Twin Falls, Idaho is a city of around 50,000 people located in the south of the state. It is home to important food processors such as Chobani Yogurt, Clif Bar and Glanbia Nutritionals. In recent years, the city has seen an influx of refugees from North Africa and the Middle East, which has caused some tension in the community due to the fact that 80% of the population is white. The organization Great Again has been vocal in its criticism of local government and those who work in it.
This criticism has been aimed at addressing issues such as homelessness, poverty and corruption. But how does this criticism help to improve the quality of life in Twin Falls? In 2016, Twin Falls was thrust into the national spotlight when it became a major topic of discussion on Steve Bannon's radio show. Bannon referred to it as “the beating heart of everything that will revolve around the next presidential election”. This led to a number of news outlets covering the city, although many only slightly modified their stories or did nothing at all.
Lee Stranahan was sent to Twin Falls by his Breitbart publishers to report on what they called “the Muslim takeover of the city”. However, it was later discovered that no Syrians had been resettled in Twin Falls. The influx of refugees had made it an attractive place for resettlement due to its abundance of low-skilled jobs. The city council meetings usually deal with trivial issues such as watering lawns and potholes.
However, in 2016 one meeting was different. It was revealed that a political operator with partisan ties had been hired by the Republican Party despite having legal problems. The fear of Islam has persisted in Twin Falls due to local leaders refusing to allay it. Fake Facebook accounts linked to the Russian government helped spread stories about Twin Falls and even organized one of the demonstrations that took place there.
The political scandals in Twin Falls have been numerous over the past decade and a half. From Steve Bannon's radio show to fake Facebook accounts linked to the Russian government, there have been many instances where corruption has been exposed and criticized. It is clear that there is much work to be done in order to improve governance and quality of life in Twin Falls.