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.

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



Idaho House District 17 - Seat A

Incumbent: Democrat John Gannon Term: Two yearsSalary: $16,684Candidates on video:John GannonKreed Kleinkopf

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  • Candidate picture

    John Gannon
    (Dem)

  • Kreed Kleinkopf
    (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 69
Education UC Davis; Hastings College of Law; USAR Engineer & JAG School
Prior political experience Representative District 17A 2012- present and 1990-1992; Director Boise Project Board of Control 1990
Civic involvement I now serve on JFAC (budget committee), the Judiciary and Rules Committee, Public Defense Interim Committee, the Idaho Technology Authority (Cybersecurity) and several others. In the past I actively worked on school bond initiatives that rebuilt our Bench schools; served as President of my Neighborhood Association where I worked to keep our schools open and for Bench quality of life; served as coordinator of the Boise July 4th Parade, and served on the legislative Transportation, State Affairs, and Business Committees. I have helped organize groups opposed to the Luna Laws, opposed a multi million dollar Governors Mansion, and I worked to save our Idaho Parks from budget cuts. I have been a consistent advocate of the right to vote and ending the burdensome "caucus" system of selecting Presidential nominees, and I worked very hard on my State Affairs Committee to successfully defeat a bill that sought an exemption from discrimination laws.
Years living in Idaho 40 years on the Boise Bench
Family Married 2 children
We need to support our economy and economic development so that Idahoans and our kids have the opportunity to work, prosper and stay in Idaho and a strong education system is essential to do this. State leaders suggest a 60% "Go On" rate, and they want our kids to meet certain high school goals. These goals are good, but unfortunately, the Legislature often focuses upon special tax breaks instead of funding. Yes, K-12 funding is now about 8% more than before the recession. But, Idaho's K-12 student population has grown by 7.5%. Those new schools in Meridian and other growth areas require more personnel. In addition, inflation has increased about 13% since 2009. Today 38% "Go On" after high school, and they struggle with high tuition, mandatory health insurance, and debt. The State has no plan whatsoever to fund the "60%" goal. In addition, the Legislature needs to raise the minimum wage to help young people reduce their debt. It takes 1000 hours (six months) of $7.25/hour work just to pay the BSU $7000 annual tuition bill. Another priority is “Add the Words” and we need to solve the problem of those without health insurance.
Idaho should accept the federal medical coverage for those in the gap population, because it helps people who work but who are not eligible for health insurance help. Medical coverage means better preventive care, which can save money, and the federal funds free about $50 million in state revenue, which can be used to fund education. We are already paying taxes to Washington D.C. for this program, and therefore Idahoans should have the benefit just as about 30 other states do. The medicaid money is also an economic boost for our state. I agree that the Affordable Care Act needs some modifications, but that is the job of those in Washington, and they should engage in solutions not slogans.
The state has a constitutional obligation to support public schools so that they are fairly and uniformly treated. The reduction in state funding that occurred with the recession resulted in property tax increases. Unfortunately, many areas of our state do not have a significant property tax base like Boise or Blaine County so increased property tax funding has been unequal. The legislature should address this inequity and provide the adequate funding necessary to avoid dependence upon the property tax. This was the intent of 2006 legislation that raised the sale tax. But since then, unnecessary tax breaks and the failure to collect the internet tax, have reduced sales tax revenue and funding for our schools. This should change. Idaho cannot improve its go on rate of 38% without funding.. Obviously, if leaders want to increase the student population by 50%, there is a cost, unless Idaho wants to shift even more debt upon our young people. "Go On" and "You Pay For It" is an unfunded mandate from government and state leaders, and it is unacceptable to me.
All levels of government need to work together. There is a balance that needs to be maintained, and sometimes it makes sense to have a uniform law, sometimes not. For example, all states have enacted a nearly identical "Uniform Commercial Code" which regulates trade and commerce between businesses. If cities had their own trade and commerce rules, business and consumers would be extraordinarily burdened, and if the states varied their versions of the code too much, interstate commercial and consumer relationships would suffer. But when a concern or conduct is more localized, uniformity doesn't make sense. It costs much more to live in Blaine County, so it makes some sense to have a higher minimum wage in Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey. Trash disposal is a major issue in Boise, so it makes sense to allow Boise to regulate plastic bags differently than Jerome.
1. I opposed University budgets in JFAC that failed to fund the 3% salary increases - so tuition is increasing. I proposed a $6.3 million increase to cover this gap tied to a requirement that tuition would not increase. 2. I opposed including the bible as a designated school resource because the bill would lead to a lawsuit - just like a dozen other unconstitutional bills the legislature has passed. We lose too many lawsuits. I support the bible, but not lawsuits. 3. I opposed prohibitions against local governments enacting minimum wage and plastic bag disposal laws. Different areas of our state have different priorities and needs . 4. I supported ground water recharge legislation because agriculture is essential to our economy but I opposed fracking legislation that interfered with private property rights. 5. I supported inadequate K-12 education budgets, because my support was needed to assure passage over opposition to even these modest increases. 6. I was pleased with my enacted bill that allows expungement of one time minor in consumption tickets, public defense reform, the rape kit legislation which I co-sponsored, and modification of a bill affecting CWI districts.
I think the current system is adequate, but citizen involvement is always a big factor in success or failure. I encourage every Idahoan, regardless of your viewpoint, to be engaged, involved and to voice your opinions to legislators. It is important that our government is not dominated by a few loud and shrill voices, and this only happens when there is a lot of public participation. Please visit the Statehouse, committee hearings, and your legislators. Engage your legislators in a respectful way and I think you will find it rewarding. Legislating is a slow process, so do not expect immediate results. But in the long term the cumulative effect of public involvement does influence policy.
My focus is primarily upon the state issues of education, healthcare and a strong Idaho Economy. I like to think I work on these issues through communication, not confrontation and I would hope our national leaders would migrate in this direction. I support my party's nominee but I wish the Federal Government would work to solve the problems of the $1.2 trillion student loan debt, the huge $20 trillion debt, the annual budget deficit - $600 billion this year, rising health insurance costs and lack of coverage for some, and the economic depression in part of our country. This requires the collection of unpaid taxes and the repeal of tax breaks. This also requires a less greedy attitude from every interest group and American. Washington DC is a mess, and those who should be paying taxes should pay them, and interest groups, including foreign governments who have strong economies, should tone down their requests so that our Government can reasonably survive in the future. This mess is not sustainable. Good Luck.
I don't believe so. The Repository has a "misdemeanor" conviction in the mid nineties but it is for $21.50 and I think an unpaid parking ticket, so I don't think it is accurate. But if an unpaid ticket is a misdemeanor then I do.
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