If only.

    April 26, 2019

    Idaho’s first female Lt. Governor could have been Kristin Collum, a former Army officer who served under Colin Powell at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. After 12 years in the military, she left to work at Micron, Hewlett-Packard, and as a software engineering manager at Xylem Inc.


    Idaho’s current Lt. Governor is Janice McGeachin, a hard-right Republican who previously spent four terms in the House of Representatives before retiring in 2012. In late February she flashed a hand signal, “sending love”, to Todd Engel, who is in prison in connection to the Bundy Ranch standoff in Nevada. In the photo McGeachin was posing with two members of the III Percenters group wearing prison garb, also flashing hand signs.

    An editorial in the Lewiston Tribune yesterday [4.25] headlined “Never allow McGeachin to be acting governor again,” noting that while acting governor while Gov. Brad Little was out of town, McGeachin “observed the 24th anniversary of the bombing at Oklahoma City last Friday by encouraging the ideology that sparked it. McGeachin left out the portion of the oath that obligates a person to “obey orders of the president of the United States and the governor of the state of Idaho,” and that the event occurred on the 24th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

    “On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh detonated a truck bomb at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people and injuring more than 680. It remains the nation’s deadliest act of domestic terrorism. McVeigh justified his actions by saying he hoped to “wake Americans up to the tyranny of government.

    His ideological heirs are a group of self-styled extremists calling themselves the Three Percenters — militia-minded types who have declared the same credo: “When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.”

    From the editorial:

    Asked about the Friday rally during the press conference in the governor’s ceremonial office on Thursday, Little said, “That’s not germane to what we’re talking about here. Let me absolutely refuse to answer your question.”

    McGeachin, too, declined to comment on the rally during the press conference but spoke about it afterward in her office.

    “We were just trying to carry on that tradition and not forget the history of our country, which some people are trying to cover over,” McGeachin told the Idaho Press. She cited “when people are trying to tear down statues” as an example of that.

    “I love history. I think we can learn so much from history,” she said.

    The Friday rally was hosted by the “Real III Percent of Idaho,” a right-wing group that emphasizes gun rights and what it views as threats to the Constitution, the Post Register reported. Other speakers included Scott Drexler, a Challis man who was arrested for taking part in the 2014 standoff with federal authorities at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada; Rep. Christy Zito, R-Hammett; Sarah Clendenon of Health Freedom Idaho; and Rep. Chad Christensen, R-Ammon, who later acknowledged that his fiery speech calling for resisting tyranny was lifted without attribution from an essay by Libertarian activist Adam Kokesh.

    McGeachin told the crowd, “Hold up your right hand and all of you please repeat after me.” After all had repeated the oath to support and defend the Constitution, “against all enemies foreign and domestic,” she raised her fist and called out, “Hallelujah!”


    Yesterday, Gov. Little named McGeachin to head a new state commission at possibly consolidating state agency offices in “far-flung parts of the state” in the name of efficiency.


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