BLACKFOOT — Cindy Reese, wife of county Republican chairman Scott Reese, pinch-hit for him at the central committee's Lincoln Day dinner on Saturday.
"It's an honor to be in a room with so many great people, patriots," Reese said as she began her remarks to the Bingham County Republicans.
Using President Abraham Lincoln's "House Divided" speech as her theme, she noted that he and the nation faced many of the same type of challenges our leaders now face.
"As Republicans we must find leaders who are today like Lincoln," she said.
She noted that the nation's Democrats are continuing to do things which have proven ineffective in trying to dig the nation out of a recession.
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result," she said of that plan.
State Sen. Steve Bair and State Rep. Dennis Lake, both of whom represent the county in the Idaho Legislature, and county commissioners Whitney Manwaring, Ladd Carter and Cleone Jolley were in attendance. State Rep. Jim Marriott had a prior commitment. So, too, did Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and the state's congressional delegation.
Bair read a two-page letter from the governor. Two key thoughts in that letter included "the private sector will ultimately create the jobs that Idaho needs" and "it is more important than ever that we protect our Idaho rights."
Doug Sayer, CEO of Premier Technology and host of the event, said similar things.
"The country is looking for our rural counties and communities to lead the way," Sayer said. "We can't rely on government to solve our problems. It will take each of us (business leaders)."
Bair and Lake gave reports on what is happening as the legislature begins wrapping up its work this session.
Bair, who is a member of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee, noted that body will set the state budget today. He said that general appropriation dollars will increase by one percent.
Lake talked about the governor's jobs credit bill, which calls for an incentive to employers who add new employees now. He also talked about the wind energy rebate controversy which featured eight hours of testimony.
The dinner was originally scheduled on March 5, but was postponed so members of the legislature and other politicians could attend the funeral of a former legislator.