While the governor’s away, the lieutenant governor will play. At least in Idaho.
Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin issued an executive order that expands a ban on COVID-19 vaccine mandates while Gov. Brad Little was on a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Ms. McGeachin also tried to send the National Guard troops to the very same border, prompting Mr. Little to say he‘ll erase it all when he returns Wednesday.
“I will be rescinding and reversing any actions taken by the Lt. Governor when I return,” Mr. Little tweeted.
Ms. McGeachin, who is eyeing the top job in Idaho, used her order to build on Mr. Little’s prior ban on vaccine mandates at state facilities, extending the measure to schools and forbidding facilities from demanding a negative virus test, either.
“Today, as Acting Governor, I fixed Gov. Little’s Executive Order on ‘vaccine passports’ to make sure that K-12 schools and universities cannot require vaccinations OR require mandatory testing. I will continue to fight for your individual Liberty!” she tweeted.
Mr. Little accused her of “political grandstanding” by attempting to dispatch the National Guard even as he was at the border to assess the situation and the needs of the border states.
Rep. Mike Simpson, Idaho Republican, agreed with the governor.
“It is unfortunate that while our Governor is working to find real solutions to the crisis at our border, he must also deal with these distractions from his Lt. Governor,” the congressman tweeted.
This isn’t the first time Ms. McGeachin flexed her muscle while Mr. Little was away.
In May, she banned governments from issuing mask mandates while the governor was at a conference in Nashville, even though Mr. Little said those decisions are best left up to local officials. He rescinded the order.
Both officials are Republicans, but they ran on separate tickets and the lieutenant governor is eyeing the governor’s post in 2022. Mr. Little hasn’t confirmed whether he will seek a second term.
For now, Democrats are rubbing it in, dubbing the Idaho situation a “clown show.”
“While the Republican governor traveled nearly 2,000 miles away for his own political stunt at the border, the Republican lieutenant governor tried to upstage him by issuing an anti-vaccine executive order in his absence,” the Democratic National Committee’s “War Room” said in an email blast. “Republicans continue to prove they have no idea how to govern without catering to the most extreme, fringe elements of their party.”