Today was the City Club of Boise’s annual Pundits Forum, in which I joined Dan Popkey of the Idaho Statesman and John Miller of the Associated Press, along with moderator Jim Weatherby, to discuss the upcoming legislative session. There was a huge, record crowd of nearly 700 people, including lots of lawmakers. I think my favorite moment was when I realized why a large group of legislators in the audience, including legislative leaders, rose and left the forum about 5 minutes after 1, though it wasn’t over yet. The reason: Legislative ethics training started at 1:15, and attendance was mandatory.
In fact, this morning House Speaker Scott Bedke announced that plainly on the floor of the House, telling members, “The attendance in the ethics training is not optional.”
There were some laughs and some good questions at the City Club forum, which will be replayed on Boise State Public Radio Saturday at 8 p.m. and Tuesday at 7 p.m. At one point, a questioner from the audience asked what we made of the fact that Idaho voters rejected Propositions 1, 2 and 3 at the same time that they re-elected the same lawmakers who’d passed those laws. Popkey said it was because they like their local teachers, but they also like their local lawmakers. “It was a slap, but it was a love slap,” he said.