Champion 196 Throttle Linkage

Hey guys, I could use some help. I just picked up a little buggy with a Champion 196. The engine runs but the idle has got to be 1/2 to 2/3 WOT. It’s so high that the throwout clutch never disengages. I can manually operage the butterfly valve on the carb and it’ll throttle down but for whatever reason, the butterfly gets pulled open pretty far by the spring and never returns to the idle setting. When I pull back and forth on the throttle assembly (that’s what I think the part is called - the actuating lever that controls the butterfly on the carb).
Here are some pics of the throttle assembly. What am I missing? If y’all need any other pics, I’d be happy to oblige.

Thank you for any insight … I’m no mechanic but I love to wrench.

Was it running OK at one point for you?

It’s possible the idle circuit is clogged. Try giving the smaller orifice on the left a blast of compressed air and/or carb cleaner.

You can also access the idle jet itself by removing the black plastic cap.

It’s basically a brand new carb. Yeah, it was running better than now but it was having some issues so I pulled the top end off and found a large hole in the plastic shroud of the air cleaner (so the dust was going straight into the carb). Cleaned everything up, patched the shroud and when I put it back together, the idle was all dorked up. I’m wondering if it has something to do with the round piece that has the small claw on it on top of the throttle assembly (first pic next to my finger). So yeah, the new issue is totally my fault… I just don’t know what I screwed up… :\