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 16 - Seat A

Incumbent: Democrat John McCrostie Term: Two yearsSalary: $16,684

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  • Candidate picture

    John McCrostie
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Joel Robinson
    (Rep)

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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?

Age 49
Education JD, Concordia Law School, 2015; MS, Boise State University, 2006; BME, Oral Roberts University, 1993
Prior political experience Idaho State Representative for House 16A, 2014-current; Precinct committeeman, 2012-current. I became an education activist upon the introduction of the Students Come First bills. I collected over 2,000 signatures to get Props 1, 2 and 3 on the ballot, and I organized and led phone banks, fundraisers, and GOTV efforts to repeal the Luna Laws.
Civic involvement Boise Education Association executive board member, 3 years; Idaho Education Association Delegate to Delegate Assembly, 6 years; National Education Association Representative to Representative Assembly, 5 years; Treasure Valley Concert Band, clarinet, 10 years; Biotzetik Basque Choir, baritone and assistant director, 9 years; community theater, including Knock Em Dead Productions, Prairie Dog Productions, Spontaneous Productions, and Stage Coach Theater, actor and musical director, 12 years
Years living in Idaho 38. Mountain Home for 16 years, Boise and Garden City for 22 years.
Family Husband, Dave Navarro
Twitter page @McCrostie4Idaho
My top three priorities are improving our policies on education, equality, and the economy. Education has seen a 7.4% funding increase for the last 2 years, getting us to 2009 levels. While this is an improvement to freezing teacher salaries, it still leaves us 7 years behind without even accounting for inflation or enrollment growth. We need to keep working to adequately fund Idaho's K-12 schools. Idaho needs to Add the Words "sexual orientation and gender identity" to our Human Rights Act. We need to treat all people in Idaho with respect and dignity, including our LGBT population. As Idaho's only openly gay legislator, I provide a unique perspective on this issue that is necessary to finally pass this zero-cost legislation. Idaho's economy can be improved by changing our policies on education and equality, thereby attracting more companies into our state that provide livable wage jobs for hard-working Idaho families. We can also aid our economy by passing Medicaid expansion in some form. This will stop shipping Idaho tax dollars to other states for their Medicaid expansion. It will also allow us to close state and local indigency programs and saving taxpayer dollars.
To address the needs of the gap population, I support Medicaid expansion or the Healthy Idaho plan. Either plan, even after full funding, would still save Idaho millions of dollars in health care costs in the first year alone. This is a no-brainer to support.
Idaho's obligation to public schools under the Idaho Constitution is "to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools." Idaho is still 7 years behind in funding schools, teachers and operations without even accounting for inflation or enrollment growth. To improve our go-on rate, we took a significant first step this year by passing our literacy initiative and ensuring that 3rd graders can read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade. One thing that we should work towards, particularly if the reading initiative is not fully producing results, is to fund kindergarten preparatory programs across the state. Another improvement in the go-on rate can be achieved by providing more school counselors that can direct students toward necessary high school coursework, help students with college applications and financial aid options, and certificate options for students choosing careers not requiring a full 4-year degree.
The 10th Amendment of the US Constitution provides that powers not delegated to the federal government and not prohibited by the states are reserved for the states. This provides for the proper balance between the federal government and the states. Through the Idaho Constitution and Idaho statutes, local governments are created. While local governments are created by the state, it is hypocritical to complain about federal government overreach to the states and then have the state turn around to overreach local government control, particularly when we know that the government closest to the people is the government that governs best. Idaho should work with the federal government to properly manage the public lands that we have, but the state should not attempt to take over federal lands.
Last session I opposed HB 372 because of state overreach into local governments regulating trash and plastic bags. I opposed SB 1342 because the Bible can already be used in Idaho public schools as a reference book. And I opposed HB 582 because the state will lose money when it tries to manage federal lands. I supported HB 451 because it provides a plan for students to read at grade level by 3rd grade, a key component for getting our students to graduate high school. I supported HB 513 because it repealed the opposition to implementing REAL ID and will allow Idahoans to travel by plane and still use an Idaho-issued driver's license. And I sponsored and supported HCR 31, where the Idaho legislature recognizes the importance of music education in Idaho public schools.
A part-time citizen legislature should be representative of the people they represent. Idaho's current system creates a system where most people who serve do so as a retirement career. We currently have the 2nd oldest legislature in the country, and it fails to represent the voices of our younger generations. This creates a system of old ideas when we need 21st century plans and policies to improve our state. We need to make legislative service a possibility not just those in retirement but also for voters of all ages.
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Age 67
Education MBA Florida Tech MS Computer Science U. New Mexico
Prior political experience Ran for Idaho Senate in 2014 Board member of Ada County Board of Guardians
Civic involvement Board member of Ada County Board of Guardians Volunteer chaplain Volunteer at Boise Valley POW/MIA
Years living in Idaho 21
Family Married 41 years. Two sons, six grandchildren
1. Police & Prison Reform: Idaho has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. I will work to reduce mandatory prison sentences, improve parole, and send addicts to treatment houses. Each prisoner costs $55/day. The legislature also needs to regulate when police use deadly force to avoid lawsuits and restore public trust.

2. Legalize compassionate medical marijuana use for veterans with PTSD, cancer patients, & children with epilepsy. Most Idahoans already favor medical marijuana. Idaho can regulate and tax this like distilled spirits. Police/prison/jail/court expenses will drop too. 90% of Idaho Drug arrests are for Marijuana. Let doctors, not cops & politicians decide what perscriptions you take.

Listen, for most of my life I was dead-set against marijuana. But I was wrong. As a chaplain I saw many successfully treating themselves. Why should Idaho continue arresting vets & sick people for trying to get healthy? For the record I am 63, non-smoker, and have never even smelled or tried marijuana.

3. Free our schools from Common Core. Let local citizens & school boards control their curriculum. We have too much emphasis on testing and administration.
The federal debt is about $20 TRILLION dollars, or $59,000 for every man woman and child. The constitution does not say we must give away free or subsidized medical care to everyone. Someone has to pay. Medicare is BORROWED money not current taxes. We must balance our budget like everyone else.

Democrats caused health insurance costs to soar with Obamacare. Insurance companies have quit or doubled and tripled their rates. So now Democrats want everyone to pay for their failed socialist experiment. Repealing Obamacare will go a long way to making insurance affordable again. I believe in the free market, not socialism.

We must allow Idahoans to shop across state lines for insurance. I can buy a car in Oregon, but not insurance. That's crazy. That will cost the state nothing. And stop taxing and over-regulating medical equipment. Just stop it!
The state constitution requires Idaho to educate our children, not the federal government. Idaho spends far less than places like Washington DC, and gets much better results. Our schools do very well with what they have. Since the federal gov. has taken away our logging and mining revenue they should restore the funds through Secure Rural Schools program.

We should Unburden our schools from Common Core and phase out this obsession with standardized testing. . Money that should go for teachers and reduced class room sizes often goes to more administrators and testing. We need teachers not professional testers. The "go-on" rate is misleading. Our schools place undue emphasis on college – college – college. Idaho needs thousands of technicians, plumbers, welders, bridge builders, aircraft mechanics. Those students not wanting college should be have community college opportunities to learn sellable work skills. Give them a chance to earn a real living, How many graduates with useless degrees struggle under huge debts and still work in coffee shops?
The 10th amendment to the US constitution reserves to the states ALL powers not enumerated in the constitution. However the federal government bribes states to give up sovereignty in exchange for funds, grants, and aid. But federal government gives nothing without demands. Idaho should resist and hinder the federal government dictating policy.

It appears our federal government would rather let ten million federally managed trees burn in horribly expensive and dangerous wildfires than give permits for a few logging roads be build and trees harvested. Idaho should manage more lands, never to sell, but manage. I love to fish, hike, dirt bike, camp, and hunt. When I walk through burned out forests I feels a sense of shame in the mismanaged, wasted resources. Yes, Idaho could do better, Never sell the land... KEEP IT! and manage it in the public interest.
SUPPORT: H089 Constitutional carry. We don’t need a permit to pray or worship. Why beg for the right to protect ourselves?

SUPPORT: H0481 Right to try experimental medicines for patients with terminal illnesses. Politicians should not stop doctors from saving lives, learning, and helping healing. This should include medical marijuana. Let doctors not cops & politicians decide what prescriptions you should take. Get out of our lives.

SUPPORT: H0494 Reclassify and decriminalize youthful alcohol offenses. Great Idea! Stop making criminals out of kids. Lifelong criminal records for kids is crazy. Our laws prevent kids from getting scholarships, joining the military, and a host of job opportunities.

OPPOSE: H0644 Medicaid waiver: Just the old expansion worded differently. It Increased spending and obligations on state finances.

OPPOSE: H0633 Internet Sales tax, complicated, subjective, difficult to enforce.

OPPOSE S1264 Regulate medical suppliers: These are expensive regulations imposed on suppliers of medical equipment. It’s a burden on seniors and disabled
A part-time citizen legislature should reflect all the citizens. Our legislature does not yet reflect all Idaho citizens. Where are our young people? Where are our minorities? Our poor? Our blue collar workers?

The rules on pensions and gifts by lobbyists need to change. All contributions should be reported to the public.

I see a need to change committee rules. There is no practical means to bypass committee and leadership on bills they oppose. One person can stop a bill forever. I think that bills with many co-sponsors should be heard.

We should have legislative term limits to get more people involved.
Trump was not my choice in the primaries. But I am running under the Republican ticket so I will vote for him.

An important issue for the president will be the Supreme court. This is a multi-generational issue. We needs men and women who love and cherish the constitution, not bend, twist, and mutilate it, limiting individual rights and expanding goverment overreach. At this rate where will our freedoms be in 50 years? Each generation must preserve, protect, and defend the constitution.

Next year's nominees will be serving long after some of us have passed on. Be careful!
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