Steven Kauer is running for Bingham County Commission Zone 3, as a Republican. His opponents are incumbent A. Ladd Carter and Kirk Ogden. They will battle in the primary May 15. With no Democratic opponent, the winner will assume his seat on the commission in January, 2013.
"We need a big change in the direction of county government," said Kauer.
He said he opposes the county's intrusion into property rights through its newly rewritten zoning ordinance.
"In the beginning of this nation, our Creator blessed us with certain unalienable rights, among which are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness," he said. "An unalienable right cannot be taken away from us by force by anyone or by any government nor can it be given away by us.
"Our county has taken away this intrinsic right in its overzealous zoning," he continued. "I believe we should have a county government which restores, maintains and respects this intrinsic right."
Kauer continued, "our zoning ordinance is based on the false and arbitrary assumption that the county has the right to control all use of private property, except for agricultural purposes, and that no one has a personal right to use their own property unless and until the county issues them a permit for a specific limited purpose under threat of fine and imprisonment."
Kauer said that belief runs counter to the American spirit of freedom.
"As a county commissioner I would seek to restore our rights to use our personal property," he said. "I would seek to eliminate county zoning laws that do not allow for the free use of our land and buildings to provide for our families."
Kauer said that, as county commissioner, he would help citizens become productive and successful by keeping government out of their way. He said he would assure that heavy industries, large windmills and concentrated animal facilities didn't negatively impact their neighbors or public safety.
And, he added, he would work to reduce taxes and assessments.
Kauer was raised on a ranch where he learned the importance of being a good neighbor.
He earned a law degree and has worked as a deputy county prosecutor, public defender and in private practice. He has also worked in the construction industry and done some land development.
He and his wife Pat are parents of six children and have 16 grandchildren.
They chose Blackfoot as their home and have lived here 41 years.
"County government should represent the people and not tie them down with needless government controls," Kauer said. "I would seek for less government and less taxes."