In Idaho, a power play while the governor’s away

The order issued by McGeachin on Tuesday afternoon is intended, among other things, to prevent employers from having their employees vaccinated against Covid-19.

“I am in Texas performing my duties as the duly elected governor of Idaho, and I have not authorized the lieutenant governor to act on my behalf,” Little said shortly after arriving in Texas on Tuesday. “I will undo all the Lieutenant Governor’s actions and undo them when I return.”

Little is expected to be back in the state on Wednesday evening.

McGeachin wrote a letter to Garshak Tuesday morning asking for information on how to activate troops.

“As of Wednesday, my constitutional authority as governor has given me the power to activate the Idaho National Guard,” wrote McGeachin in the letter to Garshak received from The Associated Press. “As Adjutant General, I would like to ask you for information about the steps the governor needs to take to activate the National Guard.”

Garshak responded with a paragraph on Tuesday afternoon.

“I am not aware of any application for assistance from the Idaho National Guard under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) from Texas or Arizona,” Garshak wrote in part to McGeachin. “As you know, the Idaho National Guard is not a law enforcement agency.”

Little sent a team of Idaho State Police officers to the border in June to help with intelligence gathering and investigative work to prevent drugs from crossing the border. Idaho shares an international border with Canada but not with Mexico.

Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas and Republican Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona had requested assistance under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which enables states to provide assistance to other states in times of disaster or emergency.

“On September 24th, I spoke to my counterpart in Texas, Lt Gov’s office. Dan Patrick and they acknowledged the need for additional resources to support the situation on our southern border, ”McGeachin told Garshak.

McGeachin’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

“Trying to use our National Guard to make political appearances is an affront to the Idaho Constitution and insults the men and women who have devoted their lives to serving our state and country,” Little said in a statement.

In May, while Little was out of state, she issued an executive order banning mask mandates, which Little eliminated upon his return, saying that mask mandate decisions are best left to local officials. Little has never given a mask mandate.

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