The Constitution Party of Idaho-Platform
(Principles and Goals)
[Revised 11 April 2014]
We, the members of the Constitution Party of the State of Idaho, in order to establish a limited government based on the God-given right to life, liberty and property, do hereby advocate political policies which will achieve that goal at all levels of government.
SANCTITY OF LIFE
The first duty of the law is to prevent the shedding of innocent life. Therefore, it is the duty of all civil governments to secure and to safeguard the lives of all, from conception to the end of natural life.
We affirm the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal before God.
Civil government has no constitutional power to legislate discrimination. Therefore, we call for the elimination of all affirmative action programs which substitute race, sex, creed or any other illegitimate criteria for merit. Each and every citizen shall be free to choose his friends and associates; to offer, seek or refuse employment; and to rent or sell property without interference from the State.
We believe that, on the issue of national sovereignty, there is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. Both of those parties advocate the establishment of global government institutions. Both of those parties advocate the use of our armed forces as the world’s policemen. We support legislation to get the United States out of the United Nations, and we advocate removal of the United Nations headquarters from our soil. We affirm that only Congress can tax the American people. The Constitution yields no such authority to the United Nations to tax the American people in any manner whatsoever.
In the event of the suspension of Constitutional Rights, we strongly support the immediate full and complete secession from the Union.
At such time, federal property shall be seized by the State of Idaho; and all federal employees will be restricted from performing federal duties within the boundaries of the State of Idaho.
We fully support the right of the People to keep and bear arms as defined by the Second Amendment to the Constitution and as obligated under Title 10, Chapter 13, Section 311, of the US Code.
CHARACTER AND MORAL CONDUCT
Our party leaders and public officials must display exemplary qualities of honesty, integrity, reliability, moral uprightness, fidelity, prudence, temperance, justice, fortitude, self-restraint, courage, kindness and compassion. If they cannot be trusted in private life, neither can they be trusted in public life.
It is imperative that the members and nominated candidates demonstrate good character in their own lives.
In the name of “safe sex,” hundreds of millions of tax dollars have been misdirected to organizations that contribute to the spread of AIDS by endorsing perverse immoral and unhealthy sexual conduct. Under no circumstances should the federal government continue to subsidize activities that have the effect of encouraging promiscuous sexual conduct.
In most cases, crime should be dealt with by State and local governments. We favor the right of States and localities to execute criminals convicted of capital crimes, and the right to require restitution for the victims of criminals.
We uphold the right of States and localities to determine their own policies concerning drug abuse. We support legislation to stop the flow of illegal drugs across the international boundary of these United States from foreign sources.
We are opposed to government sponsorship, involvement or promotion of gambling.
The law of our Creator defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The marriage covenant is the foundation of the family. We affirm therefore that no government may authorize or define marriage or family relations contrary to what God has instituted.
Parents have the fundamental right and responsibility to nurture, educate and discipline their children. Assumption of any of these responsibilities by any governmental agency usurps the natural role of parents.
The only legitimate purpose of civil government is to safeguard life, liberty and property. Only those duties, functions and programs specifically assigned to the federal government by the Constitution should be funded.
We affirm the original text of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We affirm that the nation’s Charter, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, contains the foundational law of the federal union.
We oppose any attempt to call for a Constitutional Convention, for any purpose whatsoever, because such a Convention cannot be limited to any single issue. The calling of a Constitutional Convention could jeopardize existing constitutionally protected inalienable rights.
BRING GOVERNMENT BACK HOME
The 9th and 10th amendments to the Constitution make clear that the federal government has only those powers explicitly assigned to it. All other powers are reserved to the People or to the States. We pledge to restore to the People and to the States control over legislative, judicial and executive functions not expressly delegated to the federal government.
We oppose the use of presidential executive orders that make law or otherwise usurp the constitutional authority and responsibilities of the legislative and judicial branches.
This constitutionally subversive practice must be stopped by Congress. All unconstitutional executive orders must be repealed.
A President who enjoys the support of one-third-plus-one of the members of either body of Congress has the constitutional authority to veto unwise and excessive federal spending. We urge the President of the United States to use his veto power to end funding for all departments and agencies that exist or operate beyond the bounds of the Constitution.
While we support constitutional veto provisions, we oppose the “line-item-veto” as an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power.
The Congress of the United States has become an overpaid, overstaffed, self-serving institution. It is time for the American People to renew effective supervision of their public servants, to restore standards and to take back the government. We seek to:
- Abolish congressional pensions.
- Abolish federal pay for members of congress.
- Restore provisions for per diem allowances.
Congress must once again be accountable to the People and obedient to the Constitution, repealing all laws that delegate legislative powers to regulatory agencies, bureaucracies, private organizations, the Federal Reserve Board, international agencies, the President and the judiciary.
When expressed by initiative or referendum, so long as it is not repugnant to the Law of the Land under the Constitution, neither the Legislature nor the Court has legal right to overturn the expressed will of the People in the affairs of their representative self governance. This is an issue of sovereignty. The People are sovereign; legislators are not above the People.
REPEAL THE SEVENTEETH AMENDMENT
The U.S. Constitution, as originally framed in Article 1, Section 3, provided for U.S. Senators to be elected by State legislatures.
This endowed the States with direct representation in the federal legislative branch so as to deter usurpations of power that were constitutionally reserved to the States; and through the States to their respective citizens.
The Seventeenth Amendment (which now allows popular election of U.S. Senators) stripped State governments of their constitutional role of participation in the federal legislative process. With both Houses of Congress now popularly elected, the Seventeenth Amendment dissolved the original construction of a true bicameral Congress.
The Union now no longer consists of 50 States; for all intents and purposes, it consists of but two entrenched political parties. This leaves Congress prey to the exact corruptions which the Seventeenth Amendment supposedly would eliminate through popular election of the Senate. No true check to popular majority infringements upon minority and State rights now exists–which is to say our republic itself has been placed at risk.
Therefore, we support the repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment and the return to the original construction.
The Constitution does not provide for lifetime appointment of federal judges; only for a term during “good behavior”. Therefore, we strongly support the constitutional provision for impeachment where or when appropriate.
We seek the restoration of a free and fair electoral process controlled by State and local governments, being free from manipulation by federal judges, bureaucrats and others. Electronic voting has led to serious election fraud; therefore, we favor returning to manual voting overseen by, and accountable to, voters in their precincts.
We oppose any effort to confer statehood on the District of Columbia. We oppose any representations in Congress comparable to that of an independent state in the federal union.
The provision of charity by the federal government is not a legitimate function of the general government. Under no circumstance should taxpayers be compelled through forced taxation to fund welfare. The Framers presumed, and we agree, that charity must be voluntary. Secondly, individuals, families and churches and benevolent private fraternal organizations should provide it.
The First Amendment to our Constitution reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The language is clear. Therefore, we insist that the original text and intention of the Framers of the Constitution be upheld.
We oppose the socialization of American medicine. It is self evident that federal intrusion into the healthcare industry has created chaotic disorder in the marketplace, which threatens both the quality and availability of patient-oriented health care. The results of such socialization and consolidation under centralized federal bureaucracies will be a rationing of services, higher costs, lower quality and the power of life and death transferred from caring physicians to unaccountable political overseers.
We believe parents bear the primary responsibility for the education, training, moral upbringing and discipline of their children. Without parental or guardian involvement, no child’s education will be complete or full.
We affirm the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, Article III, which states:
“Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
This ordinance was taken up by Article VI, Section 1 of the Constitution and reaffirmed under the signature of President George Washington as the Northwest Ordinance of 1789 (Annals of Congress, First Congress, Session I, Chapter 9; 7 August 1789, pages 50-53).
We also affirm Article IX, Section IX, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho, which states:
“The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of Idaho to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.”
We further believe standards and control of the curriculum are vested in the local community. School districts are directly supported with local levies; therefore, ceding authority to distant federal or state bureaucracies is a fundamental abridgement of rights because it creates an onerous form of local taxation without direct participatory oversight.
Centralized education is inherently inefficient with precious public monies. It siphons off revenue and redirects it into unaccountable and redundant overhead. This impoverishes local districts, decreases teacher-to-student ratios, increases unproductive administrative paperwork and creates a lifeless formulaic education model. In centralized education models, bureaucrats succeed at the expense of students, their parents, local taxpayers and future generations.
We call for the abolition of the U.S. Department of Education, for the reasons aforesaid–it is an inefficient and counterproductive massive bureaucracy. Evidence indicates that, despite nearly $2.8 trillion dollars spent by the federal bureaucrats in the Department of Education, net results have gone from bad to worse over the past 34 years of its existence.
It is time to end President Carter’s experiment in centralized educational bureaucracy. Remove the Department of Education from the Executive Cabinet; reduce it to Office status; return it to the U.S. Department of the Interior (where it was operated successfully for decades); and restore this wasteful Department’s overhead directly to local school districts.
“Common” standards and measurements of education quality already exist–through ISAT, PSAT, SAT and ACT testing for college admission; through vocational and community college enrollments; through military recruitment and placement tests, and meaningful employment.
We call for repeal of all federal regulations relating to the environment which deprive, whether said deprivation be direct or indirect, any and all individuals of their due process guarantees under Amendment V of the Bill of Rights.
We insist that no private property be taken, whether by direct possession or indirect fiat, under the existing myriad of environmental regulations without procedural and substantive due process, nor without just compensation if so seized, or when so unencumbered as to deny or enjoin full private property use.
We further call for the veritable host of vague, and in some cases conflicting, environmental regulations to be clarified, simplified, justified and rationalized. In no case shall due process rights regarding private property be violated or compromised for any purpose whatsoever.
We affirm the integrity of the international borders of the United States and the constitutional authority of the federal government to guard and to protect those borders.
The federal government must restore immigration policies based on the practice that potential immigrants will be disqualified from admission to the United States if, on the grounds of health, criminality, morals or financial dependency, they would impose an improper burden on the United States, any State, or any citizen of the United States.
Converting natural resources into useable energy is not a proper function of government. Competition in a free enterprise system can supply the most energy at the cheapest cost. Government’s only role should be to protect from fraud, recklessness and dishonesty.
The Constitution Party is humbly indebted to America’s servicemen and veterans. It is they who preserve, often at immense sacrifice, our nation’s freedom. We are obliged to respect their extraordinary valor; therefore we shall forever honor our sacred trust with and to American veterans.
The provision of equitable pay to our men and women on active duty, generous health, education, rehabilitation, pension, compensation and other benefits to veterans are part of America’s sacred trust. We vigorously resist any attempt by any government agency to nullify or reduce earned benefits to veterans and their survivors. Our trust shall not be breached.
The default position of the Constitution Party of Idaho in all matters of government is to decentralize. We believe that top-down command economies are inherently unstable.
TARIFFS AND TRADE
We oppose the unconstitutional transfer of authority over U.S. trade policy from Congress to agencies, domestic and foreign, which improperly establish policy with respect to U.S. trade. Only Congress is given authority to regulate commerce with foreign nations, as clearly expressed in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution. Therefore, we oppose GATT, NAFTA, the World Trade Organization, Most Favored Nation trade policies, and any other unconstitutional trade agreement.
We believe that Congress has been derelict in its obligations to exercise oversight and review of the entire scope of American foreign trade policy. That dereliction costs America’s economy dearly. The last U.S. annual trade surplus was nearly 40 years ago (1975). At the beginning of calendar year 2014, America had amassed a total trade deficit of $11.95 trillion. This long term trade imbalance has become systemic.
It is time Congress intervened to correct this economic hemorrhage caused by their own dereliction and timidity in the face of predatory trade practices by foreign and multinational interests-always at the expense of ordinary Americans. If the net result of America’s foreign trade is unending annual half-trillion dollar trade deficits thrown into an already accumulated trade deficit of $12 trillion, then America is better off not trading at all.
Our domestic economy and local communities are robbed of the opportunity that this $12 trillion hemorrhage to foreign markets could provide, if it were reinvested stateside. Our nation’s productive plant and competitive domestic manufactory, indeed our self-sufficiency, are disappearing under the unconstitutional transfer of trade authority to centralized agencies as aforesaid.
No nation can sustain this ongoing level of deficit trade. It is time demand fair trade; to demand an end to free access to our domestic markets by predatory foreign trade. Tariffs must be used to stem the deficits and level the field of trade.
Individuals and communities are better served when production and economic activity is distributive-locally established, broadly based and vertically integrated.
When communities are economically strong they give succor to families, the foundation of our society. Without secure American families as its end, economic policy is soulless and without purpose. It is not possible for a culture, society or economy to stand when its families fall. In turn, strong local economies are able to provision local charities and private citizen-led initiatives which cannot adequately be met in weakened and struggling communities that lack even basic economic opportunities.
It is time to return our local production and manufacturing so that our families and communities may once again stand on their own. One by one, as our families and communities begin to stand and regain their economic well-being, each State and our entire nation will stand-strong. Secure American families are therefore the first priority of national economic policy.
America’s therefore must reorient its national economic policy to promote the well being of families and local communities rather than unaccountable international profiteers.
We affirm the Fourth Amendment right of the People to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. We oppose any legislation or executive action that expands asset forfeiture laws and enables the confiscation of private property of citizens who have not, by their own criminal action, forfeited their property rights.
We further affirm in all cases that Due Process is unalienable from each and every American Citizen. Our inheritance of inviolable Due Process stems from the common law and the foundational rights bequeathed to us under Clause 39 of the Magna Carta, which stated:
“No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”
Inviolable Due Process inherited by every American citizen is self evident throughout our nation’s Liberty Documents-the Fairfax Resolves written by George Washington and George Mason (17 July 1774), the Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress (14 October 1774), the Articles of Association (20 October 1774), and ultimately the Fifth amendment under our Bill of Rights which states that no Citizen may “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
We acknowledge that to the extent Due Process applies to private property it also must equally apply to federal property title. The Constitution Party of Idaho affirms the Constitution.
We acknowledge that un-prejudiced federal land title is specifically enumerated within the Constitution under the Property Clause. Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 is unique in its emphatic enumeration that rights over federal lands are expressly granted to Congress; thus its enumeration cannot be ignored.
“The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.”
We also affirm the Idaho Constitution. We remain obliged under its foresworn disclaimer by our ancestors, as found in Article XXI, Section 19:
“And the people of the state of Idaho do agree and declare that we forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof…”
We further acknowledge under the Idaho Constitution that “until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be subject to the disposition of the United States.” And, “this ordinance shall be irrevocable, without the consent of the United States and the people of the state of Idaho.”
In addition to strict enumeration under Article IV, federal title has long been held enforceable both through legislative actions and judicial rulings pertaining to its possessions. The early right of the general government of the United States to reserve or manage its public lands for its interests is not questionable-e.g.
- Land Ordinances of 1784 and 1785
- Northwest Ordinances of 1787 and 1789
- Act to Prevent Settlements of 1807
- Timber Acts of 1817 and 1822
- Reserve Lands Act of 1832
- Prohibit Sale of Public Land 1836
- Yellowstone Park 1872.
Indeed, the principle of public owned timber was evidenced as early as 1778 in the midst of the American Revolution. [Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 10; 29 July 1778, Marine Committee to John Wereat].
Judicial rulings have consistently upheld the Property Clause and the Supremacy Clause regarding federal titled lands. Chief Justice John Marshall in Johnson and Graham’s Lessee v. William M’Intosh (1823) established “the powers of granting, or refusing to grant, vacant lands, and of restraining encroachments” rested in the general government of the United States.
By 1996, the US District Court of Nevada (United States v. Nye County, Nevada), upon confrontations instigated by county commissioners, issued a declaratory judgment, “Congress equally surely retains the power to enact legislation respecting those lands pursuant to the Property Clause.” And to remove all doubt, the Court further said:
“IT IS DECLARED that, as set forth in this Court’s decision, the United States owns and has the power and authority to manage and administer the unappropriated public lands and National Forest System lands…”
In a similar 1996 constitutional case, the Supreme Court of Idaho (Boundary Packpackers v. Boundary County) quieted all claims that local ordinances and resolutions constrain or prejudice federal title in Idaho in any way.
“This case concerns a county ordinance that requires all federal and state agencies to comply with a county land use policy plan. We conclude that the ordinance violates the U.S. Constitution…”
The Constitution Party of Idaho therefore affirms the Property Clause as settled law, immutable and without prejudice; it remains so, absent an amendment of the United States Constitution, which we do not support.
However, we do contend that the management of the resource is subject to collaborative input by local communities and economies. Our intent is to sustain and rationalize natural resource use, to avoid wanton waste of natural resources by sanitation harvesting and restocking and to empower near commodity communities with better prescriptions and more complete utilization.
MONEY AND BANKING
The federal government has radically departed from the constitutional principles of money and banking. Today’s monetary system is precisely what the Framers feared most, and sought to prohibit constitutionally. These violations threaten the economic stability and survival of America. We call for a return to the provisions as set forth in the Constitution. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 should be repealed.
We strongly support the guarantee under the Constitution that money is gold and silver. Each individual is free to reject payment in the form of Federal Reserve Notes and may demand payment in gold and silver.
The Constitution grants no authority to the federal government to require its citizens to participate in Social Security. Until compulsory participation in Social Security is ended, we support legislation requiring the federal government to meet its obligations and to protect Social Security funds as a trust that can be used only to fulfill its obligations to those who have been forced to contribute to the system.
We are opposed to direct taxes on wages and salaries. When government confines itself to its constitutional boundaries, we believe the funds for the support of government can be raised solely through excise taxes, sales taxes and user fees. We believe that direct taxes on wages and salaries in times of peace represent a feudal system, as it taxes the right of a person to exist. Government is to be the servant of the People; not the other way around.
We propose legislation to abolish the IRS.
Our intention is to replace the current tax system (including income taxes, Social Security taxes, estate taxes, and inheritance taxes) with an approach based on the original design of the Framers. To the degree that tariffs on foreign products are insufficient to cover legitimate constitutional expenditures, we propose a “state-rate tax” to meet excess obligations. This tax will be apportioned among the states according to population. The effect on this “state-rate tax” will be to encourage politicians to argue for less, rather than more, federal spending.
WAGE AND PRICE CONTROL
We deny that civil government has the authority to set wages and prices; so doing is inconsistent with principles of individual liberty and the free market.
We affirm the words of Thomas Jefferson regarding treaties: “…surely the President and Senate cannot do by treaty what the whole government is interdicted from doing in any way.” [Manual Parliamentary, Practice Digest, Fifty-First Congress, page 186]. American sovereignty may not be relinquished to any international organization or group of nations.
ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT
We also acknowledge the words of the American statesman John C. Calhoun [ A Disquisition on government and a discourse on the Constitution and government of the United States,1851] regarding treaties:
“It can enter into no stipulation calculated to change the character of the government; or to do that which can only be done by the constitution-making power; or which is inconsistent with the nature and structure of the government – or the objects for which it was formed.”
No treaties, even if signed by the President or one of his agents on behalf ot the United States, that lack the constitutionally required two-thirds concurrence of the Senate may be implemented in whole or in part by congressional act, Executive Order or bureaucratic regulation.
We oppose any alliance or participation in any treaty or agreement which compromises our independence as a nation, or which subverts our Constitution by improperly committing us to participation in foreign conflicts or intervention in foreign wars. All treaties must be subordinate to the Constitution because the Constitution is the only instrument which empowers and limits the federal government.
We call upon the President and Senate to terminate the membership of the United States in the United Nations and its subsidiary and affiliated organizations.
Absent a rescindment by the President or the Senate of any and all treaties or foreign agreements that are contrary to our Constitution, we call upon the House of Representatives to exercise its constitutional authority under Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 that “No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations to be made by law.”
Congress and the President have a duty to provide for our national defense. The goal of U.S. foreign policy is to protect the national interests and security of these United States. We should be the friend of liberty everywhere, but the guarantor of ours alone. We therefore oppose the current never ending federal policy of foreign entanglements. We oppose unilateral disarmament, and instead insist on a policy of peace through strength. Under no circumstance whatsoever would we commit U.S. Forces to serve under any flag other than that of these United States of America.
The U.S. government has no constitutional authority to tax the American People to provide aid of any kind to foreign governments or to any international organizations, which include the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and all similar institutions. It is not a proper function of government to “redistribute wealth” by providing financial aid to any foreign state, foreign local government entity or to foreign businesses or persons. All such “aid” programs should be terminated immediately.
NATIONAL SECURITY ACT
In the name of national security, the National Security Act (NSA) is used by the federal government as a shroud to prevent the American People and our elected officials from knowing how much and where our tax dollars are spent for covert operations around the world. The NSA prevents the release of Executive Orders and Presidential Decision Directives (e.g. PDD 25) to the American People and our elected officials. Many of these declaratory fiats are used to curb justice in the name of national security. Further, operations under this act may threaten our own national sovereignty.
Because we will never have a free nation while the government can hide behind the NSA, we call for the repeal of the National Security Act.
IDAHO STATE ISSUES
We oppose present court powers that violate the rights of the People. A few examples of these violations are:
- Judicial confirmation that impose taxes with a vote of the People.
- Declaratory judgments which violate the voting rights of the People.
- Authority to take the management of school districts away from school trustees who are elected by the People
- Power to impose an “educational necessity levy” for public schools without a vote of the People
IDAHO STATE JUDGES
We advocate that the elections of judges shall take place only at the general election in November.
Absent a definitive statement in authoritative law upon a particular case under deliberation, we affirm that the common law is the precedential legal code in Idaho, rather than civil-law.
The legal heritage of these United States directly descends from the common law of England, not from civil-law systems such Roman Law or Napoleonic Code.
The distinction is that under common law the entire law is found, i.e. stare decisis, as developed over several millennia; versus civil-law which gives great weight to the opinions of so-called scholars who explain them–thus allowing a judge to “interpret” text of a particular statute, too often unpredictably and arbitrarily.
We oppose the trend toward establishing a police state which is a threat to the rights of the People; we propose repeal of legislation that:
- Converts the State Highway Patrol to state police, and grants them the same power as County Sheriffs.
The People can defeat a bad Sheriff at election time, or recall him at any time. However, the People have not control over an appointed “state police”.
This is a violation of Article I, Section 2 of the Idaho constitution, which says: “All political power is inherent in the People.” It is especially important “We, the People” control police powers.
POWER OF JURIES
The Idaho Constitution states: “All political power is inherent in the People.” By nullifying bad laws, juries can declare bad laws unconstitutional. This is our proposed amendment to the Idaho Constitution:
Article I, Section 7. “As in the common law, for suits in administrative law, as jurors, the People reserve to themselves the power to judge the law and the facts and to determine the relevance of any evidence.”
The purpose of legislative redistricting is to ensure representative fairness and to uphold the principle of “one man-one vote”. We oppose partisan efforts to distort decennial redistricting.
Such attempts (e.g. the 2011 Winter Republican State Central Committee) are diametrically opposed to the spirit of a democratic republic. Shamefully, without even the pretense of a necessary amendment to the Idaho Constitution to do so, the Republican majority sought to alter the six-member evenly bipartisan Redistricting Commission through the addition of a seventh seat, and thus guarantee themselves totalitarian control over redistricting, as follows:
“…seated members of the commission assigned to reflect the will of the people as evidenced by the political make up of the legislative body. The total number of legislative seats (105) shall be divided by 7 seats. One seat shall be assigned for every 15 seats held by a political party.”
Republican claims upon the will of the People are disingenuous. The will of Idahoans is not reflected by a current gerrymandered legislative body as Idaho Republicans allege. Rather, it is evidenced in the individually expressed declarations of political affiliation by the People.
On 10 January 2014, the total number of Idaho voters was 742,174. Of these, Unaffiliated accounted for 439,805 (59.25%) of the entire electorate. Unaffiliated voters nearly double the 240,635 registered Republicans, and are nearly eight times the 56,645 registered Democrats.
Further, Republican claims as to “the will of the people” are also hypocritical, given they closed their Primary and Caucus to bar unaffiliated voter input on candidate selection. Independent Idaho voters have been disfranchised. To right this wrong, we call for a repeal of the 1994 amendments made upon the Idaho Constitution [Article III, Section 2]; specifically:
“The commission shall be composed of six members. The leaders of the two largest political parties of each house of the legislature shall each designate one member and the state chairmen of the two largest political parties, determined by the vote cast for governor in the last gubernatorial election, shall each designate one member.”
Instead, we support a six-member independent redistricting commission, placed under the authority of the Idaho Supreme Court, truly giving voice to the disfranchised majority. We believe by so doing, redistricting will be fairer, have smaller population deviations between the districts than at present, and ultimately will prove more economical. It is not debatable that the Idaho Supreme Court has become the arbitrator in a decennial ritual of lawsuits largely brought against an increasingly dishonest gerrymandering in Idaho.
We further support Idaho Statues pertaining to Reapportionment, and suggest that in no way has the current partisan process kept the Idaho Code [Title 72, Chapter 15; Commission for Reapportionment]. We hold that any reapportionment which creates numerous split precincts is inherently at odds with said Idaho Code, which states at §72-1506, Clause 7:
“District boundaries shall retain the local voting precinct boundary lines to the extent those lines comply with the provisions of section 34-306.”
We are in agreement with the previous 2001 Commission on Redistricting which stated in its rules and procedures that:
“The precinct is the basic building block of a legislative district in order to minimize voter confusion and cost of election administration.”
We believe the current partisan method provides ample evidence of biased redistricting, and we call for relief from the deliberate disfranchisement of our fellow citizens. Return to the basic building block of whole precincts under an independent non-partisan redistricting commission. Until that is done, reapportionment will remain inequitable by rejecting the foundational principle of democracy…one man-one vote. It is time to include Independents in redistricting.
INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM
Idaho is a limited direct democracy. This means the People cannot propose amendments. Idaho has what is called a “legislatively referred constitutional process”–one of 16 States which requires a legislative super majority to move amendments or initiatives to general ballot.
Presently, only two things may be initiated by the People of Idaho–i.e. a state statue, or a veto referendum. All else, including amendments to the State Constitution, must initiate in the Legislature. The process of citizen-led statutes and veto referenda has further been limited recently by the Legislature in 2011, isolating the People from their own legislative process.
We believe this only increases the Legislature’s indifference–as evidenced by the Legislature moving three propositions to ballot in 2012 (the so-called “Luna Laws”) entirely against the will of the People. After being rejected by substantial majorities, the Legislature then returned in session to attempt to enact them just the same–careless of the People.
The Constitution Party believes that a legislatively referred constitutional process is unjust. We further believe that it is inherently in opposition to the 9th Amendment guarantee found in the Bill of Rights: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
We affirm the opinions of Idaho Territorial Delegate G.W. King (Shoshone County) who spoke at length on 25 July 1889, being the 18th day of the Territorial Convention charged with drafting a Constitution for the State of Idaho. Mr. King warned of dangers that would be fostered by a Legislature that is not accountable to or constrained by the will of the People as expressed through citizen-led initiatives and referenda.
“Honest men of this country have been unable to secure the enactment of laws or to prevent their repeal when it suited their circumstances…
For instance, suppose that all the representatives there [Legislature] should vote in favor of a law, or the repeal of a law, or the amendment of a law. By this constitution [Idaho’s], if you adopt it as proposed, you give to ten men the absolute power to put their veto upon it, to say that you shall not have that law as you want it. And you have no power under heaven by which you can change that until another election comes around. I say that is not a republican form of government if you do that.”
Idaho Territorial Delegate Aaron F. Parker (Idaho County) agreed: “The majority of a single chamber such as is contemplated by this amendment, easily becomes despotic and arbitrary, because there is no authority over it to check that despotism.” Under pressure of time, the Territorial Delegates voted down Mr. King’s and Mr. Parker’s concerns, thus creating a limited democracy.
Without question, State government has become more and more removed from the People of Idaho. We say it is time to push through Legislature an amendment to provide a direct constitutional process to the People of Idaho, under the following proposed amendments:
Article III, Section 1, Clause 3. “The People reserve to themselves the power to amend this Constitution independent of the Legislature by way of initiative. Any statewide initiative or referendum enacted by the People may not be repealed by the Legislature. No court in the State of Idaho has the authority to interfere with any legally executed initiative or referendum process which affects a County, City or other local entity. Any amendment or amendments proposed by the People shall become part of this Constitution when approved by two thirds of the electors voting in a general election.”
Article III, Section 1, Clause 4. “Any initiative or referendum by the People may not be repealed by the Legislature. Initiative may be place on the ballot when five (5) percent of the registered electors between general elections petition to do so at least 120 days prior to a general election.”
UNIFORM BUSINESS TAX
The corrupting influence of special interest lobbyists who seek legislative favors and special provisions is self evident. It has very nearly brought America’s electoral process to its knees, further removing common citizens from their representation. This, we submit, is destructive of a republican government. We also contend that, as tax policy, it is self defeating.
Each legislative favor doled out to one business group, breeds many others elsewhere in the tax code, as special interests all clamor for their own set of favors. The result is a metastasized tax code…burdensome, unwieldy, inefficient, too complicated and counter-productive; one which saps time and money that otherwise could be better used in actual production.
For this reason, we believe that our economy is better served by a simple standard low tax rate that is uniform across all industries…favoring none, penalizing none.
Idaho’s productive capacity–in commodities, value added products, goods and services–is not dependent upon legislative favors distributed piecemeal to various interest groups who have extra-legislative access through political donations and hired lobbyists. All that Idaho business truly requires is a fair and level playing field-and that can only be done through a low business tax rate that is uniformly applied.
Our Legislature should never be interposed upon the economy as middlemen or barkers. That will always end in corruption of government. To prevent that, we say enforce a low, uniform and standard business tax code across all industries alike. This takes away the incentive of political pandering for profit, nullifies to a great degree the power of influence peddlers and makes Idaho’s business environment simpler and more competitive for all…benefiting all.
CAPITAL EFFICIENCY MEASURES
Money velocity has collapsed in the American economy. By all measures, the rate at which money is turning over in the economy has plummeted to an all time low, despite several trillions of dollars of new excess liquidity. The anemic money velocity actually deepened the recession and reduced the ability of the economy to recover.
To return robust health and get capital moving in the Idaho economy, we call for a standard capital efficiency measure to accelerate deprecation of capital investments in new plant and equipment in our hard hit near-commodity rural towns.
Units-of-production depreciation is least subject to abuse. It is the only method tied to real production and employment–i.e. to actual economic activity versus a paper shell manipulated as a financial derivative designed only to shelter corporate income elsewhere. Thus, to avoid a corruption of process or an extravagant give-away of vital public revenue, we call for non-transferrable capital depreciation, based on units-of-production that has a short set expiration on loss carry forwards.
With accelerated capital depreciation based on units-of-production, Idaho can return the lost value-added processing and vertical integration to our small interior cities, increase the velocity of money and improve the quality of life both in our interior towns and in our burgeoning cities now under population pressure. Idaho’s economy will be more competitive. And that will lead to more abundant public revenue which may then be invested in infrastructure upgrades and modernization which will in turn increase our state’s future competitiveness.
[2014 Revised Platform of the Constitution Party of Idaho; 11 April 2014]