As Tom Paine at 43rdstateblues points out, Idaho legislators are the oldest in the nation
The study, conducted by the Scripps Howard News Service, found that 60 percent of those who call the shots in Idaho – the legislators, congressmen and the governor – were born before 1945. The next closest states, North Carolina and New Hampshire, are nearly 10 percent behind.
Of course, age isn’t the problem with Idaho’s legislators- virulent “nativism” and intolerance is. The current example is the insulting bill recently passed by the House declaring English to be the “official” state language. The arguments in favor of the bill were laughable. The central claim of the proponents was that states that have adopted English as an official language have increased English learning by immigrants. This is simply not true. Research shows there is no difference.
There is no point in waiting for the old timers to retire. As far as Idaho Republicans go, intolerance can be found at any age. The “all in good fun” flyer (see above) promoting a speech by Robert Vasquez circulated by the BSU College Republicans prove that point. According to the Idaho Statesman,
A Boise State University student group has angered area Hispanic leaders and others by promoting a speech about immigration with a “food stamp drawing” that requires climbing through a hole in a fence and offering fake identification for a shot at winning dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.
Owners of Chapala, the restaurant named in a promotional flier for the event, also aren’t amused – and say they are considering a lawsuit against BSU’s College Republicans.Faviola Marin, co-owner of the local restaurant chain, said Chapala had nothing to do with the promotion or the student group.”We’re really upset about it,” Marin said Sunday night. “We’ve had a lot of upset customers and phone calls.”
Marin said one of their Boise restaurants has been broken into twice in the past week, and she believes the vandalism is connected to the flier.”We want an apology,” Marin said, noting that Chapala has supported BSU’s Cinco de Mayo activities and scholarships for Hispanic students. “Nobody has said anything to us.”
Fearing a law suit, the College Republicans removed the restaurant’s name, but refused to quit circulating the flyer. BSU officials were not happy.
“This type of statement is unacceptable and inappropriate in any context,” Frank Zang, BSU spokesman, in an e-mail to local media Monday. He said the group could face student judicial review if a complaint is filed by a campus organization.
Nor were local Hispanics,
Graciela Fonseca, president of the Hispanic women’s organization Mujeres Unidas de Idaho, said members are “outraged.””It’s kind of mean-spirited,” she said, adding it will stir up hatred and racism. She said it also made light of people who have died crossing deserts on the U.S. border.
“It’s very anti-immigrant,” said Maria Mabbutt of the Idaho Hispanic Caucus. “It’s very divisive.”
Mabbutt makes the connection between the old and new Republicans.
“What the young Republicans are doing is no different than what the Republican legislators are doing at the Statehouse,”