When the federal government picked a section of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness as the place where it could transplant grizzly bears, state Rep. Mark Stubbs said he felt it had not studied the issue enough.
In the middle of the wilderness is a Boy Scout camp.
“That wasn’t even mentioned in the report,” said Stubbs, who officially began his campaign for the Republican nomination in Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District on Saturday with announcements in Idaho Falls and Twin Falls.
The federal government’s refusal to give more power to states in making decisions such as grizzly bear reintroduction is why Stubbs said he decided to run for the seat in Congress that GOP Rep. Michael Crapo is giving up.
“The message I will take to Washington, D.C., is that Idaho is a sovereign state and that the 10th Amendment makes Idaho superior to the federal government in terms of its constitutionally delegated powers,” Stubbs said.
The Twin Falls attorney and four-term lawmaker wants to follow fellow lawyer Crapo from the Legislature into Congress. Crapo is running for the seat fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Dirk Kempthorne is leaving to almost certainly succeed GOP Gov. Phil Batt as Idaho’s governor.
Stubbs plans to echo the states’ rights message Kempthorne used to help win election in 1992, the fruits of which the senator cited in his decision to return to Idaho in a bid for governor.
While applauding the steps Congress has taken to return more authority to state and local governments, Stubbs said, “we’ve barely turned the corner.”
A second theme of his campaign will be family values of a different kind.
“We hear lots of rhetoric about family values, but no one has done anything to put policy behind family values,” Stubbs said.
So he will promote the end of the so-called marriage penalty that taxes married couples filing jointly at a higher rate than singles. He also favors elimination of the estate tax, which he said hurts families and small businesses.
Stubbs became the second official candidate in the 2nd District race.
The other announced candidate is House Speaker Michael Simpson of Blackfoot.
Republican state Sen. Stan Hawkins of Ucon has been running informally for some time, and former state senator Ann Rydalch also has said she might run.
Former U.S. Rep. Richard Stallings is expected to seek the Democratic nomination.