October 25, 2022

While working with Julianne Young on public policy issues for many years, I have witnessed firsthand, time and time again, her impeccable character and genuine love for our country and our state. Imagine, then, my shock and disgust to read an opinion piece by her opponent which accuses Julianne of voting to protect pedophiles and child abusers. Mr. Oler has every right to disagree with Julianne’s vote on the bill in question. But a review of the 24 other legislators that voted the same as she is hardly a “Who’s Who” of the Idaho Freedom Foundation elite. With a healthy mix of Republicans voting the same as Julianne, there must have been legitimate reasons for doing so.

Can we not debate issues without resorting to vile accusations such as protecting pedophiles? Is this how Mr. Oler treats everyone with whom he disagrees? Being a state legislator requires a level of class and professionalism that allows one to persuade others without alienating them. Julianne has displayed these qualities for years. Mr. Oler has yet to display them even once. Alleging that Julianne is in favor of protecting pedophiles is so far beyond the scope of believable reality that it must be written off as nothing more than a slanderous charge by a desperate opponent. We see this political negativity day after day on the national stage. I, for one, am exhausted by it. I far prefer Julianne’s positive outlook on our future, her respectful treatment of others, and her continuous desire to solve difficult problems in a calm and reasoned manner. She possesses both the principles and the temperament to be the best representative for District 30.

Idaho Representative Julianne Young and her family (Photo Credit: Julianne Young)

Mr. Oler uses terms like “shameful,” “embarrassing,” and “vicious liar” to describe Julianne. When a candidate for political office spends every moment trashing their opponent and almost no time discussing their own take on vital issues, I find that to be a glaring red flag. Julianne Young has spent her time in the legislature fighting for fundamental issues. She was one of the first in the nation to sponsor a bill prohibiting a person from changing the sex on their birth certificate to match their perceived gender identity. Now that movement has spread throughout the country as more and more states realize how radical gender ideology is changing the face of our society.

Julianne has consistently fought against the sexualization of children. I helped her on a bill in 2020 to prohibit school library databases from containing obscene and pornographic material. That bill sailed through the legislature with bipartisan, unanimous committee support. She has also fought against Comprehensive Sexuality Education in schools and sexually explicit books being available to children in libraries.

I know where Julianne stands on the issues that matter to Idahoans: life, transgender ideology, CSE and CRT in schools, taxes, agriculture, religious liberty, and personal medical autonomy, to name a few. After reading through his website and Facebook profile, I find no statements from Mr. Oler on most of these critical matters. How is it possible that he wants to be a state legislator but will not be forthright and detailed on his beliefs and principles? I submit that his time would be better spent explaining his stance on critically important matters rather than finding recycled ways to insult such a fine legislator, mother, woman, and friend as Julianne Young.

Stephanie Gifford
Idaho Falls, ID

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