Rep. Nate Speaks Out on Heather Scott Punishment

EASTERN IDAHO – Three area lawmakers are asking House Speaker Scott Bedke to remove them from their committees in support of a fellow lawmaker. Rep. Ron Nate, of Rexburg, Rep. Karey Hanks, of St. Anthony, and Rep. Dorothy Moon, of Stanley, joined fellow Republicans Priscilla Giddings and Christy Zito in the request.

They are supporting Rep. Heather Scott, of Blanchard, who came under fire after saying women only get ahead in the Idaho Legislature by trading sexual favors. Bedke removed Scott from the three committees she had been assigned to.

Nate spoke to KID Newsradio this morning. He said, “I don’t believe that is true. I think it was a private conversation taken out of context. It is unfortunate it has spun to where it is because we have important work to do…the distraction is unfortunate, unnecessary, and it feels like we have already wasted one week of the legislative session…My work has suffered because I have had to divert attention to these sorts of things.”

Nate and four other lawmakers have asked to be removed from their committees in support of Scott. Nate said the request by the lawmakers was necessary.

“My actions and some of my colleagues’ actions are absolutely necessary because no citizen’s voice should be silenced here in the Capitol. I will stand up for people in every situation when I see the voice of the people attempting to be silenced.” Nate continues, “The people of Idaho deserve full representation. We should be very concerned when the voice of 55,000 people is being diminished or threatened based on simple allegations without a full investigation.”

When asked what will happen if House Speaker Scott Bedke takes Nate up on his offer in regards to removing him from his committee Nate said, “That is a stand I am willing to take to cast light on the fact that if it can happen to one legislator it can happen to any of us.” He continues, “My request was genuine that until the representation of north Idaho is fully represented on committees I am asking to be taken off mine so the citizens are becoming more aware of the process here.”

Nate goes on to explain that if the Speaker thinks somebody has done something wrong, there is a process to resolve this type of situation rather than jumping to conclusions.

Rep. Ron Nate plans on continuing to attend his committees until his request to be removed is complete. He said he hopes for a better end result because he believes there is a more productive solution to the situation.

Listen to the interview here.