Press: North Idaho Legislators Get an Earful

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Coeur d'Alene Republican Rep. Luke Malek faced a room packed with his constituents on Saturday who, according to this morning's Coeur d'Alene Press, came "to listen to, question, praise and scold north Idaho legislators."

The main topic of the town hall—attended by approximately 200 people at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library—was Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's proposal to craft a state-run health insurance exchange, which passed through the Idaho Senate Feb. 21 after more than five hours of debate.

"It will be a part of our insurance landscape. Period," said Malek, according to the Press. "If we do it now, the feds have to pay."

The Press reports that when constituent John Cross challenged Malek, saying he could no longer support Malek's political career as a result of the freshman's state exchange stance, the legislator responded: "I'm honored, honored to have this seat, but I'm not going to sacrifice my principles."

In this Wednesday's Boise Weekly, we sit down to talk with Malek about his support of the exchange—with specific caveats—plus we'll ask the freshman legislator about his political influences, protections of personal freedoms and how he almost became "the next Garth Brooks."