Rep. Priscilla Giddings and Art Macomber held a joint campaign event at the American Legion hall in Plummer Saturday, where they presented their ideas and platform and then opened the floor for questions. Giddings is running for lieutenant governor of Idaho, and Macomber is running for attorney general, both as Republicans. About 25 people attended the event.
“We have good laws, a good basic foundation in our Constitution, but our executive branch is not honoring that Constitution, so we have a constitutional crisis here in Idaho,” Rep. Priscilla Giddings told the audience.
“The federal government just keeps trying to grow and grow and grow, and one of the big powers of the attorney general’s office is to sue people to get them to comply with the law,” said Art Macomber. “That’s why I have this sign,” he added, gesturing behind him. It read “Sue Joe Biden.”
Until deciding to run, Macomber was a lawyer with his own practice in Coeur d’Alene. At the time, he was the only candidate registered to run for attorney general, but he spoke against Lawrence Wasden, the Republican incumbent. Wasden announced his candidacy for attorney general Tuesday morning.
Giddings currently represents District 7 in the state legislature, and she is one of three Republican candidates running for lieutenant governor, and that primary will be held in May. She encouraged those in attendance to turn out as registered Republicans for that first election, because registered independents or third-party voters will not be able to participate.
Despite running as Republicans, both Giddings and Macomber spent much of their time criticizing the current Republican administration for sliding too far left and being out of touch with most Idahoans.
During the question-and-answer session that followed the presentations, the people in the audience largely showed support for the candidates. The only exchange that showed some conflict was when some people challenged Macomber on the role and authority of the attorney general’s office, especially relative to the legislature, because they wanted to make sure he would not overextend his power if elected.
Giddings had been censured by the legislature earlier in the week after sharing the personal information of a 19-year-old intern online after the intern accused another legislator of rape earlier this year. The Idaho House Ethics and Policy Committee concluded in August she had engaged in “conduct unbecoming of a representative,” which led to the censure vote.
However, the people at the Plummer event did not spend much time discussing the censure, and when they did, it was in support of Giddings. One person suggested she had been targeted because she hadn’t taken campaign money from the right people. Giddings declined comment on that specifically, but said she was the target of character assassination because she was working so hard to expose corruption in state government.
“At the bottom of my newsletter, it’s a Reagan quote: ‘If you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.’” Giddings said. “That’s what I’ve been trying to do, just expose the heck out of them. That’s what I think we did with this censure.”