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Idaho legislators vote to censure Rep. Priscilla Giddings

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Idaho Public Television
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An Idaho state representative has lost a committee seat after an ethics hearing and vote among her fellow House members. 

The Idaho State House voted Monday to accept an ethics report and remove Representative Priscilla Giddings from one of her committee assignments.

Earlier this year in a Facebook post and a letter to her constituents, Giddings shared a link to a far-right news website that included the photo and name of a 19-year-old legislative intern who accused former House member Aaron von Ehlinger of rape. Von Ehlinger resigned his House seat and has since been charged. He pleaded not guilty.

Giddings’ supporters argued the censure was politically motivated and ignored her military service and contributions to the community.

Giddings said she did nothing wrong.

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Credit Idaho Public Television
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The vote count to censure Rep. Priscilla Giddings

"The reason I liked that article was because it was the only article in the press that shared both sides of the story,” Giddings said, “Which is what shared, and I think the ultimate here is due process. When you’re going to assassinate someone's character, it is the foundation of our country that says there's got to be both sides, because if you don't, you have communist China."

Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy, a Republican from Genesee, voted to censure Giddings. She says the ethics committee acted properly.

“When we are sent young men and women of this state to care for in this body, I feel that we have the responsibility to care for them at a higher standard,” Troy said. “That standard that we expect of ourselves, as representatives, that we expect of ourselves representing our districts, that we expect of ourselves on what we say in public media, in our email and on our text messages, and I believe that our honorable group of members who served on the ethics committee took that very seriously."

After more than two hours of debate, legislators voted 49 to 19 to remove Giddings from her assignment on the House Resources and Conservation Committee. She still serves on two other committees.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.
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