BOISE, IDAHO — U.S. Senate nominee Paulette Jordan sent the following letter to Senator Jim Risch today.
The body of the letter reads:
Since you refuse to give the public a proper debate, I am writing to you on behalf of all Idahoans. They deserve your accountability.
Our state is reeling from the increased spread of COVID-19. Our neighbors are getting sick and dying. Our children are falling behind because we’ve failed to get the spread under control, and teachers don’t feel safe in their classrooms. Businesses are suffering and workers are losing their livelihoods. And yet, all you have done to date is claim that our state is reflexively conservative and that you don’t need to be held accountable for your actions on behalf of us.
That is not good enough. As a lifelong Idahoan, I’m embarrassed by the gross lack of leadership and your complete abdication of constitutional responsibility to defend our country internationally and domestically.
To conquer COVID-19, we need a national plan. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, you had access to information that could have helped keep the virus at bay in our state. But you did not act. As cases rise and lives are lost, it is incumbent upon you to stress to Idahoans the seriousness of this disease and the precautionary measures we all must take, instead of politicizing this pandemic. You should be learning from the testing shortfalls and mistakes of the past nine months. Start preparing our state for the importance of getting vaccinated.
You obviously have no regard for education in Idaho. Teachers in Ada County are so concerned about contracting COVID-19 due to the spike in cases that they are calling out sick. We need to control the disease so our children can return to school. But you gave yourself a property tax break, and our education system took the hit with lost funding. We’re already dead last in the country on education rankings. You’re complicit as we fall further behind.
And why have you not worked overtime to get another round of COVID-19 relief passed? Our workers and business owners could not be more clear: They need support. There is no evidence you’ve done anything to get this legislation over the finish line. It doesn’t appear that you even want this job.
As Idaho’s senator, you should be standing with Idahoans who voted to increase access to healthcare coverage. Particularly during a national health crisis, we should not take away anyone’s coverage. But you’ve said you will support Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who will take away health care coverage for tens of thousands of Idahoans, including those with pre-existing conditions. Strangely, you haven’t offered an alternative plan. What are you doing while you are in Washington?
One last thing. You’ve been in office for nearly a half-century, longer than I’ve been alive in fact. When do you plan to retire? Idahoans deserve to know whether you intend to serve out a full term if you’re re-elected, or do you plan to hand off your seat to someone else?
Paulette Jordan’s message is “People First Policy,” emphasizing health care, economic recovery, stewardship of land, and increased federal fiscal discipline and accountability. She is endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Idaho Statesmen and EMILY’s List. More information about Jordan’s campaign for the U.S. Senate can be found at her website www.pauletteforsenate.com