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KIFI/KIDK Voter Guide: Travis Oler

2020 Voter Guide Travis Oler
MGN/Travis Oler Facebook
Travis Oler
  • Party:
    • Democratic Party
  • Website:
  • FacebookTravis Oler
  • Twitter@realTravisOler
  • Background:
    • Oler is a US Army veteran who grew up in Bingham County. He currently manages the family farm in Shelley, Idaho and runs a small Internet marketing business, First Page Platinum. His resume includes working as a freight train conductor for Union Pacific and a 12-year career in franchising and Internet marketing.

Why are you running for Idaho House of Representatives District 31B?

Yes. I'm very interested in running for the state legislature in order to represent farmers, as well as the tax payers of Bingham a County. These are two areas where we're being under representative. I'm a big supporter of the farmers, right to repair. Farmers, right to repair came up in the legislature and it was almost killed in committee.

In fact, my opponent, Julianne young, she voted to kill the farmers right to repair. Now there was another motion at Committee at that same time. It was too send the bill to get fixed and then passed. Hopefully because there were problems with the bill as it was written, certainly, problems that I agree needed to be fixed.

But when I saw that Juliane young was intent on just killing the bill instead of fixing it and passing it, then I knew this was a good race for me too. To run in, and with right to repair. Many people, take it for granted that they can take their car, their truck to any place they want to get it fixed. They aren't limited to going just to the dealer. That's a right that they have under current law, but farm equipment falls outside of that. And so there's a bit of a loophole where sometimes when we get these high tech tractors, grain combines the farmers, aren't able to take them to get repaired at the place of their choice. They have to wait for the dealer and sometimes they have to wait a day or two for the dealer to some, send somebody out, to even read the codes, to find out what's wrong with the equipment. And of course, as you can imagine, during Spring planting during harvest season, those days are critical. We can't have this equipment just sitting there.

Many of you might remember the big freeze, the early freeze that happened last year, that cost Idaho farmers, millions and millions of dollars. And they can't have their equipment sitting idle if a freeze is going to come. And so that's something that I definitely want to get fixed and passed. And then as far as the tax payers go, Here in Bingham County, I am supporting an increase to the homestead exemption for all of all of the taxpayers.

It used to be that the homestead exemption would increase every year, five or $6,000, according to a formula. And in 2016, the legislature stopped that and kept it at a hundred thousand dollars. I think that's unfair to the homeowners of Bingham in County. And so I want to get that implemented. There was a bill Senate, bill 1416 that was, uh, passed out of committee this year. But then it got, got blocked. And so I would like to see that get, get passed. Another issue that came up at the farm Bureau meeting. This was last month at the Bingham County farm Bureau, I was there Julianne Young, my opponent, she was so there and we talked to the Idaho farm Bureau, the Bingham County board members. And one of those was. County commissioner, Mark bear. And he was really going after Julianne young, trying to hold her account for some of her votes. He had gone to Boise to testify against house bill four, zero nine, that would have frozen the budgets of local governments. Sometimes it was referred to as a property tax freeze. That's not correct. That's that's a complete lie. It would only have a very indirect effect on taxes. What it was is local governments, except for school districts would not be allowed to increase their budgets and Marc Baer, he explained that Bingham County has only increased its budget 1% per year for several years, instead of increasing it 3% per year, which is the maximum. And he testified at committee. He said, "if this bill is past, we might have bridges that we cannot repair. Our budget is so tight and we've kept it tight all these years that this bill would punish us." And the problem was. A lot of the legislators and also the Idaho freedom foundation and they were fixated on ADA County.

They believed that the ADA County budget was going out of control. They wanted to try and control that budget better, but they were ignoring all of the negative effects that would have on many of our rural counties. Many of our counties have Republican County commissioners. They've been doing their best to get by on as little tax payer money as they can. And that is the bill that would hurt them. In fact, Mark Baer said, he said "Our budget in Bingham County has only gone up 1% per year for the past seven years. And I'm pretty proud of that." And. Julianne young, she replied back. She said, "I have to look at the big picture. When you pass a state law, it applies to everybody. You can't make a special law just for Bingham County because they were responsible and did a good job because the same law that applies to our County is going to apply to all the other counties too." And so I certainly take objection to Julianne Young's approach. I think the representative from Bingham County should represent Bingham County. That means if a bill is bad for Bingham County vote. No, if it's good for being a vote County vote. Yes. But she has a completely different take on what it means to be a representative of this County. And Mark Baer. He did say, he said, "Julienne, you have to remember when you do a blanket thing like that. The people that are being responsible and are trying to do the right thing. You're hurting that and hurting it badly. I wasn't exaggerating when I gave that testimony in Boise before house bill four Oh nine. That really is true. If we had got stuck like that, there's a bridge project we need to do right now that the state says is unsafe and it would have had to be put off."
And so I would ask the citizens of being in County to think about these things. Think about if they want a representative who will vote in their best interests or one who's more concerned about what's happening in ADA County.

What issues specifically do you hope to address if you’re elected?

Very good. Second question. If you could expand on why you are running, what, what, what prompted you to run?

Well, what prompted me to run is that, uh, Idaho farmers seem to be underrepresented in the legislature. They can't get some of the important legislation passed like the farmers right to repair. Uh, I'm also very interested in protecting our constitution and protecting the police. We've had a lot of unrest, violence in the country and there are members here in Idaho who don't care about the police who have said that it's morally justifiable to kill the Police If they're trying to arrest you. And I am completely opposed to that kind of nonsense. It was one of the Idaho Freedom Foundation insiders and Bill Scores because they try and tell the legislators.

To do a, they give the Bill's a score. And he said, yeah, you know, "One day their mail may well be a good reason to celebrate an independence day, but it won't be July 4th. It will be whatever day mankind is finally freed from the curse of the U S government. I eagerly await the news of its eradication."

That's what he posted on his website. This is a person who's a main player with the Idaho Freedom Foundation. And he's calling for the eradication of the U S government. Now, after I called him out for these words, he took down that post, but you can still find it on my website. I took a screenshot of that.

Instead, he put some words saying, well, I'm just opposing our government, but I love our country. He's not merely opposing our government. He's calling for its eradication. And so the problem is when we stand in front of the flag, And we pledge allegiance to the flag. The next line is, "and to the Republic for which it stands." So you cannot say that you love our country, but want to eradicate its government and that you were a paitriotic person here in Idaho. That that can't happen. That's an insidious lie. And so I am a person who wants to support legislation. If our police get harassed or intimidated by Ammon Bundy or any other of those Idaho Freedom Foundation supporters, then I want to make that a crime just like Georgia did.

I think our police need our support and they need our protection.

Do you have any specifics on how you would manage community growth in the long term?

Well, as far as growth goes, I think a main overarching goal needs to be that the growth needs to pay for itself. And so there needs to be policies in place. Currently, there are many. Many of our counties are doing a good job. If there's a new development that gets built, then of course the developer has to pay for new roads, pay for new instruction. And that's something that we have to look at and doing as well. So certainly support those efforts and want to look at anything else that we can do because the existing payers here of Eastern Idaho, you know, if they get a lot of people moving in, that's fine. We want growth. We want a new business. We want higher paying jobs. We want places for our children that they can find jobs. They don't have to move out of state for jobs. So I'm definitely pro growth, but we just have to make sure that as more people move in that the costs of that growth are not offloaded onto the existing tax payers of Idaho who've been here for years.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho State Legislative Candidates

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