BOISE, Idaho — Every two years, the Idaho GOP party gathers together to evaluate the party's platform and adjust it through proposed resolutions.
This year the convention was held in Twin Falls over three days, from July 14-16. Nearly 750 registered delegates were in attendance when 13 of the 31 proposed resolutions were passed and adopted by the Idaho GOP party.
Changes to the platform included calling any and all abortion murder and criminalizing abortion, while also excluding exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape and incest.
Idaho Public Television reporter Ruth Brown was at the conference when the resolutions were adopted. Regarding family, the party reaffirmed their stance on abortion saying it is, "murder from the moment of fertilization. All children should be protected regardless of the circumstances of conception, including persons conceived in rape and incest."
Regarding health care, the party believes everyone "should be able to exercise free power of choice without intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior forms of constraint or coercion."
The party passed several resolutions to its education platform, from giving parents the final say on masks and vaccines, to opposing all "social justice indoctrination" like Critical Race Theory, social-emotional learning, replacement and queer theory.
Other passed resolutions included a requirement for Republicans to be registered with the party one year prior to voting in the primary, and repealing the 16th amendment from the constitution, which affects congress's ability to tax income.
KTVB has reached out to the Idaho GOP party for a full list of adopted resolutions, but there has been no response so far as of 9 p.m. Monday.
In addition to adopting the resolutions, the GOP held party elections on the last day of the conference. All of the incumbent members of party leadership lost their reelection Saturday night.
"There was an awful lot going on and there was a great deal of angst." Steve Millington, a delegate from Twin Falls, said. "It was never ending. Everywhere you went, people were flashing signs and cards, and discussing and talking, and so we all knew that that was going to be a real hot topic come Saturday morning when we had the election of officers."
Rep. Dorothy Moon was selected as the new Chair of the Idaho Republican Party.
Millington said there was some divergence between platforms and agendas when it came to the new leadership.
"One of the things I kept saying is, 'people, for heaven's sakes, we've got a hundred thousand new residents coming to Idaho every year." Millington said, "let's not disenfranchise those people. Let's encourage them to become members of the Republican party and carry our Republican banner throughout the state of Idaho."
During her acceptance speech, Rep. Moon said, "we were once the bastion of freedom and liberty in this country, there are states that have surpassed us and we gotta make sure with the influx of the population moving in, we have to make sure with the Democrats coming at us with full force, that we have our barriers up, our guns loaded and ready to keep this state free."
"Some people have this idea that if you aren't a fifth-generation Idahoan, you don't belong here," said Millington, "this idea that we've got to prevent or prohibit people from voting because they might be quote crossover voters is just obscene. It doesn't work."
If the party continues to push this point in its leadership, Millington believes it will isolate potential Republican voters.
"In my opinion, we run the risk of alienating a lot of people who would otherwise say, 'I like Republican values and I like Republican ideals, and this is where I want to be associated.' Millington said. "We can't marginalize some small thing and change our entire direction based on a marginal approach to a problem."
Despite the current division in the party, Millington said he is still optimistic that the party can come together and unify around shared values.
"I think it was Ronald Reagan who said, 'if I agree with you 80 percent of the time, you are not my enemy," Millington said.
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