Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Breaking News
Home » Tag Archives: politics (page 3)

Tag Archives: politics

Rex Rammell, Controversial Elk Rancher, Will Run For U.S. Senate

When I wrote Please Do Not Sit on the Elk, Dr. Rammell last September, the idea of Rex Rammell wanting to change his seat to one in the U.S. Senate didn’t rear its….sorry. The word “elk” draws readers by the thousands to New West, and clearly I wasn’t taking things seriously enough. I thought a guy who let 160 elk escape from his canned-hunt elk ranch and didn’t seem concerned was, well, six antlers short of a full rack. After all, Rammell was arrested, but acquitted, of pestering and aggravating state wildlife officers after then-Gov. Jim Risch ordered Fish and Game to kill the escaped elk lest they spread disease. But according to Rammell and a substantial number of New West readers, that’s nonsense.

Read More »

Warren Jones Appointed to Idaho Supreme Court

Idaho Governor Butch Otter has named Boise trial lawyer Warren Jones to the Idaho Supreme Court. He’ll join the panel in July, after the retirement of Chief Justice Gerald Schroeder. Schroeder has said he preferred an appointed successor so that candidates would come from a well-qualified pool of applicants.

Read More »

Attorney General Gonzales in Boise Tuesday

UPDATE: Read the story of Gonzales' visit to Boise and the protesters who never got a chance to confront him: "Gonzales, Dodging Protesters, Relocates Press Conference." Via the Idaho Statesman at 9:30 a.m. on June 25, this from Greg Hahn: "U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will be in Boise on Tuesday. Gonzales will join a meeting of the Treasure Valley Metro Anti-Gang Task Force, tour the Fort Boise Community Center, and hold private meetings with staff of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, heads of federal agencies, and federal judges. Gonzales was sworn into office in 2005 after President Bush nominated him to replace John Ashcroft. Since then, his role in the war on terror and in other Department of Justice issues has made him a controversial figure in the Bush administration."

Read More »

Idaho to Sell Lands to Protect Others

Idaho is aiming to protect ranchland and wild lands with a new land trust, but to fund it, the state wants to auction off more than 30 pieces of land, including some historic ranches within wilderness. State officials say the sales would probably go to federal land agencies, not wealthy landowners looking for a trophy ranch. Still, environmentalists are skeptical. "The last things we want to see is more no trespassing signs on our favorite fishing holes," John Robison, of the Idaho Conservation League, told the Associated Press. The Department of Fish and Game drafted a list of over 30 "surplus properties" to sell off to build an endowment for the trust, including several in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Ranches range from a fraction of an acre to 20,000 acres in the Panhanlde National Forest. In return, the state hopes to protect key ranches and forest land. It's planning a round of workshops starting in July for residents to identify spots they'd like to see protected. Also in Grok: Open space in Missoula; monster homes in Boulder; ultra-modern or ultra-ugly in Edwards, Colo.?

Read More »

GOP Closed Primary Threatens Voters’ Freedom and Privacy

As an Idaho voter, you need to know that there’s a battle going on right now inside the GOP that would take away your right to privacy. It’s happening right here in Idaho and it effects one of the most sacred places of government – the voting booth – where you make your choices behind a curtain of secrecy. There’s a reason the secret ballot is treated with such care and reverence when you appear at your election poll. Our founding fathers had the wisdom to realize that only a secret ballot would render a true picture of the public will. If individuals had to show their marked ballot to the public, powerful politicians might use retribution or intimidation to change the outcome. It’s hard to believe, but that’s exactly the kind of thing that’s happening in Idaho today as the right wing of the Republican Party seeks to close its primary elections by requiring party registration.

Read More »

LaRocco Says Craig Part of “Delusional Policies” in Iraq

In a public forum called “live blogging” on NewWest/Boise last week, Democratic candidate for Congress Larry LaRocco said his likely opponent, incumbent Senator Larry Craig, was “asleep at the switch” when the Bush administration was making policy about the war in Iraq. In response to a question from “Julin” of Boise, LaRocco wrote: “Larry Craig has been a rubber stamp for the administration. He has never asked a tough question about the direction or implementation of our policy in Iraq. This is very unhealthy for our state and nation. A member of Congress should make certain that the executive branch is accountable to the taxpayers of the nation. Larry Craig has really been asleep at the switch and has contributed to the delusional policies in Iraq.” Asked to respond to the live blog session with LaRocco, Senator Craig wrote, “My first vote as a U.S. Senator was to send our troops into Iraq in 1991. It was the toughest vote I have ever cast, and the decision to send troops into harms way never gets easier. It really hits home when I call the parents of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice."

Read More »

Moscow Shooter Was Member of Aryan Nations

The Spokesman Review has reported that Jason Hamilton, who on May 19th killed his wife, a Moscow police officer, and the caretaker at the First Presbyterian Church, before turning the gun on himself, was a member of the Aryan Nations, a white supremacist group founded by the late Richard Butler. Hamilton apparently joined the Aryan Nations in 2000, two years after moving to Moscow. A visit to the official Aryan Nations website, if you can stand it, reveals that their motto is "Violence Solves Everything!" The exclamation mark is theirs, not mine.

Read More »

Idaho Governor Otter Signs on to Global Climate Challenge

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has signed an executive order to have the Department of Environmental Quality coordinate efforts by state agencies to track greenhouse gas emissions. I applaud this effort by my governor. It's a refreshing change of pace from the business as usual approach many Idaho political leaders have been taking on this critical issue. Those of you who have read my comments elsewhere on New West know my position on this issue. It is one that I have come to after reviewing the scientific basis for anthropogenic climate change. Many out there are still skeptical, and that is an understandable position to take. The Earth’s atmosphere is a very complex system, with multiple forms of equilibria interacting simultaneously. However, there are a few things that are crystal clear to me. First, by examining the Keeling curve, which has measured the concentration of atmospheric CO2 since the late 1950s, it is clear that there has been a constant trend upwards over that time. It is rising at a rate of 1-2 ppm each year and has risen in absolute terms about 20% over the last four decades of the 20th century. If we also look at the paleological data (page 31 of linked PDF file) acquired from ice cores drilled in Antarctica, we see that the present day observed levels of the gas far exceed anything that has been naturally occurring over the past several hundred thousand years. The only reasonable explanation for the current increase is

Read More »

Idaho’s Dirty Secret: Anti-Mormonism

While in college at Idaho State some years ago, I wrote a column for the school newspaper entitled "Support Your Local Land Swap." It dealt with a proposal in which the LDS-owned Institute of Religion building (which had been on campus for years), would be given to the university in exchange for a bare plot of land elsewhere on the campus. As a Democrat and Unitarian, I was expected to oppose this on the grounds of separation of church and state. Now, while I was then (and am now) a fierce supporter of separation, I supported this proposal. In the aftermath, I shocked the "liberal" community, received anonymous letters of support and met with the campus bishop. Anti-Mormonism is Idaho's dirty little secret.

Read More »

Boise Steps Up for the Earth

How can a small group organize a major environmental action in only seven weeks? When folks think about environmental issues like global climate change, the city of Boise, Idaho doesn’t exactly leap to the forefront as a fertile ground for finding much sympathy and activism. Idaho is the reddest of red states in the union, and as such, environmental issues are often viewed as the domain of “hippies, commies and veggies,” and not something that real people should care about. So what chance did a small group of committed people have to organize a successful event in Boise calling for congressional action to address this growing crisis? We had just 50 days.

Read More »