist programs. Would that include Social Security, Medicare, federal farm assistance, veterans assistance, disaster recovery, SBA programs and hundreds of other programs? Practically every person and business in America receives help of some sort from the federal government.
It is interesting that the IFF and a majority of its board members scarfed up more than $2,000,000 in Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loan funds just over a year ago. IFF got almost $130,000, while Beck’s companies got just over $168,000. Lawyer, Congressional candidate and medical debt collector Bryan Smith got a little over $205,000 for his law firm and debt collection business. Apparently, socialism is only when the other guy is getting government assistance.
After giving some thought to Hoffman’s puzzling question about what’s worse than “hell to pay,” the answer is clear–continuing to be ruled by laws written by IFF’s captive legislators. It’s time to clean Idaho’s House of disruptive lawmakers who worship at the IFF altar and ignore their duty to act responsibly in the interests of their voters.
Jim Jones is a Vietnam combat veteran who served eight years as Idaho attorney general (1983-1991) and 12 years as justice of the Idaho Supreme Court (2005-2017). He is currently a regular contributor to The Hill online news. He blogs at JJCommonTater.