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Jen Seegmiller

State Senator Legislative District 6

Headshot of Jen Seegmiller for Idaho Senate District 6

Biography & Background

Jen is a conservative family nurse practitioner, educator, and mother of six, dedicated to helping others live healthy, happy, self-sufficient lives. Believing that government should not attempt to do for others, that which they can do for themselves, she will represent you with civil discourse and principled reasoning.

Married for 30 years to her sweetheart, Jeff Seegmiller, they love living in northern Idaho. Whether kayaking scenic waterways, planting the garden, skiing Idaho’s powdered slopes, or reading by the fire, Jen finds that there is always something interesting to learn and do. Her children and grandchild are her greatest joys, but she also likes biking, travel, strawberries, and chocolate.

Living on a small farm outside of Moscow, she’s raised a variety of crops including wheat, garbanzo beans, hay, lavender, fruit, and vegetables, but all with the goal of teaching her children how to work. She’s been involved with 4H through years of projects, hosting international students, and supporting the next generation of 4H kids. Her interest in native plants means that she spends spring, summer, and fall planting or collecting seeds to restore native species.

Jen works at Gritman Medical Center and is passionate about quality patient care, patient education, and public education. She holds a Master’s degree in Nursing from Idaho State University with family nurse practitioner emphasis, and Bachelor’s degrees in both nursing and secondary education. She is currently working on her doctorate at the University of Idaho.

Top 3 Issues:

1. Public education was a founding principle for this nation, presenting a new model out of an age where only the wealthy could afford to study. Jen believes in the transformative power of education which enlightens and expands the mind beyond individual experience. Government support for public education must be approached with wisdom and nonpartisan altruistic intent. While public education works for most children, it is not for all. Jen has home-schooled some of her children as well as enrolled them at various times in public, charter, and private schools, depending on individual child needs, local conditions, and family circumstances. She supports innovative quality public education, school choice, and parental rights in deciding how to educate their children.
2. Healthcare should be accessible, affordable, transparent, science and ethics based. While these are ideals we strive for, achievement is often difficult. Rural areas, such as found in much of Idaho, have particular challenges with access and affordability. Burdensome overregulation, increased costs, and cuts in reimbursements have caused many private medical practices to go out of business. The past two years has shown that our existing healthcare approaches and infrastructure can only be stretched so far. Most agree that change is needed, but what will it look like and who will bring it about? Our free market has brought about some of the most innovative healthcare technologies in the world with lifesaving treatments not even imagined just decades ago. While technology is miraculous, ultimately, healthcare is about people and many are struggling, including healthcare workers. For Jen, caring for others who are sick or otherwise afflicted is both a job and a calling, filled with experiences that could fill volumes. Like many stories, some parts are dark and discouraging, others inspirational and heartwarming. From these experiences she will bring a patient-based focus to all of the healthcare issues we face. With big changes ahead, District 6 needs representation by people who understand healthcare both at the clinical and policy level to shape that change.
3. Government does not create wealth of its own accord, but depends on taxes levied on goods and citizen wages. Allocation and distribution of tax funds should be approached with discipline and wisdom to support the citizens from whence it came and minimize tax burden. I’m proud of Idaho’s fiscal policy that requires a balanced budget. The legislature is tasked with carrying out this responsibility, and while complicated, it should always be transparent. Many Idahoans are struggling from the effects of government policies imposed over the past two years. While Idaho’s economy is stronger than other states, businesses have closed and people are feeling strain from increasing expenses and eroded savings. The health of our national economy is closely tied to governmental policies, which unfortunately have gone badly awry with inflation rates hovering around 8%. Idahoans need steady jobs with available goods and services to take care of their families and strengthen our economy. Jen will fight for state policies that encourage entrepreneurship and innovation by reducing unnecessary hurdles, keeping taxes reasonable, and minimizing government regulation.

Latah county Legislator Questions

What are the top three issues you believe our legislative district faces?

1. Economic and housing development, 2. Healthcare access, 3. Education

Describe two examples of state government overreach. What are your ideas to address these?

1. Infringement of constitutional freedom to worship during the Covid-19 pandemic. • 2. Repeated renewal of emergency order The past two years has highlighted the importance of reviewing Idaho code to amend laws that allow for or encourage government overreach as well as highlighting the need for laws to prevent that same overreach. Some of these issues have already being addressed with the four bills defining and limiting government power that were signed into law May 2021. Further examination of all of Idaho code is necessary to modernize code and prevent government overreach.

There’s an expectation that candidates must explain which potential laws they will promote if elected. Let’s flip that around and ask, “What existing law will you seek to repeal and why?”

I would change Title 36 of Idaho Code related to fishing and hunting licenses. My oldest son, who graduated from Moscow High School, files Idaho taxes, and lists our Idaho address as his permanent address, was denied a resident fishing license when he came home on leave from the Army. The clerk told him he had to be stationed in Idaho to qualify for a resident fishing license. This is unacceptable.

A famous chant of Democrats since the 1980s is “You can’t legislate morality.” Should morality and virtue be considerations in public policy? If not, why not? If so, what standard will you use to decide what is moral? Can the “the will of the public” be wrong? If not, why not? If so, please describe your leadership role relative to public policy making when the public will is wrong.

Society is governed by laws that distinguish actions that are right and those which are wrong, so morality is an intrinsic aspect of government. The challenge is in differentiating between matters of public policy versus private behavior. The US Constitution, the Idaho Constitution, and the Bible delineate moral behavior in our nation. Public policy decisions should be guided with careful consideration of these guidelines. In the Federalist Paper No. 10, James Madison discussed that in a country as large as ours, factions would arise where the will of the public would sometimes be wrong and would often have opposing views. They explained that these opposing views provided a form of checks and balances. Our form of government requires robust checks and balances to prevent tyranny and support good governance.

Substantial portions of Idaho wilderness are controlled and managed by the federal government. What is your viewpoint on this land management issue?

Idaho should control and manage its own land.

Please provide an example of an emerging public health phenomenon that you think warrants further research and investigation.

Drug overdose deaths from illegally trafficked fentanyl, heroin, and opioids have increased over the past two years to 16 per 100,000 people and certainly warrants further research and investigation.

As Idahoans seek to be open minded and supportive, there is a visible struggle against women’s rights in sports as biological males use medical interventions to alter aspects of their biological gender. Additionally male and female adolescents are encouraged to make irreversible and devastating changes to their bodies. From your perspective, what challenge does Idaho face and are there any steps you want to take in response?

Biological males and biological females have distinct differences that can be objectively measured. Title IX allows women opportunity to compete against each other in sports because of the biological advantages that testosterone provides which estrogen does not. Cisgender females should have the opportunity to compete in a setting of fair competition where training and skill are determinants of success.

If elected to the house/senate, you will be only one of 70/35 votes. Please describe the leadership you will provide to build coalitions to get things done.

Persuasion and coalition building are intrinsic parts of the legislative process. I’m experienced in effectively working with teams to get things done. I’m a hard worker who will be fully engaged to understand complex concepts and find solutions with a systems-based perspective. As a people-person, I’m good with relationships and can present new ideas in ways that will be heard and supported.

There are both Leftwing and Rightwing extremist organizations which strive to influence the making of Idaho laws. Please explain your approach to navigating these influences.

Again, James Madison addressed this issue in the Federalist Paper No.10 wherein he states: “Relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat sinister views by regular vote. [A faction] may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution.” Essentially, my approach to dealing with extremist factions that strive to influence public policy is guided by recommendations by James Madison. He explained that factions are less of a threat to liberty when elected representatives are objective nonparticipants in factions, have even tempers, wisdom, unprejudiced love of patriotism and justice to discern the true interests of Idaho and the public good.

What are key differences between you and your Republican Party opponent(s)?

Most obviously, I’m a highly capable, educated woman. I’m also a mother and family nurse practitioner, which gives me a different perspective of family life, education, and healthcare than that of my opponents since I have dedicated my life to taking care of other people. I also have an excellent grasp of healthy interpersonal interactions and civil communication. “Idaho Chooses Life has voted to endorse Jen Seegmiller in the upcoming primary election for the Idaho Senate. Not only did she score well on our candidate survey, Jen has already cast pro-Life votes in the Legislature.”

Latah County General Questions

Latah County Oath of Office

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Idaho, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of (insert office) according to the best of my ability.”

Freedom: Explain your position on First Amendment rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Do you think these rights have eroded?

I fully support and will defend our First Amendment rights, which have been eroded and must be reclaimed.

Race-Based Politics: Martin Luther King famously stated, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Also, the Preamble to the Idaho Republican Platform states, “We believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.” What is your perspective on race or sex-based politics?

The preamble is well stated. I believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity. There is no place for race or sex-based politics in Idaho.

Illegal Immigration: Over two million immigrants have crossed U.S borders in the last 15 months accompanied with human trafficking, drug trafficking, violent criminals, and potential terrorists that Americans are paying for financially and in other ways. What are your thoughts on local impacts resulting from illegal immigration?

There are many impacts as stated in the question. People have always migrated to places of safety and opportunity. Unfortunately, the nature of illegal undocumented immigration is that we don’t know who or how many people are here, but the state ends up policing and providing services for this population. We must plan accordingly while mitigating harm to others that this reckless border policy has caused. We must teach the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and noncitizen guests who harm or exploit others will not be tolerated.

Limited Government: Describe your policy position on taxation, spending, and budgeting relative to state or local government?

I support Idaho’s balanced budget and believe that taxation should be limited to only what is necessary to provide necessary state services. Budgets should be reviewed in the third quarter before the end of the fiscal year before the “use it or lose it” spending occurs to identify excess budgets that could be trimmed. If elected, I hope to be on the Joint Finance and Appropriations committee and will lead efforts to do this.

Problem Solving: Describe two difficult interactions you have experienced and how you contributed to a resolution?

I’ve experienced many difficult interactions with patients and/or loved ones who are frustrated, angry, and afraid. Listening is the first step because people want to be heard and understood. After I understand the problem, I then seek to either answer questions people may have or take action to address their needs. I have used this approach when people have received bad news such as cancer diagnoses as well as when people were upset after receiving unexpected medical bills. This is second nature to nurses since it is an intrinsic part of our job. I will apply this skill set to the legislature if elected.

Republicanism: Do you subscribe to the Idaho Republican Party Platform? Describe any exceptions.

I support the Idaho Republican Party Platform. I do have exceptions to specific wording as I noted in my state GOP exceptions form. In brief, I support sound fiscal policy with a balanced federal debt to GDP ratio. However, adopting the gold standard represents a nostalgic ideological position that may well be out of step with contemporary economics. I agree that the Federal Reserve is an imperfect system and lack of discipline is the cause of our unconscionable national debt. But the gold standard did not guarantee perfect policy either, as demonstrated during the Great Depression when banks failed and people lost their money. I do not support amending the Idaho Constitution, Article III, Section 2 without knowing details of the amending proposal. Paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 provide instruction on reapportionment and simply striking them would make the process more difficult and would not accomplish any tangible improvement in state governance. I do not support government-mandated healthcare. A separate and distinct concept is patient protections – which I support. Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act in its entirety would necessitate replacement provisions with a conservative focus to maintain these protections. I am pro-life and endorsed by Idaho Chooses LIfe, but the State Republican Party platform’s plank on abortion is defective. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, but the moment of fertilization does not constitute a pregnancy. 50% to 70% of fertilized ova never implant in the uterus and it typically takes months, and sometimes years, for a woman to become pregnant with multiple fertilized eggs failing to implant during that period of time. This is not the conscious act of murder but a biological process that God designed and to characterize it otherwise is intellectually dishonest and unethical. It is not until a fertilized egg implants and begins to grow that a woman can be considered pregnant – not before. The Party’s stance is medically unsound, prohibits in-vitro fertilization, and creates liability for physicians who are treating ectopic pregnancies among other conditions.

Governance: The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” How will this declaration influence you in administering your office, if elected?

The Declaration of Independence as well as the Bill of Rights form the foundation for our nations freedoms and must be respected and upheld. These documents state the principles I will uphold if elected.

Integrity in Affiliation

Submission: Yes

“I have read the Idaho Constitution and the Idaho Republican Party Platform. Except for the provisions specifically noted below, I support the Idaho Republican Party Platform and accept it as the standard by which my performance as a candidate and as an officeholder should be evaluated. I certify that I am not a candidate, officer, delegate or position holder in any party other than the Republican Party.”

Section 4 A
I support sound fiscal policy with a balanced federal debt to GDP ratio. I agree that the Federal Reserve is an imperfect system and lack of discipline is the cause of our unconscionable national debt. But the gold standard did not guarantee perfect policy, as was clearly demonstrated during the Great Depression when banks failed and people lost their money.
The gold standard has not been used since 1971 and to suddenly go back to it would be difficult, if not impossible, precipitating its own economic crisis. Gold is not legal tender and would be difficult to sell and nearly impossible to use for purchases if our country experienced an economic crisis that uprooted the dollar. In the event of full economic collapse, barter systems would arise; food, guns, ammunition, gasoline and land would be more valuable than gold; and there would exist scant wholesale options to break gold bars into a means of tender.

Section 5 F
I do not support amending the Idaho Constitution, Article III, Section 2 without knowing details of the amending proposal. Paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 provide instruction on reapportionment and simply striking them would make the process more difficult and would not accomplish any tangible improvement in state governance. Just the opposite, striking these paragraphs in their entirety would lead to cronyism and partisan factionalism. I would be amenable to specific modifications such as the number of days the commission has to complete the reapportionment task or amending how the commission is selected.

Article XIII Section 2 C
I do not support government-mandated healthcare. A separate and distinct concept is patient protections – which I support. The repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act in its entirety would necessitate replacement provisions with a conservative focus to maintain these protections.

Article XIV Section 3 A
I am pro-life, but this platform plank on abortion is so fundamentally flawed that I cannot support it as currently written. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, but the moment of fertilization does not constitute a pregnancy. Between 50% to 70% of fertilized ova fail to successfully implant in the uterus typically taking months, and sometimes years, for a woman to become pregnant with multiple fertilized eggs failing to implant during that period of time. This is not the conscious act of murder but a biological process that God designed and characterizing it otherwise is intellectually dishonest. Not until a fertilized egg implants and begins to grow can a woman be considered pregnant – not before. This stance is medically unsound and prohibits in-vitro fertilization.

E.
Again, I am pro-life but the wording of this plank obstructs care if a pregnant woman’s life is at risk and may violate her Constitutional right to life. There must be a medical necessity clause to account for life-threatening circumstances. There are some circumstances where the life of the mother is fundamentally threatened by a pregnancy that cannot continue or both mother and embryo die.

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