Commenting on the March 8, 2018 story, “No change to advisory vote after county discussion.”
Commissioner Connolly’s contradicting statements. First comment, “I think there was a lot of input” to the ballot question. Second comment, commissioners have “been working on the question for weeks with little to no input until the end of the process.”
Commissioner Connolly, which was is it? I suggest one-sided input. Eliminating from the original question “federal wilderness designation” was a purposeful advantage Commissioners Bailey and Connolly provided to facilitate the seizure of Idaho land by the federal government.
What is undeclared is Connolly’s conflict of interest. As a long-time timber associate Connolly has long-standing affiliations to Idaho Forest Group (IFG). As Commissioner, Connolly is the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) representative to Panhandle Forest Collaborative (PFC). Bob Boeh, Phil Hough and others also belong to both IFG and PFC. Boeh has established the back-door “deal” where environmentalists will not challenge certain timber cutting in Bonner County in exchange for support of the “federal wilderness designation.” Hough is the environmentalist director of Friends for Scotchman Peaks.
The ballot question was designed with input from two people… above and beyond the BOCC discussions, Hough and myself. Hough was in constant communication and did present at the public meeting. Connolly verbally claimed I was invited, but he has failed the veracity challenge, as the BOCC admits they have no documentation of such invitation. Commissioner Bailey deserves the most blame, as he controlled invitations and the deciding vote.
Hough stated, “including the word ‘federal’ in the question, it would imply that Congress could enact land designation in non-federal form.” Is this twisted logic or quoting? If the question is identified as “federal wilderness designation” than the designation of wilderness is being enacted clearly by federal entity and non-federal entities are irrelevant!
My attempts to provide clarity to the question, supported by Clerk Rosedale, emanate from my position as an election poll judge. Questions that attempt to circumvent the easiest understanding may promote poll talk when the question is recognized as being evasively worded. Voters of all ages understand that a “federal wilderness designation” is a seizure of lands that would never… [emphasis] be returned, if and when the federal gov’t should return lands rightfully belonging to Idaho under the equal-footing doctrine.
The “Must Vote Election on Tuesday, May 15th” invites many votes against the federal land seizure.