Monday, November 29

Idaho Lieutenant Governor Bans Vaccine Mandates While Governor Is Out of State | Idaho

Idaho Republican Governor Brad Little temporarily left the state Tuesday for government business and his Deputy Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin immediately began issuing right-wing orders while she temporarily held executive power, including a ban on vaccination mandates. against the coronavirus.

That same afternoon, McGeachin issued an executive order – as acting governor – prohibiting state officials from demanding what she called “Covid-19 vaccine passports” from employees, the Washington Post reported.

Little, who was in Texas meeting with nine other Republican governors over concerns about Joe Biden’s handling of migration at the US-Mexico border, vowed to quickly reverse McGeachin’s order as soon as he returned to Idaho.

“I am in Texas serving as the duly elected Governor of Idaho and have not authorized the Lieutenant Governor to act on my behalf,” said Little said in a statement shortly after arriving in Texas on Tuesday. “I will rescind and revoke any action taken by the lieutenant governor when he returns,” he added.

Also on Tuesday, the battle between the governor and his number 2 continued.

McGeachin, who has partnerships with members of the far-right militia, attempted to activate the Idaho National Guard and send troops to the southern border in a highly unorthodox move to crack down on undocumented people trying to cross into the United States at 2,000 miles. of your state.

“As of Wednesday, my constitutional authority as governor grants me the power to activate the Idaho National Guard,” McGeachin wrote to Major General Michael Garshak in a letter.

Garshak rejected McGeachin’s request, responding: “I am not aware of any requests for assistance from the Idaho National Guard under the Texas or Arizona Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) … As you know, the Idaho National Guard is not an agency of law enforcement “.

McGeachin’s national guard request also drew criticism from Little, who said in a statement: “Attempting to deploy our national guard for political grandstanding is an affront to the Idaho constitution and insults the men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving our state and country.”

Tuesday’s maneuver was not the first sign of conflict between the governor and the lieutenant governor. In May, when Little was out of state, McGeachin issued an executive order banning mask mandates, helping prevent the spread of Covid-19. Little revoked the ban when he returned.

According to the Idaho constitution, the lieutenant governor must assume office when the governor is out of state.

McGeachin, a far-right Republican, is running for governor in next year’s Republican primary. In Idaho, the governor and lieutenant governor are not running on the same ticket, setting up a potential political battle within the party in the coming months.

In June, McGeachin received the endorsement of a right-wing militia leader after announcing his candidacy for governor.

In a video obtained by The Guardian, Eric Parker, who was indicted for his role in the libertarian showdown at Bundy Ranch in Nevada in 2014, where he was photographed pointing an assault rifle at federal agents, praised McGeachin in an enthusiastic speech.

“We have to do everything we can to get her where she can do the most good for us … we have her there for us,” Parker said, before hugging McGeachin.

McGeachin has been involved in a number of previous controversies involving ties to extremist groups. In 2018, she declined to respond to media questions about whether she was using members of Three Percenter as part of her security team during her career as governor.

He has also previously pledged his support for anti-mask and anti-lockdown protesters throughout Idaho.

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