Idaho's bipartisan citizen redistricting commission has submitted its new legislative district plan, approved on a unanimous 6-0 vote, to Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa. Ysursa, joining the confab by phone from a meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State, told the commissioners, “I sure want to thank you for all the work you've done.” He quoted Commissioner Sheila Olsen about a “triumph of civility,” and said in his view, that's what occurred in the commission. “We can get going for that May primary,” Ysursa said. “Obviously there could be lawsuits, but I think you've done a commendable job of it. Thank you all for your service.”
When Co-Chairman Ron Beitelspacher offered a quip about the tough leadership of Co-Chairwoman Dolores Crow, Crow responded, “Yeah, I'm a real bear,” and then, amid some prompting and laughter, said, “Oh, yeah, I'm a rhino, I forgot.” Ysursa, a big man who often jokes about his size, said, “Well, I'm a hippo, so you're OK.”
RINO, or “Republican In Name Only,” is the pejorative term some in the GOP have tossed around to apply to party members who aren't sufficiently loyal; House Speaker Lawerence Denney has taken a ton of political heat for trying unsuccessfully to oust former longtime GOP lawmaker and Republican activist Crow from the commission.