The 27 lawmakers who supported an investigation into Planned Parenthood didn’t actually sign the letter sent to Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, but that doesn’t mean their support is fake.
The letter, written by Idaho Chooses Life director David Ripley, asks Otter to investigate whether Planned Parenthood is engaging in illegal activities. According to Kimberlee Kruesi of the Associated Press, Otter declined to investigate, saying there is no evidence anything illegal is going on at Idaho’s Planned Parenthood facilities. Read the letters at Eye on Boise.
Each of the lawmakers’ signatures is initialed “DR,” and the handwriting on each signature is the same. Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Idaho Falls and one of the names listed on the letter, told Idaho Reports Ripley had asked if he’d be interested in supporting the letter, but no discussion of signatures came up.
“But everybody’s name that was on that letter that went to the governor, David had their permission to put their name on the letter,” Thompson said.
(Before you ask why this is a story, in the past, lawmakers’ names have been added to documents supporting issues the individuals didn’t actually favor. An example: During the 2012 session, House Bill 563, which reduced Idaho’s income tax rates for corporations and individuals at the top level, had a lengthy list of legislative co-sponsors. A few of those lawmakers, like Rep. Tom Trail, R-Moscow, didn’t support the bill, didn’t know they’d been added as co-sponsors, and ultimately voted against it on the floor. And if I noticed the signatures weren’t actually those of the lawmakers, I figured I wasn’t the only one, and someone else might have a question about it.)
Ripley couldn’t be reached for comment.
Thompson said he isn’t sure if the lawmakers or Idaho Chooses Life will pursue further action against Planned Parenthood.
“I received the governor’s response and I have not heard anything about moving forward at this time,” Thompson said.