The name Janice McGeachin isn't exactly a household name in the state, but the Lt. Governor's cheap stunt this week showed that she is desperate to raise her name recognition as an announced candidate for governor in 2022.
While Idaho's real governor was on a trip outside the state, McGeachin exploited her position as acting governor to issue an executive order that banned state officials, public schools and universities from requiring proof of vaccination from employees. The order also banned mandatory testing for COVID-19.
The Associated Press reported that she also asked for information from the National Guard about steps needed to send troops to the U.S.-Mexico border and was told that she couldn’t do that without an official request from other states.
Gov. Brad Little reportedly said on Facebook and Twitter that she had attempted to activate the troops while he was at the border meeting with other governors in Texas.
Little reversed McGeachin's executive order with another executive order in which he condemned her action in no uncertain terms as illegal, unconstitutional and irresponsible.
He should have used the word “reprehensible.”
In his order, Little wrote that he had told McGeachin before he left that no official business would require her services while he was traveling and able to fulfill his duties. He also noted that he had previously issued an executive order in the spring that banned state entities from requiring vaccine passports.
McGeachin ignored any counsel that she may have received. Had it stood, her order would have been like suddenly snatching away the weapons of fighters in a pitched battle for their lives and the lives of others.
Apparently, McGeachin cared not a whit about what her order banning masks and testing for COVID-19 would have done to the lives of unvaccinated children and vulnerable adults.
She seems intent on layering one outrageous attention-getting act upon another to get the kind of ink and air time that don’t accrue to leaders who just put their heads down and do their jobs.
Last spring, also as acting governor, she is-sued an order banning all mask mandates, which was also overturned. Gov. Little had left such mandates to local governments and never issued one statewide.
McGeachin also started her own witch hunt by forming and heading a task force with the stated mission to “Examine Indoctrination in Idaho Education” With handpicked fellow conspiracy theorists, she set out on a quest to stamp out any suspect programs in universities and public schools.
An Idaho court finally forced her to cough up task-force records that she illegally had withheld. Now she wants taxpayers to foot the bill for the legal fees she incurred.
Idahoans shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill for any of McGeachin’s stunts, which are brazen stand-ins for campaign events.
Idahoans can be grateful that McGeachin’s weapons to date include only executive orders that can be overturned quickly before they harm people.
Even so, Gov. Little might want to reconsider any future travel plans outside the state.
“Our View” represents the opinion of the newspaper editorial board, which is made up of members of its board of directors. Remarks may be directed to email@example.com.