Listen to KID Newsradio’s full interview with Tommy Ahlquist
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Tommy Ahlquist, candidate for Idaho governor, gave an update on his campaign on Tuesday, May 1, as he embarks on an 11-day tour across the state of Idaho.
His tour, called the One Idaho tour, will put Ahlquist in 44 counties and 133 towns and cities in less than two weeks. But, Ahlquist said the tour represents his vision for reconnecting Idaho.
“The interesting thing to me is it’s the same problems and potential solutions in every part of the state,” Ahlquist told KID Newsradio. “If everyone felt like they were part of one Idaho solution, boy, we can make this happen where people understand.”
Bucking the status quo, he said, is what Idaho needs to move forward.
“I’ve always said this the problem in Idaho is we’ve got an executive branch of government that should be should be representing the people, the small businesses and we got to legislative branch of government that then you work with,” Ahlquist said. “The problem in Idaho is for too long, you’ve had the same status quo. You’ve had the exact same thing going on and on and on, over and over again, where you’ve had the same lobbyists and special interest groups running the state of Idaho and we need to get in there and come together as one Idaho, where we come together, we have solutions that everyone can agree on.”
Unity on the campaign trail has been a different matter though. As the primaries inch closer, campaigns and various political action committees have ramped up their attack ads. In recent weeks, Ahlquist has faced criticism from fellow candidate, Congressman Raul Labrador for ads from a pro-Ahlquist PAC. But, Ahlquist said it’s important to remember candidates cannot collaborate with PACs, especially on ads.
“The way these PACs work is we have absolutely no connection to them at all and believe me, I mean, turn on your TV and you can see all the this…back and forth and it’s interesting to me that the guy that’s saying this has had the campaign that has attacked us for fourteen months, very personally,” Ahlquist said. “I think that the voters are sick of this. I think that people are tired of of the hypocrisy, the whining and let’s talk about the future because in two weeks the voters of Idaho are going to decide who is going to lead, who is going to be the CEO of the state of Idaho, who’s going to run these 68 agencies, who’s going to provide for them.”
Ahlquist hasn’t been spared from the attack ads either. Recent claims in pro-Brad Little ads assert Ahlquist wants to raise taxes on “everything from farm equipment to haircuts.”
“This is this is probably one of the most disappointing things,” Ahlquist said. “Those ads that are running against me have been verified over and over again by multiple people and they’re just completely false. They go back to the radio interview from where, where Brad little pulled this stuff and I said exactly that opposite.”
Far from raising taxes, Ahlquist said, he wants to examine the state’s sales tax, property tax and income tax and ensure it’s “fair and flat,” for Idaho’s families and residents.
“When we get elected, we are going to look at everything and make sure that we’re investing every tax dollar,” Ahlquist said. “That should not offend anyone because I come from the real world where we just paid taxes last week. You probably did too and you want to be assured that, that tax money’s is being invested into the right things. That is not offensive, that is that is what we do in our lives, it’s what we do our private lives, it’s what we do in our businesses and having those dollars put to the right uses is just prudent, it’s what we should do and it’s what we will do.”
Aside from combating claims and accusations from opposing campaigns and PACs, Ahlquist said he’s trying to send a positive message to voters and help them know where he stands on the issues like CBD oil in Idaho.
“I’ll tell you CBD oil is a hot topic every everywhere around Idaho and here’s why, this is a prime example of politics and politicians blocking what is best for the people of Idaho,” Ahlquist said. “I am a 100 percent against legalization of marijuana. But, CBD oil, you can remove the THC from the marijuana and leave CBD oil which has been shown to be effective. It’s been shown to be effective for lots of different things and there’s no reason why we can’t get this legal in Idaho where you can use it”
In the weeks ahead, Ahlquist said he hopes to talk with voters and secure their support on May 15th.