Op-Ed by Daniel Bobinski
NOTE: This editorial has been made into a podcast. If you’d rather listen to this content instead of reading it, click here.
Over the past few years, I’ve gotten to know a few office holders in Idaho – and also some of the people challenging Brad Little for the governorship. I intended to remain quiet and not make public comment regarding statewide races, but the more I observed, the more it became apparent that if the “establishment” Republicans are elected, Idahoans will lose even more of their rights and liberties, all in the deceptive name of safety.
I also know that I’ve been seeing a lot of lies and smears, and that cannot be left alone. What I write here is likely to upset some readers and supporters of True Idaho News if they have been supporting a candidate about whom I have concerns. This is an editorial, but my conclusions are based on facts and personal observations and I feel led to share what I have observed.
With that, I should probably explain a bit about my background. For 33 years I have been at the helm of a company called Leadership Development, working as an executive and management coach and corporate team trainer in companies of all shapes and sizes. My business exists by word-of-mouth, because my clients see results and they recommend me to others. As one executive recently said as he was finishing up his coaching program with me, “This is the best money I have ever spent.”
Before moving into political punditry 2.5 years ago, I trained and coached executives in Fortune 500, Fortune 100, and even Fortune 50 companies. Some of the people I’ve worked with oversee $5 billion budgets, and so I am not afraid of speaking truth to power.
Here’s what I know to be true: Successful leaders get dressed each morning the same as everyone else, and they also have strengths and weaknesses, the same as everyone else.
One key to being successful in leadership is understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of one’s team. And based on the writings of our country’s founders, our form of government only works if its leaders are seeking after that which God deems righteous. Our nation’s Founders spoke much about this principle in their writings, but that truth has been rare to find in our recent generations.
That was the worldview of our Founders, it also happens to be my worldview, and it is from that worldview that I write this.
What follows is an exploration into what needs to happen in Idaho for our Constitutional government to be restored. And it’s not pithy, because I refuse to boil down my reasoning to a sound bite that can be so easily taken out of context.
I did not vote for Brad Little when he ran for governor in 2018. I viewed him as someone with establishment tendencies and I know that “establishment” types are not fond of the Constitution. Today’s establishment Republicans wear an “R” label and usually vote pro-life and support the Second Amendment, but all one needs to do is read the Idaho Republican Platform and one quickly learns that being a Republican in Idaho means so much more than supporting gun ownership and saying babies have the right to live.
That said, based on what I observed Little doing prior to Covid, I was changing my mind about him. He seemed to be endorsing Constitutionally conservative issues, and frankly, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
That is, until March of 2020.
As States across the nation starting “locking down,” most Idaho conservatives believed Little would look at the state’s unique circumstances and not shut down the state. After all, outside of the Treasure Valley, Idaho does not have many dense population centers. And, given the conservative stance that Little had been showing, many believed he would be like South Dakota’s Christy Noem, or like Sweden, and he would let Idahoans take responsibility for their own health.
We were wrong.
When Boise Mayor Lauren McLean put her mask mandate in place, Little was laughing about how ineffective it would be while he was talking on the phone with the Lt. Governor. But then something odd happened. Two days later, Little called his Lt. Governor and told her that he was locking down the state. He did not consult with her before making that decision, and he did not even have a plan in place.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
When I spoke with the Lt. Governor a few weeks after that event (regarding a story I wrote for RedState.com), I was told she observed a shift in Brad Little that could have been described as “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” After shutting down the state, Little became reclusive and unavailable. To spare the reader a tome of Little’s misdeeds (literally, I could write a book), here is an article I wrote in June of 2020 about Brad Little being a science denier, and here are some highlights:
- When asked in a press conference in early 2020 about herd immunity, Little immediately dismissed the idea and said a vaccine was the only way out of this “pandemic”. (South Dakota and Sweden proved him wrong.)
- He declared a state of emergency without even one Covid death recorded in the state
- He signed an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency that gave them authority to do whatever they wanted in the state and the state was required to support it and help pay for it
- He extended his 30-day state of emergency to 60 days, which is allowed by the Idaho Constitution, but then, working in tandem with Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, they created a legal pretzel of logic that they claimed gave the Governor the right to extend his “state of emergency” beyond 60 days and NOT call the legislature into session, despite the wording and meaning set forth in the Idaho Constitution (and he kept that State of Emergency in place for over TWO YEARS)
- He violated the U.S. Constitution by declaring as the Executive Officer a change in how the state’s voting would occur (that power, as clearly stated in the U.S. Constitution, is granted exclusively to each state’s legislative branches)
- He refused to respond to multiple requests from legislators to meet and discuss the various mask mandates that were in place around the state
- He claims to not have instituted mask mandates, but video evidence exists that members of Brad Little’s Coronavirus Task Force BULLIED the chair of a regional Health District, telling him if he did not mandate masks, every case of Covid and every Covid death in his district would be blamed on the District Chair. When this video became public, Little did not denounce the threats made by his Task Force members.
As I said, I could write an entire book about how Brad Little avoided and deflected his leadership responsibilities during the “pandemic.” But perhaps even worse is how he is now LYING about his actions.
- Little says he told the Feds to “take a hike.” A LIE.
- Little says he didn’t shut down the state. A LIE.
- Hundreds of businesses closed PERMANENTLY because of Little’s lockdown.
- Hundreds of thousands of Idahoans were told they were unessential and lost significant income.
- Child abuse went up. Suicides went up. People died needlessly because Brad Little directed the State Board of Pharmacy to withhold the prescribing of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin – what could be called practicing medicine without a license.
This man, Brad Little, plays Idahoans for fools, and I absolutely refuse to vote for Brad Little, a proven LIAR, to sit atop the Executive Branch of Idaho’s government.
Challengers in the 2022 Gubernatorial Race – Ed Humphreys
In May of 2021, Ed Humphreys announced he was running to unseat Brad Little. I’d met Humphreys several times at the statehouse and in his Merrill Lynch office before he sold that business off, and it was during one of the office meetings there that Humphreys told me he was thinking about running for governor.
“What about Tommy Alquist?” I asked. “What if he decides to run again? He already has name recognition.”
“Tommy is not going to run,” Humphreys assured me.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Because the people who donated to Alquist in the last campaign are donating to me this time.”
“What about Janice McGeachin?” I asked.
Immediately Humphreys gave a dismissive facial expression and his body language could only be described as uncomfortable. “She’s no good. She would not make a good governor.”
Before I continue, as mentioned at the top of this article, I have more than three decades’ experience as an executive and management coach, and I’ve been to multiple states as well as countries around the globe training on that subject for huge multinational corporations and even for foreign governments. What I am about to write is heavily influenced by my professional experience in working with leaders.
Here’s what I knew about Humphreys when he told me he was going to run. He was maybe 30 years old running a business with one visible employee – a receptionist who had difficulty finding where the cream was stored for my coffee. He managed to get himself elected to be the Region IV Supervisor for Idaho’s Republican Party, but he bragged to me about helping Tom Luna get elected to the State Chair position, and I know Luna to be an “establishment” type who, with Butch Otter, brought Common Core to Idaho with just a signature, doing so in a way that bypassed any votes from the State Legislature.
Additionally, multiple District Chairs in Humphreys’ region had mentioned to me how Humphreys had consistently failed to perform the duties expected of a Regional Supervisor.
Humphreys since his announcement
Since Humphreys’ gubernatorial announcement, I have watched with interest to see if any leadership skills emerged. Here’s what I observed:
- Humphrey supporters tout him as the next Donald Trump. To me, the comparison is somewhat laughable. For decades, Trump built multiple companies and made multi-million-dollar international deals, building a net worth of several billion dollars. From what can be ascertained, Humphreys had one office with one employee.
- No liberty-minded legislator in the Idaho Statehouse (aka Conservative Constitutionalist) can point to a single phone call or any email from Humphreys in support of or in opposition to any piece of legislation. Humphreys states he submitted a piece of legislation to be considered, but the previous sentence stands.
- On March 5 of this year, an event called “Faith and Freedom Fest” was hosted in Meridian by The ConservativesOf Political Action Committee (COPAC). Humphreys was not asked to speak because he was not an endorsed candidate by the group. The Humphreys campaign expressed great displeasure at him not being asked to speak (even though his campaign was able to have a table at the event). Over three weeks later, late at night on March 29, I and at least one other person received a text message sent directly from Ed Humphrey’s cell phone. The message had a picture of Humphreys speaking at an event accompanied by the words, “Humphreys campaign event gets more people than TraitorPAC’s “Freedomfest.” I had spoken at the COPAC event, and I know more than 1,000 people attended. The photo sent by Humphreys was evaluated and found to have much fewer than 1,000 in in the photo.
- By “TraitorPAC,” one can assume he meant COPAC. Humphreys probably assumed he was going to get their endorsement, but I know COPAC held off making any endorsements to see which challenger was most likely to beat Little – because that was the objective. COPAC chose Janice McGeachin, because multiple polls showed she has the best chance of beating Little (Humphreys has been polling in single digits).
- People who left Humphreys’ campaign have shared with me his temperament: He yells at you if you disagree with him.
- Several people on Humphreys’ campaign who were intellectually honest in assessing the poll numbers saw that Humphreys would not garner more votes than McGeachin, and might therefore be the cause of Little getting re-elected because he would split the challenger vote. They tried talking with him about this, but he yelled at them. They later came to me and asked me to contact Humphreys to discuss the same possibility. I’d already thought about calling Humphreys, but their request confirmed my decision. I called Humphreys, but he yelled at me, too, lecturing me as to what I should and shouldn’t do. My wife, who was in the same room as me and overhead the conversation, immediately referred to Humphreys as “a childish ass.”
I’m just reporting the facts.
As an observer, I see that Ed Humphreys has been attacking Brad Little very little and he’s been attacking Janice McGeachin quite a lot. He and his supporters have also been spreading lies and smearing her name whenever possible. One specific offender is Lynn Bradescu, District 19 Chair, who formerly was a huge Brad Little fan and worked against the “Recall Brad Little” effort in 2020. In the past she has threatened Republican office holders that they would not have any future in the Republican party if they criticized Brad Little.
Bradescu, who wrote a $5,000 check to Humphreys not long after he announced, wrote an especially vicious letter of smears and false innuendos about McGeachin to several left-wing rags. Several people aware of Bradescu’s shift to supporting Humphreys have inquired to me about Bradescu’s motives, asking, “If she was such a Little fan and is now attacking Janice and supporting someone who they know can’t win, could she really be working for Little in all this?” The question is not answered at this time, and may never be, but I believe the question is valid.
These actions from Humphreys and his supporters also beg the question: “If the objective is to get the statist Brad Little out of office, why not emphasize why Brad Little is wrong for Idaho instead of attacking McGeachin?” I have personally noted for a long time that if McGeachin wins the primary, Humphreys words will have made it difficult and awkward for his Republican supporters to campaign for the Republican nominee.
For these and other reasons that won’t fit into this already long column, I cannot and will not support Ed Humphreys to replace Brad Little. As an executive coach, I’ve observed that he lacks any significant experience in managing people or teams. This is supported by the reported – and observed – behavior of Humphreys yelling at people who disagree with him. This is not a behavior that should exist in any executive, and especially so in the state’s Chief Executive – a position that requires listening objectively to multiple sides of an issue, from multiple citizens, arriving at a reasonable decision, and getting people to support the decision. Bullying is not an effective approach for this.
Did Humphreys campaign well? Absolutely. He traveled the state and did the Meet / Greet / Grip / Grin thing with thousands of Republicans across the state. Does he say all the right things? For the most part, yes. But truly conservative Idahoans are not stupid. They want to see a track record for someone seeking the Governor’s office, and Humphreys has no legislative track record. Frankly, he reminds me of Barack Obama, who voted “present” often as a Senator so nobody could use his votes against him during his Presidential campaign.
Humphreys also has no business background of a scale that indicates he could manage the dozens of departments in existence for this State.
Bottom line, I see Brad Little as a tyrant trying to implement the goals of globalism. But I also see Ed Humphreys acting as a tyrant, as well. Even if one is pushing for Constitutionally Conservative issues, if that person is being a tyrant while doing it, the person is still a tyrant.
Challengers in the 2022 Gubernatorial Race – Steve Bradshaw
In late 2021, someone called and strongly suggested I meet with Steve Bradshaw, Pastor of the Cocolalla Cowboy Church in Cocolalla, ID and also a candidate for Governor. And so, I met Bradshaw and his campaign manager for dinner. I listened to Bradshaw tell his story, and frankly, I was impressed. But I also gave him my perspective: Unless he developed a team of people who could run an assertive ground game, he really didn’t stand a chance at winning the governor’s seat.
Bradshaw’s ground game never really materialized, and as a result, he’s consistently been polling at, near, or below 1%. Still, I liked his stance on the issues and thought he was on the up-and-up. That is, until I saw a video of him discussing how he approached Donald Trump and asked that Trump pull his endorsement of Janice McGeachin and give it to Bradshaw instead.
This befuddled me at first, but then I saw the video of his Mother’s Day sermon, during which he openly stated he supports Idaho Senators and Representatives whom I believe should be listed as Democrats by a review of their voting record. I also had a phone call from someone who used to attend his church. Emphasis on “used to.” In this person’s words, Bradshaw “has gone off the rails.”
Based on what I observed in those videos, Bradshaw has, indeed, shifted away from the conservative stance he displayed to me over dinner. What his motivation might be is yet to be confirmed, but suffice it to say that I’m greatly disappointed in Bradshaw’s words and actions from the past few weeks. Between that and his inability to put together a ground game, I do not think he has what it takes to run the State of Idaho.
Challengers in the 2022 Gubernatorial Race – Janice McGeachin
The first time I sat down with Janice McGeachin was when I requested 15 minutes of her time in her Lt. Governor’s office. It was January of 2021, and I had not yet even thought about starting True Idaho News – I was a regular contributor to Red State and UncoverDC, writing on national issues. I wanted to know more about McGeachin’s stance on Brad Little’s statewide lockdown. What she did during that meeting impressed me. She reached into a drawer, pulled out the FEMA agreement signed by Brad Little, and explained how that agreement suspended Idaho’s State Sovereignty, making it subservient to the Federal Government. So long as that agreement was in place, which Brad Little had signed on April 21 of 2020, Idaho was not a sovereign state. “We need to get out of this agreement,” she said.
McGeachin had recently started the weekly “Capitol Clarity” sessions, a project to educate Idahoans about what was going on at the statehouse – to include legislative actions and legislative proposals – so citizens could be informed. To me, Capitol Clarity was an innovative and practical way to let people interact with their government – something I felt had been sorely lacking.
It was obvious that McGeachin disagreed with Brad Little’s on his mismanagement of the Covid-19 situation. People criticized her for that, saying she should support the Governor no matter what, but in Idaho, the Governor and Lt. Governor do not run as a ticket, and In my opinion, all citizens elected to office should first and foremost adhere to the State and Federal Constitutions. Brad Little was clearly violating the Constitution, and by every indication, McGeachin WAS seeking to follow the law. I was glad to see her willing to take hits in the media simply because she was standing up for that which is right.
In my 30+ years of executive coaching, I call that integrity. It’s moral soundness. It’s doing what’s right, even when those around you are criticizing you for doing so.
By the way, as that first meeting was wrapping up, I asked her if she was thinking about running for Governor. She quickly answered and said, “We do not discuss political campaigns in this office.” Again, another indicator of integrity, as no discussion of political campaigns are to occur in a physical office paid for with public funds. (Note: McGeachin’s ethics were head and shoulders above those of former Meridian mayor Tammy de Weerd, who regularly used Meridian City Hall as a place to promote her hand-picked successor, her chief of staff and now current mayor Robert Simison. But I digress.)
Then, in May of 2021, McGeachin caught a lot of flak and was accused of political grandstanding when she, as acting governor (Little was out of state), issued an executive order banning mask mandates in Idaho. Little, RINO statists, and leftist media accused her of political grandstanding, but I knew differently because I had been in contact with several Idaho legislators and knew what was really happening. In short, Brad Little had been blatantly ignoring requests from legislators to meet and discuss the issue of masks (See the entire situation explained in my UncoverDC column, The Real Story Behind Janice McGeachin’s Executive Order on Masks). McGeachin simply did what Brad Little wouldn’t do: Respond to the requests of Idahoans to stop an illegal practice.
Supporters of other gubernatorial challengers have stated McGeachin did nothing to push back against Little’s unconstitutional overreach. Such statements are, well, ignorant. The office of Lt. Governor in Idaho does not have much authority or power. The person holding the Lt. Governor’s seat can:
- Act as governor when the governor is out of state, and
- Serve as President of the Senate
I looked at what McGeachin did, and I can honestly say she did what was in her Constitutional right to do when she had the opportunity to do it. In simpler terms, she acted boldly when and where she legally could, and yet she still caught flak?
Brad Little acted unconstitutionally, and I want him out of office for doing so. McGeachin acted where and when she could within the bounds of the law to protect the rights and liberties of Idahoans, and for that she should be commended, not criticized. If she went outside the bounds of the law – as Little did – she would have acted like a tyrant, and we don’t need any more tyrants.
McGeachin recently caught more flak for sending in a video to the America First Conference, which she did at the recommendation of political activist Michelle Malkin. Malkin is 100% Filipino and is also a staunch fighter for freedom against corrupt authoritarians in government. Turns out one of the speakers at the event has made racist comments and has been labelled a white nationalist. McGeachin’s opponents have been trying to smear her with that label. In conversation with McGeachin, I learned she was unaware of that speaker’s previous comments. And, I will be happy to testify that in all of my interactions with McGeachin, never ever have I heard so much as a hint of anything negative in those veins. Still, the media has attempted to smear the Lt. Governor with a derogatory label.
To this, I am thoroughly disgusted at their bias and their double standards. First, in no way has anyone I know seen nor heard McGeachin lean that direction, and second, how many dozens if not hundreds of times has Brad Little shared the stage with blatantly corrupt individuals, and never did people utter a peep. For that matter, they have excused his own blatantly unconstitutional actions.
Another criticism leveled at Janice McGeachin is that she’s a poor public speaker. To this criticism I agree. She does not get up and wow audiences with her rhetorical powers. But I also say this: If good public speaking were a requirement to hold public office, Thomas Jefferson never would have been President. On the Monticello website, we’re told, “As a young lawyer, Jefferson was respected for his knowledge of the law, but he was not known as an outstanding orator.” In fact, Jefferson was such a poor public speaker that both of his Inaugural Addresses were spoken so low and mumbled, people barely heard Jefferson’s words. Also, he never gave his State of the Union speech in person. He had it delivered in writing.
Jefferson was a great and necessary part of the country’s founding, but not a great speaker. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were good speakers, but look at the damage they did to our country. To those who want to dismiss McGeachin because she’s not a great speaker, I suggest they might want to think beyond the surface of that. As with Jefferson, standing on solid principles is more important than speaking skills.
What I know about McGeachin
Here’s what I know about Janice McGeachin.
- Despite how Ed Humphries tries to paint her, she is not a career politician. She served in the Idaho House from 2002 – 2012 and then got out without any intentions of returning. In her words, she “term-limited” herself. The reason McGeachin decided to run for higher office is because she was inspired about the pro-America stance of Donald Trump and wanted to help push that movement forward.
- I also know McGeachin did not run for Lt. Governor with the intention of running for governor. That idea came only after seeing Brad Little deprive Idahoans of their rights and liberties, and even then, the decision was made only after many months of prayer.
- Janice McGeachin and her husband own three businesses in Idaho, and thusly she is well-aware of how state regulations impact small business.
- McGeachin’s education is in finance, and with her 10 years’ experience in the House and her past three years as Lt. Governor, she understands how the state finances work – and where they’re being mismanaged.
Sadly, statists and leftists have come out strong against Janice McGeachin, painting her as an extremist. Consider the 97% Project, a far-leftist organization that encouraged Democrats to switch parties and vote for Brad Little. In fact, that communist group has even endorsed him. They and false “conservative” groups have flooded my social media feed with ads calling McGeachin an extremist. I have but one question for true Constitutional Conservatives. “Since when is it extreme to want Idaho to operate within the bounds of the Constitution?”
For those who have believed only the “mainstream” media and the statist politicians who regularly smear her, I encourage a bit of thought. You know the media is leftist. Being so, why would they report positively on McGeachin? You know that corrupt politicians want their corruption to stay covered. Why would they want an ethical person sitting in the Executive Office?
All of these 4,000+ words lead me to one conclusion. The best person running for Governor on the Tuesday, May 17 ballot is Janice McGeachin.
Brad Little violates the Constitution and LIES to Idahoans. Humphreys says the right things, but he has no appreciable leadership experience and no track record to prove his words (not to mention the fact he loses his temper easily). Steve Bradshaw was saying the right things, but now has made it clear he supports candidates who hold statist positions that suppress the rights of Idahoans.
I have seen none of those negative traits in Janice McGeachin. On the contrary, she wants Idaho to be a sovereign state and operated in accordance with the Constitution. She has a proven conservative track record. She doesn’t lose her temper easily, and she supports candidates who want liberty and freedom.
Once more, I’m coming at this analysis with 33 years’ experience as an executive coach, working with all shapes and sizes of companies around the world. I can tell when someone is acting in their own best interest, and I can tell when someone has integrity and is sacrificing for the good of the organization.
I will be casting a confident vote for Janice McGeachin for governor on May 17.
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