The long-running feud between Idaho Gov. Brad Little and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin has sunk to absurd new depths, with questions about what it means to be absent from the state, who should step in, and how much they should be paid.
McGeachin, who is running for Little’s job, repeatedly used Little’s out-of-town trips—when she served as acting governor—to issue executive orders undermining Little’s COVID restrictions.
Little then had to reverse her actions upon his return to Idaho, and he got so fed up that he informed her that substitute services would no longer be needed.
In an Oct. 29 letter bolstered by a legal analysis from the state attorney general’s office, Little said McGeachin would no longer be asked to step in when he was merely out of state.
His argument was that he could still carry out his duties remotely and that being away did not constitute an “absence” under the state constitution. If he were incapacitated, he wrote, his people would call McGeachin’s people.
Then, this week, Little left town and headed to Mar-a-Lago for an America First Policy Institute dinner—proudly tweeting out that he was “recognized” by Donald Trump.
McGeachin, who made her own trip to Florida, was annoyed enough to break away from her usual work of trying to find examples of critical race theory being taught in schools and fired off a press release blasting Little.
“Leaving the state without providing proper notice to the Lt. Governor’s office was a lawless act,” it said.
“Did the governor fail to notify my office because he didn’t want me to use my position as acting governor to once again give the power and decision making back to the people of Idaho?” she continued. “Regardless of his reasons, he left the state of Idaho without a Governor for multiple days in direct violation of the law.”
McGeachin did not stop there. According to the Idaho Statesman, she also sent a letter to the state Division of Financial Management asking them to explain how they calculate how much the acting governor gets paid.
Little’s salary is $138,302 a year, while McGeachin gets $48,406. But she gets extra pay when she serves as acting governor, collecting almost $10,000 since 2019, the newspaper reported.
It was not clear from her letter if she thinks she deserved more for filling in.
Meanwhile, far-right activist Ammon Bundy—who was banned from the statehouse for a year for trespassing—sought to capitalize on the feud to promote his own campaign for Idaho governor by mocking both of their pilgrimages to Trumpland.
“If I were Trump, I wouldn’t give Janice or Brad 2 seconds of my time. I’d tell them to get back to Idaho, start fighting for the people there, and earn their support yourselves!” he tweeted. “A Trump endorsement carries a lot of weight, perhaps they should act like they’re worthy of it.”