Leader of Greater Idaho Movement Explains Oregon’s Bid to Join Idaho

by | May 28, 2024 | Adventures

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The leader of a group of Oregonians determined to leave the state has revealed their reasons for wanting to escape its liberal policies by joining Idaho.

Matt McCaw is the executive director of the movement aiming to shift Oregon's border 200 miles east. This effort, known as The Greater Idaho Movement, seeks to realign 14 counties and several partial counties under Idaho's jurisdiction. McCaw explained that the movement emerged to address the growing 'tug of war' within the Pacific Northwestern state.

“Oregon is geographically divided by the Cascade Mountain Range, creating a significant cultural divide,” McCaw told Fox News. “The west side of Oregon is more urban, with a different climate, economy, and culture compared to the conservative and agricultural east side.”

McCaw continued, “You have these two very different groups of people in Oregon trying to play tug of war over state government.” He emphasized that the movement's goal is to prevent the conflict stemming from these fundamentally different groups.

McCaw suggests that whichever party is in power, currently the Democrats, imposes its values and policies on people living hundreds of miles away. Organizers of the Greater Idaho Movement argue that eastern Oregonians feel alienated by the state's progressive policies, which they blame for high crime rates.

They claim that joining Idaho would offer lower taxes and better representation. McCaw cited the COVID-19 pandemic as an example, during which he said Oregon's extreme policies were forced on unwilling residents. “The state imposed mask mandates, closed businesses, churches, and schools, and later introduced vaccine mandates,” he said.

Crook County recently became the latest to approve the 'Greater Idaho Measure' with Measure 7-86 passing by 53 percent. This vote, although not legally binding, shows support for informing state and federal representatives about the desire to negotiate the annexation of part of Oregon.

McCaw noted, “The voters of eastern Oregon have spoken loudly and clearly about their desire for border talks.” He urged the Governor, Speaker of the House, and Senate President to discuss the next steps towards changing governance for eastern Oregonians.

President Mike McCarter added, “For the last three years, we've been asking voters what they want for their state government. They're telling us through these votes that they want their leaders to move the border. In our system, the people are in charge, and it's time for their representatives to follow through.”

Oregon faced turmoil after the controversial Measure 110 was introduced in 2021, eliminating criminal penalties for drug possession. The measure, which imposed a $100 fine that could be waived by calling a treatment hotline, proved ineffective. Over 95 percent of the tickets went ignored, and of 4,000 citations issued, only 40 people called the hotline.

Governor Tina Kotek reversed Measure 110 last month in an embarrassing U-turn, acknowledging its failure.


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Written By Tyler James

Tyler James, founder of That Oregon Life, is a true Oregon native whose love for his state runs deep. Since the inception of the blog in 2013, his unbridled passion for outdoor adventures and the natural beauty of Oregon has been the cornerstone of his work. As a father to two beautiful children, Tyler is always in pursuit of new experiences to enrich his family’s life. He curates content that not only reflects his adventures but also encourages others to set out and create precious memories in the majestic landscapes of Oregon. Tyler's vision and guidance are integral to his role as publisher and editor, shaping the blog into a source of inspiration for exploring the wonders of Oregon.

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