New Tea Party flyer features ‘Epic Failures of Freedom’ in Idaho Legislature

A two-sided color flyer featuring mug shots of all 105 Idaho legislators and grading them on their vote on Gov. Butch Otter’s health exchange program has been distributed to those same lawmakers. A Senate Committee will hear public testimony on the House-passed bill Tuesday afternoon.

Opponents of Otter’s state-run insurance marketplace under the U.S. Affordable Care Act are members of the “A Team” and pictured with the logo “The People Will Not Forget Defenders of Freedom.”

On the reverse side, “F Team” members are depicted with the logo, “The People Will Not Forget Epic Failures of Freedom.” A identification key provides the names of all 105 lawmakers and text explains Tea Party Boise’s opposition to the state exchange.

Tea Party Boise President Chad Inman said Tuesday that the group has been distributing leaflets opposing the state-run exchange for several weeks. The new flyer has a disclaimer at the top, “Proofread copy only. NOT final.”

Whether graded “A” or “F,” the lawmakers are smiling; their photos were clipped from the 2013 Legislative Directory.

“That’s because the final vote has not been taken,” Inman said.

Otter’s Senate Bill 1042 passed 23-12 last month, putting 23 senators on the F Team and 12 on the A Team. The House substitute, HB 248, passed last week, 41-29, putting 41 on the F Team and 29 on the A Team.

The Commerce and Human Resources Committee will consider HB 248 at 1:30 p.m. in the Lincoln Auditorium.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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