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Eye On Boise

Wed., Jan. 25, 2012, 4:14 p.m.

Statehouse reactions: ‘She bleeds Republican,’ ‘Always a fracas on reapportionment’

The first-floor rotunda of the State house was packed just now for a reception honoring longtime University of Idaho chief lobbyist Marty Peterson upon his retirement; the talk of the crowd as it milled around, amid congratulations to Peterson, was this afternoon's Idaho Supreme Court decision tossing the redistricting petition from House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko. State Tax Commission Chairman Bob Geddes, a former Senate president pro-tem, said he had some sympathy with the two for filing their petition to try to oust two redistricting commissioners. "I think those appointees serve at the will of the people who appointed them," Geddes said. But he said he also agreed with former Gov. Phil Batt's comments in a guest opinion today that party leaders were trying to "sully the reapportionment process for more political gain." Said Geddes, "I don't necessarily disagree with the governor on that issue."

Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, said, "I'm glad that the Supreme Court acted expeditiously. I certainly respect that Norm Semanko and the speaker have their opinions, but I disagree with those opinions. I've worked with Dolores Crow in her years here, and she bleeds Republican, so I'm astounded at the actions that were taken there. I think they did the right thing in ignoring partisan politics and acting on the numbers."

Lt. Gov. Brad Little said, based on his work helping the governor with appointments, "There's some appointments that say 'at the pleasure of,' and there's other appointments that have a different hurdle. Without doing the research, I would've said it's in the latter category." But he added, "There's always a fracas on reapportionment."

Rep. Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls, said, "Just my initial thought, if I was that person and the person that appointed me was so unhappy with me, wanted me out, I would (quit)." She said, "We just all want to have it be decided, and know what we're dealing with."

Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, said, "I'm glad the Supreme Court resolved it in an expeditious manner. My concern is any action that would delay the commission from getting the work done, and the impact it was having on the whole election process and pressure to move the election back. ... We can get on with our business for the benefit of our constituents."

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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