According to a survey by Congress.Org, Idaho’s Congressional delegation ranks last in political power. Craig, Crapo, Simpson and Sali were ranked last based upon tenure, committee assignments, indirect influence and legislation passed. Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, describes the Idaho delegation as a “poverty zone.”
“To their credit, they believe what they believe strongly, but it tends not to pay off for their constituency when the other party is in charge,” Sabato said. “The other party isn’t really interested in working with them, because it’s too difficult.”
Powerlessness is not new for Idaho Congressional Republicans. The Idaho political landscape is littered with impotent Republicans like Steve Symms, George Hansen, and Helen Chenoweth who “stayed the course” when it came to their beliefs and refused to “compromise.” As a result, Idaho’s interests were never represented.
Sali, of course, doesn’t get it.
If winning power in this Congress now takes “San Francisco values,” Sali told The Associated Press, he’s not uninterested. “The residents of the 1st District of Idaho elected me to represent the things that are important to them,” said Sali, who this year has criticized the Democrats’ war stance and budget, while calling for an American return to prayer.
Sabato offers Idahoans some solace. Even though we have been completely marginalized politically, we are still part of the Union and remain a vacation destination.
If Idaho power has waned, Sabato said the state likely won’t suffer too much. Its voters only moved away from much of the rest of the United States in November’s election; they didn’t leave the union, he said.
“Loads of people from the other 49 states like to go to Idaho to vacation and ski,” he said. “It may not get as much as it did before, but it’s not going to be a disaster.”
Great! We may not get as much as we did before, but we have politicians who represent our “beliefs.” I feel better no