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Incumbent Rep. Julianne Young running against Travis Oler for House Seat 30B

Republican Julianne Young (left) is running to protect her position for Seat 30 B against Democrat Travis Oler (right).
BLACKFOOT – Incumbent Rep. Julianne Young, a Republican, is campaigning against Democrat Travis Oler for District 30 Seat B in the Idaho House of Representatives.
To learn more about the candidate’s platform, sent the same eight questions to each legislative candidate. Their responses were required to be 250 words or less. Their unedited answers are listed below.
More information on Young can be found on her campaign website.
More information on Oler can be found on his campaign website.

Tell us about yourself — include information about your family, career, education, volunteer work and any prior experience in public office.

Oler: I am a 51-year-old US Army veteran, family farm manager, and businessman, and I was raised on a potato farm in Shelley.
I graduated from Shelley High School in 1989, where I served six weeks of my senior year as a page in the Idaho Senate.
After my honorable discharge from the US Army in 2004, I was hired as a freight train conductor for Union Pacific. After that, I began a 10+ year career in franchising and Internet marketing, helping hundreds of business owners start and grow their small businesses.
I currently split my time between managing the family farm in Shelley and my career in Internet marketing.
I have volunteered for years as an adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America. My favorite requirement instructs the scouts to “discuss … the constitutional rights and obligations of a U.S. citizen.” It was always a highlight of my year to meet with 11-year-old scouts and talk to them about their rights to peaceable enjoyment of their lives, free speech, a jury trial, etc.
Over and over again, I would emphasize to the scouts in my care that freedom is not free, that if they enjoyed a right it was because someone else had sacrificed for that right or someone else had fulfilled their constitutional obligations to provide that right.
Young: I am a wife, a mom, and a legislator who is committed to proactively making a difference.  I have a deep appreciation for America and the principles of freedom that have made America great.  I grew up in Moreland, Idaho, graduated from Snake River High School, and have a BA in Education from Idaho State University.  Prior to my service as a legislator, I dedicated my life to serving my family, my church, and my community, including work with the Boy Scouts of America, volunteer teaching, authoring guest editorials, and organizing community events.
I ran for public office because of my commitment to preserving freedom and building a better world for our children and families.  Freedom must be proactively advanced both at home and abroad.  I have a deep appreciation for those who risk their lives to defend that freedom.  I also know that if America is to continue to be great, we must maintain and defend the principles that make it great– right here and now at home, in Idaho and across the nation.
What are your proudest accomplishments in your personal life or career?
Young: My marriage and family are by far my proudest accomplishment.  Life has new adventures around every corner and, with half of our children now over 18, it is thrilling and satisfying to watch my own kids find their place in this challenging and interesting time.  My family is the ‘why’ for everything worthwhile in life!
During my legislative career, my proudest moments have come after successfully finding solutions to difficult issues and building broad support for those solutions.  I approach problems from a principled perspective, listen carefully to the concerns of others, and proactively work to address those concerns.  Over the last four years, I have continued to work effectively and collaboratively to bring legislative colleagues together around solutions that benefit and strengthen Idaho. 
Oler:  In my personal life, my wife and family are what bring me the most happiness. It is for them that I want to make the world a better place. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
I served our country in the U.S. Army from 2000-2004, spending almost the entire time in Germany at a U.S. Army Health Clinic near Frankfurt. I had gone on a mission to Germany for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so the U.S. Army Health Clinic assigned me to be a patient liaison. If a U.S. soldier or family member ended up in a German hospital, then I would translate and coordinate follow-up care.
In my 10+ years in franchising, I trained and supported hundreds of business owners as they started and grew their businesses. I was often the first person business owners would call if they had a problem in their business that they didn’t know how to solve.
In the legislature I will be very focused on helping small businesses and family farms to be successful and on helping Idaho’s economy grow so that there will be good jobs for our children. I don’t want our children and grandchildren to be forced to move out of state to find good-paying jobs.
Why are you a member of the Republican / Democrat / Independent / Other party? Briefly explain your political platform.
I am a Democrat because the United States has a two-party system. Independents don’t win in Idaho. If I were a Republican, I would need to bow down to the Idaho Freedom Foundation, but as a Democrat I can oppose the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s anarchist policies all I want.
I will NEVER vote for a sales tax increase.
My opponent, Julianne Young, took out ads in the newspaper that she is “open“ to raising sales taxes in order to reduce property taxes. Raising sales taxes to 11% like in 2020 House Bill 359 would wreck Idaho’s economy and destroy stable funding for local school districts and governments. 

How high is Julianne Young willing to raise sales taxes?
Would Julianne vote to raise sales tax to 7% or 8% or 11%?
Julianne has refused to answer these questions, but the voters of Bingham County and Butte County deserve to know how high she would raise sales taxes.
I will fight to reduce all homeowners’ future property taxes — all homeowners who live in Idaho!
I will fight for the Farmers’ Right to Repair bill, to get it fixed and passed, whereas Julianne Young voted in committee to kill the Farmers’ Right to Repair bill.
I will sponsor legislation to make it illegal to harass and intimidate police officers. In contrast, Julianne Young has refused to condemn her campaign worker, Parrish Miller, who said that America should be destroyed and who claimed that it is morally justifiable to kill police.
Young: The Idaho Republican platform gives voice to many of my most cherished and closely held personal values.  It contains statements of ‘belief’ that inspire and inform my actions.
The Idaho Republican platform begins: 
“WE ARE REPUBLICANS BECAUSE: We believe the strength of our nation lies with our faith and reliance on God our Creator, the individual, and the traditional family; and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored. We believe the United States Constitution is the greatest and most inspired document to govern a nation, and the republican form of government it gives us, (U.S. Const. Art. IV §4), is the best guarantor of freedom in history. We believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability. . .”  
The Republican platform continues on to affirm the sanctity of life, the value of free markets and personal responsibility, the importance of fiscal responsibility, and the responsibilities of government and individuals in securing peace and freedom.  
Throughout my legislative service, I have proactively worked to protect these values, including our second amendment rights, religious freedom, life for the pre-born, and the family.  I have voted to cut red tape, supported real tax relief (not just tax shifts), opposed increasing regulation on Idaho businesses, and effectively advocated for agricultural interests and our rural community.

What are the greatest challenges facing Idahoans?

Young: As I look forward to the coming session, I see significant challenges and great opportunities!  I continue to believe that the greatest challenge facing Idahoans is a crisis of confidence: confidence in the future, confidence in the goodness of their fellowmen, and confidence in our representative system of government and its ability to help us navigate the challenges we face.   
We see a crisis of confidence in the statistics showing increasing mental health challenges, in increased conflict and tension between individuals and groups with opposing viewpoints, and in increasing skepticism regarding the integrity and actions of government officials.  While we face economic struggles, health concerns, and many other challenges, it is a crisis of confidence which is of greatest concern to me because a crisis of confidence compromises our resilience.  
In spite of this concern, I am optimistic.  As Americans and as Idahoans, we have a great heritage of integrity, compassion, honorable service, and grit!  We have close-knit communities that pull together when confronted with challenges, and we have successfully faced many challenges in the past!  Ironically, the same challenges that cause us anxiety are, in reality, opportunities to build confidence.  As we move forward facing challenges together, whatever they may be, in a way that builds trust, we also strengthen confidence– confidence in the future, in one another, and in our inspired system of American self-government.
Oler: Economically, the greatest challenges facing Idahoans are for our economy to continue to grow and for our businesses to remain profitable while creating good-paying jobs. Some of my other answers describe what we should do to meet these economic challenges.
Politically, Idaho’s greatest challenge is to fight back against the corrupting influence of the Idaho Freedom Foundation and its allies.
The allies of the Idaho Freedom Foundation have poured tens of thousands of dollars in donations and advertising support into individual Republican primaries to defeat Republican candidates who disagree with the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s anarchist agenda that the Idaho Freedom Foundation has tried to disguise as conservatism.
Julianne Young has received tens of thousands of dollars in donations and marketing support from the Idaho Freedom Foundation and its allies. This marketing support is called “electioneering communications” or ”independent expenditures ” under Idaho state law.
Julianne Young would have lost both of her Republican primary elections without this massive advantage in spending that came from outside of Bingham County and outside of Butte County from the Idaho Freedom Foundation and its allies.
How will you best represent the views of your constituents – even those with differing political views?
Oler: I grew up on a potato farm in Bingham County, and I’ve lived for decades southeast Idaho, so I think I understand the people of Bingham County and Butte County pretty well.
Although I won’t agree with everyone on every single issue, I think it’s important to hear from people who have a different viewpoint than I do. By doing this, it could be possible for us to come up with solutions together that are better than what we would have thought up separately.
The main point is that I want to develop win/win solutions that will help grow Idaho’s economy and provide good-paying jobs for our children and grandchildren. I will represent anyone well who shares that same goal.
Young: It is impossible for one person to represent the views of every member of a politically diverse constituency.  That is why we have elections where voters consider candidates’ political views and positions and then, by a simple majority vote, choose one candidate to represent them all.  Once elected, a representative should be expected to advocate for the platform they ran on. 
While one representative cannot possibly advocate for every individual’s unique views, they can serve and provide assistance to all residents in the district.  During my service I have appreciated the opportunity to help people from every walk of life, irrespective of their political affiliation or beliefs.  I have addressed concerns about water rights, loved ones in prison, the way state programs are functioning (or not), the impacts of new or existing state laws, and accessing unemployment benefits, just to name a few.  It has been a pleasure to serve constituents, regardless of their background or political persuasion.

What role do lobbying entities play in the decision-making of Idaho legislators?

Young: Lobby organizations provide general information to Idaho legislators about the interests they represent.  Groups lobbying in the Idaho capitol advocate for everything from education and government entities to industries such as agricultural or professional groups to platforms from a variety of political perspectives, including environmental, pro-family, or tax-policy groups. 
While the perspectives of lobby groups are often invaluable, Idaho legislators work for their constituents.  A good legislator will listen carefully to the arguments and concerns of lobby groups that advocate for or against policy, but will make decisions based on the best interest of and the promises made to the people who have elected them.  
Oler: Many lobbying groups and non-profits, such as the Idaho Freedom Foundation, are funded by dark money that comes from out of the state. These kinds of lobby groups and nonprofit organizations are bad for the legislative process because they don’t represent voters and local businesses but instead are acting on behalf of big businesses or wealthy individuals located out of the state.

Unfortunately for Idahoans, the Idaho Freedom Foundation has been attempting—and sometimes succeeding—to subvert the sacred bond between Idahoans and their elected representatives, pressuring them to enact laws that hurt Idahoans but that benefit the dark money donors of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.
This is why Chuck Winder, the Republican leader of the Idaho Senate, called the Idaho Freedom Foundation “one of the biggest threats to our democracy in our state.”
Wayne Hoffman, the president of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, has said his vision for the group is “to be the most influential organization in the state – we want lawmakers and other policymakers to call us up and ask what constitutes good public policies, and then act accordingly” (emphasis added).
In other words, Hoffman wants the Idaho Freedom Foundation to become so powerful that local lobbying entities who actually represent hardworking families in Idaho will be effectively required to submit their bills to the Idaho Freedom Foundation for approval.
How can you encourage compromise, debate and a bipartisan approach to introducing new legislation in Idaho?
Oler: My opponent, Julianne Young, has often voted contrary to Bingham County’s and Butte County’s other Republican legislators in her legislative district. Julianne Young has essentially canceled out their votes repeatedly on important bills.
For example, Julianne Young voted for 2020 House Bill 409, the local government budget freeze, countering the votes of both other legislators in the district who voted against this horrible bill. Julianne Young voted against 2020 HB 515 and 2022 HB 778, the Idaho Patient Act, which ended high attorney fees on medical debt collection, but both other legislators in the district voted for these bills.
Julianne Young voted for limiting the mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse, but both of the legislative district’s other legislators voted against this. Julianne Young voted against raising teacher minimum salaries to $40,000 per year, but both of the legislative district’s other legislators voted for it.
With each of these important votes mentioned above, I would have been voting in a bipartisan manner the exact same as both other Republican legislators in the legislative district.
In 2021, Julianne sided with convicted rapist Aaron Von Ehlinger against his victim and against law enforcement. Julianne was 1 of only 19 representatives to vote against the censure of the victim’s doxxer and persecutor, Priscilla Giddings. The legislative district’s other representative voted for censure.

I will vote for what is in Butte County’s and Bingham County’s best interests, NOT how the Idaho Freedom Foundation tells me to vote.
Young: Building positive relationships with others, including those with whom I sometimes disagree, is one of my strengths.  I have found that those with whom I disagree on one issue may have common ground with me on another.  Consequently, I have made it a priority to disagree without being disagreeable.
A good rule of thumb is to focus debate on issues and principles, but never attack the character or accuse the motives of another person.  When we do this, we have better discussions and can make decisions based on sound reason and facts, NOT prejudices or personalities.
Because I have followed these practices, I have relationships that allow me to work well with those with whom I sometimes disagree when we find that we share a common concern.  A great example of this is the bi-partisan work I and other legislators did this session to understand and address concerns about visitation restrictions that have left the elderly and infirm isolated during times of great need as well as concerns about continued access to mental and behavioral health care via interstate tele-health. 
What parts of Idaho government could benefit from additional state funding? What part of Idaho government could be improved with financial cutbacks?
Young: There will always be more things that could be funded using taxpayer dollars.  However, I work hard for the money I pay in taxes, as do my constituents.  I have received many letters from others who live on very modest means and reach deep in their pockets to pay every tax and fee.  I respect taxpayer dollars as a sacred trust and feel responsible to see that these dollars are effectively used for the appropriate government purposes defined in our Idaho State Constitution.  
Ultimately, whatever we spend should be spent wisely, even with our current budget surpluses.  I have a quote on my wall from my grandfather, who farmed in Preston, Idaho and grew up during the depression.  He often said: “If your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep becomes your downfall.”   
We cannot expect current budget surpluses to continue as our economy adjusts to inflation and other factors. Idaho had a significant recession in 2008, state budgets were drastically cut, and we discovered new efficiencies we had not previously imagined.  While this was surely a hardship in some instances, it also proved to be a great opportunity.  Prior to the recent pandemic, I and other conservative Republicans worked to ensure that Idaho cut spending and saved for a rainy day, putting our state in position for a strong recovery from the COVID shut down.  As we move forward into a post-COVID economy characterized by record inflation, I will continue to advocate for this kind of responsible fiscal policy.  
Oler: I agree with Governor Little that K-12 education is the top funding priority of the state of Idaho, that education funding should be increased in order to grow the economy, and that third-grade reading proficiency is the most important education goal.
Governor Little was asked, “If you could do one thing to reach your gold standard with regard to third-grade reading . . . what would you do?” Governor Little replied that there was no one thing he would do, that he recommends a “smorgasbord” of solutions such as summer reading programs, pre-K funding, more busing to kindergarten, a now-defunct Parents As Teachers program, etc.
In other words, Governor Little’s “one” solution was to JUST THROW MONEY AT THE PROBLEM. That was the wrong answer, and it will always be a doomed solution to just throw money at a problem without knowing what the best way is to solve that problem.
If I could do one thing to help Idaho’s children regarding Idaho’s third grade reading proficiency standard, it would be to hire the personnel needed to accomplish one-on-one phonics-based reading instruction in kindergarten through second grade.
So my proposal is to hire extra teachers or teacher aides or reading aides in kindergarten through second grade who would pull the children out of the group classroom setting in order to sit one-on-one with them to help advance them through a structured series of phonics-based reading lessons.
Idaho’s legislative legal defense fund often wastes money on doomed bills that will obviously be declared unconstitutional. The legislators who sponsor these doomed bills simply want to score culture-war points with their base to help them win their primary elections. If a legislator wastes $150,000 in legal fees to defend a bill that the Attorney General warned was most likely unconstitutional, then that legislator’s campaign fund should reimburse the taxpayers of Idaho for these legal fees.
The post Incumbent Rep. Julianne Young running against Travis Oler for House Seat 30B appeared first on East Idaho News.

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