Censure falls flat - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Censure falls flat

Committee passes natural rights resolution

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Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - It turns out the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee doesn't have the authority to censure four North Idaho legislators for voting against their wishes.

"Sorry I don't have room for discussion on this," said Chairman Neil Oliver. "I find the motion is out of order."

The central committee spent about an hour Tuesday night wrangling over whether or not to censure four North Idaho legislators for creating a state health-care exchange, only to be stopped dead in its tracks when Committeeman Luke Sommer, an expert in parliamentary procedure, pointed out that the committee could not censure anyone outside the committee itself.

"If we can censure someone outside this body we could censure the president of the United States," he said, adding there is nothing in the committee's bylaws or Robert's Rules of Order that would allow the move.

Committeewoman Tina Jacobson passionately put forward the resolution to censure Rep. Frank Henderson, Rep. Luke Malek, Sen. John Goedde and Rep. Ed Morse.

After that a lively debate ensued on issues ranging from those who were concerned about the message it sent to voters to those who felt the legislators should have an opportunity to speak before a final vote was taken.

Prior to the decision to drop the resolution, Committeeman Jim Pierce said that the people of Kootenai County elected these legislators to their position, not the party.

"They are accountable to the people - not the party," he said. "If we pass a censure, we are sending a message that the party is in charge."

Committeewoman Kellie Palm was also concerned with the party's image. She said passing the censure would make the party look "foolish" to the people who truly did their research and understand why the four legislators voted the way they did.

Party image was also a concern when Bjorn Handeen proposed a resolution to assert the Natural Rights of Contracts and to call on the city of Coeur d'Alene to repeal its anti-discrimination ordinance.

He said the resolution was not about gay rights, but rather the freedom for any two parties to willingly enter into a contract or do business with one another.

The anti-discrimination ordinance as passed by the city, he said, uses the law to force citizens to do business with someone they might not otherwise choose to do business with.

"We don't want to reject gays," Handeen said. "We want to protect their right to do business with whoever they want."

Committeeman Duane Rasmussen said he was in favor of the intent of the resolution, but he felt the way it was written would make the committee look "goofy."

"This natural rights stuff is going to make us a laughing stock. If not in the public's eyes, it will in the eyes of the legal community," he said.

After a lengthy debate and few parliamentary maneuvers to amend the language the resolution passed on nearly a split vote.

After the meeting, Henderson said he had hoped to address the central committee before the censure issue was dropped.

"I wish we would have had our day in court," he said. "But they would not allow it, so we have to respect that."

Morse said his vote for the state-based health-care exchange was in the best interest of all his constituents.

"The issue of whether or not they had the power to do it sidesteps the issue of whether or not it was a good decision to be made to try to censure essentially half their delegation," Morse said.

Malek was prepared to address the committee as well. He prepared a statement that called on the committee to reject the censure, and chastised the local party for taking a position on the healthcare exchange that went against local control.

"I want to be clear," he wrote. "I think the resolution from this body asking Republican legislators to adopt a federal exchange betrayed every value voters who have entrusted Republicans with the power here in Kootenai County hold dear.

"That action wounded this party's credibility in the eyes of those who value smaller government."

Senator Goedde did not attend the meeting.

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  • Miketeague posted at 11:32 am on Thu, Jun 27, 2013.

    Miketeague Posts: 2144

    Wouldn’t that be a hoot? I think I’m better looking and I know I’m one h*ll of a lot smarter than that knothead. But your not the first to ask, at one point there were 4 Mike Teague’s in the area. Kinda shows the danger of taking a name for granted.

  • Keven Johnson posted at 8:59 pm on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1300

    Flash, your questions suggest you either didn't read what I said, or you 'read into' my comment something I didn't say. But I'll try to answer anyway.

    Our Natural Rights (or inalienable rights, whichever term you prefer) are the basis for the equal protection and due process clauses in the constitution. But the constitution was intended to constrain and limit the federal government, and the guarantees in the constitution of equal protection and due process are in the context of the federal government's treatment of individuals. The constitution does not limit our rights, it limits the government's power. So PUBLIC accomodations (public park, public library, public transit, etc) would fall under that but not private businesses or private landlords. You ask why I would want to deny public accommodations to gays in the first place? I wouldn't ! But the law that passed didn't just apply to public accommodations; it applied to privately owned businesses as well, and that is wrong. Just as any individual has the right to decide who he associates with (or doesn't associate with) the private business owner has the right to decide who he does business with; if he is foolish enough to exclude customers based on race or sexual orientation, his business with suffer and he will be a former business owner soon enough, because the customers will go where their patronage is wanted and appreciated. The free market will work, if allowed to.

  • Flash Gordon posted at 7:37 pm on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1293

    Sooooo, Mike..........Are you and the Mike Teague of Aryan Nations fame one and the same? I just gotsta know.......

  • Miketeague posted at 11:50 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    Miketeague Posts: 2144

    While thinking which of several dozen quips that had come to mind I might use, it occurred to me that this is a local example of a very serious problem. Having democrats and republicans do battle while working to the middle for an equitably solution of our nations needs was arduous enough. Now you add rally-right, reagan- republicans and what started off as not too bad an idea until it was co-opted by whackos, the tea party and you can kiss compassion, civil rules, and even the Constitution good-bye as the wacko party tries to move us to a plutocracy. I can only hope that the sensible moderate Republicans put a stop to this nonsense and chase the psychos out of town out of state and out of the country.
    Of good news I just saw that SCOTUS just gave back some equality by shooting down DOMA and Prop 8, to bad they allowed the south to go back to blocking black and poor voters.

  • mrsmimiwhite posted at 11:23 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    mrsmimiwhite Posts: 25

    Hi Bob, The ordinance states that if you open your mouth and say i don't want to do business with you because...you can be fined $1000 or even go to jail. That is a loss of freedom to do business with whoever you want. Bob, about 15 years ago i hired a great man to do some big equipment work on my property. I asked him to move some dirt and set up some statuary on our acerage. He came to me and said that he didn't feel comfortable working for us because we were Catholic and he felt uneasy about setting up statues on the property. In other words, he didn't want to contract with us to do any work anymore. I never felt like he was discriminating against me. I admired that he was honest enough to speak to me about how he felt and i respected that he didn't want to work for us anymore. Now a days a good man like this might serve some jail time. People have the freedom and the right to
    deal or contract with whoever they want. If i am a homeowner i might want to rent to a down and out family whose application may not be as perfect as another's applicataion. Don't i have the right as a homeowner to rent to someone i feel comfortable with even if their numbers aren't as good as anothers? We are passing so many laws in this country that we are all probbly breaking many of them and we aren't even aware of it.

    You mentioned that a public business cannot shut the doors or refuse to serve someone in public places. They do it all the time when they post "no shirt or shoes then no service". I can't imagine anyone in CDA telling someone to leave because they "look" like they are gay. If it does happen it must be very rarely and to pass a law like this to prevent something that may happen very rarely is not prudent.

    I'm sorry that your friend was refused service because of the color of his skin and i'm glad you stuck up for him. You did the right thing. We need to handle things like this the way you did, by sticking up for our friends. Not by passing more and more bills that cause friction and play around with precious freedoms.

  • Why Not posted at 10:52 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    Why Not Posts: 4381

    Hi Mrsmimiwhite, my name is Bob

    Who has lost their freedom of speech as it relates action by the City Council?

    Who has lost their freedom to contract or enter into a contract?

    The resolution by the CDA City Council does not in any way limit your freedoms. You can hate all you want to Mrsmimiwhite, including me, but you cannot shut the doors or refuse to serve someone in a public place because you don't like the way they look or act. That's exclusion from a public place, something you do to criminals, vagrants and animals, but not fellow humans.

    Along time ago in the land down under, while visiting a local pub with my surf travel companions, the pub refused to serve a friend in the group because he was dark skinned. Funny, several of us were of the same bloodline, but he was darker and they wanted to exclude him. Too bad because being young and dumb, what happened next was a particularly friendly brawl.

  • mrsmimiwhite posted at 10:13 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    mrsmimiwhite Posts: 25

    i appreciate when people post using their own names. I think if someone has something important enough to say that they should use their real names.

  • mrsmimiwhite posted at 10:08 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    mrsmimiwhite Posts: 25

    My daughter needed a challenge so we sent her to highschool in Europe for three years. One night she called me and said, "mom, did you know you can go to jail in this country if you say anything against certain groups of people?" I told her that here in the US we have a Constitution that protects freedom of speech which allows us to speak freely without the fear of going to prison. (Of course if you slander someone there are legal remedies to recover damages). Right now in Coeur d Alene we have lost the freedom to speak without the fear of a $1000 fine or jail time. We have lost the freedom to enter into a contract freely with whomever we want. This is a slippery slope that we need to remedy. This is not an issue of whether we "feel" certain groups of people should be protected This is bigger than that. This ordinance hinders our ability to speak freely and to enter into contracts of our choice. It seems like our freedoms are being eroded little by little every day. It is time to take a stand and let our leaders know how we feel. It seems that hundreds came to do just that but our leaders ignored our wishes AGAIN. The people of Idaho are tired of being ignored.

  • Jason Abbott posted at 9:37 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    Jason Abbott Posts: 812

    I don’t think “natural rights” are goofy but calling discrimination a natural right might be.

  • Flash Gordon posted at 9:31 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1293

    So Keven, "natural rights" supersedes the equal protection and due process clauses in the constitution? And by the way, just try and use your argument in denying public accommodations to certain groups based on certain criteria. Well wait a minute, you do have a sympathetic compatriot in Rand Paul and his buddies.....

    And why would you want to deny public accommodations to the gays in the first place? You defending Jim Crow?

  • Keven Johnson posted at 8:09 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1300

    Why exactly do we still have or need political parties anyway? As much as I disagree with the state based healthcare exchange, it is up to the voters who elected these legislators to decide whether to 'censure' them or not in the next election, not the central committee.

    For those of you mocking Bjorn Handeen's proposal and "this goofy natural rights stuff", I would suggest you re-read the 2nd paragraph of the Declaration of Independence (you know, the document that gave birth to our nation). The "natural rights" that Mr. Handeen promotes are the "unalienable rights" that the writers of the declaration mention in that document. I suppose they "look goofy" as well?

  • Dan Gookin posted at 7:14 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    Dan Gookin Posts: 689

    I appreciate the efforts of Kellie Palm, Jim Pierce, Gary Ingram, Barry McHugh, Mike McDowell, and others who demonstrated common sense to the committee.

  • wheels1 posted at 7:10 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    wheels1 Posts: 429

    I was waiting for the CC to realize they overreached their authority.Nothing like playing by the rules.Talk about a group of misfits.

  • Flash Gordon posted at 7:06 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1293

    Well Kellie, your party IS foolish:) This "natural rights of Contracts" is what the Aryan Nations used as a pillar of their Christian Identity ideology and movement. If you have a business that is open to the public "you" can't discriminate on the basis of certain criteria......it's a constitutional issue. Handeen does not know what he is talking about....in point of fact, Handeen simply does not "know".

  • voxpop posted at 6:57 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    The term "central committee" for the KC republicans sounds more and more like the cold war Soviet Union of the 60s. These fools seem to have decided that Lincoln's govt of, by, and for the people is nothing more than an inefficient waste of time. Better to just take over and tell people what to think. The phrase "run amok" keeps rolling around in my head.

  • Will Penny posted at 6:24 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    Will Penny Posts: 266

    The KCRCC and their various goofy factions make the National Republican Party look unified!

  • Tim Herzog posted at 6:24 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    Tim Herzog Posts: 359

    I wish I could have attended last nights meeting but was detained. Everyone enjoys a circus! This Republican Central Committee which is dominated by the hard right does not truly represent the conservative republican voters, only their own special interests and agendas to get their hard right members elected to office.

    The voting public even though it largely votes Republican and conservative, is probably closer to the middle ground politically. The extremes in either party does not do service to the voters.

  • lola123 posted at 6:14 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    lola123 Posts: 338

    Now children.........

  • Why Not posted at 5:59 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    Why Not Posts: 4381

    Goofy is right, what a bunch of yahoos. Natural rights contract: The freedom of parties to enter into a contract has nothing to do with exclusion. What’s surprising though, Malek apparently doesn't understand that censure is a limited action within a group. Haven’t you ever wondered why Clowngress can reprimand members for behavior which would get people in the real world fired or in serious trouble? Charlie Rangel for instance is a great example.

  • LMYCDA posted at 3:06 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    LMYCDA Posts: 1936

    I think Tina needs to find another job...She is terrible at what she does...She is not for the people!!!

  • LMYCDA posted at 3:05 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    LMYCDA Posts: 1936

    Why do republicans not want people having health insurance???? Why???? Talk about not caring for the people!!! Why do republicans always want to control a woman's body??? Why????

  • LMYCDA posted at 3:03 am on Wed, Jun 26, 2013.

    LMYCDA Posts: 1936

    A subscription service is required to post anymore???? REally????

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