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.



United States President

Head of the executive branch of the federal government, commander in chief of the military. Serves a four-year term with a maximum of two terms. The president is paid $400,000 a year, an amount that has not changed since 2001.Besides the candidates of the two major parties, six other people will appear on the ballot in Idaho for this race.Because the ever-changing race is so broadly covered in media across the country, here we'll briefly summarize highlights of each candidate's positions, then link you to further policy information on their websites.For ongoing coverage of the presidential campaigns, visit here and here.

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.

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    Darrell L. Castle
    (I)

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    Hillary Rodham Clinton
    (Dem)

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    Scott Copeland
    (Con)

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    Rocky de la Fuente
    (I)

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    Gary Johnson
    (Lib)

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    David Evan McMullin
    (I)

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    Jill Stein
    (I)

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    Donald J. Trump
    (Rep)

Social Media

Biographical Information

What are some major policies this candidate stands for?

Castle is the national candidate for the Constitution Party, and thus the U.S. Constitution and his interpretations of its original intent feature high on his platform. He also calls for America to leave the United Nations, and for an end to both the Federal Reserve and one main unified U.S. currency.

Abortion is among his issues - "I am the only candidate of any party that is 100% pro-life or even close to it," he writes. And he argues that a non-binding sustainable development plan designed by the UN (Agenda 21) is in fact an attempt to erode local private property rights for Americans.
As one NPR correspondent put it, Clinton is essentially the status quo candidate this election, on similar ground in many ways to Barack Obama. Clinton has discussed and posted online about a wide assortment of topics, including expanding LGBT rights and early childhood education.

She says she would increase firearm background checks and restrictions as part of an effort to stem gun violence in the U.S. Her website talks about raising taxes on the wealthy while cutting them for small-business owners. College student debt is also a focus, with Clinton proposing free in-state tuition at public four-year colleges for students whose families make $125,000 or less. She promises to expand the Affordable Care Act.

On national security, she says she would strengthen ties with existing allies, talks about being "firm but wise" with Russia and China, and would use a combination of local militia forces like the Kurds and US coalition air strikes to continue to attack the Islamic State.
Darrell Castle was not on the ballot in Idaho's Constitution Party primary this spring, and so here, Copeland is that party's candidate for president. (We were the only state where that party held a primary.)

Copeland organizes his platforms around 3 main areas:

-God: Here he argues the Christian God was a priority in the founding documents of this nation, with the formation of Israel in the Old Testament being one model that informed this country's structure. "God was involved in the formation of America," his website states.

-Family: He calls for giving parents full control over whether to vaccinate their children, and over the particulars of their children's educations. He also calls for preserving gun rights as a tool to protect families, and for a mix of clean energy sources with coal, gas and oil.

-Country: Items here include withdrawing from the United Nations, limiting taxes and promoting religious freedom, pro-life causes and state's rights.
Election reform is a major topic for de la Fuente, who attempted to run in the Democratic primary but now represents the Reform and American Delta parties. His website criticizes many parts of the process, starting with access to the ballot in the first place. "During this campaign, I hope to expose the travesty that is being perpetrated on the American people; how you are being denied choice, and how your vote is being taken from you," his website states.

His website lists questions on a number of other policy topics, such as this one under Foreign Policy: "How would the world view us if we didn’t try to impose our will on it?" He appears to support more limited use of the military, creating incentives for clean energy technology rather than mandates, a number of changes to the education system and placing restrictions on federal spending.
Johnson focuses on a number of areas. He says he would submit a balanced budget to Congress and veto any bill involving deficit spending. He proposes restructuring the federal tax code into one tax on people's spending, not earnings. He supports LGBT marriage equality and changing drug policy to focus on treatment over criminal prosecution, including legalizing marijuana. He opposes mandatory minimum sentences for many types of crimes. On immigration, he says he would focus on overhauling the U.S.'s work visa system and "incentivizing non-citizens to pay their taxes, obtain proof of employment and otherwise assimilate with our diverse society," according to his website.

Johnson has taken knocks on foreign policy, most prominently for having to ask an MSNBC interviewer what Aleppo is - the Syrian city that for years now has been the center of a major conflict between that government and rebel groups, sparking a refugee crisis as government forces have regularly attacked civilians. On his website, Johnson calls for significantly reducing the use of the military and says U.S. "meddling in the affairs of others" contributed to the rise of the Islamic State.
McMullin has promoted himself as an independent, conservative alternative to Donald Trump (and to Hillary Clinton). He worked for the CIA and the first item listed under "Issues" on his website regards national security, where he calls for reversing current cuts in military spending. At the same time, he seeks better oversight of Defense Department budgets and manpower needs, and more efficiency from that agency. He says he would seek more sanctions on Russia and station additional U.S. forces in the Baltics as a deterrence to Russia.

McMullin opposes Common Core education standards and the Affordable Care Act. He supports merit-based incentives for teachers, lower tax rates, and efforts to shore up state's rights - including a proposal to allow state governments to collectively repeal a federal executive order by the president.
Stein represents the Green Party. She's promoting a "Power to the People Plan" that includes moving the country's energy production completely over to renewable sources by 2030, pursuing more living-wage jobs for Americans and creating a single-payer public health insurance program. She also seeks a $15/hour minimum wage and labels on GMO foods.

On issues of race, she proposes a commission "to understand and eliminate the legacy of slavery that lives on as pervasive racism in the economy, education, housing and health," according to her website.

Stein would cut military spending in half, she says, and close foreign military bases. She would end the use of military drones, "unwarranted spying" and would close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Trump's actions this election have largely overshadowed his policy positions. But there is plenty to peruse on his site.

On health care, for example, he suggests replacing the Affordable Care Act with a program centered around use of health savings accounts, then pursuing broader changes to the U.S. health care system, including block grants to states for "innovative" Medicaid programs. On child care, he proposes a number of tax code revisions and six weeks of paid leave for new working mothers. Trump suggests cutting taxes and ending any need for America to import energy from other countries.

The first item on his 10-point immigration plan remains building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. "Mexico will pay for the wall," it states, linking to a detailed description of how Trump plans to ensure that by threatening to not allow undocumented workers to wire money out of the U.S.

He proposes to grow the military, but "end the current strategy of nation-building and regime change." He compares battling the ideology of Islamic terrorism to Soviet ideology during the Cold War, and calls for a "Commission on Radical Islam" to examine how terrorists are radicalized in the U.S.