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Eye On Boise

Senate debate: Does fishing and hunting, by itself, qualify a F&G commissioner?

Rep. Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls, debated in favor of Joan Hurlock’s confirmation to the Fish & Game Commission. “This candidate is from my district,” he said. “I have people both for and against, and so I have to look at this in one way: Was process followed or not? There were eight people on the commission that chose a person. All eight did support her. So, if she was not capable, why would all eight support her? And the current commission that she’s served with for six months supports her. Said Patrick, “I think of her as a breath of fresh air, in being a little different. She does support the youth. I think she can bring youth into the hunting and fishing mold.”

Sen. John Tippets, R-Montpelier, said it’s not the Senate’s job to ensure that the governor has selected the best candidate for a position, because that would require senators to interview all the candidates. Instead, he said, “I think our responsibility is to deny confirmation if the appointment was made for inappropriate reasons,” or if a candidate is clearly not qualified.  “I think she has an impressive resume and that she’s well-qualified for the position,” he said. “In fact, she brings some very unique qualifications to the position.” He noted that she’s a lifetime NRA member, a past member of Ducks Unlimited, and an advocate of youth hunting and fishing who’s taken her children fishing for years. Tippets said to be a good Fish & Game commissioner, “I don’t think a lifetime of hunting and fishing necessarily qualifies you” by itself.

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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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