Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, drew an objection from Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, when he said the insurance exchange issue has prompted something “that really bothered me … lobbyists mocking people.” Hill said, “I think our rules require … discuss the merits of the bill itself.” Nonini was asked to stick to the bill.
“In my eight-plus, almost nine years here, I’ve never seen an issue like this touch on as many emotions as it has,” Nonini told the Senate. He said he picked out his darkest suit to wear for today’s debate. “I believe this is a dark day for Idaho. I believe this is a dark day for this building,” he said. “I’m just so frustrated by this – I feel like I’m in mourning. Because we’re losing something here this morning. We are losing our freedom. We are giving up our sovereignty to the federal government.”
Nonini also said during this debate that he’s “embarrassed by my actions last may, something you’re all aware of,” with regard to Sen. John Tippets, R-Montpelier, the bill’s sponsor. “He’s quite a gentleman,” Nonini said. Nonini, through his “Idaho Association for Good Government” PAC, backed a challenger against Tippets in the GOP primary; he also targeted several other GOP incumbents, all unsuccessfully.