IDAHO FALLS — If you do an internet search for the name “Ammon Bundy,” you’ll find a lot of controversial coverage.
Articles come up showing armed standoffs with authorities in Oregon and Nevada. Multiple arrests and his subsequent banning from the Idaho Statehouse were widely covered. There are also incidents of confrontations at anIdaho health district meeting and even a high school football game.
Words like “far-right,” “militant” and “anti-government” are mainstays in coverage of Bundy.
But what isn’t widely covered is his political platform. Bundy hopes to become Idaho’s next governor and has a detailed plan for the direction he’d take Idaho if elected to the state’s top post.
The candidate, who lives in Emmett, tells EastIdahoNews.com he jumped into the gubernatorial race out of need after realizing Gov. Brad Little would likely run again for another four-year term. He also says he is concerned another eight years could be followed by Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke, who is believed to be in a position to take the governor’s seat after Little.
“I saw many things happen in 2020 that I didn’t think would happen in Idaho or across the country, to be honest with you, and that was concerning to me,” Bundy says. “Much of it was Gov. Little here in Idaho.”
Bundy is talking about Little’s and other officials’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, which he says infringed upon the rights of Idahoans.
“For what we are facing now, I am a good candidate because of what my family has gone through, what I’ve gone through and what I’ve been doing for the almost last decade is exactly what needs to be done inside the Idaho government,” Bundy says. “There needs to be someone who is willing to not compromise, someone who understands principles and willing to stand for those even at their own risk.”
Part of Bundy’s platform includes stripping down the power of the executive branch and restoring it back to the Legislature and people.
“If I’m elected … there will be the elimination of abortion, that will be a battle I will fight right off the bat,” Bundy says. “We will minimize and eliminate government welfare as much as we possibly can. … What that will do is bring the right people to Idaho and the wrong people, and I have no problem saying that … those people will leave the state.”
Short-term charity needs would be done through churches and families. Bundy says the tackling of welfare alone will set Idaho up for success and away from the paths of Oregon and other states. Bundy also said he will implement a restitution-based and not incarceration-based criminal justice system.
Bundy plans to continue to champion states’ rights — particularly where public land is concerned.
“I will also fight the battle of taking back Idaho’s land and natural resources,” Bundy says. “Sixty-three percent of the land and resources in Idaho are controlled by the federal government. It’s made it so we’ve had a hard time paying our own bills.”
When Bundy announced his intention to run for governor on the Republican ticket, Idaho Republican Party Chairman Tom Luna issued a statement, saying the future candidate is trying to divide the party. Luna said the Idaho GOP does not support his “chaotic political theater” and will not turn a blind eye to his actions.
“Republicans are the party of law and order, and Ammon Bundy is not suited to call himself an Idaho Republican, let alone run for governor of our great state,” Luna penned in his statement.
But Bundy still defends his actions at the Idaho Statehouse in 2020 that led to him being convicted for misdemeanor trespassing and resisting or obstructing arrest.
“When people like me and others that stand up for that and say this is not acceptable, does that mean we are the lawless ones?” Bundy says. “No, we’re actually the ones making an issue out of the laws that are being broken.”
“I am one who is a strict constitutionalist.”
Bundy calls himself more a Republican than others in the party now because they have not abolished abortion, haven’t lowered taxes, or reduced the size and power of government.
“The political dynamic in Idaho is completely different than it’s ever been before, which makes it where I have a huge opportunity here and a chance of actually obtaining the Republican nomination and going on to be the governor of Idaho,” Bundy says.
When it comes to terms like “far-right,” “anti-government” and “militant,” Bundy attributes it to “socialist” mainstream media trying to frame him as someone he doesn’t recognize.
“So who am I?” Bundy says. “I am one who is a strict constitutionalist who believes in limited government, who believes that government has a purpose, that it is legitimate for government to be acting, but within the bounds, the people have given it.”
You can watch the entire interview with Bundy in the player above.