Sunday, November 18, 2007

Appeal to the crowd

Idaho Dems have a message that would appeal to Idahoans, if they could get it across. Having a 3 person primary for the 1st district congressional against Bill Sali should help draw some attention, and provide opportunities to show Idaho voters that the Dems are a real, viable alternative.

The key word is opportunity. Dems have to present their message in a smart way, and today's Statesman showed them presenting that message in a pretty dumb way. Gov Otter wrote an opinion piece focusing on trying to help magic Valley farmers avoid water curtailments. In fact, the title was "Gov. Butch Otter: Plan may help eliminate future curtailment."

The Dem response was titled "Sens. David Langhorst and Kate Kelly:Water deal is against Idaho Constitution, notion of separation of powers." The Dems were complaining about the decision being made behind closed doors, but it didn't come across that way. It came across as the Dems being opposed to the effort to help out the farmers.

I don't like decisions being made by a few leading Republicans without public visibility, but c'mon, pick your battles a bit smarter, or at least sell them better. If the Dems want to oppose the Gov's plan and get more public input, the story could easily have been written to say something like, "Let the affected water users decide." Dems have been banging the "closed-door meetings" drum for years, and it has ZERO traction. Idahoan's don't give a rip, when it's presented that way.

Please, don't just oppose what Idaho Rs are doing; propose a positive alternative. People don't like paying farmers not to farm; it just seems wrong, and smacks of welfare. Instead propose using the $$ to develop low water use crops, or low interest loans for efficient irrigation systems. Or something. I'm just a dumb blogger hacking away at my keyboard and I could come up with at least a couple of ideas.

In this case the point that taxpayer $$ were being used to support just a few farmers is legit, but it's a loser in the Magic Valley, and anywhere that the Ag community is concerned about Ag. Opposing it on "technical" grounds just reinforces the poor image Idahoans have the Idaho Dems.

1 comment:

faustus37 said...

Ayup. For a variety of reasons agriculture has reached a critical mass here in the Magic Valley, but that's no reason to point out legal minutiae in light of the fact lots of folks are (understandably) very concerned about curtailments.

It's also worth mentioning that Democrats simply don't win the big races in Idaho without carrying Twin Falls County.