Editor’s note: The Greater Idaho ballot measure for Lake County voters only seeks to determine whether the County Commissioners can or should dedicate time to researching and/or discussing the pros and cons of moving into Greater Idaho, and whether or not the move is something the County should promote. It is not a vote to move the borders.

This May, voters in five counties of eastern Oregon, including Lake, will be deciding whether to entrust the future of their children and their communities to the governance of an enlarged Idaho or to the unhinged politicians of Salem.

The Idaho legislature is controlled by representatives from rural districts who govern according to the concerns and priorities of rural counties.

The ruling party in the Oregon House doesn’t have a single representative from eastern Oregon or any rural district. Since the ruling party doesn’t consult the other party, eastern Oregon is completely ignored.

Long after Kate Brown is out of office, her replacements will continue to act on the priorities and values of northwestern Oregon because that area has 79% of Oregon’s voters. This is why Oregon hasn’t elected a Republican governor in 38 years, and Democrats have a super-majority in both houses of the Oregon Legislature.

You might be a Democrat, but most eastern Oregon Democrats don’t want eastern Oregon to be ruled by the kind of Portland politicians who won’t or can’t stand up to the relentless advancement of radical Leftist proposals. They don’t understand how we make a living. Their decisions damage industries like timber, mining, trucking & farming.

Former Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives Mark Simmons of Union County said, “The ruling party in Salem has a vision of the future that does not include people like me or the rural culture of my community, friends, and family. It is time to part ways with them by every legal means available to us.”

Voting patterns prove that East, Central, & Southern Oregon do not belong in Oregon. It’s bigger than politics: it’s our culture. These areas gave two votes to Trump for every Hillary or Biden vote, just like Idaho.

Our counties would be better off as parts of Idaho. Oregon schools rank 37th in the nation. Idaho’s schools rank 23rd according to US News. Idaho is the state with the 8th smallest tax burden, and Oregon ranks 33rd, according to taxfoundation.org. Idaho has much lower cost of living. In March, the US government ranking of 50 states on unemployment rate showed Idaho ranked 5th and Oregon 31st.

Idaho is not a sanctuary state, nor does it give drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens. Taxpayers there aren’t forced to pay for abortions.

Rural Oregon is in an abusive relationship with Willamette Valley. I believe they give us a public school curriculum that teaches the next generation to hate Americans and Americanism and that their leaders refuse to protect citizens from rioters, arsonists, criminals, and illegal aliens, but they infringe on your right to defend your family with firearms.

They forced Lake County to take a prison, they built it, then they released prisoners ahead of schedule because of COVID, and now the Governor’s budget closes it. Our study shows that, even though we Oregonians pay higher taxes than Idahoans do, Idaho counties that have the same population density and average income as Lake County get more money from their state than Lake County does! It’s time to end this abusive relationship.

Mike McCarter is the president of Citizens for Greater Idaho. He is a veteran and a former president of the Oregon Agribusiness Council and Oregon Association of Nurserymen. He is also a Life Member of the NRA and a concealed-carry/firearm instructor.

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