Idaho Public Television will produce two gubernatorial debates next week.  Unlike four years ago, the state-run television network will not include a Republican who is a legitimate candidate.  IPTV made news four years ago when Butch Otter, Russ Fulcher, Harley Brown, and Walt Bayes squared off.  Brown and Bayes stole the show as the nation laughed at Idaho's expense.  This year IPTV has decided to exclude conservative Steve Pankey.

Pankey has spent over $250,000 to educate voters on his candidacy.  "I was shocked that after I submitted to IPTV proof of my statewide campaign they turned me down," Pankey told us this morning.  He said that this is a first amendment issue and that voters will not hear his born-again Christian Faith.  "They're locking out a Christian candidate for governor."

IPTV has not interviewed Pankey on his run for the state's highest office on any of their political shows.   "They've totally shut me out," said Pankey.  He continued to express his disappointment with IPTV.   "Frankly They're acting like little Hitlers.  They're prejudging. They want to decide who is the next governor."

Here is the entire interview with Steve Pankey if you'd like to listen to more of his comments on his platform.

If you haven't seen the debate from four years ago, or would like a blast from the past, you can view it here.

The beauty of Idaho Politics is that big ideas, not big money, should decide who will be Idaho's next governor.  Four years ago a biker, a cowboy, a curmudgeon, and a normal guy debated Gem State politics.  If their runs for office were considered legitimate, then how can you not allow Steve Pankey to take the stage?

In four years, has Idaho Public Television lost its commitment to serving the public?  Without a legitimate reason to exclude Steve Pankey, it would seem to be the case.