Tuesday, September 2, 2014
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Tag Archives: politics

Republicans Way Forward is in the West?

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Politicos have been trying to figure out just where the Republican Party plans to get the surge for its resurgence. The Republicans have done their damndest to shed independent and Libertarian voters since 2001, 'and what do they aim to replace them with?' I ask you. Do the Neoconservatives represent a large enough voting bloc to give them control of the White House and Congress? Read More »

Juneau Ushers in a New Day

Denise Juneau was sworn in as State Superintendent of Public Instruction on Monday. Simultaneously, she made Montana history as the first Native American woman to be elected to a statewide office. Saying that this is important for Montana and for Native Americans is an understatement. Read More »

Politics + Spring + Butte = Montana Democrats’ Prom

The Montana Democratic Party's Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner in Butte Saturday night. Photos by Anne Medley

On Saturday I attended that time-honored American spring ritual: the prom. Granted, I'm ten years too old for the real thing. But the beauty of this particular prom is that the older you are, the cooler you are—because this was the Montana Democrats’ version of prom, the annual Mansfield-Metcalf dinner in Butte. This prom featured coiffed mullets, shiny curls, and stiff Stetsons. Diamonds set off battered-looking bolo ties. Ballgowns swished next to Wranglers, and minks sat next to Carhartt coats—usually on different people, too. My take on the night's theme: “sequins and denim.” As Hillary Clinton said in her speech at the dinner on Saturday night, the only party to rival Butte’s infamous Saint Paddy’s Day is the Democratic Party. And, boy, was she ever right. Read More »

Sen. Larry Craig Played to Plenty of Western Interests

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The thousands of stories written about Idaho Sen. Larry Craig since news of his arrest in a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport broke can be filed into a number of categories. There are plenty of who, what, where, when why stories, including the original muckraking by Capital Hill’s paper of record, Roll Call. Then there are the numerous political analysis stories: Republicans hit hard, can’t take another scandal type reporting. There are the stories from the left calling Craig on his apparent hypocrisy for voting one way while acting another. And stories from the right calling on Craig to resign for his apparent hypocrisy for acting one way and voting another. Then there is this gem from The Nation’s Washington correspondent John Nichols: “No one noticed he was there. No one will miss him.” Nichols calls Craig “an otherwise forgettable hack who cruised out of the Senate without ever contributing a thing to the chamber or the country.” But Nichols got it wrong. Read More »

Senate Leader: Craig’s Conduct “Unforgiveable”

UPDATE: Pressure builds for Idaho Sen. Larry Craig to resign, even as we wait for news of a possible announcement today. The Associated Press is reporting that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Craig's conduct “unforgivable." NBC's Tim Russert told Matt Lauer this morning, "He can't survive. The Republicans have done everything but change the locks on his office doors...I've never seen anything like it." Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Richard Stallings has issued this statement: “As Governor, Butch Otter has a responsibility to the people of Idaho to put their interests ahead of his political party’s. Should Senator Craig vacate his Senate seat, we urge Governor Otter in the strongest terms possible to put the interests ahead of Idahoans ahead of his political party by committing to not fill this seat with anyone who has expressed an interest in running for the Senate in 2008.” Read More »

Poll: 55% Call for Craig’s Resignation

A poll conducted by SurveyUSA, taken less than 36 hours after the story of Sen. Larry Craig’s guilty plea for disorderly conduct in an airport men’s room, showed that 55% of Idahoans surveyed want Craig to resign. A sample of 600 adults, surveyed Tuesday evening (August 28) included 475 registered voters who had heard the story. 55% said Craig should resign, 34% said he should stay in office, and 11% were not sure. Among Republicans, 45% said Craig should resign, 42% said he should remain in office. Read More »

Craig Story Leaves Idaho’s Political Future Up for Grabs

Craig's booking photo from the airport police department in Minneapolis.

When news broke Monday of Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's arrest and subsequent guilty plea to disorderly conduct for an incident in a men's bathroom at the Minneapolis airport, it became one of the biggest stories in the history of Idaho politics. But it's not as if anyone, especially those in the political media here, could be shocked. Surprised, perhaps, but overall, Monday's news came with a certain sense of relief: Finally, there was something concrete to the story that had been well-known, but unsubstantiated, for decades. Despite Craig's adamant denials about the Minneapolis incident and others in the past, there is permanent damage done, as even the top Senate Republicans call for an ethics investigation into Craig. Ultimately, if and when Craig falls, it will end a long political career which has been the touchstone of Republican power - which is almost complete – in Idaho. With that touchstone gone, there could be a shift in Idaho politics which has opportunities for both the right and the left. The fallout of the story, including the damage it may or may not do to the Republican stronghold here or in the West, is just in its infancy. Read More »

Neither Gonzales Nor Chertoff Have a Place at Justice

In his resignation speech today, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said, “I have made a point as Attorney General to personally meet as many of them [DOJ employees] as possible, and today I want to, again, thank them for their service to our nation. It is through their continued work that our country and our communities remain safe, that the rights and civil liberties of our citizens are protected, and the hopes and dreams of all of our citizens are secured.” It’s an outrageous thing to say for any federal official of the Bush Administration. Gonzales has been a key member of Bush and Cheney’s posse of hooligans who have undermined civil liberties, condoned torture, got us into a frightening mess in Iraq, approved domestic spying and countless other serious transgressions. Read More »