A few thoughts on a few, somewhat random, topics...
Conservative Legislators Outline Views. Just before the legislative session, nine Idaho conservative and ultra-conservative GOP legislators -- two state senators and seven representatives -- gave a legislative preview in Meridian to an audience of about 200. There has been some coverage of the event but little about some of the views expressed.
Here are some of the points made that caught my eye . . .
- Newly-appointed Sen. Tony Potts (Idaho Falls) dislikes mandatory immunizations for children and thinks tenant evictions in Idaho take too long (I work in this field and an Idaho landlord can get into court within 12 days).
- Rep. Priscilla Giddings (White Bird) asserted that 80 of Idaho’s 105 legislators vote like Democrats.
- Rep. Bryan Zollinger (Idaho Falls) embraced his award by the Daily Kos for being named “Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day” for his sharing a post claiming the events last year Charlottesville were driven by a left-wing conspiracy.
- Rep. Dorothy Moon (Stanley) emphasized her support for those who occupied the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
- Sen. Dan Foreman (Moscow) boldly asserted “separation does not exist”, referring to the line between church and state.
- Rep. Heather Scott (Blanchard) complimented Redoubt News for streaming the Malheur Refuge event (the redoubt movement is centered around the idea of creating a Christian refuge in the Rocky Mountains to prepare for the end of times).
- Rep. Ron Ron Nate (Rexburg) supports giving up federal education money for Idaho (he does deserve credit for proposing a method of paying for this step, in particular by diverting the state surplus to that end).
- Rep. Karey Hanks (St. Anthony) has a particular beef with the idea of building wildlife overpasses in the Island Park area to reduce collisions with vehicles.
Facebook Shaking Up Social Media Campaigning. Social media is a key part of contemporary political campaigns. A key part of the social media mix is Facebook, driven by the simple fact that its audience is generally larger than other local media. Most successful candidates and causes have a Facebook page, run Facebook ads and create content designed to be shared across Facebook by their supporters.
I am willing to bet that all the major Idaho candidates for 2018 have mapped out a social media strategy with Facebook playing a key part.
Last Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg threw a major wrench in those plans. The head of Facebook announced that subscriber news feed will be changed over the next few weeks. The news feed is the set of Facebook posts one sees when one engages the service on a mobile device or a computer. Zuckerberg said Facebook will reduce the number of news stories (or purported news stories) in the news feed and downplay Facebook ads in general. In addition, Facebook will henceforth favor items by your friends about their personal life, not things they like.
This means that news coverage will receive far less traction. That means if Rep. Raul Labrador or his supporters push a favorable news story, it will have far less reach on Facebook. If Republican gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist spends significant funds on Facebook ads, they’ll be far less seen in the future. If Democratic candidate for governor A.J. Balukoff creates a video for supporters to share about his campaign, the viewing audience will be diminished. I suspect all of the major candidates will be scrambling to deal with these changes.
But, I think the biggest impact will be on local candidates, many of whom rely heavily on Facebook. If I were involved in a local campaign, I would encourage them to strongly boost efforts on other social media platforms like Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
Ronald Reagan on Third World Immigrants. Hat tip to Ammon Mayor Sean Coletti for this quote from Ronald Reagan as he accepted GOP nomination for president at the Republican National Convention in Detroit on July 17, 1980:
“Can we doubt that only a Divine Providence placed this land, this island of freedom, here as a refuge for all those people in the world who yearn to breathe freely: Jews and Christians enduring persecution behind the Iron Curtain, the boat people of Southeast Asia, of Cuba and Haiti, the victims of drought and famine in Africa, the freedom fighters of Afghanistan and our own countrymen held in savage captivity.”
An interesting contrast to the comments attributed to President Trump last week.