(Idaho Freedom Caucus Press Release, November 13, 2023)
In an alarming act of authoritarianism, Pro Tempore Senator Chuck Winder unilaterally stripped Senator Glenneda Zuiderveld from her position as Vice Chair of the Senate’s Health and Welfare Committee. In addition, he issued condescending letters threatening Senators Scott Herndon and Glenneda Zuiderveld with ethics complaints if they continue to speak and write about the out-of-control state spending policies and special interest lobby group influences.
Winder’s letters came in response to recent newsletters from Senators Herndon and Zuiderveld, both members of the Idaho Freedom Caucus. The two critically examined Idaho’s significant spending increases and reliance on out-of-control federal debt spending. They also shed light on voting patterns within the Senate. The Idaho Freedom Caucus views Senator Winder’s retaliatory measures as a top-down, coercive effort to impose conformity and groupthink in the Idaho Senate. Our republic was designed as a bottom-up, representative system of governing. (You can view their newsletters here: Senator Herndon’s newsletter and Senator Zuiderveld’s Substack.)
In response, Senator Herndon asserts, “This is a direct attack by one senator to erode our ability to serve the people of Idaho who elected us. Our duty is to inform and give voice to the people of our districts, not to amplify the views of Senator Winder. His hostile comments, which are factually inaccurate, are degrading and disparaging.”
Senator Zuiderveld reinforced this, stating, “Regardless of what actions the leadership takes, I do not work for them; I work for the people. I will not allow intimidation to silence me.”
The Idaho Freedom Caucus strongly opposes any attempt to centralize power and silence debate. We contend that Senator Winder’s actions point to a broader issue: the weaponization of government authority against those who dare to disagree. We will not be bullied or intimidated into silence. We remain unwavering in our dedication to Idaho’s people and transparency in government. We work for the people of Idaho, not the special interest lobby groups.
The Idaho Freedom Caucus will continue to lead the charge to reduce federal dependency, streamline government, and lower taxes for hardworking families and businesses. We urgently need to control Idaho’s increasing spending and reliance on federal debt, which is bankrupting us, our children, and our grandchildren.