LICKLEY: Unraveling the Idaho GOP: Dorothy Moon’s Troubling Legacy

As a devout Republican, it pains me to reflect on the divisive legacy Dorothy Moon and her leadership team has etched in our Grand Ole Party. Once a party known for its unity and commitment to once conservative values — freedoms and liberties for all, fiscal accountability, support of science and data — we find ourselves marred by internal conflicts, alienated members, and a distressing departure from our core principles. What does that potential legacy look like?

Alienation of respected conservatives: Moon’s insistence on giving a small group of Precinct Committeemen the authority to bring elected officials to tribunals, censure them, and strip them of party resources, with no appeal process, is nothing short of an unchecked power grab. Her zeal for condemning fellow Republicans for not meeting her personal definition of conservatism is alarming. This behavior has driven away respected traditional conservatives and silenced voices that have long been the backbone of our conservative movement. This does nothing but breed an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, stifling the diversity of thought that should be the hallmark of a vibrant party.

Rules and regulations undermining principles: Imposing rules like the “purity waiting period,” where voters must wait a year before affiliating with the Republican Party, is an affront. Such rules only serve to alienate potential supporters, pushing them away rather than welcoming them into the conservative fold.

Support of extremists and convicted criminals: Moon has lent her voice of support for people like convicted rapist Aaron von Ehlinger, while shaming and even doxing the young woman who bravely spoke out against him. She also shared support for extremist Ammon Bundy. Both — among others — are troubling and undermine the values we should be upholding for our voters. We must hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Transition to a caucus causing voting chaos: Moon’s decision to transition Idaho from a GOP primary to a caucus will drastically limit the number of people who can vote. What caregiver, blue-collar employee, deployed military personnel or stay-at-home mom will be able to dedicate hours of their day to a caucus? This move, made unilaterally, goes against the principles of inclusivity and broad participation that our party should stand for. And now the media cannot participate? Transparency and election integrity seem to be questionable.

Claiming power to appoint electors: In addition to stripping power away from voters and shifting to a firehouse caucus, Moon has given herself the power to unilaterally appoint 32 GOP delegates to the RNC Convention to determine the Republican nominee for November’s election. With no formal primary, your vote doesn’t matter.

Growth of political extremism, elitism and pandering to special interests: The rise of political extremism in Idaho is a direct consequence of Moon’s leadership. The concentration of power in the hands of party elites fosters an environment of elitism, alienating everyday Republicans who may feel their voices are drowned out by a select few. Moon’s leadership seems to compromise our values in pursuit of financial support, jeopardizing the very principles we claim to uphold.

Infighting and loss of party unity: A party plagued by infighting is a weakened party. Moon’s tenure has witnessed internal strife, pitting Republicans against each other instead of focusing on the true opposition. Unity, once our strength, is now a distant memory.

This additional attempt to bully her way to power and refusing to welcome viewpoints from her peers could leave Idaho–and the nation–with drastic, long-term leadership consequences.

Dorothy Moon’s leadership has left an indelible mark on the Idaho GOP, and it’s not one we should celebrate. As Republicans, we must question whether we want a party that compromises its values, alienates its members, and allows power to be concentrated in the hands of a few.

It’s time to reflect on the direction in which Moon is taking us and consider if this is the party we want to be a part of—a party that risks losing touch with its roots and families but more importantly, with the conservative voters it claims to represent.

  • Laurie Lickley is the District 26 Republican chair and is running for the Idaho Senate. She was an Idaho state representative from 2018-2022.
  1. Chris Cannon says:

    Completely on point! Thank you for identifying these specific areas. Under each one of your points, if you look deeper, are a hundred other subtle actions being taken to keep her power and remove the ability for the people to choose. “We the People” is morphing into Dorothy the supreme leader. The reality is she is a pawn to the problem of outside influence and extreme right-wing viewpoints. Thank you for being courageous enough to stand up and say that there needs to be a change.

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