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1904276_1447122618858054_2060700050_nFriday, April 11th Chris Troupis, candidate for Idaho Attorney General, spoke to a group of political activists at the Mad Bomber Brewing facility in Hayden Idaho. Troupis was stumping through North Idaho in his bid to win the election scheduled for May 20th. Troupis is no stranger to the Idaho legal scene or the Attorney General’s office. “I have sued the Attorney General’s office three times on constitutional issues in federal court and once in state court. And each time I won.” Troupis said.

Troupis talked mostly about how the people of Idaho were not being represented by the current incumbent. Troupis explained how all the attorneys working in state government actually work for the Attorney General’s office even though they might have been assigned to a particular government agency for over a decade. “The Attorney General should also represent the People of Idaho, not only its governmental bureaucracies. Too often the mentality to win at all costs means Idaho citizens get beat up, even when those citizens are defending their rights.” Troupis elaborated as to how the Attorney General should have a mindset to defend the rights Idaho citizens.

In the celebrated North Idaho Sackett property rights case that went to the United States Supreme Court in 2011, Idaho’s Attorney General was nowhere to be found. The EPA had threatened the Sacketts with huge daily fines if they continued to build a home in a subdivision that was zoned residential and had plenty of existing homes all around them. The Sacketts bought the lot for $23,000, yet the EPA threatened daily fines of $32,500. The case, Sackett v. EPA, was about due process and property rights. Fourteen states, through their Attorney General’s offices, joined in the case to support the Sacketts. Troupis pointed out that, “The Sacketts won that case, and the Idaho Attorney General was nowhere to be found. He doesn’t want to stand up to the federal government, because he sees his political future being in Washington D.C.”

Troupis also talked at length about land ownership within the state of Idaho. Currently the federal government claims ownership of 61 percent of Idaho land. Numerous state organizations have called for the state of Idaho to take back these federal lands including the Idaho Republican Party, the Idaho Republican Liberty Caucus and the Idaho Farm Bureau. Torupis pointed out that 1.5 billion board feet of timber grows each year in Idaho, yet Idaho only harvests about 200 million board feet of that each year. “The remainder of this timber will ultimately be burned up in forest fires.” Troupis said. Troupis pointed out that the incumbent Attorney General thinks only fringe groups believe Idaho should go after the federal government’s claim to ownership of Idaho lands. Troupis said, “If you don’t make a claim for this land, you will lose for sure.”

The Attorney General sits on the five member Land Board, whose function it is to set policy for the management of Idaho lands. Any revenues from these lands are to be used to support the public school system, which consumes two thirds of the Idaho state budget. Troupis said if Idaho lands were managed differently, there would be more revenues coming into the state treasury and Idaho could eliminate the tax on food and even the state income tax on individuals.

Recently the Idaho Land Board has also become commercial real estate owners and commercial real estate managers, where they compete with other commercial real estate developments in the private sector. Troupis said, “Only socialist governments own businesses that compete with the private sector.”

Troupis said he would work with the Attorney General offices’ in other western states and develop a strategy to defend Idaho citizens and Idaho lands from the over-reach of the federal government.

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