Here’s our 11th annual ‘F.L.U.B.’ and ‘B.I.L.E.’ awards from Idaho’s 2023 legislative session
Guest columnists Carrie and Jerry Scheid announce their “foolish legislator utterances or blunders” and “bad Idaho legislative efforts” awards for the worst bills of the session.
The Idaho State Capitol building in Boise on March 20, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)
Carrie: Hallelujah. The Idaho Legislature has adjourned. Now it’s time to announce our 11th annual “F.L.U.B.” and “B.I.L.E.” awards.
Jerry: F.L.U.B. stands for “foolish legislator utterances or blunders.” B.I.L.E. is for “bad Idaho legislative efforts,” the worst bills of the session.
Carrie: In the “what have you been smoking?” category, the F.L.U.B. goes to Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale. While presenting her and Rep. Barbara Ehardt’s joint memorial to possibly annex 11 Oregon counties, she said, “By moving the border back over way on the other side, at least the drugs can be that far away.”
Jerry: And that would move us closer to Portland where the really good drugs are.
Carrie: In the “we overprivileged Americans” category, the F.L.U.B. goes to Rep. Ron Mendive, R-Coeur d’Alene. In his debate that students should work for their school lunches to have “skin in the game,” he stated: “In this country, we’ve actually made education a right instead of a privilege. That’s a different mindset.”
Jerry: Sounds like Rep. Mendive is auditioning for Scrooge in the next “Christmas Carol” play.
Carrie: That brings us to Rep. Barb Ehardt who says so many outrageous things she has earned her own “Barbism” award.
Jerry: During her debate supporting the bill allowing people to sue libraries if their children are exposed to sexual materials, she explained that legislators serve to protect social and family values. Specifically, she stated, “We have every right to dictate those values.”
Carrie: And an example of Barb’s values was her opposition to the bill asking voters if they supported public funds for private schools. According to Barb, “This leads us directly into democracy, and I am opposed to that.”
Jerry: Apparently Barb knows what’s best for all of us?
Carrie: But my favorite “Barbism” is when she debated against the bill providing free feminine hygiene products in school bathrooms. “I’m on the side of not playing these games that we need to provide boys the same feminine hygiene products we provide girls.”
Jerry: Huh? She’s worried they’d put tampons in the boys’ bathrooms? Someone should tell her tampons in men’s rooms would require lengthy instructions.
Carrie: Speaking of bathrooms, in the “I love conspiracy theories” category, the F.L.U.B. goes to Rep. Bruce Skaug, R-Nampa. On the House of Representatives floor, he announced: “Kids are being counseled and accepted to act like cats and dogs. … There is one school in my area that has a litter box in the school.”
Jerry: Sigh. if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.
Carrie: Moving onto our B.I.L.E. awards, in the “voter suppression” category, the B.I.L.E. goes to Reps. Joe Alfieri, R-Coeur d’Alene, and Mike Kingsley, R-Lewiston, for House Bill 205 which would have eliminated “no excuse” absentee ballots. The bill’s statement of purpose says absentee ballots were “never intended as a convenience.”
Jerry: Evidently, they believe voting should be inconvenient. Fortunately, their bill didn’t pass.
Carrie: In the “theater of the absurd” category, we have a B.I.L.E. tie between Sen. Ben Toews, R-Coeur d’Alene, for his bill prohibiting drag queen shows at public facilities and Sen. Dan Foreman, R-Moscow, for his bill allowing militias to parade in public with firearms.
Jerry: I was almost sorry those bills failed because I was looking forward to seeing a drag queen militia parading in public.
Carrie: I’d have loved to see their uniforms.
Jerry: Finally, our “best in show” B.I.L.E. goes to Rep. Tammy Nichols, R-Middleton, for her two bills that would have made it illegal for anyone to administer a vaccine using mRNA technology (e.g., COVID vaccines) into an individual or livestock.
Carrie: In her second bill, she removed the part about livestock due to objections from Idaho ranchers.
Jerry: As a retired rancher, I’m relieved. I need to vaccinate my cow against COVID because she just won’t keep her mask on.
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