"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

A step to the right …

The new leader of the Idaho Senate, Republican Brent Hill of Rexburg, has developed a generally broad respect among Idaho legislature-watchers. He seems, based on his statements and initiatives, to be relatively non-ideological and willing to work with unexpected allies. That’s a broader picture than you might have expected from this year’s round of leadership races, with the Senate top job open for choice.

The speculation here is that Hill’s win, over Meridian Senator Russ Fulcher, has a lot to do with the internal personal dynamics of the Senate. Leadership races typically do; those factors play in more than rigidly-defined philosophical stances generally do.

Before leaving that latter motivation behind, though, do bear in mind the assistant majority leader contest, in which long-time incumbent Joe Stegner of Lewiston was ousted in what was framed as a clear challenge from the right, from Senator Chuck Winder of Eagle. Dig under the surface of that one, and you’d probably find matters of ideology playing a notably large role.

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