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Idaho Dems Hire Grassroots, Netroots Communications Director

Beginning Wednesday, the Idaho Democratic Party (IDP) will have a new team member in Julie Fanselow, who is taking on the new job just a month before a national election.

Fanselow, who was born “nine days before Barack Obama” as she told New West, grew up in Chicago and Pittsburgh, got her degree in journalism and political science from Ohio University, then landed in Idaho in 1989 to take a reporter’s job at the Twin Falls Times-News.

After almost a decade of reporting, Fanselow spent the next decade writing for magazines, then a series of travel books, including the best-selling “Idaho Off the Beaten Path,” now in its 7th edition.

Fanselow caught the political bug during the Watergate era, but didn’t have time for serious activism until the months leading up to the 2004 elections.

“I came back to political activism in 2003 during the Howard Dean campaign. I was disgusted by our rush to the unnecessary war in Iraq and with the way the Bush administration squandered the world’s good will in the aftermath of September 11th,” she said.

In 2003, Fanselow founded the popular blog Red State Rebels for which she won awards, along with Grassroots for Grant, a campaign website for House candidate Larry Grant, from the Northwest Progressive Institute. United Vision for Idaho named her its first-ever Progressive Blogger of the Year in January 2008.

Jim Hansen, Executive Director of the IDP, says he’s thrilled to have an experienced organizer and skilled communicator accept the job. “Julie will be engaging and consulting with our county organizations about grassroots issues, which she is uniquely qualified to do,” he said. “Her internet skills in organizing from the ground up will also be invaluable.”

Fanselow said, “When I moved to Idaho in 1989, we had a Democratic governor. Two years later, both of our U.S. House members were Democrats. We’ve won in the past, and we will win again. I know the Democratic brand was badly bruised in Idaho during the 1990s and the early part of this decade, but we’re clearly on the way back.”

About Jill Kuraitis

Jill Kuraitis is an award-winning journalist who specializes in news of Idaho and the Rocky Mountain West. Her B.A. in theatre management is from UC Santa Barbara, and she went on to work in theatre, film, and politics before writing became a career. Kuraitis has two excellent grown children and lives in Boise with her husband of 30 years, abundant backyard wildlife, and two huge hairy dogs.

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  1. As a former Idaho reporter myself, let me be the first — here anyway — to congratulate Julie on her appointment. But, I’m curious, who does she replace?

  2. Technically, she “replaces” Chuck Oxley, but the new job is defined somewhat differently, according to IDP Executive Director Jim Hansen. He said Julie will focus more on grassroots/netroots communication support and training for county organizations.

  3. Julie,

    Read your Comments about the Democrat party needing a talk show host to counter the conservative talk show personalities
    that are dominating the air ways around the country. I suggest that you consider the fact that the reason they dominate the
    talk shows is that they do not lie, hate America, bring out the
    best America has to offer to its citizens and exposes the detremental effects of Communism & Socialism, which are proven
    to be the most catastrophic and disasterous methods of governance the world has ever known. Dozens of progressive
    hosts have been complete failures due to their pesimistic outlook,
    outright pervarications, finger pointing blaming other for the lefts
    ineptness and failures, ect, ect ad-nausium to the point of complete digust.

    Your short bio indicates that you are undoubtedly a product of one of our “Little Red School Houses”. and a brain washed liberal
    eletist, egomanical holier than thou that thinks you can fool
    the people all of the time. Your ilk should always remember that
    Einstein was unable to tie his own shoe strings.

    You should also be made aware of the fact that the vast majority
    of our military, active, retired and veterans, despise the leftist
    radical idiots that are calling themselves Democrats. The Democrat
    party no longer exists. It has been stolen by corrpt, perverted
    psychopaths and Chicago type thugs. The liberal media has resorted to outright lies, false accusations to the extent that
    it is obvious that they are derived directly from the propagada methods found in ThE Communist Maifesto and Mein Kamph.

    Our government is rief with traitors, fellow travelers, perverts,
    thugs, crooks and arrogant eletists: the vast majority of whom
    are Democrats. Each time they convene they create the greatest
    perfomance of circus clowns that out performe any thing that
    Barnum & Bailey ever produced. What an embrassement before
    the world.

    John R. Headrick, Gy/Sgt. U.S. Marine Corps, Retired

  4. Wow, Julie, you hit a nerve! The name-calling from these fellows never ceases does it? It’s an easy way to disregard the often onerous task of debating real issues.

    Just to get an idea of what the other side is saying, I frequently listen to the likes of Hannity and Limbaugh. They can’t go 15 minutes without misstating a simple fact or misquoting someone. They, as well as some left-wing commentators do succeed (the left in some parts of the country) because they don’t require listeners to research issues carefully. It’s easy to listen to someone parrot and reinforce your own views, unchallenged.

    It’s hard to imagine that more than half the country (53 percent plurality for Obama) is rife with traitors, perverts, idiots, crooks and –worse of all — elitists!

    The gentleman posting may benefit from some “Little Red School House” review despite the fear he could become an elitist. My evidence for a refresher course: detremental, disasterous ect, ad-nausium, eletist, egomanical, propagada, Mein Kamph. rief (my personal favorite), eletists, and, finallly, the word that best describes the entire content of his post: “embrassement.”