Washington DC lobbyist: 1
We found out this week that a Washington DC lobbyist is hard to compete with.
We don’t need to reiterate the list of stakeholders who opposed this bill. But we did hope that that something would get through to Governor Otter after thousands of Idahoans, especially students, contacted him with petitions, letters, faxes, phone calls and emails in opposition.
We aren’t represented by a DC lobbyist, we don’t have the governor’s ear, and we can’t get a meeting with him. What should we have done differently? Who should we talk to so that next time we can be consulted about weapons in our classroom before a bill is pushed through? What other legislation will be imported to Idaho at the expense of students who understand that classrooms are different spaces with different purposes than the public square?
Governor Otters’ statement would lead one to think that the constitution languished undefended for years when universities and colleges were able to control their campuses. But it is well within the definition of defending the constitution to allow universities and colleges to maintain the local control they had before he allowed weapons in our classrooms.
Idaho politicians have cut higher education funding by 39% in six years. Meanwhile tuition has skyrocketed. This unfunded mandate will be borne on the backs of students who protested it in the first place. The governor calls on the legislature to “appropriately and carefully monitor, oversee and manage those difficulties and costs.” but considering the legislatures’ track record supporting higher education, it’s hard to believe that will happen. Maybe students need a DC lobbyist of their own.
by Emily Walton