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Tag Archives: politics

Idaho Values Alliance Judges Judges

A religious organization called the Idaho Values Alliance has issued a questionnaire to candidates for the Idaho Supreme Court: (Publisher’s note: Questions 1 – 20 have Agree/Disagree choices to mark.) 1. The Founders of the state of Idaho were grateful to God for our freedom. 2. All men have an inalienable right to enjoy and defend both life and liberty. 3. All men have an inalienable right to acquire, possess, and protect property. 4. All political power is inherent in the people, not the courts.

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Real ID Implementation Misses the Mark

Some of you might be familiar with my serious concerns about the REAL ID Act. As the potential expense and disruption of this federal mandate approaches, it’s important that all Idahoans be aware of how our state government is approaching the issue. Below is the pertinent text from a letter I sent this week to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff regarding implementation of the REAL ID Act.

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Idaho Democrats Have New Director

John Foster, former managing editor of the Idaho Business Review, has been hired as the Executive Director of the Idaho Democratic Party, state Chairman Richard Stallings announced on Thursday. “This extremely talented young man has proven management skills and exactly the kind of enthusiasm our party needs to capitalize on last year’s gains,” Stallings said. “John comes to this job with a keen ability to coach and nurture to our expanding staff; and to oversee day-to-day operations. He’s the right person at the right time in the right party.” Foster replaces former IDP executive director Maria Weeg, who moved to Arizona earlier this month to assume that state’s directorship.

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Idaho Senate Race: Vasquez Out, Who’s In?

In the first casualty of the 2008 U.S. Senate Republican primary, former Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez has dropped out. Vasquez said he can’t raise money – no surprise there – and, according to the Idaho Press-Tribune, faced fights “on too many fronts.” That sounds like party politics – Vasquez said as much - and could be a signal that current Senator Larry Craig may not run again if an anointed successor is in place, who would have to be a candidate considered electable by Idaho's Republican leaders. That wouldn’t be Vasquez. During this year’s legislative session, I couldn’t find a Republican lawmaker willing to go on the record supporting Vasquez. Considered a hothead by many, Vasquez’ extreme stance against illegal immigration got him crossed off lists of possible candidates. His statements that Idaho Republicans barely differ from Idaho Democrats puts him firmly in the extreme extremist’s camp.

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Iraq: Congress Must Lead the Way

It’s time for Congress to chart a new bipartisan direction for the war in Iraq. The Bush Administration has made tragic blunders in Iraq. We must now demand that the Congress assert its Constitutional role and check the delusional policy of escalation adopted by President Bush. As a veteran and parent, I believe the recent expansion of the war is not what most Idahoans want or expect.

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Chasing Free Marketeers in Havana

Just got back from 10 days in Havana... The Boise Weekly bought me a plane ticket down there to chase Idaho Gov. Butch Otter around as he tried to sell potatoes and other Idaho agricultural goods to Cuba. I wrote a story about the trip last week and have another one coming out on Wednesday. Click on the banner above to see some pictures from Havana. Here are some impressions of the island...

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Leaders of Three Cities Speak at “State of Downtown” Meeting

The Downtown Boise Association held its annual "State of Downtown" meeting Wednesday morning at the Grove. The event featured a discussion among Dave Bieter, the mayor of Boise (population 210,000); Greg Nickels, mayor of Seattle (population 580,000); and Suzy Ageton, deputy mayor of Boulder, Colorado (110,000). Marc Johnson of the Gallatin Group served as moderator. The three city leaders spoke for close to an hour. Here are a few highlights:

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Just One Wild and Crazy Reporter Makes It To Cuba With Gov. Butch Otter

You have to hand it to Nathaniel Hoffman and the Boise Weekly. Using nothing more magic than a letter to the Cuban government requesting a visa, Hoffman is in Havana, Cuba covering Idaho Governor Butch Otter’s trade mission – the only reporter to make it. Boise’s Big Two - The Idaho Statesman and KTVB Channel 7 - aren’t there. As far as we’ve been able to find out, Hoffman is it. Idaho Statesman Managing Editor Bill Manny told New West, “We’d hoped to send someone along, but at the same time the dates were announced we were told by Otter’s office that no reporters would be allowed with the delegation. By then there just wasn’t time to pursue it.” Boise Weekly Editor Shea Anderson said that when Hoffman's visa application was received, the Cuban government called Governor Otter’s office to ask if a reporter from the Weekly should be allowed in for the trade mission. “It was all done officially," he said.

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Former Idaho Congressman Larry LaRocco to Run for U.S. Senate

Former Idaho Congressman Larry LaRocco will run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Larry Craig in the 2008 election. LaRocco plans to announce his bid next Wednesday, April 11. It’s unclear whether Craig will run for re-election or retire at age 61, so LaRocco could be running for an open seat against an unknown challenger, if not Craig. The last Democrat who represented Idaho in the U.S. Senate was Frank Church, for whom LaRocco worked. Church was defeated by Republican Steve Symms in 1980.

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Last-Minute Legislating in Idaho

UPDATE: The Senate passed GARVEE 27-7 and declared Sine Die at 7:ish p.m. UPDATE: The House declared Sine Die (a Latin phrase which means "Get Out of Dodge") at 5:50 p.m. The Senate must now pass GARVEE before they can say the same. The Idaho Legislature is still in session at 4:30 this Friday afternoon, with the House Appropriations Committee having just passed a new version of GARVEE, the highway bonding bill. The committee is just the House half of JFAC, the Joint Finance-Appropriates Committee. Now the bill goes to the House floor, then to Senate Finance, then the Senate floor. If it passes those bodies, it goes to the Governor. While “at ease,” Senate Minority Leader Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum, told New West that he predicted the GARVEE bill will end up on the governor’s desk, but he was unhappy about both the bill and the way the process has been handled. “This last-minute stuff….if it weren’t the last day of the session I’m not sure this would pass.” The GARVEE compromise provides $250 million for bonding for 2008. It lists highway projects and their minimum-to-maximum budget ranges separately. There are six individual projects with budget ranges specified, including up to $126 million for a stretch of Interstate 84 from Caldwell to Meridian.

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