"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson (appears in the Jefferson Memorial)

Trail to the right

Trail
Tom Trail

An indicator that the Idaho House Republican caucus next term may lean, astounding though it may seem, yet a little further to the right.

That is because of an email sent today by Representative Tom Trail, R-Moscow, announcing that he would not run for re-election to the House this year, but instead for the Latah County Commission. The realities of redistricting, which made his path to re-election a lot more difficult, may have played a part in that.

But there’s more to the story. Trail has been for some years the most moderate Republican in the Idaho House, by a fairly long shot. He noted in his e-mail that in 2011 he “broke party lines on several votes, including education reform, closing the Republican primaries, and the tobacco tax. At the end of the 2011 session, House Speaker, Lawerence Denney stripped Trail of his agricultural committee chairmanship, though Trail indicated that move didn’t factor into his decision to seek re-election to the house.”

Trail may wind up replaced by a Democrat. But the Idaho House Republican caucus will now lose the closest thing to an alternative point of view in its midst.

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