The Kootenai County Republican Womens Federation visits with Idaho Speaks


Carla Matter was recently elected President of the KCRWF and joins me in studio today to discuss issues that are important to her organization, how they plan on making a big different in North Idaho, and how more women get get involved to help.  We also discuss the School Levies and how the KCRWF stands on the issue.

This episode was supported in part by Zenith Exhibits Studios.  Visit to learn more about how Zenith Exhibits Studios is helping Kootenai County and Conservative Issues.

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Show Transcript

Ed Bejarana 0:04
Welcome to Idaho speaks a censor free zone for conservative ideas. With big tech and mainstream media fighting to silence conservatives. I decided to create a communication channel devoted to issues important to Idahoans conservative Idahoans. I’m not ashamed of my conservative beliefs. And I know you are not either tune in each week to hear local and state issues, and hear candidates firsthand speak about how they will represent you, the Idaho voter. Idaho speaks where issues take shape. So welcome to Idaho speaks. Today, I have a very special guest in studio with me to talk about how women are really taking the charge to the community, the republican women that is, and I know this firsthand, because my wife, one day, she was just sitting around the house and she was saying, you know, I’m getting kind of bored. You’re just not doing enough around the house for me, I’m gonna get out and do something. I said, Okay, what? Go for it. What would you like to do? I asked her, she said, I’m not liking where my community is going. I want to get involved. What? What do you think I should do? I said, Well, you know, right here in our town, there’s the kootenay County, Republican women’s Federation. They meet once a month, let me connect you with some people and see if that’s maybe something for you. So she said sure. And it took a couple of months to get her there. She started going late last summer. And she really liked it. She, she she came home from that first meeting. And she was kind of giddy as a schoolgirl is, there’s so much energy and they had so many ideas and their sounds like they’re really doing good. I want to join the organization. I said, Okay, first off, you can’t be president right off the bat, okay. You can’t go in and just, you know, be become the leader, get in and get, you know, get your feet wet, get to get to know the challenges that are facing our new community, get to know some people, and then go ahead and you know, become the treasurer, whatever you want to do. But the things that I’ve been hearing about from this organization are just first rate top notch stuff, and it pleases me greatly to be able to introduce that brand new newly elected President of the kootenay. County Republican women’s Federation. Karla matauri. Carla, thank you for coming in studio today.

Carla Matter 2:29
Thank you for having me hearing your program today.

Ed Bejarana 2:31
So I read a little bit about you on the website. There’s there’s a nice write up for you and, and the other new officers of the organization. Tell the listeners just a little bit about you how you got involved. And you know, what, what drove you to do to do this?

Carla Matter 2:48
Well, my husband and I moved to Coleen, Idaho in 2013. So when I did same as your wife, I wanted to be part of the community. And that one of my neighbors, she was kind enough to invite me to the meeting. And when I went, I saw the Vive and I felt it and I really, I really wanted to be a part of it. I like the education aspect of the of the club and being able to ask questions to people that are really involved, elected officials, and people that really shape our community. So I have been in having a member of republican women since 2013. And that since I met great people, was I was able to make make friends with a lot of them. And more than anything, I learned a lot. I learned about the political process. And I learned how much we really need to work on our community. I learned that if we want to have an impact in our country, it has to start from our county, we as Idaho, in especially with Idaho being mostly Republican, we can make very little impact when it comes to the national Arena in a political area. But we can really affect our community, our county, and we can actually send good representatives to Boise. We can send good representatives to Washington, DC, but it all starts at the local level.

Ed Bejarana 4:28
You know, and I’ve said this before on the program, you’ve heard me say it, it’s the one and only democrat that I I frequently quote, Tip O’Neill, Speaker of the House, when ran out when ronald reagan the greatest president up to Donald Trump was in office. Tip O’Neill used to say all politics are local. And that’s exactly what you’re saying. The politicians that one day might be running the country. They’re gonna be the dog catcher, the county clerk the the school board, Counselor. They’re gonna start right here in the local community. And if we don’t develop that farm Lee, I think is the way Steve, on Tuesday put it if we don’t develop that farm League of new leaders with good conservative ideals, our nation is doomed.

Carla Matter 5:15
Yes. And you are totally right about that. And even when it comes to electing the right Republicans, because I have seen many candidates, that because they’re in Idaho, all of the sudden the Republicans, but they’re only Republicans, because they know that if they had a D in front of their name, they’re not gonna win.

Ed Bejarana 5:35
Right? republicans in name only Yes. Or republicans light. So. Okay, so how big is the organization? How many members do you currently have?

Carla Matter 5:44
We have close to 100? I think we are it this is like really nice. But just in the, in the in our last meeting 10. People just want to sign up right there. And then, and then like a few others followed up saying like, I want to be involved? Where do I sign up, sign up. And that was amazing. That was really amazing to see all the energy, especially our last meeting, there was so much energy in the room. And I think it is because we are touching on subjects that are up to date, subjects that are affecting our community right now. And that is normally not the case, actually, like Historically, the year after a presidential election, especially when we lose, you see half of like, like 50% participation. In this case, we are actually growing, which is it’s really great. And I think the greatest part is that people are awakening, people are realizing that they need to be involved, that there are all these issues that are affecting us right now. And especially this year, even though we don’t have a presidential election. We are not electing the Senate or Congress. But there are all these other elections that are gonna shape and affect our community directly.

Ed Bejarana 7:08
Well, let’s let’s dive in. Let’s get into some of the meat of the topic here. Topic du jour. We’ve got an election coming up in just about two and a half weeks. Yes, first Tuesday in March, we’re going to be voting on a $40 million levy for supporting the school. That’s just one school district. That’s right, that’s just a kootenay. County School $40 million over over a two year period of time. I hate to say that I’m just a naysayer when it comes to money because honestly, I think America, having grown up in America, having been educated in public schools, I just view it as the greatest nation on the face of the earth. I have friends who immigrated to this country. Heck, I have family who immigrated to this country from Mexico. And all they wanted to do was become an American, they wanted to partake in the freedoms and the liberties that are stowed to the people here. And they wanted so badly to get that American dream. And it seems like right now our education system doesn’t really like America, it seems like they spend more time talking down the nation. And therefore I I get in my head, okay, you’re gonna come and ask me for $40 million. And they always do it like it’s like three pennies on a on 1000. They they use such ridiculous numbers. The fact is, they’re asking for $40 million. To do what? Tell me a little bit about your organization’s position on the school levies that are being considered right now.

Carla Matter 8:49
Okay, well, this is something that we are going to be touching on in definitely on the next meeting in we’re gonna and we are working on a committee that is going to help bring education again, Republican woman is all about education because we don’t want to say no, just because because we don’t want you to because at the end of the day, we have to appeal to the voters. And the people that are going to be voting on the levy are going to be mostly parents, teachers, and the way they sell it to us is like Why not? Right? What why wouldn’t you just want to spend $1.79 $1.79 per $100 You know, I’m sorry, per $1,000 That’s nothing. And yes, I agree that is not that much. If there were actually delivering to their promise, that the truth and because in that is where I have in there that is where I personally have a problem because they are telling us in I am quoting from their website. They are saying the The levy dollars allow us to bridge the gap between funding provided by the state and the cost of meeting the educational expectations of our community. But they’re not. I don’t think in in I think very few people can actually argue that they are meeting the expectations of our community. The readings in the expectations, I think there are a lot higher. I mean, I see these right now. We are just to Idaho itself is I think the 44th. Isn’t the 44th ranked

Ed Bejarana 10:36

  1. Best? Sorry, 50. Yeah. Yeah. Really knocking this one out?

Carla Matter 10:41
Yeah. And then it’s still in I just like us in a game coralayne. You know, like, when you look at the, when you look at the ratings of the schools, they’re not the greatest, they’re not the greatest. And I don’t believe they are delivering on their promise. They also say that the, again, I’m quoting from from from their website, that our local levy ensures our students continue to receive quality education in a safe and supportive environment. I have to disagree, I have to disagree. Because we hear we have in, you know, like, I believe you have had this discussion in your program, as a student and 11 year old girl that is being counseled into becoming a boy. And how is that keeping our kids safe,

Ed Bejarana 11:34
not just being counseled to change her gender, but doing so against the wishes of her parents. And without parental input, they made a treatment decision. This would be like your doctor deciding, I’m going to treat your child for cancer, and you have no idea that your child even has cancer.

Carla Matter 11:56
Yes. And that will be my argument for why we should vote no, until they can actually meet the expectations of the parents. Because the reality is that if you are if you have your kids that are school age, and they’re being raised in the community, it’s not your first option to send them to a public school. Normally, you’re gonna if you have the means you’re going to go to they’re going to go to a private school. Or if you can afford to have one pet one parent at home, you’re gonna homeschool. But it’s not the first not normally the first choice to say, Okay, well, I’m going to send my kids to the public school. And until that is addressed in, they can actually leave to their promise. And again, I was quoting from their website, and those were the words until they’re leaving to their promise, then, you know, at that point, we can say, Okay, here’s the money because it’s going to good use. When when you again, when you look at what they’re asking for a date in the city, the lab is going to support all these other programs. I would like to know what those programs are. But the education is not readily available as to like what these additional programs are,

Ed Bejarana 13:10
you know, and that’s I told this story on a previous episode, I’ll tell an abbreviated version here, when I was a kid, just go back a long time ago, I’m twice your age. But when I was a kid, my, my dad would go to the school twice a year, and read through all of the course material that I was going to be taught for that next semester. So at the beginning of each semester, my dad had input along with a bunch of other parents, they all sat in the classroom, they, they flipped through the books, and they scratched out stuff. They they changed books, because they didn’t want their kids learning. And then and another one that I pointed out was in the, in the older, older school, the older kids, when they get into sex ed, I had a permission slip. And there was all of the topics that were going to be covered, and had to take that home and my parents had to say, Eddie Paul has my permission to learn this, this, but not this, or this. And the school had to adhere to my parents demands that you’ve got children in private school, right? Yes. Do you have that opportunity, even at the school that you’re at, to go review? their course material? Yes. Yeah. But they don’t have that in public school. Exactly. So you get a you get a say in your child’s education. But the parents who are got their kids in public education, they don’t get that same say, I agree with you. I think I think the education system is in shambles.

Carla Matter 14:44
Yes. And it is a shame and I understand, you know, like they need money. And I, I will be the first one to say yes, you know, take the money if you’re actually doing what you’re supposed to be doing. And you are if they were actually Meeting to their promise. But they’re not. Right. They’re telling us that they’re meeting the expectations of the community, but they’re not. And they’re telling us that they’re providing safe and supporting and supportive environment, but they’re not. Yeah,

Ed Bejarana 15:13
I’m gonna, I’m gonna catch a lot of flack for this one. But I’m going to give an analogy here. This is kind of like when you’re driving down the street. And we don’t see a lot of this in North Idaho. But when in Oregon and California, where I came from, you see this all over the place, you got people that are standing on the side of the roads with a little cardboard sign. And on that sign, they, they they write things like will work for food or need gas money, and I can’t help but think that’s not why you want the money, you’re not going to go buy food, you’re not going to pay for gas, you’re going to go buy drugs or, or support a bad habit. And I kind of feel the same way with the education system here. They’re like the, they’re like the person standing on the side of the road with a sign, you know, will educate for for money.

Carla Matter 16:01
Yes. And now, you know, and this is mostly about quinoline. Because quarterly nice asking three times more than was false, was false is asking for a little less than 5 million in a year. And but here, you know, like, we have coralayne, who seems to have most of the problems, most of the issues, and they’re asking three times more. So I think we have to when we when we talk about the levy two, we do have to talk about them individually, for our district and not as a whole. Yeah, because when we go to the polls, and we see the ballot, they are going to be it’s not?

Ed Bejarana 16:42
Well, and that’s a smart point. Yes, this this isn’t. No, we don’t want to fund education. This is no, we don’t want to fund bad education. Yes, we want to have a say, in the education that you’re giving to our students. We want to have a say, in the definition of a safe environment. Yes, no, that’s very, very smart. So in addition to the levies nowadays, here in Idaho, we’ve got elections in March, and I think in May in August, and then get in November, and it just kind of like never ending elections.

Carla Matter 17:18
It’s May 18. And then August 31, and then November 2. Now, here’s one thing that a lot, a lot of people don’t know, if the if the march 9 leg, the levy doesn’t pass, then that doesn’t that they can still there, they’re going to go for a vote in August. So saying no, Now, that doesn’t mean that the kids are not gonna have teachers next year. That just means that we’re going to have, you know, like we can, we can have some room for negotiation with the game, I’m talking about quarterly meal equaling a school district, as to Okay, have the conversation with them as to what are they gonna do as far as meeting the expectations of the community? And then they can ask for their money again in August?

Ed Bejarana 18:07
Well, yeah, and let me let me give you an A comparison here. Now I’m an engineer, I used to build things I worked in a semiconductor plant was a life safety engineer, and my particular building involved fire sprinklers, and fire alarms and leak detection systems. So when I was working on the design of we were expanding the fab, and I’m working on the design, I’m designing to Taj Mahal, I’m designing to the creme de la creme, the greatest fire suppression system mankind has ever seen. I’m designing the most expensive, most elaborate system, because that’s what my boss told me to do. Come up with start with the number way up here, knowing that we’re going to get whittled down here. Because if we don’t ask for it, we’re not going to get it. So that’s number one. Number two, when I was in the army, we the commander came down and he said, I, specialist Bejarana, I want you to put together a a capital request for new percussion, instruments. I said, Chief Arnold, we don’t need percussion instruments. So you don’t understand that if we don’t ask for it. We’re not going to get the money again next year. And this is kind of the mentality I think that we’re fighting against is these people. Well, if I don’t ask for the money, I’m never gonna get it. Never mind the fact that all we’re saying is, show us what you’re going to do with it and give us some input. Otherwise, no, we’re not going to give you more money. Is that kind of

Carla Matter 19:35
that is exactly what I’m trying to say.

Ed Bejarana 19:37
So now local elections in addition to issues, your organization is supporting candidates, let’s talk a little bit about the importance of local candidates. I opened the show with the idea that this is the farm league. This is where we develop the candidates but let’s get down to the brass tacks. Let’s talk about what your organization is looking for in future Candidates? Well,

Carla Matter 20:01
we definitely want to have somebody who’s honest, somebody who is going to do somebody who’s now looking for a social promotion. But somebody who is going to do the work for the county, wow for the community. So that again,

Ed Bejarana 20:15
that is awesome. Say that one more time.

Carla Matter 20:17
We don’t want somebody who’s going to be self serving. And once a social promotion, he wants we want somebody who’s going to be serving the people, somebody who’s going to be doing a service to the community.

Ed Bejarana 20:29
That is such a great statement. I’m, I’m putting that on the website. I’m stealing that one.

Carla Matter 20:34
Go ahead.

Ed Bejarana 20:35
What else what else?

Carla Matter 20:38
We are looking to educate our members as well. Our speaker in March, march 4, is going to be Jim Brannon, which is the clerk. And along with Jennifer lock, which is the chief deputy, and, you know, his there’s going to be an open seat. And a lot of people don’t know what he does yet, you know, when you just listen to the word clerk, it sounds like, okay, but it’s a really important position in the county, and it has to be filled by somebody who’s capable, smart, and who was gonna want to, you know, who’s gonna want to serve the community, and that there are a lot of positions that are like that, that library board in the school district, Cooney can help Board of Trustees, these are all different positions that sometimes as as, as, as residents of the county, a lot of times we don’t even know what these people do. Right. And for, for, for me, it’s very important to provide education, and to the community is starting with Republican woman, because a lot of times I know that once we give them this age education, they’re going to go out and they’re going to talk to Tim brands and say, Hey, just, you know, guess what I learned today? Did you know that, you know, like this, what this person did? Or you know what his position is? But, yes, I mean, like we do want to bring, we do want to bring light into these positions that again, they shape our community.

Ed Bejarana 22:19
Now, what do you say to the person who says, I’m just, I’m not the leader type, I wouldn’t know what to do? You know, what do you say to them to encourage them that not only can they do it, but then they have the weight of the support from your organization behind them?

Carla Matter 22:36
Well, it has to be the right person. I do think that it depends, it depends on the position, like if you’re running, if you’re running for sheriff, you have to be you have to be a leader, you have to be a leader, and you have to talk to a leader and you have to behave like a leader. On the other hand, if you’re gonna, you know, take on a more administrative position, then, you know, you just be maybe, you know, your qualifications have to be different, you have to be smart, capable, competent, in, in, of course, have conservative values. You know, like, first and foremost, conservative values. But I think that’s something that has to be looked at it from an individual, individual basis, I wouldn’t encourage just about anybody to run, I think for the most part, once they know what their position is, and they can self reflect, and that they will come from advice either either either to me, or other members in the Republican in the Republican Party. And as we and we will be more than happy to help if we see that they’re the right feet. And in of course, you know, like, there’s different ways to be involved. One of them is running and serving the community. But there are other ways of getting involved as well.

Ed Bejarana 23:54
So we’re talking to you. Yes, you want you just looked around the room. Don’t look around the room. Look in the mirror, we’re talking to you. You just said last week, I am so tired of these people making these decisions, that that are big government overspending, and not really doing anything to help the people. You’re the person Carla is talking about. Yet I know having served in political office, I was a city councilor. I know how scary it is, you know, the idea of running for office. It by design, the they’ve just made it seem like it’s just so overwhelming that the common person isn’t going to get involved. The reality of the way our system was created. The genius behind what our founding fathers put together, is we are a representative form of government. It is supposed to be us. They work for us. We don’t list we don’t report to them. We don’t elect them to office and then bow to them. We elect them to office to serve our needs. And if you’re the have individual who believes in less government, if you’re the type of individual who believes that the citizens are not currently being served, if you’re the type of individual who’s been a lifelong conservative and feels that you’re just being shut down by these progressives who are trying to California, Kate, Idaho, then what you need to do is you need to go and visit the kootenay. County Republican women’s Federation. So let’s talk about how does a woman get involved with your organization? What does she do?

Carla Matter 25:32
Um, first of all, let me just follow up on what you just said, Sure. That, in my opinion, the difference between conservatism and socialism is that socialism looks for the state to tell you what to do. So the people are servants to this state. And conservatism is the exact opposite, which is what we want to have here. It’s the state and the local officials that serve the people. Amen. That’s how we should be. And we should have it like that, especially here in Kern County. Now. Okay, so if you want to join us, we, we meet the first Thursday of every month, it’s always at 1130, we normally have a little meeting, greet first, little mingle. And then we have lunch. And our meetings normally start at 12. promptly. We do have greatest speakers in like I said, this month, on March 4, we’re going to have Jim Brannon, and who’s the county county clerk in the again, that position is actually going to be an open seat. So for people that are in I say that, you know, as a follow up to what you were saying, if somebody, you know, thanks, okay, you know, like, I think I could, you know, I take on that great responsibility and serve the community, then you can go to county, county, republican women website, or a Facebook page, our website is And normally, a week and a half, two weeks before the meeting, we will post the link for people to RSVP, we do encourage rsvps especially now, we are getting really busy. The last one, yes. We are actually struggling now to find a venue that will accommodate that many people. So yeah, we do encourage people to RSVP we ask that they please do. And then if you want to become a member, same thing, go to our website. process was you can become a member of writing in there.

Ed Bejarana 27:46
Yeah. Kay Kay said it was super simple to become a member and, you know, meet all kinds of great people. So put them in, it’s the first Thursday of the month, right? So block out your calendar right now. 11 31st Thursday of every month, you want to make a difference. You want to make sure that the government is representing you. and not the other way around. Then you need to get over to the kootenay County Republican women’s Federation. Carla, I want to thank you so much for coming in studio today. And we look forward to talking to you again next month.

Carla Matter 28:18
Thank you very much.

Ed Bejarana 28:20
We’ve reached the end of the episode but not the end of the issue. Please share this episode with your friends and family. If you have questions or would like to share your own issues and ideas, visit www dot Idaho and click share and issue your state your voice. Idaho speaks

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I am a Christian, husband, conservative, small business owner, dog lover, and fellow Idahoan. I believe in freedom of speech and the idea of American Exceptionalism. It is my cause to fight Big Tech and Mass Media censorship and create a media where conservatives ideas and voices can be freely heard.
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