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Tag Archives: politics

Idaho House Overrides Two of Governor Otter’s Vetoes; Senate Sticks With One

With the March 16 goal to adjourn the 2007 session eleven days gone now, the legislature has a few items left on the agenda, and they took care of two this morning. Grocery Tax Credit As I write this, the House has just voted to override Governor Otter’s veto of the grocery tax credit. It will give a $40 credit to every Idahoan, and $60 to senior citizens.

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Jim Tibbs Announces for Mayor of Boise

Nearly 50 supporters wearing Tibbs for Mayor buttons crowded the lobby of downtown’s Banner Bank building this morning as the former police chief, state drug czar and now city councilman said, “I am running for the office of Mayor of Boise City.” Tibbs' fans provided an enthusiastic whoop-and-applause response to make any politician proud.

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The Right To Political Privacy

Senate Democrats and state party officials are standing united against a misguided attempt that would result in an invasion of political privacy of Idaho voters. Senate Bill 1244, introduced in the 11th hour of the 2007 legislative session, would require voters to register a party members before a political primary election. Although voters would have the option of registering as an “independent,” they would then be prohibited from voting in either party’s primary election. With so little time left in this session, it appears that this legislation may not move forward. But if it comes back again next year, it will still have the same fatal flaws.

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Race for Boise Mayor: Is it on?

The race for Mayor of Boise may be on. Jim Tibbs, a member of the city council and former interim police chief, is running radio ads which invite the public to join him in downtown Boise Tuesday at noon. In one advertisement, Tibbs’ voice is heard saying, “Please join me for an important announcement about our future Boise, me, and you.”

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Governor Vetoes Grocery Tax Credit

Idaho Governor Butch Otter has vetoed House Bill 81, which would have created a small yearly tax credit on groceries for all Idahoans. There could be a holdup while legislators consider whether to revise the bill, or use their override power to allow the bill to become law. H81 passed by enough votes that an override is a given, unless some members change their votes. And the holdup could postpone adjournment of the legislative session - "Sine Die" - past Friday. It's safe to say that by the end of every session, pretty much everybody wants to go home. And then there are those pesky bulldozers waiting to start digging the new wings on the Statehouse, and stacks of empty boxes lining the halls of the building, waiting for the packing and moving.

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Idaho Dems’ Director Heads for Sunnier State

It doesn’t surprise Idaho Democrats to lose their Executive Director, Maria Weeg, but it makes many of them sad. Weeg has accepted the same position with the Arizona Democratic Party, and will leave Boise the end of March. Former Idaho congressman Richard Stallings, chair of the Idaho D’s, told Weeg, “Wow. I have mixed feelings about this…it’s terrible to lose you but it’s such a great opportunity.” Rep. Wendy Jacquet of Ketchum is Minority Leader of the House Democrats. “The job of the party is to elect Democrats, and under Maria’s leadership we’ve really done a good job with that. The base she leaves us will help elect more. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for her, but I really regret that she’s leaving. I hope we can replace her with someone who has her set of skills.”

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Idaho has Fewest Baby Boomers in Politics

Look at who’s running the show these days. According to a Scripps analysis of the demographics of power, more than 55 percent of America's current governors, state lawmakers, and congressional representatives and senators were born between 1946 and 1964, the era generally dubbed “the baby-boom generation.”

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Reporters Lunch With Idaho Legislative Leaders

House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, and Senate President Pro Tem Bob Geddes, R-Soda Springs, today told Statehouse reporters that they will propose legislation this week to set up an “alternative teacher compensation model” in Idaho. The two senators told members of the Idaho Press Club that they don’t plan to push hard for the bill’s passage this year, but “for this to be a starting point for discussion in the interim.” Geddes said that the plan includes a two-tiered teacher pay system: “We would pay them more money if they sacrificed their tenure.” He said, “That’s kind of the direction that Rep. Bedke and I are pursuing at this time.” He said that if all Idaho teachers choose the no-tenure/higher pay model it would cost Idaho $70 million more than the budget currently provides, so there is work to be done on the plan before it could be implemented.

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Washington Legislature: With Neighbors Like This…

I was beginning to wonder if Oregon wasn’t the new California: The western state most noted for silly public goings-on.* But then there’s Washington. Right now, a Seattle Democrat state legislator is hoping to pass a law that would allow dogs in bars. Yep — can’t smoke in them, but you could bring your Labradoodle for some slobbery good times. State Sen. Ken Jacobsen is proposing a state law (SB 5484) allowing pooches in bars and establishments with liquor licenses, as long as the dogs are leashed and well-behaved. The definition of well-behaved remains undefined — so apparently the same meat-heads who carry dogs in their purses like fashion accessories and drive with them on their laps will get to decide if it’s okay that their dog is humping someone’s leg. (No word on whether bartenders would have to card dogs before serving them drinks. The legal dog age would be 3.) A supporter of the proposed law “said she ... would like the law to pass so she could bring her 112-pound Rottweiler, Ida, with her when meeting friends at bars.”...

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For Idaho, a Wish for Gay Rights

Last weekend in Seattle I went to a great party, had a wonderful time, and left with hope in my heart that someday there will be one just like it in Idaho. It was at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Seattle Leadership Awards reception that I stood with my grown daughter and a long-time family friend, savoring the sights and sounds of a room full of accomplished gay men and women: state legislators, architects, doctors, lawyers, designers, engineers, political leaders and executives of all sorts. Several hundred were gathered at the Seattle Grand Hyatt to honor Marsha Botzer for her leadership in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights.

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