Representative Kelley Packer complained that her due process rights were violated because she was not in attendance where Reps. Scott and Nate talked about being an engaged citizen. I think she needs to bone up on due process. She was not charged with a crime. She has no due process rights simply because we held a meeting, especially when the meeting was not about her.
I feel that I must respond to an article in the Idaho State Journal this past Sunday, January 8, 2017 entitled “Local law makers prepare for 2017 legislative session”. Actually, I am responding to an email exchange about the article. A district 28 resident who’s name shall be Confidential, responded to the article in an email to Packer. I wish to respond to some of the comments made by Representative Kelley Packer in her reply. I have received permission from Confidential to republish portions of the email.
First, I would like to lay something to rest. With no provocation, Packer offered the following,
There is no way that any elected official can be all things to all people. We have to be true to those values that we represented when we ran. I work hard to do just that, knowing that there will always be those who disagree with me and even hate me (Lance Earl as a prime example). — Kelley Packer
I find this to be combative and divisive. I do not hate Representative Packer. I do not have time or energy enough to hate her. I have never said that I hate her and have only heard it suggested from her lips. I hate corruption, lawlessness, and the abuse of natural rights. I don’t want to be known for the things I hate. Instead, I prefer to be known for the things I love. I love Jesus with all my heart. I love my neighbors. I love the Constitution and the men who, with the help of God, created it. I love the Declaration of Independence which is the foundation of the Constitution. I love the natural rights of man which is the bedrock foundation of the Declaration. And this brings me back to God who created the people and endowed them with these unalienable natural rights.
I must also take exception to a second unprovoked statement in the email.
I’ve also caught the “Freedom” Foundation misrepresenting me and my votes, on many occasions. (And, they’ve been very derogatory and inflammatory in their comments…) — Kelley Packer
I happen to know better than that. I happen to know that Wayne Hoffman and the Freedom Foundation hate big government, over regulation, and high taxes. They love freedom, prosperity and a life that is free of government intrusion. They likewise defend the things they love and resist the things they oppose. They have no time or interest in personal attacks against Packer.
I can hear it now, Lance and Wayne are two peas in a pod… of course they agree. Whoa, not so fast! A few weeks ago, I got a call from Wayne. He was so angry at me for something I had written that he was spitting nails. It took some time but we talked it out. We never did come to an agreement but we came to understand each other. This willingness to talk and to listen is a quality that has been missing in district 28 for many years.
Over the years, I have documented, in my columns, many incidences of Representative Packer and other local representatives refusing to respond to the people’s appeals for information. Confidential expressed his frustration regarding the same.
Nate and Scott gave us their cell numbers and welcomed us to communicate and ask any questions, even though they are not from our district. That means they are more accessible than those that represent us. We do talk to Scott and Nate, and Wayne Hoffman. We think that possibly, if you would be more accessible to people in your district, and listen to their concerns, pro and con, it would be beneficial. We look up to Scott and Nate as they are accessible and listen to people. We truly hope that SE Idaho will receive better grades from the Idaho Freedom Index this year. — Confidential
Packer asked questions in the article and the email that are virtually identical. From the email we read,
I have a question for you, though, as well…why should any one, or two, legislators feel that they have the right to decide for the rest of the body what is right or wrong on every single issue? There is a reason we have a citizen’s legislature and why it consists of more than just a few people. It’s to protect all of us from a dictatorship or from personal agendas. That’s the exception I take to Representatives Nate and Scott trying to “educate” my district on me and my votes, especially without any representation from me. What happened to due process and giving people the right to represent their side of things? I can guarantee they did not accurately represent any of my votes or who I am as an individual. That’s why I take exception to their meetings. It’s their opinion, plain and simple. —Kelley Packer
I will attempt to answer these questions.
First, there is the right to travel. The Supreme Court said,
The right of a citizen to travel… is not a mere privilege which may be permitted or prohibited at will, but a common right which he has under his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. — U.S. Supreme Court.
I guess my question might be, what right does Representative Packer have to challenge this God-given unalienable right and raise issue with Nate and Scott for coming to her district?
Second, there is the right to freedom of speech. We call this the first amendment. Coupled with the right to travel, Representatives Scott and Nate have a right to travel anywhere and say whatever they like.
Representative Kelley Packer complained that her due process rights were violated because she was not in attendance. I think she needs to bone up on due process. She was not charged with a crime. She has no due process rights simply because we held a meeting, especially when the meeting was not about her.
Packer insinuated that she had not been allowed represent her side of things. Poppycock. It was a public meeting. We issued press releases, we published Facebook events, we shared it all over social media, I covered it in my webcasts. I am certain that Packer knew about the meeting but it would have been easier to guarantee if she had not blocked me on social media.
Finally, I am a resident of District 28. I can hold any meeting I choose and invite who I will. I invited Scott and Nate; they did not initiate the meetings. They came on my invitation and had every right to do so. At the time of those meetings, in Idaho Falls, Pocatello and Twin Falls, district 28 was under-represented by Representative Ken Andrus, Representative Kelley Packer and Senator Jim Guthrie. Ken was in attendance. Jim didn’t make it; he may have been in conference with Representative Christy Perry. Representative Packer was not in attendance. I cannot imagine that she did not know of these meetings. I believe that she could have attended and chose not to, for obvious reasons.
In the absence of responsive, educated and moral representation, I turned to the best resources I could find. It is a tragedy that none could be found in Representative Packer’s district.