From the May 2000 Idaho Observer:

Legislative trends: Turning state affairs over to federal, international authority

by Bill Denman

There are several trends in state and federal government affairs that do not bode well for the people of Idaho. One is the increasing tendency of the State Legislature to turn over internal Idaho affairs to federal and international bureaucracies, thus depriving Idaho citizens of control which is rightfully theirs; this is illustrated in the bills reviewed in the Report Card. Another tendency is to hide government operations under pseudo private company names because of the increasing unpopularity of government programs. HB 490 is an example of both trends; it opens the door to further internationalization of internal Idaho affairs and illustrates the federal government's trend towards "farming out" its operations to pseudo private companies.

Management of the federal government's "international fuel tax agreement" is being handled by the International Fuel Tax Association, Inc. Their website ( says: "MISSION STATEMENT - It is the mission of the International Fuel Tax Association Incorporated to preserve trust and cooperation among the jurisdictions through efficient and effective oversight, planning and coordination of activities necessary to administer the International Fuel Tax Agreement and to conduct the business affairs of the corporation."

As you will see when you read the "Summary of Legislation," "jurisdictions" means international "... oversight, planning and coordination."

The next example of this trend towards accomplishing government goals through pseudo private corporations brings the issue closer to home. The Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) was created by the State Legislature (Idaho Code 67-6202) in 1972, primarily for the purpose of channeling federal (HUD) funds into local housing projects. On the IHFA website ( you will find this statement: "IHFA is a self-supporting corporation that must generate all revenue necessary to cover the cost of its operations. It does this by earning fees for work performed and does not use any state-appropriated funds for its operations."

This would lead the unwary Idahoan to believe that IHFA is just a private corporation serving the needs of the housing industry. Even though private funds are involved in IHFA operations, a significant portion of its revenue comes from federal sources.

Furthermore, a section of the IHFA website titled "Legislative Oversight" gives the following information: "Ex-Officio advisors to IHFA's Board of Commissioners include: The Honorable Dirk Kempthorne, Governor; Ron Crane, State Treasurer; J.D. Williams, State Controller; Gen. Darrell Manning, Interim Administrator of the Division of Financial Management." Under the section titled "Legislative Advisors" we find the following names: "Senator Cecil D. Ingram (majority party), Senator Marguerite McLaughlin (minority party), Representative Lee Gagner (majority party), Representative June Judd (minority party)." The majority party is the Republicans (89 out of 105 seats) and the minor party is the Democrats (16 out of 105). This is certainly not "private enterprise."

We must stop the insane "Democrats versus Republicans" fracas and unite to protect our future from legislators in both parties who are voting it away by approving rampant government growth at the state level and turning our state over to federal and international bureaucracies. We must forget party labels and concentrate on the basic principles of good government. Those who think that Republicans in the State Legislature are "conservative" simply are not paying attention to their voting records.

If Democrats were in power would they be more conservative simply because they are Democrats? Doubtful, very, very doubtful.

In Bonner County, liberal Republicans are joining with liberal Democrats to oppose conservative Republicans and conservative Democrats. This uniting of liberals in both parties in opposition to conservatives in both parties may be the best thing that has happened in Bonner County in a long time. It will eliminate the "Republicans versus Democrats" fracas that has kept people divided for so long and force attention on definitions of terms such as "far right," and "far left," and ultimately bring about a better understanding of political ideals.

The fundamental issues of today are socialism versus the free market economy, and ultimately, slavery versus freedom; not Republicans versus Democrats. Both parties are predominantly socialist in philosophy and are in favor of perpetually expanding government. This is not biased personal opinion - voting records prove it. Yes, there are exceptions in both parties, but they are presently in the minority. Drawing clearly recognizable lines between the differing political ideologies will focus attention on the basic principles of government, which is where it should always be.

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