Saturday, September 20, 2014

Vote for AJ, vote Idaho!

Friday Idaho began issuing absentee ballots, my ballot was sent via email meaning I am one of the first to get to vote in this election!  It is in the mail as we speak.  There will be several competitive elections this time for Idaho.  One of the most important is the race for governor.  AJ Balukoff is going against Butch Otter.   Butch Otter (and several GOP governors before him) along with the GOP controlled legislature have made some catastrophic mistakes that have landed Idaho among the worst states in the nation in many key indicators.  Idaho is in a race to the bottom and is winning.  Things won't be getting any better under current leadership.  One study suggested that the number of high income jobs will actually be decreasing over the coming years. This is an alarming trend considering the fact that Idaho has a growing population and a growing work force.  How can this happen?  It is actually quite simple, from the article:
"These projections are the economic manifestation of a state whose public policies put tax cuts and “shrinking government” ahead of providing essential public services – education, health care, and yes, reasonable wages for public employees"

Read more here:
GOP leaders will try to avoid responsibility by blaming it on the recession, but that is no excuse. It was GOP leadership in 2006 (Then governor Jim Risch, current senator also up for reelection)  switched the tax base that funded education from property to sales tax.  Property tax is a very stable revenue source that does not rise or fall quickly.  Sales tax on the other hand is prone to boom and bust cycles.

Fortunately for us this election does not have to be just a protest vote to "throw the bums out".  There is a competent candidate waiting to lead Idaho back to her destined glory.  At this critical time Idaho needs both real leadership and investment to create the conditions that high paying jobs require.  A qualified work force, good business environment, good brand image, and quality infrastructure are all key components.  AJ Balukoff is the man to begin the process of restoration for Idaho.  Due to the magnitude of the mistakes already made this will be a long process that one person or one term will not fix.  But if we don't start today tomorrow might be too hard to fix.  

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