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Eye On Boise

Fri., May 16, 2014, 9:04 a.m.

Of cowboys, curmudgeons, and national eyes on Idaho…

This Idaho Public TV photo, by Jim Hadley, shows my facial expression as one of the three reporters on the panel for this week’s Idaho gubernatorial debate. The antics of perennial candidates Harley Brown and Walter Bayes in the debate that otherwise was between two-term Gov. Butch Otter and GOP challenger and Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher attracted national attention and mirth.

I talked briefly with NBC News political director Chuck Todd on his “Daily Rundown” story this morning about Idaho politics as Tuesday’s primary election approaches, but didn’t get a chance to correct him on an incorrect assumption he’d made earlier in the program: That when Brown listed Idaho’s GOP candidates for governor during the debate as “a cowboy, a curmudgeon, a biker, or a normal guy,” the incumbent governor must have been the “normal guy” in the list.

Actually, in Brown’s list, Otter was the “cowboy.” As we all know in Idaho, we have a rodeo-loving, calf-roping, horseback-riding cowboy governor. Fulcher was the “normal guy.” Todd’s show is online here.

Meanwhile, Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey, my fellow panelist on the debate, reports today that a two-minute mashup of the debate that went viral on social media yesterday was put together by an editor at KTVB-TV, whose bosses asked him to take it down yesterday afternoon due to concerns over copyright issues. Idaho Public TV officials are meeting today to discuss copyright issues, but haven't raised any concerns. Popkey also provides a link to an interview did with debate host Melissa Davlin, in which interviewer Mike Pesca praised Davlin as "heroic" for her handling of the debate.

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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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