Category: politics

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 . . .  

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.

Steve Taggart is an Idaho Falls attorney specializing in bankruptcy (  He has an extensive background in politics and public policy. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..