November 2016 Treasure Valley Voters Guide




Welcome to our Voter Guide for November's local races, bonds and levies, as well as the presidential election. Compare candidates' views on the issues side by side and create your own ballot, which you can then print or email.

Election Day:

Looking for more coverage? Visit IdahoStatesman.com/election for previews, voting information and other things to know before you vote.

...Please note: Candidates' responses have not been edited except for libel.



Idaho House District 12 - Seat A

Incumbent: Republican Robert Anderst Term: Two yearsSalary: $16,684

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Candidate picture

    Robert Anderst
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Maria Mabbutt
    (Dem)

Social Media

Biographical Information

Name your three priorities for Idaho. Do you support current policy on them? if not, describe your alternate plan. How would you pay for your proposals that have costs associated with them?

How should Idaho address the health care needs of the 78,000 residents in the so-called gap population? Do you support Medicaid expansion in some form? Some other proposal? Please address funding for the option you prefer.

What is the state's obligation to public schools? Is Idaho spending enough on buildings, teachers and operations? How can Idaho improve its go-on rate for students leaving high school?

What is your position on the relationship between the federal government, the states and local governments? Is the state right or wrong to hinder or pre-empt action on the local level? Should the state work to take more ownership or control of federal lands in Idaho?

Name three actions taken by the Legislature this past session that you opposed. Name three you supported or would support. Explain.

What is the proper role of a part-time citizen Legislature? Do you think Idaho’s current system works? Does the Legislature function well or do you see need for changes or improvements?

Do you support your party’s presidential nominee? Explain. Include in your answer who you plan to vote for and why.

Have you been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a misdemeanor or felony or had a withheld judgment? If so, what, when and where?

Have you or a company you owned filed bankruptcy? If so, when and where?

Education Associates degree, business marketing and management from Idaho State University
Prior political experience 4 Years in the Idaho House of Representatives
Civic involvement Past board chairman and current board member for 12 years Nampa Boys and Girls Club
Years living in Idaho 45
Family Married to my wife La Dawn for 20 years and we have 2 great kids Tate 16 and Paige 13
Twitter page @robertanderst
1. Lower income tax rates. 2. Continue to find ways to become more economically competitive with other States (taxes and regulatory reform). 3. Prepare students for the best jobs in Idaho. Continue support for college prep both traditional and professional technical.
We should find an Idaho solution that gets people out of ER's. What we do today is the most ineffective and inefficient way of dealing with this problem possible. When the only care available is the most expensive care and least manageable (ER's) it is bound to cost more for the tax payer and be over utilized. Somehow we need to get those in this situation into a managed care system, I don't care what its called but individuals need to be empowered to take responsibility for their preventative healthcare while having access to appropriate emergency care when needed. They must have some skin in the game (co-pays or premium). Education will be critical. I would not support simply expanding Medicaid as it is currently constituted because expanding a program that is unsustainable creates bigger problems down the road. We should be able to find an Idaho solution that works better and more efficiently for Idaho, with or without the Feds.
Any state that spends over 60% of its budget for education is obviously committed. The fact is that we have limited resources so we must use them wisely. We also need to focus on growing the economy (but that's a different question). It is critical that we prepare students for post secondary education and the jobs that are awaiting them. The first step to get kids that normally don't "Go On" to do so is to help them envision it as a possibility. Many kids don't go on simply because they don't picture themselves going. I am a huge supporter of dual-credit and programs like P-TECH allowing high school students to establish career paths early and start taking college credit courses while still in high school. This minimizes the intimidation of the transition to college as well as saves the student a lot of money by getting some of these classes done as part of their high school career.
My position is the same as our Constitution. The Federal Government has specific enumerated powers identified in our Constitution. Any power not specifically enumerated is reserved to the States or the people. The State established authorities for local governance. Sometimes local government takes action that is in conflict with state law or impacts citizens constitutional rights.

Local government and ordinances are subordinate to state law and our constitution (state & Federal) State law is subordinate to our constitution (state & federal). Federal law is subordinate to the U.S. Constitution.

As for public lands my concern is more with management of public lands. I think in many areas we have the possibility to do a better job managing public land and its resources than the federal government. I am supportive of strategic federal land integration into our state system but it needs to be done smart.
1. We didn't lower income tax rates. 2. We didn't deal with the GAP population.

1. I support lower income tax rates. 2. I supported elimination of the requirement to purchase a permit to exercise your 2nd amendment rights. 3. A resurgence of States Rights. Bring education, transportation, health & welfare, and public land management back to the states as the laboratory of innovation that they should be.
I will always believe that a citizen legislature more closely represents the people than a professional class of politician. Look no further than Washington D.C. I do think that some additional technical support for those in office would be helpful as the issues we deal with are complicated and deserve more expertise.
Do I "support" our party's nominee? He hasn't earned my support. He has no record as a conservative or as a Republican that I can lean on by which to base "support". Will I vote for our nominee? If I do it will be for the platform of my party not the candidate. I can say that I will never vote for nor support Hillary Clinton.

With either outcome I am prepared to work hard and face whatever obstacles Washington puts in front of us as Idahoans.
No
No
Age 64
Education Bachelor of Arts degree (Boise State University – Elementary Education-Bilingual/Multicultural).
Prior political experience Canyon County Democrats Chair, State Committee Woman and Legislative District 12 Chair. I have worked (as a volunteer and staff member) for various political and issue campaigns. I was a legislative candidate in 2010 and 2014.
Civic involvement I have been involved in various non-profit organizations and served on several Boards (Idaho and Oregon). A top priority for many years has been to mentor high school and college youth. I have held various leadership positions and taught children, youth and adults in my church (1974 – 2016). I have provided leadership training for women and youth. I am a member of the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Years living in Idaho My family moved from Texas to Idaho in 1970; I was in Utah from 1977-1980. I have been a resident of Idaho for 43 years.
Family I have four daughters: Andrea (39 years old; lives in Orem, UT); Annette (38 years old; lives in Tustin, CA); Marisol (35 years old; lives in Vicksburg, MS); and Marisa (18 years old; Freshman, BYU - Provo)
Twitter page @MabbuttMaria
Education and adequately funding education in order for students and teachers to have the best resources available to them to ensure a quality education is a top priority for me. An educated, skilled, and prepared workforce is critical to both attract and create higher paying jobs in our state. Then, the economy; as a small business owner, I support local businesses as they have historically created jobs. It is important for local businesses to continue creating jobs. Health and the well-being of Idahoans is also a top priority which is why I support Medicaid expansion. We must not exclude 78,000 Idahoans from health coverage. Even for those who do have medical, dental and optical coverage, what these individuals have to pay "out-of-pocket" can be expensive. I also support increasing Idaho's minimum wage. I do not agree with the action by the majority to: 1) not allow a hearing for this legislation during the 2016 legislative session and 2) passing legislation to prevent cities from raising the minimum wage. I will fulfill my role as a legislator by taking the needs of the people and translate these into public policy
Idaho should address the health care needs of 78,000 residents by expanding Medicaid. I believe Senator Dan Schmidt's bills introduced during the 2016 legislative session provide viable solutions to address this extremely important issue for our state and its people. I absolutely support Medicaid Expansion because it makes economic sense. According to Steven Peterson's "Impact of Medicaid and the Proposed Medicaid Expansion in Idaho Supported by Federal Government Funding," 76-179 lives can be saved per year, millions of dollars can be saved for Idaho taxpayers, and jobs can be created. The people of Idaho need legislators who truly care about them, their well-being and the best quality of life for them, their children, and grandchildren by truly supporting them and taking action to fix this problem!
According to Idaho's Constitution (Article IX, Section 1), the responsibility for the state's public schools is on the shoulders of the legislature. In part: it shall be the duty of the legislature of Idaho, to establish and maintain a general uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools. Idaho is not spending enough on buildings, teachers, and operations. According to The Center for Fiscal Policy, "Total state funding (for education) increased significantly in FY2016, but remains below FY2007 levels." In addition, "the number of districts using supplemental levies has risen." There are currently several models that have proven successful to help students prepare both academically and economically for college; some of these are either federally funded, TRIO as one example, or by private monies, private foundations, for example. It is critical to identify ways to ensure that successful models are funded and implemented in every school district in Idaho. We must also be funding early childhood and adult basic education plus vocational technical opportunities. It is important to increase revenue for Idaho to fund education adequately.
In order for our cities, states, and country to thrive, it is in the people of Idaho's best interests for these governments to work well together. The relationship between these levels of government is an important one. While, this is clearly impossible in many instances and there is a need for checks and balances, it is important to not waste taxpayers' dollars as Idaho has done in recent years. The state is wrong to hinder or pre-empt action on the local level. On the one hand, state government does not approve of "unfunded mandates" by federal government, however, state government and the legislature often prevent cities (especially) to do what they can locally for the best interests of the people. The state should not work to take more ownership or control of federal lands in Idaho. There is a concern by citizens of these lands not being open to the public and being as accessible to the public as they currently are.
I opposed the action by the legislature to bar cities (local jurisdictions) from raising the minimum wage. I also opposed the legislature, specifically Senator McKenzie, Chair, Senate Affairs Committee declining to schedule a full hearing on minimum wage legislation. And, I opposed the legislature's repeated blocking of bills that would close the health care gap for Idahoans. I believe the Medicaid expansion bills (specifically SB1205) proposed by Senator Dan Schmidt should have been supported by Republican legislators. I support increasing Idaho's minimum wage; the current $7.25 per hour is a poverty wage. Workers and families cannot survive, let alone thrive, with these extremely low wages. There are huge implications for families and especially children as a result of living in poverty. I also support increased/adequate funding for education pursuant to Idaho's Constitution. I support Medicaid expansion because it makes economic sense for Idaho; we have been losing millions of dollars which would help and benefit our state and its people. Finally, we must be able to attract higher-paying jobs to the state of Idaho.
According to the responsibilities of the Idaho Legislature "to translate the public will into public policy for the state, levying taxes, appropriating public funds, and overseeing the administration of state agencies plus carrying out its mission to preserve the checks and balances of state government, adopting a system of laws that promote the health, education, and well-being of Idaho's citizens, etc." I believe that fulfilling these responsibilities and mission is the proper role of a part-time citizen Legislature. I believe the current system works well if those elected to these important offices are fulfilling their responsibilities for the people of Idaho. The public will should be the focus, not personal agendas or being driven by special interests. It is way too often that the public will is not considered as legislators move forward with enacting legislation that adversely affects the people of Idaho or not enacting legislation that would benefit the people of Idaho. Another change or improvement is to identify ways to increase revenue for the State of Idaho instead of focusing on cuts. I believe we can do so much better for the people of Idaho.
I believe that most would agree it has been a very interesting election year. My party's presidential nominee is the most aligned with the issues voters in our legislative district have expressed to me are most important to them and which are the same issues that as a woman, mother, professional, and community activist are important to me, i.e., education, affordable and accessible health care for all, higher paying jobs, and affordable and accessible housing. Our nominee has successfully worked with both Republicans and Democrats, and she is prepared to lead our country in addressing both domestic and international challenges. I am voting for her with considerable reservations; I would like her to be more accessible, more transparent and more consistent in her policy position. However, she is the most qualified, experienced, and capable in meeting the challenges of the presidency. I respect the opinions and remarks of many principled Republicans, when referring to the other nominee, which is probably best summarized by Ohio Governor John Kasich: "I will not vote for a nominee who has behaved in a manner that reflects so poorly on our country. Our country deserves better."
I have not been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a misdemeanor or felony or had a withheld judgment.
No, neither I or my company (Power of Translation) have ever filed for bankruptcy.