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Rep. Mendive's comment: Open mouth, insert foot

Statesman Editorial board
January 18, 2013
Idaho Statesman

Idaho legislative sessions typically produce a long list of things that never should have been said. Rep. Ron Mendive, a freshman Republican from Coeur d'Alene, has set the bar high for foolish comments in the early going of this session.

Meeting with representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union-Idaho on Wednesday, Mendive asked if the ACLU's support of abortion rights means it supports prostitution.

Huh? That's like asking those who support gun rights if they also support murder, or those who support states rights if they also favor secession.

Rep. John Vander Woude of Meridian, the majority caucus chairman, backed away from Mendive's comments, saying "the example, in my opinion, was a poor choice." Mendive acknowledged later that "maybe it was a poor illustration."

He should strike the word "maybe." Strange comments will pass, but there's a lesson to be learned for this House rookie. He should think before he speaks. Unfortunately, some veteran legislators never learn that lesson.

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