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:

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

Idaho House District 20 - Seat A

Incumbent: Republican Joe Palmer Term: Two yearsSalary: $16,684

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  • Joe Palmer

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    Daniel Weston

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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?

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Age 47
Education Masters in Education Boise State B.A. from University of Rochester Arabic Language, Political Science/History
Prior political experience four campaigns for the state legislature
Civic involvement 20-plus years volunteer firefighter/EMT 10 years as Wild Land Fire Engine Captain/Instructor founding member of the Boise County Fire Academy Lions club/ Foster Parent Working on Degree work to become a Mason at the Meridian Lodge
Years living in Idaho 1997 until today
Family 2 wonderful children
Restraining Order Reform to protect children and the falsely accused. The current law allows one person to accuse anyone without evidence or investigation. Children are usually caught in the crossfire between divorcing parents. Using current health and welfare programs children would be evaluated by social workers to give the judicial system more information to evaluate weather a protection order is appropriate. Low cost Health care for all Idahoan utilizing private insurance companies and co ops. Governments role is to set standards and regulate. Car insurance, life insurance, home owners insurance all cost the tax payer minimal regulations costs. Why should health care be any different? State management of public lands gives a much greater return in investment than BLM or Forest Service Land. Local control and grazing and logging reduce wild fires and produce income.
Health Care insurance should be province of the private sector as all other insurance currently is. Competition lowers the costs for everyone. Set basic standards and regulate medical costs to lower the overall costs for everyone. A box of gauze that you can by at Walgreens for $5.00 costs $45.00 in the hospital. Regulating medical costs, increased competition, lowers the costs for everyone.
Education is the majority of the State Budget. I propose increased public/private school incentive programs. Educating students for the work force and good citizenship is our primary purpose. I propose greater private internships and jobs training at the high school level. Students would spend part of their high school years working in private industry and entry level government positions.
I believe the state should manage all public lands in Idaho and that the land remain public. Logging and grazing reduced wildfire and improves habitat. State governments should have the final say within their borders as the Constitution originally intended. Defense, and world affairs are the province of the federal government.
Restraining orders are now available for anyone to use without evidence. This must be changed to protect falsely accused individuals and children. The medical insurance gap should have been solved during this session. Sales tax on food was not addressed. Currently food stamps recipients do not have to pay sales tax and they have greater purchasing power than those who are not on food stamps. I believe this tax should be repealed. Home Owners Tax Exemption law needs to be reinstated to protect homeowners as the law was originally intended.
The current legislature is controlled by a very small group of individuals. I believe more view points are necessary and a greater number of political parties and a greater turn over of public servants in the legislature would better serve the public. Term limits were passed twice by public ballot in Idaho,and later overturned twice by the legislature. I believe term limits would level the playing field at election time, and bring more people into the political process. The current referendum law makes it nearly impossible to put one on a ballot. A public referendum should have more weight than 71 public servants. Government service was never intended to be life long.
Currently, I do not support any candidate for president at this time.
Yes, in 2009 after my divorce in Idaho.