Idaho’s second-in-command appeared in a whopper of a campaign video, showing her in the driver’s seat of a truck and proudly placing a gun atop a Bible while vowing to protect the freedoms of Idahoans.
Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin (R) flashed a broad grin as she gleefully recited Section 1 of the Idaho State Constitution:
SECTION 1. INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF MAN. All men are by nature free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property; pursuing happiness and securing safety.
From there, Rep. Elect Karey Hanks (R) made an appearance. What she said was either an expression of doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is actually happening or was a clumsy way of saying that not even a pandemic is a sufficient reason to infringe on inalienable rights.
“The fact that a pandemic may or may not be occurring changes nothing about the meaning or intent of the state constitution in the preservation of our inalienable rights,” she said.
Several other Idaho politicians appeared as well, all railing against regulations imposed to battle the spread of COVID-19. The video, released by libertarian group Idaho Freedom Foundation, is a direct attack on the Republican Gov. Brad Little’s (R) handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Little announced this week that in light of climbing COVID-19 numbers, he would again limit gatherings.
McGeachin responded in a Facebook post, saying she was “disappointed” in the governor’s decision.
“Respecting individual liberty and property rights must remain the foundation of all policy decisions in our state,” McGeachin wrote. “Instead of working with stakeholders to implement strategies to expand our treatment capacity, our state is moving towards more top-down control over our businesses and citizens. We should be supporting Main Street right now, not adopting the draconian tactics of liberal municipalities that have only proven to make matters worse.”
McGeachin’s willingness to openly defy her state’s chief executive may be related to Idaho’s unusual gubernatorial structure. Unlike many states, the two do not run on a joint ticket. In the race for governor, McGeachin and Little (who preceded McGeachin as lieutenant governor) campaigned separately.
McGeachin, the first woman to serve as lieutenant governor in Idaho, was previously a state legislator. She served as a 2016 delegate for Donald Trump. Her current term ends on January 2, 2023.
The video which so sharply criticizes strict measures to combat COVID-19 comes as Idaho reports an average of 893 COVID-19 cases per day, up 35-percent from the previous two-week average. According to the New York Times database, as of October 30, there have been at least 63,195 cases and 618 deaths in Idaho since the beginning of the pandemic.
[Screengrab via Idaho Freedom TV]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]