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Eye On Boise

TUESDAY, NOV. 4, 2008

'As big or bigger than we thought'

Turnout in Idaho so far is big. “It’s looking as big or bigger than we thought,” said Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, who predicted a record turnout of 700,000, or 80 percent of registered voters. “I’ve heard good reports about not taking too long...

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MONDAY, NOV. 3, 2008

Duncan's last appearance in Idaho

Here are links to my full stories on the developments in the Joseph Duncan case today, the day of Duncan’s final sentencing and final appearance in Idaho. You can read my main story here, and my sidebar here on my interview with Steve Groene, father...

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Judge: 'You will always be a danger'

After Duncan gave his odd statement in court, Judge Edward Lodge immediately sentenced the killer for his remaining non-capital federal crimes, saying the court must impose “a sentence that reflects the severity of the offenses, provides just punishment, and promotes respect for the law.” Duncan’s...

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Three death sentences and nine life sentences

Between the state and federal charges, at the conclusion of today’s sentencing proceedings, Joseph Duncan now faces three death sentences and nine life sentences for his crimes against a North Idaho family. And he may yet get another death sentence in California, for the abduction...

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Steve Groene: 'I hope this guy dies soon'

Steve Groene says he doesn’t want Joseph Duncan tried in California, because, “There’s no reason to spend the taxpayer’s money and there’s no reason to drag Anthony Martinez’ memory through the crap like they did Dylan’s.” Duncan, he said, will “never spent time in a...

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Three more life terms for Duncan

Idaho 1st District Judge Fred Gibler has sentenced Joseph Duncan to three more fixed life terms, for the murders of Brenda Matthews Groene, Mark McKenzie and Slade Groene in 2005, in accordance with a plea agreement. Gibler, addressing Duncan through a video link, told Duncan...

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FRIDAY, OCT. 31, 2008

Idaho election prediction: 80 percent turnout

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa is predicting 80 percent of registered voters will turn out to vote on Tuesday. “We are expecting a record turnout in numbers, at around 700,000 ballots cast,” he said. “This is higher than the previous record set in 2004...

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AG's office: Shred campaign flier

The Idaho Attorney General's office is recommending that anyone who got a campaign flier showing the Social Security numbers of a congressman and his wife shred it. “We’d urge ‘em to shred it,” said Deputy Attorney General Brett DeLange, who heads the office’s Consumer Protection...

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THURSDAY, OCT. 30, 2008

Wyden: A 'philosophical truce' on health care

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden traveled to Boise today to tout his bipartisan health care reform legislation and to campaign for Democratic Senate candidate Larry LaRocco. Wyden’s visit came as the five candidates seeking Idaho’s open U.S. Senate seat have staked out widely differing positions on...

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WEDNESDAY, OCT. 29, 2008

'Blizzard of attack ads' in Idaho race

In the final days before the election, three new campaign commercials are airing in Idaho’s hot 1st District congressional race. They include one from each of the candidates, GOP Rep. Bill Sali and Democratic challenger Walt Minnick, and a new one from an outside group,...

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TUESDAY, OCT. 28, 2008

Risch: Ulcer kept me out of Vietnam

Pressed by two of his opponents to explain why he never served in the military, GOP Senate candidate Jim Risch said today that an ulcer kept him from serving in the Vietnam War. “I had an ongoing ulcer, and they didn’t want me,” Risch told...

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MONDAY, OCT. 27, 2008

Senate candidates clash over taxes

The two leading candidates for Idaho’s open U.S. Senate seat are focusing on their differences on taxes and Social Security, and airing clashing claims in their campaign commercials. Republican Jim Risch has a new TV commercial out, airing throughout the state and in the Spokane...

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FRIDAY, OCT. 24, 2008

Sali says he'll move office if re-elected

1st District Rep. Bill Sali now says he’ll move his main district office if he’s re-elected, after the House Committee on Administration said he’s violating House rules by maintaining his office outside the 1st Congressional District. Kyle Anderson, press director for the committee, said, “The...

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THURSDAY, OCT. 23, 2008

Idaho Senate hopefuls debate, minus Risch

Four of the candidates for Idaho’s open U.S. Senate seat ripped into the fifth, GOP candidate Jim Risch, as they debated on live statewide TV on Thursday night while Risch declined to join them. “I would ask him … why he is spending so much...

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WEDNESDAY, OCT. 22, 2008

Dems' ad shows Sali with sheep

The latest campaign ad by an outside group targeting an Idaho race features an image of GOP Rep. Bill Sali with a bunch of sheep, charging he’s “hanging with the wrong flock in Washington.” The commercial, placed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, uses what’s...

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TUESDAY, OCT. 21, 2008

Agreement and disagreement

Both Jim Risch and Larry LaRocco came out in favor of the Idaho wilderness bills proposed by Sen. Mike Crapo and Rep. Mike Simpson for the Owyhee Canyonlands and Boulder-White Cloud mountains, respectively, during a debate tonight on KTVB-TV. Rex Rammell, an independent candidate for...

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Rammell leaves stage during debate

Less than 15 minutes into tonight’s live debate between four candidates for Idaho’s open U.S. Senate seat, independent candidate Rex Rammell took ill and left the stage. “Mr. Rammell is not feeling well,” moderator Dee Sarton informed the audience. Just moments earlier, Rammell had given...

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Wood River Journal closes its doors

The Sun Valley area, which long has had two competing weekly newspapers, is losing one, as the Wood River Journal ceases publication with its Oct. 22 edition. Express Publishing Inc. of Ketchum, publisher of the rival Idaho Mountain Express and Guide, has purchased the assets...

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MONDAY, OCT. 20, 2008

LaRocco, Risch spar over ads

Democratic Idaho Senate candidate Larry LaRocco has two new TV ads out criticizing Republican rival Jim Risch on social security and taxes. While the ads aren’t technically inaccurate, the Risch campaign objects to their claims as “half-truths,” while LaRocco says they’re spot-on. “I stand by...

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A look at Senate, 1st CD races

Larry Craig has represented Idaho in Washington, D.C., for 28 years. Now his shadow falls over the race to replace him, as five candidates face off for a rare open seat in the U.S. Senate and a chance to launch a new chapter in the...

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SUNDAY, OCT. 19, 2008

Jury foreman haunted by Duncan trial

The foreman of the jury that sentenced killer and child molester Joseph Duncan to death has "no regrets" about the unanimous verdict, which jurors reached in just three hours. "To me, the evidence was overwhelming," said Chris Robbins, speaking publicly about his experience for the...

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FRIDAY, OCT. 17, 2008

GARVEE bond sale delayed due to market woes

The Idaho Transportation Department has announced it’ll delay the sale of $116 million in GARVEE bonds for major transportation projects, which lawmakers authorized this year, until the nation’s financial markets stabilize. “It is the cautious and appropriate approach to take,” said ITD Director Pamela Lowe....

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'And that's coming from a child'

Last night at dinner, my 15-year-old son shared his opinion of all the campaign commercials that have been cluttering up the TV airwaves. Most, he said, seem serious and appropriate. But he singled out two that he said rubbed him the wrong way: Bill Sali’s...

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THURSDAY, OCT. 16, 2008

The political swirl...

Here’s a link to my full story in today’s Spokesman-Review on the developments in the Sali-Minnick race yesterday, from Sali agreeing to change a misleading claim in an anti-Minnick TV ad to a clash between the candidates on use of congressional staff in the campaign....

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WEDNESDAY, OCT. 15, 2008

Political fireworks at campaign forum

If today’s Boise City Club forum with 1st District Congressman Bill Sali and his Democratic challenger, Walt Minnick, is any indication, the airwaves should be cooking this Sunday night when the two debate on live statewide TV. The two clashed during the luncheon forum over...

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.