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Punished After Claiming Female House Members Trade Sex for Power, Rep. Heather Scott Issues Statement: 'I Call It Like I See It'

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Rep. Healther Scott (R-Blanchard) - IDAHO LEGISLATURE
  • Idaho Legislature
  • Rep. Healther Scott (R-Blanchard)
Rep. Heather Scott (R-Blanchard) is no stranger to controversy. In the past 18 months alone, the hard-right conservative lawmaker from northern Idaho made headlines when she:
  • spurred outrage by flying a Confederate battle flag at a local parade;
  • rallied a protest over the seizure of weapons from a Priest River veteran;
  • helped trigger a special session of the 2015 Idaho Legislature after blocking a child support bill on concerns it opened the door to Sharia law in the Gem State;
  • called for another special session to address a so-called "refugee crisis" in Idaho;
  • raised eyebrows when she and two other lawmakers left Boise during the 2016 Legislature on the invitation of militia occupiers at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon;
  • and, during her 2016 re-election campaign, was accused of asking supporters to compile an "enemies list" of Republicans-in-name-only. (Her campaign supporters were also accused of intimidating voters and an Idaho Democratic Party worker in Bonner County.)  
GOP big-wigs may have finally had enough of her antics, however, stripping Scott of all her committee assignments following comments she made in December that female House members gain leadership positions if they "spread their legs."

House Speaker Scott Bedke (R-Oakley) removed Scott Jan. 12 from the Commerce and Human Resources; State Affairs; and Environment, Energy and Technology committees after Nampa Republican Rep. Christy Perry fired off a letter Jan. 11 complaining of Scott's "paranoid and aggressive behavior."

"[T]here have been serious, if not, grave concerns regarding the behavior patterns of Representative Heather Scott [sic]," Perry wrote, going on to recount an instance when Scott damaged the ceiling in the Idaho Capitol digging for surveillance devices she believed Republican leadership had installed to spy on her.

Perry also criticized Scott for speaking ill of other lawmakers during visits to other legislative districts and referenced the allegations she made that female legislators have to sleep their way into positions of authority.

"The escalating pattern of behavior exhibited by Representative Scott has had a negative effect on many members of the caucus, particularly female members," wrote Perry. "They do not feel safe working in her presence."

SCREENSHOT OF FACEBOOK POST
  • Screenshot of Facebook Post
Scott released a statement on her Facebook page the afternoon of Jan. 12 in which she attacked the media and "establishment" Republicans.

"Inaccurate and false accusations by some in the House establishment are being hyped to the members and the media in an attempt to split conservative and liberty minded legislators," she wrote. "It is probably no coincidence that the latest 'stir' from within the catacombs of 'leadership' comes on the heels of the recently published freedom website helping citizens to keep better tabs on legislation and legislators called www.growingfreedomforidaho.com."

Growing Freedom for Idaho is the brainchild of Scott and Rexburg Republican Rep. Ron Nate (R-Rexburg), with whom she shared the distinction of sharing the top spot on the Idaho Freedom Foundation's 2016 "Freedom Index," which ranks Idaho lawmakers on their relative conservatism. The Growing Freedom for Idaho website aims to serve as a clearinghouse for legislative information with an eye toward "empowering citizens ... to pursue freedom and liberty objectives."

In her statement, Scott wrote, "The people of my district sent me to Boise to shake up the good old boy system. And I call it like I see it." While she went on to apologize for her "harsh" words, Scott referred to her statements about House members trading sexual favors for power as the expression of "a legitimate concern."

According to reports, Scott first made the insinuation in an angry outburst upon hearing Midvale Republican Rep. Judy Boyle would chair the House Agriculture Committee. She later repeated it on the House floor. Spokesman-Review reporter Betsy Z. Russell also noted Scott's comments came around the time House Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R-Star) was married to Idaho Falls Republican Rep. Janet Trujillo, who has served as vice-chair of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee since 2015.

Not only did Scott double down on her earlier claim, but in her Jan. 12 statement, she denounced "completely false and slanderous" statements made in a letter by "a legislator who is already struggling with an emotional and infidelity issue of her own." Perry's husband filed for divorce in late 2016 after revelations she and McCammon Republican Sen. Jim Guthrie had years earlier been engaged in an affair.

Following her removal from committee posts, Scott will still be able to vote on floor matters.

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