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If you live in the Gem State, you’re accustomed to seeing two types of national headlines about our home.
1) “Boise is great.”
2) “Idaho is nuts.”
It’s Looney Tunes time again, folks, thanks to dependable media magnet Ammon Bundy. On Saturday, the Emmett resident, far-right activist and occasional jailbird announced that he is running for governor. Consequently, the Gem State finds itself making lots of headlines.
This might not be the type of attention that clear-headed Idahoans want. But we have to be clear-eyed about this, too. Expecting a different sort of media attention is just wishful thinking. This is how Idaho is perceived nowadays. And, arguably, this is who Idaho attracts nowadays.
Got time for summer reading? Here are some of the national and international news sites running with the Idaho political circus, thanks to Bundy’s news.
▪ The Washington Post published a major story on the front of its website titled, “Far-right activist Ammon Bundy is running for Idaho governor, tapping an anti-establishment trend.” It includes insights from Jeffrey Lyons, an assistant professor of political science at Boise State University. That’s a good thing. Lyons is a smart, enlightening guy.
▪ The Guardian in the United Kingdom has figured us out from afar. Their Bundy piece says “Idaho, which has long had a tradition of anti-government and pro-militia sentiment, is seen as being one of the most right-wing Republican states in the U.S., especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which has seen right-wing groups fight health measures like wearing masks.”
▪ CNN points out that “Bundy officially enters a race that already includes Janice McGeachin, the state’s lieutenant governor who has repeatedly and publicly clashed with Idaho GOP Gov. Brad Little over the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.”
▪ New York magazine argues that Bundy’s candidacy “is both a problem and an opportunity” for McGeachin, and believes that “Idaho is a state where even the most extreme Republican nominee will be a general election favorite.”
▪ Calling Bundy a “rancher” — is that even accurate, really? — The Hill says “Rancher who led armed occupation of federal refuge announces run for Idaho governor.”
▪ CBS News reports that “Rancher who led armed occupation of federal land running for governor in Idaho.”