POCATELLO — Idaho Lorax believes the entire region is tainted with uranium contamination, and nothing has been done to remedy the problem because of a massive coverup by community, school district and business leaders.
Lorax, who had his name legally changed, is running against Rep. Elaine Smith, D-Pocatello, and Republican Kevin James Brown in Legislative District 29-A. He’s filed as a Libertarian, which he said is the nearest to his ideology of the four options under which Idaho candidates may file.
Lorax is also one of four candidates running for two seats on the Portneuf Soil and Water Conservation District. His friend, Paul Schmidtlein is also running in a field that includes Kit Tillotson and David Jackson.
Lorax uses the nickname “Radioactive City” to describe Pocatello, referencing the tons of uranium-tainted dust, gravel and slag he contends are hidden within the community’s school campuses — and even school sandboxes — and were once used to make regional roadways.
As a state lawmaker, his top priority would be to clean up the radioactive materials, and to expose those involved in the coverup.
“It’s a contaminated place, and people are trying to lie and cover up,” Lorax said.
Lorax describes himself as an “educator, scientist in many disciplines and a specialist in Project Learning,” which he said is an approach to education that focuses on group learning.
“I have studied, worked and traveled all over the world, as well as all over the West,” Lorax said.
He said his current job is serving as an advocate for people in the valley who are dying of cancer related to the uranium coverup he alleged, and he’ll “get paid when they get paid.”
Lorax said he would support the repeal of the state’s tax on groceries, though he believes the powers that be would find another way to stick the poor with the costs. He supports a proposition on the ballot to allow gambling on machines that pool wagers on historic horse races, believing gambling would be driven underground otherwise. He also supports a measure to expand Medicaid, though he emphasized the expansion won’t go nearly far enough to help all of the Idahoans who are dying of cancer because of uranium exposure.
Lorax said he’s also a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, given that people may need the right to defend themselves against their government.