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Idaho Dems unveil platform; GOP to craft theirs later this week

Idaho Democrats have unveiled their new party platform, crafted at the party's state convention last weekend; it takes aim at some Republican initiatives that have emerged in the last two years in the Idaho Legislature, the Associated Press reports. Examples: The Dems' new platform rejects closed primary elections, which the Idaho GOP championed; and also rejects government intrusion into personal medical decisions, “unproven educational experimentation” in Idaho's public schools; and the notion that state government has a legal right to nullify federal laws. “I urge everyone to take a careful look at the positions of the Idaho Democrats,” said Eldon Wallace, chairman of the platform committee. “Compare that to the rightward drift of the more radical elements of the GOP that would dramatically change our society and reduce our quality of life.” Click below for a full report from the AP; you can read the party's full platform here. The idaho Republican Party will craft its platform at its state convention, which runs this Thursday through Saturday in Twin Falls.


Idaho Democrats approve new platform at convention


BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Democrats are touting their new party platform, offering it up to voters as a stark contrast to the Republican alternative and the GOP's tilt in the last four years to more libertarian and tea party political ideas and values.

The platform approved last weekend during the 2012 state convention emphasizes respect for individuals, building a strong state economy and communities, and it takes aim at a handful of Republican initiatives that have emerged in the last two years in the Idaho Legislature.

“I urge everyone to take a careful look at the positions of the Idaho Democrats,” said Eldon Wallace, chairman of the platform committee. “Compare that to the rightward drift of the more radical elements of the GOP that would dramatically change our society and reduce our quality of life.”

Later this week, Idaho Republicans will hold their state convention in Twin Falls and craft a new platform that will be used to guide the party's political goals for the next two years.

The new Democratic platform and its preamble clearly take aim at some of the more conservative and libertarian-leaning Republicans who have gained strength in the statehouse during the last two election cycles.

For example, the Democratic platform rejects closed elections, a response to the GOP decision to make voters in last month's GOP primary register as Republicans.

The Democratic platform also rejects government intrusion into personal medical decisions, unproven education experiments in Idaho's public schools and the notion that state government has a legal right to nullify federal laws. Two years ago, a group of tea party advocates proposed legislation that would allow the state to nullify the federal health care overhaul.

Other platform planks include:

— Support for keeping legislative redistricting in the hands of a citizen committee.

— Support for direct, voter election of U.S. Senators.

— Rejection of any proposal to return the nation to the gold standard.

— Demands for rational, pragmatic, workable solutions to economic and social issues.

Democrats also elected 31 delegates who will attend the national convention in Charlotte, N.C. in September. The Idaho delegation is also firmly committed to supporting President Obama at the convention, party officials said.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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