You’ve heard of Tornado Alley. It’s a swath of the Midwest and South where perfect meteorological conditions routinely form violent tornadoes. It’s also where you find a lot of of strip clubs, churches and Cracker Barrels, but that’s beside the point.

Idaho isn’t part of tornado alley. Maybe it’s because God listens to our prayers. Or maybe it’s because the atmosphere isn’t as unstable. We’ll never know. Yet the Gem State does have it’s own natural phenomena.

Our weather may not be volatile, but our politics sure are.

Amidst the swirling, right-spinning turbulence of Idaho’s political storms, it’s not uncommon to find an out-of-state grifter stirring up trouble, rabble rousing and costing the taxpayers of this state tens of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.

That’s why Idaho is Grifter Alley.

Back in 2013, a Utah state representative named Ken Ivory came to Boise and spoke to a joint resource committee at the Capitol. He peddled a defunct idea that the state should seize control of public lands, thereby transforming Idaho’s natural heritage into slag pits and slash piles. Ivory was known as a radical hard-liner who argued for “land disposal” and rubbed shoulders with secessionists. In fact, Ivory was a outspoken supporter of secessionist Cliven Bundy even after Bundy also revealed himself to be a racist.

So how is a grifter from Utah received at the Capitol? With doubt?  With suspicion? Oh heck no! With open arms. In fact, thanks to his talk, the taxpayers of Idaho forked out more than $100,000 for an interim committee to study the seizure of public lands.

But that’s nothing. The latest grifter could cost the state a quarter of a billion dollars.

Back in March, Shahram Hadian from Washington was invited to speak at the Capitol by Rep. Vito Barbieri (R-Dalton Gardens) — You know, the guy who learned a lesson about female anatomy on national television a while back. Hadian gave a presentation to a select group of GOP lawmakers titled, “I’m Bat-Crap Crazy and So are You.” Just kidding. It was called, “The True Face of Islam.”

During his presentation, he also warned lawmakers about a bill that provided funding for Idaho’s child-support enforcement. He said it would allow sharia law to destroy our nation.

That’s funny because years earlier he advocated for an armed insurrection to overthrow our government.

“Tyranny is now at our doorsteps,” Hadian said at a gun rally in Olympia, “it is now in our path it is now in our faces…We are on the verge of a dictatorship. And we must rise up to the challenges ahead of us.”

Just to make sure we’re clear, according to Hadian, a bill to fund child-support enforcement is bad; however, an armed insurrection against Americans is good.

If you believe that, I bet you own truck nuts.

So how is a grifter from Washington received at the Capitol? With doubt? With suspicion? Oh heck no! With open arms. In fact, the bill he warned against failed in committee, potentially costing Idaho’s children $250 million.

That’s okay. We’re tough. We’ll pick up the pieces of our ruined state, dust ourselves off and rebuild.

It’s just a part of living in Grifter Alley.

Levity

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