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 11 - Seat B

Incumbent: Republican Christy Perry Term: Two yearsSalary: $16,684Note: Greg Pruett is running as a write-in.

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  • Rita Burns
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Christy Perry
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Greg Pruett
    (I)

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    John Smith
    (Lib)

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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 50
Education I graduated from Middleton High School. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in public administration, both from Boise State University.
Prior political experience I was first elected in 2010 to represent Canyon County. I have finished my 3rd term as a Representative in the Idaho Legislature. I currently serve as a Republican Central Committeeman.
Civic involvement I serve as a commissioner on the Idaho Public Defense Commission. I am a board member of the God and Country Festival in Canyon County, as well as, a board member of the United Way of Treasure Valley. I am also a lifetime member of the NRA.
Years living in Idaho My family originates from Nampa Idaho. I have lived in Canyon County since I was 6 years old- when my father returned from military service. I grew up in Middleton and graduated high school there.
Family I am married with 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
Other social media http://N/A
There are many significant issues facing our state today. I believe top priorities for the next decade are in regards to transportation infrastructure, changes in criminal statutes which impact correctional facility numbers, and educational goals. These priorities require multi-year strategic, long term planning. However, my personal top three priorities to work on in the next session are foster care reform, finding coverage for "the gap" population, and creation of an early learning program in Idaho. The current statutes regarding foster care are ambiguous at best and favor the state, not the child. Reforms may or may not include funding- more research is needed to determine that. Coverage for "the gap" population must be addressed this year and funding ideas are listed in a following question. Finally, it is important for the state to create an early education program. Such programs have been determined to be effective at increasing college graduation rates and lowering costs associated with corrections and public welfare programs. Creation of such a program could be accomplished with maximizing use of existing resources. We must be creative with what we already have.
Idaho citizens are paying for indigent medical care in our state whether they are aware of it or not. The manner in which we are all paying is costly, ineffective, and inefficient. Above all, it does not provide medical "care." Much of our program is designed as financial aid to counties after a citizen experiences a catastrophic medical event. The question is; "How" should indigent citizens have access to and pay for medical care? The answer is not to disallow access to medical care. The answer is to reform our current system, including our Medicaid program for ALL participants. Idaho must move from a "fee for service" model to an "accountable care model." I support state efforts of requesting a waiver from CMS to support a block grant of Medicaid funds and allow Idaho to create an "Idaho solution" in regards to how to best care for our indigent citizens. In addition to federal block grants equal to amounts already being received by the federal government from Idaho taxpayer money, Idaho can also use Millenium fund money, close out the high risk pool and use its associated funding mechanism, and convert duplicate program savings to cover those in "the gap."
The Idaho Constitution makes it clear the state has an obligation to provide education to its citizenry. The state accomplishes that in a number of ways; by providing options in regards to public schools, charter schools, or home schooling. This year Idaho spent 48.4% of general fund revenues on K-12 education alone and an additional 14.2% on other professional-technical and higher education. That comprises 62.6% of the states entire general fund budget alone! This leaves only 37.4% of the budget for EVERYTHING else. This is an astonishing commitment to education! The Idaho legislature cannot give more than it takes in. I believe the state is giving all it can to education in terms of policy, money and support. In regards to improving Idaho's "go on" rate, I believe this needs to begin with an early education program. Additionally, we need programs designed to determine a child's aptitude and career path early in their educational career. The time to prepare our students for post secondary education is well before they leave high school- not after.
The 10th Amendment to the US Constitution expresses the idea of federalism and dictates those powers not expressly given to the federal government are reserved to the states. Within this model, I believe the relationship between ALL levels of government should be cooperative in nature, especially given the complexity of our society in modern times. Unfortunately, in the relatively recent past, issues have arisen when this cooperation began leaning towards coercion from the federal government. I supported state efforts to pre-empt two issues (use of plastic bags and wage levels) at the local level. These issues have an effect on businesses, both large and small, which are often times working not only across county lines, but state lines as well. I believe local governments have the ability to address issues which affect their localities specifically, but the state should reserve the option to deal with those issues which "cross" those boundary lines. I am comfortable with the state looking to find ways to manage the federal lands and their accompanying natural resources for the betterment of our state and counties.
Oftentimes, actions taken by the legislature deal with issues brought before the germane committees and not the House floor. Most work is accomplished by the germane committees. With that explanation, three items (among many) I did oppose were; a rule submitted to the germane committee by Alcohol and Beverage Control pertaining to "growlers. " I perceived this rule as an over-reach of their authority. I opposed mandating reimbursement rates for tele-health services. I also opposed the Idaho Fish and Game budget, which I felt had excessive expenditures overall, especially in relation to its sportsman program expenditures. I thought the legislature was extremely effective this year at tackling big issues. Many of those issues I either supported or was directly involved with their creation. The three issues I supported (among many) were a reform of state purchasing laws and public defense. As well as, creation of an early literacy program for kindergarten and above. I am especially proud of the work accomplished in regards to foster care reform this year. I am looking forward to working on the creation of an early education system in Idaho next year as well.
The proper role of government overall, is to provide for its citizens in aggregate what they cannot provide for themselves individually. At the state level, examples include education, a transportation system, water delivery, and public safety. I believe in the value of a part time citizen legislature and the public's ability to change its membership through the ballot box. I believe the system, as frustrating as it sometimes is, is very effective at bringing together the different citizen viewpoints found throughout the legislative districts and creating legislation reflective and respectful of those differing viewpoints. As the complexity of the issues facing our state increases, I believe the use of interim committees is extremely important to address those difficult issues. Overall, the Idaho legislature functions well and our state is in far better condition than most of the others in the nation.
Yes, I support the republican party's presidential nominee, even though I did not vote for the nominee in the primary election. I have respect for the process and recognize the current nominee won the primary contest and was successful in regards to the party's nomination process. The nominee has led a very public life and there should be very few, if any, surprises about him personally. Nor, should there be too many surprises in regards to his business success. He has been wildly successful by placing highly intelligent people in critical positions. I look for him to do thie same as president.. I will vote for the republican party's presidential nominee and encourage other republicans to do so. Overall, it is vitally important a republican president and his subsequent cabinet address the massive federal debt and deficit issues immediately, as well as, seek to fill court vacancies with appropriate conservative judges.
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Age 37
Education I graduated from Pocatello High School. I received my BA from Boise State University in Criminal Justice. I received my MA from Columbia Southern University in Safety and Occupational Health.
Prior political experience This is my first time running as a candidate for an elected office.
Civic involvement The crux of my civic involvement currently involves running the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance. We were the group primarily responsible for getting Permitless Carry passed here in Idaho.
Years living in Idaho 27
Family I am married to my beautiful wife Kristin (10 years this year!). We have four wonderful children: Deacon, Kaleb, Camden, and Liberty.
Twitter page @GregPruett
1. Idaho enjoys some of the most pro-gun legislation in the country. However, we are one Supreme Court Justice away from the progress we have made being completely overturned. We must have Idaho lead the way in fully restoring the 2nd Amendment before any such ruling might come down that would inhibit our ability to do so. Rather than being a state who waits to see what other states do on the 2nd Amendment, I want Idaho to lead the way. We don't currently have that leadership.

2. Our lands have an abundance of natural resources. Those resources go to waste or are burned by wild fires because we refuse to manage the lands the Federal government has not turned over to us. We must get our lands back and manage them on our own so that Idahoans can benefit from them.

3 Our education system has taken a dramatic turn for the worst. Control has been completely taken away from our local school boards and teachers. We are no longer educating kids to help them learn and grow. We are teaching to tests and data. Learning should be fun and we have taken the fun out of it. We must figure out ways to expand choice in education such as credits to those home schooling.
The first thing many people want to do when they hear about the health coverage gap is to "expand" a system that is already over burdened and is making even more people dependent on the government for help.

In my opinion we have to begin moving towards free market solutions and do them at the state level.

There are many physicians out there who want to be charitable in their services but the government has made it nearly impossible to do so. Idahoans are very generous with their money and would be willing to give even more if the state made it easy for them to do so.

We can free up our tax code to make it easier for Idahoans to donate their refunds to those who are in need.

Our state budget also includes a lot of places that need to be cut. As a temporary measure the state could stop spending money on issues that could be taken care of privately and the money saved could be diverted to temporarily help those in dire need.

The bottom line is that our citizens are wonderful people and given the opportunity they will do everything they can on their own. We just have to get the government out of the way and let them do it!
When I was in Iraq I was humbled by the children who went to school without shoes and were excited to get a pencil and notepad from us. They learned by sitting at a desk and reading a book with their teachers.

We are blessed here in the United States to have what we have. It fascinates me that we spend so much money on education but it doesn't seem to be leading us down a path that is helping our students. It seems that if we could spend more time on teaching and focus less on just spending more money, we could improve quicker.

The first place for teaching begins in the home. We home school our kids and couldn't be happier. Not everyone can do that.

The state and districts spend far more money than is needed to educate our children. As a starter you could cut a lot of administrative and operational costs and pay the teachers more. I am an advocate for extra curricular activities but they should be done on private time. We spend a lot of time and money on activities that tax payer money funds when that money could be cut or used to pay teachers better.

Improve the home life of our students and we will see more kids seeking a better education after high school.

The Federal government has very few roles. The Constitution defines what those roles are. Protecting the rights of its citizens, national security, coining money, and so forth. That is it. Anything outside of the Constitutional scope is to be left to the states to decide as determined in the 10th Amendment.

The State should also seek to protect its citizens and preserve individual freedom where not prescribed in the U.S. Constitution.

Generally speaking local control is best. Cities know their citizens better than anyone and they can best manage the affairs of their people. However, when cities propose policies like, "plastic bags only" on private businesses it may be necessary for the state to step in and block such absurd measures.

Idaho should absolutely seek to control its own lands. The fear mongering among detractors of this plan is no different than the fear mongering I heard while fighting for Permitless Carry. The skies will fall and we are all going to die. Idahoans are intelligent people and managing those lands is not only something we should be doing but we would do a far better job than the Federal government ever will.
There are a lot of bills and proposals that continue to cost tax payers money or expand government power that could easily be done away with. Too many to name them all but here are a few bills:

1. Wolf Control Fund appropriations bill: Wolves have absolutely destroyed hunting in Idaho. The elk and deer populations have dwindled to mediocre thanks to the re-introduction of the wolf. Gov. Otter and the legislature decided to create a Wolf Control board and they require $400,000 a year to operate and figure out how to manage wolves. Why not open up tags and get hunters out thinning the packs? The state would make money rather than charge tax payers to fix a problem they have not fixed years after this board was created.

2. Appraisal Management Companies being forced to register with Real Estate Appraiser Board.

3. The powdered alcohol ban. I don't drink but this regulation was unnecessary.

What do I support or would I support?

1. Permitless Carry (SB 1389). Fought for 4 years for this as the President of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance! Happy we have it now!

2. HB 494. Reduce penalties for first time underage drinkers.

3. Charter school reform bill. SB1376
Overall I think the system works. I do wish there were ways we could get younger legislators elected to help balance out the average age of our legislature which is one of the oldest in the country.

I like that the session only lasts a few months rather than a year round legislature as some states have.

The legislature comes up with so many tax and spend bills and government expansion bills. The less time they are together doing those two things the better.
Both of the major party candidates are not qualified to be President. Neither understands the proper role of government and neither has the respect for the office that it deserves.

Both of them are about themselves and not the people who they claim to want to serve.

Neither will appoint a Supreme Court justice who will look at laws based on the Constitutionality of them.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will both destroy what little is left of our Republic.

I am a registered Republican but believe the party lost its way long ago. In order to help Conservatives try and win in Idaho I remain in the party.

I am currently planning on voting for the Constitution Party candidate, Darrell Castle (listed as IND in Idaho). While the man does not stand a chance of winning the presidency, he is the only one left, I believe, that will uphold the Constitutional principles that many Americans want a President to uphold.

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Age 41
Education Associates Degree in Multimedia
Prior political experience Current District 2 Chairman for Libertarian Party of Idaho. Ran for Idaho State Legislature back in 2012.
Civic involvement None.
Years living in Idaho Entire life, save for a few years as a kid in California.
Family Married 18 years. We have a 16 year-old son.
1) Save the taxpayers of Idaho money - Taxation is theft. I vehemently oppose the concept of taxation through force. So, suffice it to say that I'll oppose any increase in any taxes of any kind. Conversely, I will support any tax relief of any kind. And I will look for ways to cut or repeal taxes for hardworking Idahoans everywhere I can.

2) Promote Civil Liberty - Idahoans should be free to engage in activities as they wish, so long as their activities do not hinder another individual's rights to life, liberty, and justly acquired property. I will support legislation that increases the civil freedoms of Idahoans. I will oppose any legislation that attempts to create crimes where there are no victims, or needlessly inhibits an individual's pursuit of happiness.

3) Idaho only has two priorities in my view: Promote more freedom for individuals in Idaho in their day to day lives, and keep more money that hardworking Idahoans earn in their pockets and not in the State's coffers.
The State has NO business in the healthcare business. Open and free markets invite competition that forces participants to offer the best possible services at the lowest possible prices. I find it ludicrous that anyone would believe that adding layers of government bureaucracy to any industry is somehow a way to reduce costs. Citizens are finding out very quickly what "free" healthcare looks like.
The State has NO business in the education business. As with the previous question regarding healthcare, Individual Idahoans should be free to decide what is the best method for educating their children in a free, competitive, and open marketplace. Currently, the compulsory, Soviet Model, public school system does nothing more than teach children how to pass standardized tests. Public schools teach obedience and conformity. As for improving the "go-on rate", I could care less. Kids today are basically told that if they don't go to college and earn a 4 year degree, they are failures. What kids today should be encouraged to do is learn a trade and pursue whatever education or training is needed for that trade. We can't all be doctors and lawyers and rocket scientists. There is nothing wrong with earning a great living as a welder, a construction worker, a barber, or a plumber. When everyone has a bachelor's degree, then nobody does. Is it better having a population of skilled workers, or a population of coffee shop baristas with liberal arts degrees and crushing student loan debt?
In the magical land of fairies and unicorns, all levels of government work for the people, and government exists to protect individual citizens from those who would deny basic rights to life, liberty, and justly acquired property. Sadly, we don't live in that place. In the real world, the Federal Government is a monolith soon to collapse under its own weight, and state governments do little to alleviate the burden of government from everyday citizens. I would like to see a world where citizens barely notice government on any level. So, is the State correct on the rare occasion when it hinders or pre-empts action on the local level? When it protects natural rights, absolutely. Should the state take more ownership of Federal lands in Idaho? Of course it should. And, furthermore, it should then put those lands in the hands of private individuals. "Public property" is an oxymoron. "Private property" is redundant.
One that I support completely is the constitutional carry legislation passed. I firmly support the notion that a person's rights to keep and bear arms shall NOT be infringed, and that includes a special permission slip from the government to conceal that firearm. Aside from that, there were 377 bills passed in the last session. If any of those bills required tax payer funds, I opposed them. If any gave money back to Idahoans in the form of tax relief, I supported them. If any of those bills created a crime without a victim (an individual victim of theft, violence, or fraud) I opposed them. If any promoted civil liberty, I supported them.
I've heard stories of legislators not showing up to work, and sending proxies to do their voting for them. I don't like that. Aside from that, I would prefer a legislature comprised of unpaid, volunteer legislators. I don't feel as though taxpayers should be paying for people to tell them what to do. I feel as though a volunteer legislature would encourage people who actually want to perform a service for their communities to participate, and dissuade those who are looking to seize levers of power. Political authority attracts the very people that should be denied it.
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Nope. Just traffic tickets.
I filed bankruptcy in Idaho back in 2001.