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Heider: ‘She has no experience in the field,’ Brackett: ‘Sour grapes’

After Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls, opened debate against confirming Joan Hurlock to the Fish & Game Commission, Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, offered a substitute motion, to approve her nomination. Heider contended Hurlock should not be confirmed because she’s not an avid hunter. “She has no experience in the field,” he told the Senate. “I think that experience is extremely important to being appointed to a commission to represent the values and views that hunters in our region experience.” He compared it to a nominee for the Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired who has experience living as a blind person. “Without that experience, I don’t know how we make those decisions, because they’re based primarily upon our experiences in life, so if you haven’t shared the experiences, I don’t think you can make the correct decisions,” he said.

Brackett told the Senate, “Process matters,” and detailed the process by which Hurlock was nominated. All candidates were interviewed and screened by a committee, which forwarded three names to Gov. Butch Otter; he selected Hurlock. He read from a flier from “Shafted Sportsmen” opposing Hurlock’s confirmation. “Senators, these are very strong statements, and they are untrue in many respects,” Brackett said.

“I submit there has been an attempt to skew the confirmation process. It started with the flier. … Many of the calls and emails have been sour grapes.” The statute, he said, requires commissioners to be “well informed upon and interested in the subject of wildlife conservation and restoration.”

Said Brackett, “Many want to hold Joan Hurlock to a higher standard or to a different standard. If we want to do that, we should change the statute. A lot of this has been driven by a vocal minority who did not get their guy appointed.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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