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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Spokane alt weekly examines Luke Malek, Idaho Freedom Foundation…

Wrapping up a week of reporting in North Idaho, I’m at the Spokane airport this afternoon, and came across this article by Daniel Walters in the Inlander headed, “The Measure of Malek: Can Rep. Luke Malek cross the Idaho Freedom Foundation and survive?” It’s an interesting read from the Spokane alternative weekly, starting off:

“To Idaho Rep. Luke Malek — and the National Rifle Association and the American Conservative Union — there's no question that he's a conservative. After all, the NRA graded him with an A and endorsed Malek. The ACU, meanwhile, gave Malek a 91 percent ranking, landing him an ‘Award for Conservative Excellence.’

‘I was ranked one point away from being the most conservative member of the legislature [by] the foremost authority of conservatism as an institution in America,’ Malek says. ‘They put on freakin' CPAC, the gala for conservatives in the United States.’ But as conservative report cards go, there's one where Malek doesn't fare nearly as well. The Idaho Freedom Foundation's ‘Freedom Index’ brands Malek with an ‘F+’ At one time or another during Malek's two terms in office, Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman has condemned Malek as a ‘liberal,’ a ‘poster boy of obedience to federal government,’ and as someone who's vowed ‘to do anything and everything to expand the welfare state.’

Malek has plenty of company. Last year, the Freedom Foundation gave 75 of Idaho's 105 legislators Ds or Fs for the 2016 legislative session. ‘I mean,’ Malek says. He pauses for a moment. ‘It's a joke. Wayne's whole job is to dupe donors into believing there are problems where there aren't problems. That's how he puts food on his table.’" The full article is online here.

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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