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 Senate District 12

Incumbent: Republican Todd Lakey Term: Two yearsSalary: $16,684

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    Chelle Gluch

  • Candidate picture

    Todd Lakey

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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 48
Education BA in English with a Writing Emphasis, currently finishing my MA in Rhetoric and Composition at Boise State University, estimated graduation Dec, 2016.
Prior political experience I have been politically involved in community affairs through my business for a number of years.
Civic involvement I have been an advocate for Idaho's working poor since 2010. I have worked with the Women and Children's Alliance, The Idaho Foodbank, Close the Gap, and Better Idaho.
Years living in Idaho I have lived in Idaho all but eight years of my life, which I spent in Wyoming. My children are fifth generation Idahoans.
Family I've been happily married for 11 years and the mother of two children.
Twitter page @chellegluch
1. My first priority, if elected, would be to do everything in my power to close the Medicaid gap. Utilizing federal funds to close the gap is no different than accepting federal farm or agriculture subsidies and should be viewed as such. 2. Education must be prioritized. Idaho could easily fund education properly, however over the last several years the legislature has chosen instead to put its money into fighting battles it cannot and has not won against the federal government. The abolishment of The Constitutional Defense Fund and a reallocation of those funds would go a long way in meeting our obligations to our students and their schools. 3. To protect our federal lands from the collection of legislation aimed at wrestling management of those lands away from federal control. These actions are not in the best interests of the citizens of this state or the land. Idaho is unique. Its landscapes are extraordinarily varied from high mountain desert to coastal rainforest, and each of these special environments is protected in perpetuity by the designation of federal lands. As state we simply cannot afford this expense, and we should leave federal lands as they are.
My first priority if elected would be to do everything in my power to close the Medicaid gap. The current system of indigent care provided by the counties and the state is a travesty. It costs our counties and state $55 million dollars a year and does very little for the people caught in the gap. 78,000 hardworking people fall in the gap. These Idahoans often don’t receive adequate care and die of preventable diseases, or they are bankrupt and chased by the state for the rest of their lives bills they can never hope to fully repay. The system is broken and inefficient. Many Republicans in our legislature have stood in opposition to expanding Medicaid to cover the working poor. They have declared it an entitlement and claim it will create dependency, while they themselves are accepting federal money in the form of agriculture subsidies. However, the reality is that studies have shown that helping the working poor stay healthy or improve their health through expansion of Medicaid will create jobs, lift up the working poor, and save taxpayer money. Healthy citizen's benefit all of Idaho.

A properly educated citizenry is essential to a healthy community. Idaho's high school graduation and go-on rates are miserable in comparison to our surrounding states. This is in part due to a consistently underfunded school system.

It is impossible to attract and keep quality educators under the current pay-scale. Quality teachers provide a better quality of education. A better education is more engaging and a more engaged student is more likely to go-on to college.

And lastly, I would encourage our legislators to look at the College Promise Program which works in partnership with the federal government to make the first two years of college free to students who demonstrated responsibility in high school through good grades. This program is being used in Oregon and Tennessee with great results and could help Idaho increase its go-on rates, while decreasing the amount of student loans upon graduation which hinders future financial growth of the student.
Idaho and its governing body has stood in opposition to federal issues for many years. Our governing body has said that it wants less federal control because federal control creates dependency and debt, and yet this same governing body personally accepts federal aid in the form of agriculture subsidies.

Idaho's governing body also states that they have no faith in a government so far away, and yet much of the legislation passed is based upon the principles of ALEC, an organization based on the same East coast.

They claim they are in favor of small government and yet they pass bills to prevent counties and cities to from making their own decisions like the bill passed this past season that prevented cities or counties from raising the minimum wage.

It is time that Idaho learned to work with our federal government rather than being in constant in opposition to it. These fights have cost our citizens millions of dollars in wasted tax revenue that could have been better utilized elsewhere. The federal land grab legislation is just another example of wasted of taxpayer money.
Opposed--failure to close the Medicaid gap, the ridiculous bill to prevent the ban of plastic bags, and the failure to amend our curriculum standards,failure to properly fund our schools, failure to allow counties and cities to address the minimum wage issue.

Supported--the only measures taken by our legislature that I approved of this year was the opposition to another tax cut for the wealthy and the online voter registration. These actions I can support because it seemed to be the only times our governing body listened to the will of the people.
The proper role of a part-time citizen Legislature is to listen to and then enact the desires of the citizens. This is not happening currently. For example, the citizens of Idaho made their voice heard last year very clearly on two issues--Medicaid expansion and the federal land grab attempts. Despite the fact the citizenry made its wishes known, those voices were utterly ignored and in one case a legislator screamed at citizens who were expressing their displeasure at how the issue was being addressed. This is not the proper role of a citizen legislature. It is disrespectful.

Our current one party system is in need of desperate change. The current one party system leaves many citizen voices unheard. I hope Idahoans are ready for change and will look to the Democratic party for that change.
I am a Democrat and I stand behind my party's nominee. I have examined this candidate carefully and her commitment to the needs of women, children, and families are similar to my own. Secretary Clinton has an abundance of experience. She is, in my opinion, the best candidate for the job.
I was convicted of possession of a controlled substance in 1993. It was a misdemeanor charge with a small fine and community service. My substance abuse was directly related to my poverty--I was self-medicating. It is not something I am proud of. I am however proud that I beat my addiction and went on to better things.
I filed bankruptcy in 2006 following an acrimonious divorce, in which the other party refused to pay any community debt.
Age 55
Education High School Diploma. Bachelor of Science in International Business with a Minor in Spanish from Brigham Young University. Juris Doctorate from Lewis and Clark Northwestern School of Law
Prior political experience Republican Precinct Chair - 20 + years. Former Canyon County Republican Youth Chairman, Vice Chairman and County Chairman and State Committeeman. Canyon County Commissioner 1999-2004. Chairman 1999-2004. Idaho State Senator since 2012. Idaho Senate Majority Caucus Chairman since 2014.
Civic involvement Past involvement includes: Nampa Chamber of Commerce Board, Canyon County United Way Board, President Idaho Association of Commissioner and Clerks, Board Chairman Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho, Board Chairman Valley Regional Transit, Board of Directors Sage Community Resources, District III Magistrate Commission, Board Member Healthy Nampa Healthy Youth, Boy Scout leader and Merit Badge Counselor, Youth basketball and soccer coach, Executive Committee Idaho Partners Against Domestic Violence
Years living in Idaho 23
Family Married to wife Jan for 30 years, five children, two grandchildren and one on the way.
My top priority has been and will continue to be Idaho’s economy. As the economy is successful then people have more individual opportunities to thrive. I believe government’s role is to help establish an environment where the private sector and small businesses can be successful. Government should regulate and tax less so business owners have more to invest in their companies and employees. A stronger economy and lower taxes mean more people are employed and can afford to meet their goals and needs. Education is a key component to individual and economic success. Our education system needs to provide people with the opportunity to improve themselves. A good education system provides the trained workforce and entrepreneurs needed to grow our economy. I support continued progress on the 20 recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force. Transportation is my other priority. I support revenue being generated primarily from users of the system. I think the surplus eliminator that designated a portion of surplus general fund dollars has been a good approach and should continue. The economy is the engine that drives the revenue we need to provide necessary government services.
I do not support expansion of the existing dysfunctional Medicaid system. It promotes utilization of costlier medical treatment without sufficient personal accountability. The ill-advised Affordable Care Act, which continues to result in increased costs and taxes, created the problem. However, we cannot ignore it and I prefer we find an Idaho solution. I supported legislation requesting a waiver that would allow Idaho to create its own program to provide coverage for those in the gap. An Idaho program could include managed care, replacing the fee for service model with a more outcome based approach providing cost certainty and rewarding results, creation of some Idaho criteria or definitions for successful medical providers and utilizing incentives or disincentives like co-pays to help avoid people using the most expensive option, i.e. going to the emergency room for ordinary illness when they could have gone to a primary care provider. If federal funding is reduced state funding should also decrease. The federal funds coming back to Idaho and cost savings on existing medical indigent programs would help fund the solution.
We need to continue to improve education in Idaho which means additional funding. However, simply spending more money is not the solution. We are ahead of schedule implementing the recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force. Those recommendations include increased funding with measures to improve the education system as a whole by promoting accountability, merit and achievement based compensation for teachers, student advancement based on mastery versus seat time, improved access to and use of technology and a mentoring system for new teachers. We have added career counselors in our high schools and enhanced incentives for getting college credits in high school. These efforts will have a positive impact on our go-on rate. Emphasis should be placed on opportunities for professional technical education and well as four-year degrees. A four-year degree is not for everyone and a professional/technical education can provide excellent careers. Increasing community college opportunities helps students get a more affordable education. Lastly, the state can help but parents play the most important role in teaching their children the value of a good education beyond high school.
I generally believe that the government closest to the people governs best. I try to support local control over issues best addressed at that level. The federal and state constitutions lay out the roles of government. The state should be responsible for issues that have statewide importance, where there is a need for consistency and issues involving other states and the federal government. I feel that the federal government has expanded its role under the constitution and are controlling things that should be the purview of the states. Idaho can generally do a better job managing public lands than the federal government. However, I don’t support taking over management of all federal lands at this point because the cost of fighting fires and land management exceeds the revenue generated. I would first seek management on some of our forest and mining lands. Our wildfires are more severe because of insufficient land management and control of the undergrowth. Fees generated from logging, pre and post fire, and responsible mining operations will help cover the costs to manage these lands and generate employment opportunities for Idaho citizens.
I supported the public defense reform legislation H487. I co-chaired the interim committee that worked on this bill. It helps insure constitutionally adequate legal counsel is provided for those charged with a crime but who cannot afford to hire legal counsel. The intent is to develop Idaho standards that meet the minimum constitutional requirements while recognizing that government funds are limited and need to be accounted for. I supported HJR5 which supports a constitutional amendment preserving legislative review of proposed government agency rules. This helps reduce over-reaching regulation and makes agencies more accountable. I carried S1317 limiting an HOA's ability to impose legal fees on home owners before the home owner had a chance to fix a violation of the CC&Rs. I opposed efforts to simply expand Medicaid but supported legislation to reform it. I opposed H372 which prohibits local government from addressing the use of plastic bags. I thought this was a local control issue. I opposed HB 487 dealing with non-compete provisions for employees. The concept was ok but the language itself created a legal standard that I felt was impossible to meet.
Even though it is challenging for people to serve I support our part-time citizen approach in the legislature. Our part time legislature makes it very difficult to serve and work your full time job. It means you need an understanding employer, supportive business partners, a job that is flexible and not busy in the winter or you are retired. However, I think it is important that legislators have a regular job to support themselves and their families so they understand and feel the impact of the decisions made by the legislature. Legislators represent the people in our communities who elect them and legislators who live and work in their communities are better connected to those they represent and serve. I would not support an expanded role of the legislature.
I will be voting for Trump. Trump has obviously made inappropriate and unacceptable comments. However, among a myriad of concerns for me, Clinton provided false statements to the FBI, she has put our national security at risk by mishandling classified information, I believe she committed a crime in her breach of national security, I believe her decisions resulted in the deaths of those serving the United States in Benghazi and her appointments to the Supreme Court will have negative impacts on our country and our rights and values for decades. Her views on the proper role government and personal accountability and integrity are different than mine. Trump is the better option for positive change in Washington DC.