District 2 Seat B: Eric Redman

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Taking back Idaho land from the federal government is the No. 1 priority of Eric Redman, a retiree trying to unseat Rep. Ed Morse.

Redman says it is time for Idaho to fight for the return of land - roughly two thirds of the land in Idaho - under control of the federal government. Redman said the land can be used to create jobs and the increased income from the land could lower the tax rate for Idahoans.

He also sees the land as key in solving the state's education funding woes.

"These additional monies will replace the dollars in our present education budget that the Feds use to bribe the schools, along with their added conditions," he said.

He said land sovereignty and water sovereignty go hand-in-hand.

Redman said the federal government is "moving to control our water rights, even on non-navigable waters."

"Idaho property owners need to be protected with first in time, first in line rights," he said.

Redman opposes "adding words" to Idaho's anti-discrimination laws to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

"The Idaho and U.S. Constitutions allow freedom and nondiscrimination for race, color, sex, religion and right of origin," Redman said. "I am for keeping this wordage and not adding any new or extra words for special interest groups."

Redman said adding "so-called special protection words" for some minority groups would result in discrimination of others.

Redman balks at claims that expanding Medicaid will save money. He says it is a "failed program."

He advocates for increasing community, low-income health clinics.

"It's better for those of lower income to be able to go to these clinics than go to the emergency room where it is super-expensive," he said.

He is skeptical of the federal government's ability to pay for 90 percent of the costs under expanded Medicaid, as has been promised.

"We all know where the U.S. government is right now with $17 trillion in debt," he said. "What's going to happen next year when they drop it to 70 percent and then 50 percent? We don't need more government funding expansion."

What Idaho needs, Redman said, is a free-market health care funding plan.

"I support claims, cost and quality transparency of providers for competitive consumer shopping," he said.

Idaho could lose jobs if the state approves a minimum wage increase, said Redman, who opposes any increase in minimum wages.

"If you increase the minimum wage, businesses are going to have to lay off people," he said. "The minimum wage for people they lay off will be zero."

In addition to job loss, Redman said increasing the minimum wage could keep a lot of teenagers from getting jobs.

"I don't think the minimum wage is a true sign of what people are actually making," he said, pointing out that many in the tourist industry "get pretty decent tips."

"The best thing for us to do is get more jobs in here," he said.

Urban renewal can be used successfully, Redman said, but "some, as we know in Coeur d'Alene, have been a real challenge for the people."

"The challenge is you are taking tax dollars that should go to 22 or more different taxing entities and giving them to urban renewal," he said.

He cited the interchange that went in near Cabela's in Post Falls as an example of urban renewal working well.

Redman said the public must be careful so tax dollars aren't siphoned away from other public entities with "only a few people making a decision on where that money is going."

"It's not always a great thing for the people, the citizenry of Idaho," he said. "We need to reduce the taxes. We need to reduce the budget."

Profile:

Eric Redman

Born: Jan. 26, 1946

Profession: Retired. Owned eight businesses over 44 years including marina on Lake Pend Oreille, three real estate brokerage firms, a land development company and a home construction company. Became licensed insurance agent in 1988 and opened Redman Insurance (recently sold to two youngest children).

Education: Attended Washington State University on scholarship, until Vietnam War. Served four years in the Air Force.

Public Service: Secretary for Spirit Lake East Homeowners' Association; past president of the North Idaho Chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters; Treasurer of Highway Evangelism; Treasurer for Reach America; Treasurer for the Christian Heritage Supply (The Sower Christian Book and Gift store).

Resident: Kootenai County resident since 1970 (Except for 1978-1982 lived in Spokane County)

Marital Status: Married 31 years

Family: Five children, 12 grandchildren (and one on the way)

Hobbies: Boating on Lake Pend Oreille

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