Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Platform Diving

A side to side comparison of donkeys and elephants

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Well, not quite side-by-side... scroll down for the Idaho Democratic Party Platform.... 2008 GOP Platform is only available at boiseweekly.com... until the Idaho GOP Web Master gets back from Tahiti (or something...)

IDAHO REPUBLICAN PLATFORM

ADOPTED JUNE 14, 2008, SANDPOINT, IDAHO

(2006 version available here)

PREAMBLE

WE ARE REPUBLICANS BECAUSE:

We believe the strength of our nation lies with our faith and reliance on God our Creator, the individual, and the family; and that each person's dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.

We believe the United States Constitution is the greatest and most inspired document ever devised by Man, and that the republican form of government which it gives us is the best guarantor of freedom in history.

We believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.

We believe free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this Nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.

We believe government must practice fiscal responsibility, and that taxpayers shall allow the government only the money necessary to provide appropriate functions.

We believe the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations.

We believe the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people. That government is best that governs least.

We believe Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong, while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.

We believe Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to promote peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.

We believe that the rights of individuals can only be maintained by exercising personal responsibility for behavior.

We believe the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.

We therefore adopt the following Platform:

I. FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY IN GOVERNMENT

Financing government: The Idaho Republican Party recognizes that government is financed only from taxing its citizens. We believe the size and cost of government, as well as the national debt, must be reduced. We believe Social Security should be stabilized, diversified, and privatized to expand individual retirement options. We commend our entire Republican delegation for strong support of a balanced budget.

Taxation: We support lower federal, state, and local taxes. Taxes are too high because government spends too much. High taxes are a burden on businesses, families and individuals. More money taken out of paychecks result in people having to work harder in order to make a living, as a result of the heavy taxation burden. It is difficult for families to pay their bills and the government, resulting in less time with children, and particularly less time helping children with their education. Higher taxing of business results in more expensive products. The problem is not a lack of revenue-rather, it is excessive expenditures. Reduction of taxes has shown to increase revenue to the government. Tax reductions should always be accompanied by spending reductions. We urge our Republican officeholders to work to reduce federal, state, and local expenditures, control federal state, and local expansion, and author legislation to eliminate such practices as "earmarking". We will spare no lawful effort to retain an all Republican congressional delegation.

Reform of Congress: The United States Congress was intended by the Founding Fathers to be the finest deliberative body in the history of mankind. But in recent years, Congress has demonstrated that it has lost its way. The Idaho Republican Party supports an overhaul of the legislative process in Washington, D.C., that would allow: 1) more time for members of Congress to study legislation that will be considered, rather than a handful of hours to review hundreds or thousands of pages of legislation, 2) more opportunity for citizens to testify at congressional hearings, 3) more opportunity for members of Congress to listen to debate on legislation in each chamber rather than the current system in which members give speeches in empty chambers and perform for the C-Span audience, 4) an opportunity for members of Congress to raise objections to earmarks and to the inclusion of unrelated subject matter in a single bill, 5) an end to earmark abuses, more oversight for the earmark process and an end to members using earmarks for financial gain, and 6) a more orderly process for consideration of legislation, similar to the process used in the Idaho Legislature.

Legislature: Our State Legislature, which has been directed by Republicans for more than three decades, is a model of fiscal responsibility. Our governors, senators, and representatives deserve credit for balancing the state budget and working to improve Idaho's economy. We can attain growth in a sound, responsible manner by holding taxes down, granting business incentives, and refusing to grant excessive demands for spending. We support reduction of Idaho's income tax rates and, where possible, a reduction in property tax rates by local government. We must strongly support all Republican legislative candidates in order to retain our substantial majority in Idaho's House and Senate.

State Tax System: Idahoans deserve a tax system that is predictable, fair, and balanced. Our income, sales, and property taxes provide for a stable and dependable source of income for our governmental needs. We believe Idaho's tax structure should remain friendly to businesses and families, as jobs and income are absolutely essential to adequate funding of schools and other government obligations.

Local Government: Effective and efficient operation of our local government offices is of vital importance to Idaho. We must elect Republicans to county and local offices to deal with the reality of limited income.

Sound Currency: We recognize the failure of the Federal Reserve System to maintain a sound U.S. dollar and the dangers of private bankers controlling the issuance of our currency. We believe the Federal Reserve Bank should be abolished and the issuing power restored to the people through their representatives in the U.S. Congress with the stipulation that the U.S. dollar be backed by gold and silver.

II. BALANCED BUDGET

The Idaho Republican Party commends efforts of Republican Congressional leaders to balance the federal budget. The Idaho Republican Party demands that the budget be balanced, and that a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution be secured.

On the state level, we support zero-based budgeting for Idaho. Each governmental entity must justify its expenditures before its budget request is approved.

III. NATIONAL LEADERSHIP

The Idaho Republican Party has led America in the fight to reduce the growth of government bureaucracy. We have promoted private enterprise and individual initiative in the marketplace as the real solutions to U.S. domestic policy challenges. The national Republican Party must retain the Presidency and its majorities in the U. S. Senate and House. Elected officials must review all executive orders, and work to eliminate those which adversely affect states' rights.

IV. EDUCATION

The Idaho Republican Party recognizes that the future of this great state lies with our faith and reliance on God our Creator, in our strong efforts to uphold family values, and in the quality of education provided for its citizens. We believe that successful education is a joint responsibility of the individual, the family, and the community. As with government in general, we believe the most effective, responsible and responsive educational system is that system closest to the people.

We recognize the importance of early childhood education. We also believe that the needs of early childhood education are best met by individuals, families and private sector. Only in the rarest of situations should government assume the responsibilities reserved to parents.

We believe parents have the right to educate their children at home, that court rulings that undermine these rights devalue the important role of parents and family in a child's education.

We support efforts to improve our public school system. We also recognize that more government spending does not necessarily generate improved schools.

We believe in improving the quality of education for every child by maximizing parental choice through expanded support for public charter schools, public virtual charter schools, school choice programs, and accountable public school systems. We believe all public school students are entitled to our support, and to fair and equitable funding.

We believe that educational priorities must focus on early childhood reading development, teaching basic academic skills, providing additional opportunities for students to excel, and graduating students with employable skills.

We believe Idaho's public school system should provide quality education in a disciplined and safe environment. This system should provide the basic skills that permit our children to function as literate citizens.

We strongly support vocational programs and continuing education programs that recognize the need to provide good alternatives to college educational programs.

We recognize the importance of Idaho's higher education system in continuing the education of our citizens. The education and research that occurs at our institutions of higher learning contributes substantially to a vigorous economy, heightened competition and a vibrant participatory government.

We are proud of our many dedicated, professional teachers and educators who have committed their lives to educating Idaho's children. We value the contribution our teachers make to our society. We support the efforts to reward great teachers for their hard work. We support efforts to create a career ladder for teachers so that our best educators are willing to remain in the classroom and work with our children.

We believe that in order for public education to be successful, schools and families should work together with mutual respect and cooperation.

We call for responsible management, focused goals and direction, and increased accountability from our public school system.

We recognize the increasing role of technology in society. We encourage policymakers and educators to be leaders in promoting such new opportunities.

We believe competition produces excellence in education, and that parents have the right to choose which schools their children attend. We support the right of parents to pursue private parochial and home school options. Tax credits for non-use of public schools and other forms of parental choice should be encouraged as competitive options for educating children.

We value the important role played by our private, independent, and parochial schools, colleges and universities.

V. GOVERNMENT AND FISCAL AFFAIRS

The Idaho Republican Party recognizes that local initiative, knowledge and individual responsibility are effective resources for solving local problems.

We recommend that present federal programs which have been found to be non-productive, not cost-effective, or that have outlived their usefulness should be terminated. State and federal programs which could be better managed at the local level should be transferred to local units of government or private enterprise wherever and whenever possible.

The level of government requiring the mandate must fund programs mandated by Federal and State governments.

We endorse fiscal responsibility in government including balanced budgets, limited government spending, management by objective, and forward planning at all levels. Unnecessary growth of state and local government has a negative impact on both the conduct of business and on our individual lives. We endorse the review of all government-sponsored programs, and their assumption by private enterprise where appropriate and workable.

The Idaho Republican Party believes the State of Idaho should strongly assert its sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Idaho Republican Party supporting the right of every citizen to seek elective office, affirming the right of voters to vote for the candidate of choice, recognizing the need for experience and institutional memory in elective office, and recognizing the difficulty of filling important offices in smaller cities and counties, opposes the re-imposition of term limits in Idaho.

The Idaho Republican Party recommends that Section 2, Article III, of the Idaho Constitution be amended as follows:

• Strike paragraph (2), (3), (4), (5), and (6). (These sections refer to reapportionment of the Legislature by an appointed commission.)

• Add new paragraph (2) to read as follows: "Whenever there is reason to reapportion the Legislature or to provide for new congressional district boundaries in the state because of a new federal census, all reapportionment decisions shall be made by the Idaho Legislature."

VI. AGRICULTURE

The Republican Party recognizes that agriculture is and will continue to be a fundamental and necessary industry in Idaho, our nation, and the entire world.

We believe The Republican Party advocates that the American farmer can compete freely and trade fairly in foreign markets. We recognize that the primary function of government in agriculture should be service, research, and the promotion of markets. We oppose the use of an embargo of agricultural products as an instrument of foreign policy.

We must recognize that water is vital to Idaho agriculture and other industries.

Modification of Idaho's historic water laws must be considered with extreme caution. The federal government shall not infringe upon state jurisdiction over Idaho water.

We endorse the preservation and strengthening of the family farm unit as the foundation of agriculture and one of the basic strengths of this nation.

VII. PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS

We reaffirm our commitment to the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution: "No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

The right to own, use, care for, and market property is a fundamental tenet of all free nations. The vigilant protection of private property rights safeguards for citizens everything of value.

We support strong enforcement of the "takings" clause to keep citizens secure in the use and development of their property.

We oppose any federal, state or local regulation that would diminish a property owner's right to develop his property in a positive and productive way.

Because state and federal governments administer the majority of Idaho lands, we need to limit and, if possible, reduce the amount of land owned or administered by the government. We affirm to all government officials and employees that property rights are not granted by the government - rather, government is directed by the governed to protect the rights of private property owners.

VIII. NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT

The Idaho Republican Party recognizes that the quality of our natural environment can be protected and enhanced while having reasonable, orderly growth.

We believe there should be greater emphasis on multiple use, local control, and minimal government regulation, and that federal regulations shall not restrict the sovereignty of the State of Idaho.

We believe the administration of federal environmental policy must be modified. We recognize that all federal acts, statutes, management plans, initiatives, and orders (such as the Interior Columbia River Basin Management Plan, Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act) must be based on full evaluation of all relevant factors, including peer-reviewed scientific data. These evaluations must give equal consideration to potential human suffering caused by restriction or elimination of basic human needs such as jobs, energy and overall quality of life. We support federal and state measures to re-establish the primacy of state government for implementation of environmental policy.

We recognize Idaho's need for the utilization of natural resources for Idaho's economic growth and for the benefit of all Idahoans. The dimensions and boundaries of our wilderness area should be determined by Idahoans. The remaining road less areas should be released for multiple use.

We advocate congressional action to limit presidential authority in creating or expanding national parks and monuments pursuant to the Antiquities Act.

We advocate reasonable management for the protection of Idaho soils, aquifers and surface waters from contamination from all sources.

We support the concept of forest health because it promotes long-term land use including livestock grazing, timber, wildlife, recreation, mining and all other beneficial forest uses for the people of Idaho.

We encourage the State of Idaho to seek authority to oversee the utilization of natural resources on federal lands within the state.

IX. INL

We recognize the great importance of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to Idaho's economy. This facility is one of the State's largest private employers. The staff is highly skilled and highly educated. The work done at INL is crucial to both private commerce and to our nation's defense.

Research in safety in the production of nuclear energy is crucial to our nation's future. We support research and development missions that provide safe, economical nuclear power. We also support new nuclear technology that has greater safety, produces less waste, and resists proliferation.

We support the formation of partnerships between federal, state and local governments and private utility companies to build generating nuclear plants in Idaho.

We endorse the agreement developed by former Governor Philip E. Batt as the best possible alternative to contain and diminish any possibility of nuclear contamination of Idaho's environment.

We commend our congressional delegation for its steadfast support of INL. We encourage the delegation, the state, DOE Idaho, and INL management to assure continued research and development, transfer of technology, new missions, and development of alternative energy treatments and storage methods. We support their continued efforts to secure the opening of long-term storage sites.

X. FISH AND GAME

The Idaho Republican Party recognizes the value of wildlife resources for the state.

We encourage the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) to manage fish and wildlife to enhance fishing and hunting and hunting opportunities for Idahoans and the tourist industry, while respecting private property rights of landowners.

We oppose federal designations which restrict or eliminate hunting and fishing and access for all our citizens on public lands in Idaho.

We reaffirm the Idaho Republican Party's opposition to reintroduction of wolves and grizzlies into Idaho.

XI. COMMERCE, INDUSTRY, AND TRANSPORTATION

The Idaho Republican Party encourages the broadening and strengthening of Idaho's base of commerce and industry built on agriculture, timber, mining, manufacturing, processing, technology, and energy through private enterprise and free market means.

We support balanced multiple use of our natural resources and all associated businesses. This can be achieved through encouraging economic development in the areas of manufacturing, processing, technology, energy, tourism and other industries, as well as providing a friendly business climate under which our natural resource industries at state and national levels can thrive.

Transportation is an integral part of commerce and industry, essential for movement of goods and people in the State of Idaho. We call upon the federal government to recognize that transportation needs are vastly different in western states than in eastern states, and request that regulatory oversight reflect recognition of those differences.

We call upon railroads to increase service levels to better serve the State of Idaho in movement of goods. We believe that restrictions being proposed by the federal government in the road-less conservation plan will have undue and unnecessary negative impact on the natural resource industry, and subsequently on Idaho's rural economy.

A competitive market, free of undue governmental competition, restriction, coercion, or interference, is critical to Idaho's economic well-being.

We recognize that the United States of America uses a system of free enterprise and capitalism wherein individuals work for profits and rewards and are entitled to the product of their efforts. When government appropriates private property or investment expectations, full restitution shall be made, including reimbursement of legal and interest expenses.

Support innovative and responsible programs by industry to reduce pollution in every practical way Government should intervene only where such efforts fail or must be supplemented by law.

State government and private enterprise must work cooperatively toward development and growth of the convention and tourism business, which is becoming increasingly important to Idaho's future.

We endorse economic development and expansion in Idaho and pledge to make every effort to provide a business climate that will attract such growth. We support greater cooperative efforts between the Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor, and the business community to promote economic development, with increased emphasis on depressed rural economies in Idaho.

We support adequate funding of Idaho's Constitutional Defense Fund for the legal defense of Idaho's sovereignty in issues including, but not limited to, the balanced use of Idaho's land, agriculture, mining, timber, manufacturing, processing, and energy resources and their associated businesses.

We believe that free trade agreements have, on the whole, been beneficial to the economies of the United States and the State of Idaho, but we recognize that free trade has been detrimental to some important elements of the Idaho economy. Therefore, we support the development of industries within Idaho that benefit from increased trade, and we support appropriate revisions to free trade agreements to ensure fairness to Idaho industry.

XII. WATER

The Idaho Republican Party recognizes the critical importance of water to this state. We will aggressively defend Idaho's right to appropriate and manage water within its own borders without interference from the federal government.

In support of this concept, we support continued federal and state legislation to prevent inter-basin transfer of Idaho's water to other areas.

We encourage policies that will more fully use and develop our water while supporting the Idaho state law of prior appropriation, based on the principle of "first in time is first in right" for the benefit of all Idahoans.

We believe that safeguards exist to protect Idaho's scenic and recreational rivers without creating more restrictions or regulations on Idaho's river system.

We call upon the federal government cease and desist from calling on further water for flow augmentation for fish conservation until the benefit of this use has been proven by unequivocal, thorough scientific research. Further, Idaho waters can only be approved for out-of-state use by legislative action by the State of Idaho, from willing sellers through established rental pools.

We support increased retention of Idaho water through recharge and the acquisition of new reservoir sites.

The Idaho Republican Party supports quality of private life and economic stability of Idaho families, communities, and industries, and opposes removal or breaching of existing dams.

We support all legal opposition to any and all efforts to usurp Idaho's sovereignty over water within Idaho borders. Further, we support the attorney general in defending the state's position on these and all other water issues, and support the State Legislature in continuing to adequately fund the Idaho Constitutional Defense Fund for these purposes.

XIII. ENERGY

Recognizing that energy is vital to the economic growth of industry within our state, the Idaho Republican Party strongly supports a progressive, common-sense, equitable energy policy that encourages research and development of our energy resources, including hydroelectric power, petroleum, nuclear energy, and new technologies.

The Idaho Republican Party supports efforts to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We support efforts to increase American exploration and production of American crude oil and natural gas, and support voluntary efforts to improve efficiencies and promote conservation. Congress must end its ban on American energy exploration on U.S. soil and on the Outer Continental Shelf and provide for additional American refining capacity. We must make America's resources available to U.S. citizens.

Idaho has the lowest electrical rates of the fifty states. Nothing should be done in the deregulation process that might raise those rates. The benefits of hydroelectric power should be retained for the citizens of Idaho. We support the Idaho Congressional Delegation's efforts through federal legislation to opt out of any mandated deregulation.

We encourage continuous review and updating of all energy resources and their multiple use benefit for our citizens.

XIV. LABOR

The Idaho Republican Party recognizes the important contribution to the state's economy from its labor force, both in the private and public sector.

The Party encourages and supports joint responsibility of employee and employer in developing and maintaining a safe and sanitary work environment.

No qualified individual should be denied equal opportunity for employment. We support the Idaho Human Rights Commission, which allows for initial in-state handling of employment discrimination. We believe that hiring quotas are inherently discriminatory and should not be required.

We believe that Idaho employees are best served by the creation of a strong economy and a favorable job market. Idaho's Republican governors and Legislature deserve credit for these positive conditions.

We encourage the continued development of education and vocational training to support a well-trained workforce for an expanding Idaho economy.

The Idaho Republican Party believes that public employees should be hired, retained, and promoted based on individual merit. Furthermore, we believe that public employees should be fairly and equitably compensated through rates of pay and benefits comparable to those paid by private industry for jobs of like value.

We oppose any effort to repeal the "Right to Work" in Idaho as a violation of the equal opportunity for employment and the freedom of association guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

XV. ECONOMY

The Idaho Republican Party believes that economic growth is the key to enhancing the quality of life our people so richly deserve. Fiscal responsibility in the form of balanced state and federal budgets is essential to achieve this goal.

We encourage the Governor and State Legislature to:

• Evaluate each state agency for efficiency and effectiveness and conduct recommended performance audits,

• Pass legislation that will privatize those agencies which would be better managed as private corporations,

• Create a business environment that promotes development and/or expansion of businesses in Idaho, and eliminates all onerous and repressive government regulation, and

• Support a tax structure that promotes savings and investment by the taxpayers and investment by businesses in research, development, plant and equipment.

This we propose in order to create jobs for all Idahoans and for our children, who follow, and to maintain and enhance our quality of life.

We believe there is an inseparable link between a vibrant economy and a high-quality education system. It takes a vibrant economy to provide the tax base necessary to fund a high-quality education system. Equally, it takes a high-quality education system to provide the highly skilled labor force necessary to meet the demands of a growing, vibrant economy.

XVI. AMERICAN FAMILY

We believe the traditional family to be the basic unit of society. Government officials and legislators are called upon to protect the traditional family and use all means possible to prevent expansion of the definition of marriage beyond that of a bond between one man and one woman.

Traditional family values are the foundation of our nation. Families, not government programs, are the best way to properly nurture and protect our children, care for our elderly, preserve and perpetuate our cultural and spiritual heritage, and assure that our traditional values are transmitted to the next generation.

Many of the ills of society can be attributed to the breakdown of the family. Many of the problems facing the traditional family include, but are not limited to: pornography, substance abuse, debt, and the lack of simple 'family' time. Pornography and substance abuse are particular in that they distort one's view of reality, and create detrimental addictions, which limit one's ability to operate physically, mentally and emotionally within the family.

We believe that Idaho's social and fiscal programs should reinforce parental responsibility and authority, and not promote or reward the disintegration of the family. The generational cycle of dependence and despair must be broken. The answer is in education, job opportunities, and individual and family responsibility.

We support a tax system that strengthens a family's economic ability to care for and support its members. We applaud the Idaho Legislature for its action to eliminate the marriage penalty in the Idaho tax code and support efforts to eliminate it on the federal level.

We reaffirm our support for the sanctity of life and the rights of the unborn child. We recognize many strong and diverse views within our party membership on this issue.

We oppose the use of federal or state tax funds to aid in the destruction of human life. We oppose the use of Idaho taxpayer funds to finance so-called "health" abortions. We do not support abortion based on sex selection, convenience, or as a method of birth control. We oppose partial birth abortion and support legislation to abolish this practice. We support parental consent for minors to obtain an abortion. We strongly encourage adoption as an alternative to abortion and support legislation that expands opportunities and provides assistance to the adoptive process.

XVII. LAW AND ORDER WITH JUSTICE

We believe that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. After a person is convicted of a crime, however, we believe in swift and just punishment for the lawbreaker and immediate payment of restitution to the victim.

Courts and the prosecutors should continue to recognize the substantial rights and interests of crime victims in the judicial process and assure that the victims of serious crimes are not ignored.

We believe the death penalty is an appropriate consequence for the most heinous crimes, and that further reform should be made to the appellate procedures so the penalty can be carried out in a timely process.

Our party encourages the Idaho Legislature to modify the post-conviction relief statutes to enable DNA considerations where appropriate.

We recognize the enormous financial burden placed upon society by criminals. Therefore, we support requiring inmates, to the extent they are capable, to perform labor or otherwise contribute to the cost of their incarceration.

We recognize that juvenile justice is a major concern. We support timely accountability and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. We support dealing with youth offenses early to reduce future impact to the welfare and correction systems.

Recognizing the dreadful consequences of illegal drug and substance abuse in our society, we call upon our national, state and local leaders to refocus efforts in the war on drugs. We encourage all Idaho citizens, and their religious, civic, and community organizations, to be actively engaged in this effort.

We support creative alternative sentencing, such as drug courts, and treatment for non-violent offenders.

The Idaho Republican Party supports the right of the individual to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and article one section eleven of the Idaho State Constitution. We commend efforts of organizations to preserve and foster that right, including Right-to-Carry laws.

We further believe in protection of the American firearms industry against harassing lawsuits that blame them for the acts of criminals. We call for more enforcement of current laws against violent criminals, not more "gun control" aimed at law-abiding citizens.

XVIII. HEALTH AND WELFARE

The Idaho Republican Party supports a private enterprise health care delivery system that provides cost-effective, quality health care with minimal government regulation and interference.

We recognize the need for and promote effective and accessible health care for all individuals.

We support the rights of individuals to select their health care provider.

We oppose socialized medicine and any other attempts to encourage socialism in America.

We believe the emerging concepts of "defined contribution plans" and "medical savings accounts" should continue to be encouraged, because truly positive market forces can only occur when the fundamental right to make individual marketplace decisions is restored to Idahoans.

We believe the primary responsibility for the health and welfare of our citizens resides with individuals and their families. We encourage all people to exercise the responsibility of the individual and the family in making healthy life choices and caring for their own health and well-being.

We believe health and welfare programs should be administered with a minimum of bureaucracy and a goal of helping all recipients return to a self-sustaining and productive life. We encourage the citizen advisory committees over health and welfare programs to reassert their oversight responsibilities. We reject the practice of active recruitment of employed and employable people as welfare and Medicaid recipients.

We support enforcement of child support laws in order to assure the restoration of parental responsibility and the enhancement of financial security for children.

XIX. NATIONAL DEFENSE

The Idaho Republican Party supports a strong national defense. We support strong contingents of our U. S. Armed Forces. We strongly support our Idaho National Guard under the command of Idaho's governor. We believe in peace through strength, so that our children will enjoy the blessings of freedom.

We support the efforts that are underway to establish an effective National Missile Defense System to protect American citizens. We also oppose any efforts to re-enter the ABM or any other treaty restricting America's ability to protect itself from attack.

We support President Bush's efforts to combat terrorism, including the use of military force, in response to the events of September 11, 2001, and any other terrorist threats to our nation. We support the securing the national border and the prosecution of those who violate our laws.

American combat troops should not be used as "world policemen." UN combat operations should be supported by a multi-national coalition, and where U. S. forces are committed in UN combat operations, the United States should retain ultimate command of its forces.

We support the Office of Homeland Security. We believe it will accomplish its mission, and the rights of all Americans will be best protected by enforcement of existing law. The Patriot Act is necessary to facilitate cooperation between law enforcement agencies. We support appropriate amendments to limit incursions upon personal freedoms, rights, and liberties of American Citizens.

XX. VETERANS

The Idaho Republican Party believes that America owes her freedom to the service of its military veterans. In fact, the nation owes them more than thanks. We reinforce our commitment to their needs both at home and abroad. We support the Idaho National Guard and commend their response to the request of the nation to serve our country.

XXI. OLDER AMERICANS

The Idaho Republican Party has always supported and will continue to support older Americans. The party will work to preserve and promote opportunities in America so that older Americans can provide for themselves. Those unable to care for themselves will have access to services available in Idaho – city, county, state and federal.

The Idaho Republican Party will continue to oppose policies that penalize older Americans who continue to work.

XXII. SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS

America's small business entrepreneurs have led the way in fueling the economic recovery and provide the engine for future economic growth. We must keep them strong to ensure lasting prosperity.

The Idaho Republican Party reaffirms its historic ties with business people and pledges continued efforts to help this energetic segment of our economy continue to provide jobs for our citizens.

We support a climate conducive to small business growth. Over-regulation and excessive regulatory requirements break the back of small business. Such regulation must be reduced and eliminated.

We support creation and maintenance of a tax base that is fair and equitable to all businesses.

XXIII. INTEGRITY IN GOVERNMENT

We, as Idaho Republicans, expect all individuals in government at all levels, including elected officials, to conduct themselves within the highest and strictest standards of personal conduct in carrying out their duties.

The people of Idaho demand leaders who will uphold their oath of office and the Constitution and are accountable to the people who elect them. We call upon the State Republican Party Chairman to communicate to the party at large information regarding adherence by Republican legislators to the state party platform and resolutions adopted at our state conventions and party meetings. We ask that all candidates certify they are not a candidate, officer, delegate nor position holder in any party other than the Republican Party.

We firmly believe the most effective, responsible and responsive government is the government closest to the people.

XXIV. CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT IN GOVERNMENT

The Idaho Republican Party believes that government works best when its citizens become actively involved. The Party encourages all citizens to engage in healthy debate on all issues that will increase citizen control of government.

We encourage all citizens to educate themselves in constitutional government and to be full participants in the political process.

Our party seeks to heighten the level of discourse by encouraging all office holders, candidates and citizens to be civil, dignified, honest and forthright in their discussions, actions, statements and political processes. This includes the actions of special interest groups who provide support for or against any Idaho candidate. The Idaho Republican Party Believes that Primary elections in the Idaho Republican Party should be open to all the people who have registered as a Republican prior to the primary election and that the Idaho Legislature should pass legislation that would provide for the same. To allow those who have no loyalty or allegiance to the Idaho Republican Party or its' platform and Resolutions to select our candidates is simply not proper.

XXV. ELECTION OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICES

The Idaho Republican Party opposes any attempt to undermine the constitutional right of the people to select justices in an open competitive election process.

XXVI. CLIMATE CHANGE

We, the Republican Party of Idaho, recognize that the beautiful and fruitful land that we have been given by the Hand of Providence must be properly cared for to ensure that its rich blessings will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come. We recognize that it is ultimately the individual's responsibility to act as a steward of their environment and that government involvement should be limited at best.

We discourage international regulations on industry which attempt to halt the production of certain industrial byproducts. Instead we encourage citizens to adopt buying habits that promote a clean earth.

We also encourage the development and use of nuclear energy as a clean, efficient solution to energy and environmental needs.


Idaho State Democratic Party

2008 Platform

I. STATEMENT OF DEMOCRATIC VALUES

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small

portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation."

Robert F. Kennedy

Idaho Democrats believe that good government makes Idaho a great place to live by building

community, providing opportunity, and acting responsibly to protect democracy and personal

freedoms. Good government excludes no one and respects and listens to the ideas of all.

Idaho Democrats, individually and collectively, are united, focused, and committed to taking the

bold steps necessary for American families to build strong communities that are the heart of our

democracy.

II. WE STAND FOR THE FOLLOWING VALUES:

A. Community

As a community, we are more than a collection of individuals. We need to look

out for each other. Government must protect those who cannot protect themselves,

including future generations.

1. Families:

a. We support public policies enabling workplace flexibility and

practices that help employees meet challenges related to pregnancy and

child care.

2. Health Care:

a. To ensure quality of life and good health for all Idahoans, we

support access to a simple, affordable, quality health care system.

b. We support parity in our approaches to medical, dental, and

mental health care.

c. We support a government-sponsored health care plan.

d. We consider the treatment of substance abuse to be a medical

necessity.

e. We advocate responsible reproduction and prevention of

unwanted pregnancy through comprehensive education.

f. We support comprehensive federal funding for health care

research for cures for chronic, and/or catastrophic diseases.

3. Peace:

1

a. We support those serving in the military and their families, at

home and abroad, in wartime and in peace.

b. We support diplomatic solutions to conflict; and we reject a

foreign policy of unilateral, preemptive war.

c. We support withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

4. Veterans Issues:

a. Idaho Democrats honor our veterans and accord them the respect

and dignity they deserve.

b. We call for full support and funding of programs such as the

new GI bill for affordable and suitable housing.

c. We support full funding for timely and appropriate medical and

mental health care as well as educational benefits for veterans. These

should be extended to all veterans.

5. Americans with Disabilities Act:

a. We support the Americans with Disabilities Act and the right of

people with disabilities to experience the same rights and privileges

enjoyed by non-disabled Americans.

6. Tribal-State Relations:

a. We recognize the necessity and value of meaningful

consultation, collaboration, and coordination with Indian Tribal

government within the State of Idaho, in accordance with

treaties, statutes, executive orders, judicial decisions and the

laws of each Tribal government.

b. We respect Tribal sovereignty and self-government.

c. We encourage economic development on reservations and will

work with the Tribes to achieve sustainable sources of revenue

for Tribal communities.

d. We recognize the treaty rights of the Tribes of Idaho.

7. Safe Communities:

a. We must effectively address violence in our communities and

provide adequate funding for community-based violence prevention

programs to deal with challenges such as spousal, child, and elder abuse,

school violence, gangs, and hate crimes.

b. We support a criminal justice system that protects our

communities, treats victims with respect and dignity, preserves the rights

of the accused, and holds accountable those who commit crimes.

c. We support rehabilitation of offenders, including job skills

training and substance abuse treatment.

B. Democracy

We will restore a government accountable to the people it serves. We demand

honesty, integrity, competence, participation and openness in government.

1. Government:

a. Government should play a limited role in our private lives but is

the essential framework for our coexistence in a civil, tolerant society.

Government should be accountable and transparent at all levels.

b. The letter and spirit of open meeting laws must be followed.

c. We oppose the use of signing statements to subvert

legislation passed by Congress.

d. We support the right of communities to self-govern,

including the right to vote on local option tax.

e. We support a strong national defense and believe it is the

constitutional role of government, and not private contractors, to perform

that defense.

2. Elections:

a. We affirm our belief in a government of, by, and for the people

and support public financing of campaigns.

b. We support reforms that will restore integrity and promote wider

participation by individuals in the political process. A legitimate voting

process must provide a paper trail.

c. We oppose any laws or practices that limit the rights of

minorities to vote.

d. We support the right of independents to vote in primary

elections. The right of all Idahoans to keep their political party

preferences private and to vote in all elections must be preserved.

3. Communication:

a. We support stronger regulations to limit media consolidation.

C. Opportunity

We believe opportunity brings prosperity. We will create jobs in Idaho by

providing quality education for all and driving innovation.

1. Economy:

a. Democrats are committed to economic progress that provides

people with rewarding jobs at livable wages under safe working

conditions with secure benefits, workers' rights and shared

responsibilities, adequate training, respect, and dignity.

b. We will work to restore America's manufacturing capacity to

bring back balance in our trade with other nations, so that our economic

destiny is in our hands and not in the hands of other countries.

c. We must stimulate the ongoing economic stability of Idaho's

rural communities by consistently working toward the expansion of rural

Idaho's entrepreneurial support systems and infrastructure, including

high-speed internet access, while protecting natural resources.

d. We support tighter regulation of predatory mortgage and credit

lenders.

2. Education:

a. Well-educated citizens are essential to a free democratic society.

High quality public education in all disciplines, and technical training,

are the most important investment we can make in our future.

b. We appreciate and respect educators in our state and support

increasing teacher's salaries to retain and recruit highly qualified

teachers.

c. We recognize that it is a constitutionally mandated obligation of

government to provide sufficient safe modern educational facilities and

resources. We deplore the failure of Idaho's Supreme Court and

legislature to enforce this mandate. We believe legislators must act to

assure that such facilities and resources are provided for Idaho children.

d. Charter schools must provide students with equal access, and be

accountable to the public in the same manner as public schools.

e. We support statewide community colleges with local control in

order for students throughout Idaho to have affordable access to higher

education.

f. We support state funding of affordable public higher education

and increased financial assistance to students.

g. We support state funding of a voluntary high-quality prekindergarten

program for Idaho.

h. We support the repeal of the No Child Left Behind Act.

3. Labor:

a. We support the working people of Idaho and acknowledge that

they are the driving force of our economy. All workers have the right to

form and join unions, and to bargain collectively. We support the

extension of bargaining rights with binding arbitration to all employees,

public and private. We support the Employee Free Choice Act; and we

support repeal of the so-called "right to work." We oppose any and all

laws restricting the rights of employees to organize.

b. We oppose any system of compensation requiring employees to

exchange fair employment practices for higher pay.

c. We will work to increase the state and Federal minimum wage to

livable levels and to remove the restaurant worker exemption.

4. Agriculture:

a. We support our Idaho farmers and ranchers and their rural

values.

b. We encourage creating partnerships with our farmers and

supporting them in their efforts to become sustainable.

c. We support the country-of-origin labeling of all agricultural

products.

d. We support preservation of productive agricultural lands and

advocate smart-growth agricultural planning.

D. Justice

We will work to ensure that public and private institutions are free from

corruption and that all citizens are treated equally and fairly.

1. Human and Civil Rights:

a. We recognize there is one race, the human race. We believe

human rights, civil rights, diversity and civil liberties are essential to the

well-being of all individuals in a democratic society; and support

allocating sufficient resources to preserve them.

b. We oppose discrimination in all forms on the basis of race,

ethnicity, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation or

gender identity, disability and age.

c. We endorse and urge congressional passage of the proposed

Security and Freedom Enhancement Act (SAFE Act) or similar

legislation which amends the USA PATRIOT Act, assuring that together

this legislation protects our national security from terrorist acts but does

not compromise essential civil liberties.

d. We abhor and condemn the use of torture – physical or

emotional – for any reason and in any circumstance.

e. We support national immigration reform that is visionary,

practical and humane.

E. Freedom

We will protect individual privacy and freedom.

1. Constitutional Guarantees:

a. We support the rights to own and use firearms as granted in the

Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article I of the Idaho

Constitution.

b. While we are a party of many faiths and personal beliefs, we

support the constitutionally-guaranteed separation of church and state

that is part of the foundation of our society and assures freedom of

religion for all people.

c. We oppose the intrusion of government into issues of

reproductive rights. We support policies that will keep abortion safe,

legal and rare.

F. Responsibility/Stewardship

We must protect Idaho's superb quality of life. We must keep our air and water

clean. We must protect Idaho's wildlife and natural resources for future generations.

1. Public Lands:

a. We support the preservation and protection of the integrity of our

wild places and access to public lands.

b. We oppose any attempt to sell our public lands. Idaho is not for

sale.

c. Recognizing that the federal government owns much of Idaho's

land, we support federal funding to counties based on the amount of

acreage that is federally owned.

2. Environment and Natural Resources:

a. We support policies that provide wise management and a sensible

balance between stable, sustainable development and the long-term

protection of our natural resources and rich biodiversity.

b. We support the regulation of polluting industries that negatively

impact our soil, water, and air such as pesticide use, cyanide-based

mining processes, mercury pollution, Confined Animal Feeding

Operations (CAFO) and the introduction, production, and storing of

radioactive waste in our environment.

c. Democrats seek sustainable, harvestable salmon and steelhead

populations in Idaho to support fishery-based jobs and riverside

towns.

d. We support responsible management and protection of Idaho's

plants and wildlife.

e. We support recycling programs to reduce landfill waste and to

encourage better resource management.

3. Energy

a. We strongly support incentives for energy conservation,

construction of energy-efficient buildings, and research and development

toward innovative clean energy. In recognition of the tremendous

potential for renewable energy, we believe that renewable and

sustainable resources are key to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

b. We encourage the development and use of energy-efficient mass

public transportation systems.

c. We recognize that through the production of greenhouse gases,

the large-scale usage of fossil-fuels has catastrophic effects on climate

and geo-political consequences and contributes significantly to global

warming. Therefore we support programs and agreements to reduce our

dependence on fossil fuels.

G. Accountability

We, as Democrats, support accountability and transparency in government.

1. Fiscal Responsibility:

a. We will spend taxpayers' dollars efficiently and effectively on

programs that will return lasting value to our communities.

b. We support a fiscally-responsible and equitable tax system that

will adequately fund necessary obligations of government and provide

fair property tax relief to homeowners.

c. We support the elimination of the sales tax on groceries.

2. Honesty:

a. We will protect Americans at home and lead the world by telling

the truth to our recruits, our troops, our citizens, and our allies.

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