Takasugi: lawmakers shouldn’t just throw labels around

CALDWELL – Curtis Bowers, the District 10 state representative that claimed in an Idaho Press Tribune column earlier this year to have infiltrated a 1992 Communist Party meeting in Berkley, recently told a small Canyon County crowd that he is against three things: liberalism, statism and post-modernism.

Curtis Bowers, R-10

Caldwell Rep. Curtis
Bowers, District 10

At the same forum Bowers’ opponent Pat Takasugi, accused the incumbent, in a video message, of being bogged down in philosophical issues.

Bowers took part in a candidate forum last week for contested primary races in districts 10, 11, 12 and 13 comprising Canyon County and some of Gem County. All of the contested races in this SE corner of Idaho are Republican races, though several erstwhile Democratic challengers sat in the audience, including one who kept time.

Pat Takasugi

Former Ag director
Pat Takasugi

Former Idaho State Department of Agriculture director Pat Takasugi was not present as he is recovering from a rare form of cancer and was at a Baltimore Hospital handing out potato pins to every doctor and nurse he saw. (Takasugi returned to Wilder late Wednesday night, but his campaign staff is taking all his calls.)

Takasugi sent a video opening statement to the Press Tribune forum.

In his statement, Takasugi said that you can’t solve problems when you throw labels around. While he didn’t name Bowers, he criticized those who are “engrained in philosophical issues and can’t move off center.” Takasugi said he was more of a “common-sense conservative – not one of those other strange labels our there.”

Takasugi campaign manager, Gayle Batt, former Gov. Phil Batt’s daughter-in-law, said that Bowers and Takasugi have similar platforms: they are pro-life, pro-educational choice and for lower taxes and gun rights. But while Bowers is well-read and well-spoken, Batt said, he is still learning the ropes and admitted as much at the forum.

“He has had the opportunity to know the legislative process and he’s not going to have to have a year to learn the ropes,” Batt said of her candidate.

Bowers did not respond to repeated phone calls to his home seeking a response.

During the question and answer period Bowers, one of four legislators appointed last term by Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter, said he would support lower taxes, a staggered work day for state employees to help clear rush hour traffic, and more character education in schools to reduce incarceration rates.

Bowers said, in response to a question about saving the planet, that he lets his car idle a little extra in the mornings in order to give the trees a little extra CO2. The comment garnered some laughs until it became obvious that most of the other candidates agreed with him.

Bowers also said he is supporting Ron Paul in the presidential race, as did District 11 Rep. Steven Thayn.

Batt said that Takasugi will soon be announcing the support of all of the mayors in the district.

The Republican nominee will face Caldwell Democrat, former Marine and Middleton middle school teacher Mike Warwick in November.

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