Steven Thayn

State Senator Legislative District 14

Biography & Background

I have lived in Gem County for over 60 years with my wife Sherry. We have 8 children and 28 grandchildren.

I am a conservative Republican that believes freedom is a function of taking personal responsibility along with the proper role of government. The reason government has grown over the last 100 years is because we have let liberals replace family responsibilities with government programs and agencies. The way to reduce the size of government is to increase the number of economically independent families, not dependent upon government handouts. Increasing the number of economically, independent families is my area of expertise and the only way to maintain limited government.

I owned and operated a dairy for 18 years, became a public school teacher, and was elected to the legislature in 2006. I am currently the chairman of the Senate Education Committee where my focus is to empower parents in all forms of education by giving them choices. This year we are on track to get rid of Common Core, created the first performance based funding system, rewarded motivated students with flexibility, and began the process to teach natural law of Cicero and John Locke in Idaho schools.

My legislative successes include: the largest school choice program in Idaho called the Advanced Opportunities program, the Innovative Classroom program where parents can choose an alternative curriculum, and, this year, the Self-directed Learned Law that rewards motivated students with flexibility.

I would appreciate your vote. My phone number is 208 365-8656. Let’s take Idaho to the Next Level.

If you would like to know more go to steventhayn.com

Top 3 Issues:

1. Education — specifically craft systems that give parents more choices both within public education and outside the public education system. Parents have the prime responsibility to see children educated. The state is to assist parents, not replace them. Since the days of Horace Mann in the 1850s, it has been argued that parents can be replaced by the state. Mann said 9/10 of the penal code would become obsolete if the state educated students. He thought parents were the problem. This is a false assumption. Generally, students that do well in school have supportive parents and, conversely, students that struggle don’t have supportive parents. Rather than take more responsibility from all parents because some parents struggle, we should be asking parents how we can serve them and help them. Education only works well when parents, students, and teachers work together. This has been the focus of all my bills for the last 16 years. An example of this is I want to make parents aware that each one of their children has access to $4,125 they can use to customize their education through the Advanced Opportunities program I designed and has been implemented since 2016. This option gives parents and students choices and access to resources.
2. Poverty Programs — for far too long we have supported federal programs that create dependency rather than helping the poor gain the economic skills they need to become self-sufficient. We should be asking ourselves, what can we do to create more independent families. The first step is to do no harm. An example of success is the Workforce Development Council is getting referrals from the Department of Health and Welfare of those that are coming off of Food Stamps. These are the people that we could help with job training.
3. Another building block of a free society is respectful dialogue with the intent of empowering people to solve their own problems. Any politician that engages in personal attacks rather than addressing issues is causing dissension and discord which are the favorite tools of totalitarian systems like communism or fascism. We can disagree on solutions or have different opinions, but a free society cannot survive if personal attacks become the norm rather than issue-based discussions. I have modeled respectful dialogue my whole career. I do not engage in personal attacks. My focus is on solving problems by empowering people rather than empowering the state.

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.”

I am not sure how the sound money planks can be implemented. However, I do support the concept.

Also, family values are mentioned several times. This is not a strong enough statement. I believe the family needs to be seen as an economic development tool as well has an important unit of society. It has moral and economic importance. Totalitarian regimes in history have all seen the family as an impediment to the growth of their systems. We need to see the family as the key to limited government. The family is the basic unit of government equal to the legislature, executive, and judicial but does not get the respect it deserves in this platform or any other I have read.