The Senate Resources Committee has voted 5-4 to send Fish & Game Commissioner Joan Hurlock’s confirmation to the full Senate with a recommendation that it not pass, after defeating another motion, on a reverse 4-5 vote, to send it with a recommendation that it pass. Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, passed on the first vote, and then, when it was split 4-4, cast the deciding vote against the do-pass motion.
Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, made the unsuccessful motion for the full approval. “Senators, Senate confirmation is part of this process, it’s a very important part, and it’s not to be taken lightly,” he said. “But it also needs to be done fairly. Process matters, it does in this committee and it does in the Senate. We’ve all heard from many people, but I submit it’s been from a vocal minority, a high percent, and I’d say in the upper 90s, can be categorized as ‘my guy did not get the appointment.’ And it’s kinda come down to, there’ve been a number of issues raised, but it’s come down to questioning her qualifications. And the selection committee reviewed all of the candidates and the ones they submitted they certified or they said that they were qualified.”
“It appears to me that we’re holding this candidate to a higher standard, and if we’re going to do that we need to change the statute, if we want it to reflect what we think an ideal candidate should be.” He noted that the feedback he got from his district was overwhelmingly in favor of Hurlock. “These are the people that know her … the people that know her best support her,” Brackett said. “Senators, we do, and the process needs to treat her fairly.”
Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls, who made the motion to recommend that the Senate not approve the appointment, said, “In my case and from my district, the vast majority, over whelming majority of the people have asked me not to confirm Ms. Hurlock for this position due to her inexperience and her lack of previous hunting experience. Like Sen. Brackett, I too believe that I must follow the edict of those who elected me and sent me here to represent them.”
Those voting against Hurlock’s nomination were Sens. Heider, Siddoway, Cameron, Bair and Pearce. Those supporting the nomination were Sens. Lacey, Stennett, Tippets and Brackett. Hurlock is only the second woman ever to serve on the Idaho Fish & Game Commission; Gov. Butch Otter appointed her in July.