Idaho senator shouts at students lobbying for birth control
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Republican state senator who shouted at University of Idaho students in the Capitol to lobby for a birth control bill on Monday now faces an ethics complaint after a tweet from an account presenting as the lawmaker’s directed students to discuss “killing babies” with a Democratic colleague.
State Sen. Maryanne Jordan filed the complaint against Republican state Sen. Dan Foreman.
“It’s one thing to disagree with policy, it’s another thing to position something like that against another lawmaker,” Jordan said in response to the tweet Monday. “This type of behavior is beneath the Idaho Senate.”
Ethics complaints against lawmakers are typically anonymous, so while Jordan confirmed she is filing a complaint, she did not disclose many details what would be included in the complaint.
After the complaint was filed, the roughly year-old unverified Twitter account was temporarily deleted. It was reactivated briefly to state it was not affiliated with Foreman. A message seeking comment with the account manager was not immediately returned.
As of Monday night, the account remained deleted.
Foreman did not immediately return requests for comment.
A dozen students, who had traveled nearly 300 miles (483 kilometers) from the Moscow campus, were in Boise for a scheduled meeting with Foreman to lobby for a bill that would allow women to receive up to a 12-month supply of prescribed birth control and promote better sex education on college campuses.
Foreman abruptly canceled the meeting Monday morning.
The group left a note and condoms in his office before moving onto other scheduled meetings with lawmakers from northern Idaho regions.
Later that day, the Republican from Moscow passed the students in a hallway and several people recorded him shouting, “Abortion is murder.”
“I’m a Roman Catholic and a conservative Republican. I think what you guys are doing stinks,” Foreman says on the video.
The students were not at the Capitol to talk about abortion, said Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho public affairs director Paul Dillon. They were present to encourage lawmakers to vote in favor of the birth control and sex education bill.
Other meetings with state lawmakers were peaceful, Dillon said, even if the lawmakers disagreed with the students’ talking points.
Sen. Bob Nonini, a Republican from Coeur d’Alene, waved a rosary while talking to students about abstinence but did not shout or demean them, Dillon said.
Dillon described Foreman as “completely unhinged.”
“Even if you disagree with what we have to say, there’s no excuse for that kind behavior,” Dillon said in a phone interview. “He was being a bully.”
The unverified Twitter account sent several tweets concerning Planned Parenthood and abortion in the hours that followed.
This isn’t the first time Foreman has been recorded having an outburst. Last year, bodycam video from the Latah County Sheriff’s Department showed Foreman swearing and shouting insults with an unseen and unidentified male on Sept. 14 — the first day of the county fair in Moscow.
“Go straight to hell, you son of a bitch,” Foreman can be heard saying in the footage.
The deputy then asked Foreman to move along.
Foreman has also faced scrutiny over an email response to a constituent’s concerns over climate change. Foreman called global warming “nonsense” and said it was a scam used by left-wing fanatics to raise taxes.
This story has been updated to reflect that the tweet that sparked the ethics complaint came from an unverified account.