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Eye On Boise

FRIDAY, FEB. 8, 2008

Lake better, returning Monday

House members were just informed that Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, who suffered a stroke during a House debate yesterday, is due to be released from the hospital within the hour. “His condition is well,” Senate GOP Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly, told the House. “His...

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Stennett is back

Senate Minority Leader Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum, who underwent brain surgery last week, returned to the Legislature this morning, attending a Senate State Affairs Committee meeting. Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise, was presenting a proposed bill on energy efficient school building design when Stennett came in and...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 7, 2008

This time, safe boating bill is introduced

A new version of a boating safety bill from the state Department of Parks & Rec was introduced in the House Resources Committee today, though with several “no” votes. Under the new bill, no one under 14 could operate a motorized boat or watercraft in...

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January revenues are down

Idaho legislators are expressing fears about whether they can fund Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed budget due to anticipated worsening economic conditions – and they got the first numbers today that bolster that fear. Though preliminary, state revenue figures for January show a sharp drop, coming...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 6, 2008

'Water wars have spread to north'

County commissioners from Bonner, Boundary and Shoshone counties spoke forcefully against the proposed North Idaho water rights adjudication, in a Senate committee hearing this afternoon. Boundary County Commissioner Dan Dinning urged lawmakers to put the process on hold. “We have issues there that I don’t...

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Craig staffer moves on

Sid Smith, press secretary for Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, has been named the new executive director of the Idaho Republican Party. Smith has worked for Craig for six years. He replaces Jayson Ronk, who went to work for the Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry...

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And it happened despite the weather...

The huge turnout for Idaho’s Democratic presidential caucuses last night came despite a major winter snowstorm in North Idaho, that at one point closed I-90 westbound at Fourth of July Pass. The freeway remained closed from 8:45 to 10 p.m., due to multiple semi-truck spinouts....

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TUESDAY, FEB. 5, 2008

Idaho Dems turn out for Obama

With all Idaho counties’ votes tallied, Idaho’s Democratic presidential caucuses overwhelmingly favored Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who took 80 percent of the vote. Hillary Clinton trailed with 17 percent, while 3 percent were uncommitted and John Edwards tallied 1 percent. Obama took 79 percent in...

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Obama’s lead large and holding

With 67 percent of the caucus results tallied, Barack Obama had 81 percent in Idaho, Hillary Clinton had 15 percent, 3 percent were uncommitted and 1 percent were for John Edwards, according to the Associated Press. A candidate needs at least 15 percent to meet...

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Idaho results start to trickle in

With 31 percent of Idaho’s caucuses reaching their final results, Barack Obama is sweeping the state with 74 percent. Hillary Clinton has 22 percent, 3 percent are uncommitted, and 1 percent are for John Edwards.

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'Gora Obama, Gora'

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, who spoke for Obama at the Ada County caucus tonight, said he wanted to lead a cheer that wouldn’t be heard in Iowa or anywhere else, a “uniquely Boise” cheer. He also used that cheer at the Fiesta Bowl. The reason...

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They had to go to Kinko's for more ballots

Ada County Democrats had printed up 9,000 ballots for their caucus tonight, and they ran out. “They had to go to Kinko’s and make more,” said Idaho Democratic Party spokesman Chuck Oxley. Another 5,000 ballots were copied off. Some caucus-goers were held outside by the...

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Record numbers flock to Dems' caucus

With thousands in line, Ada County Democrats are scrambling to mobilize volunteers with clipboards to collect completed ballots from those still outside waiting in line for the presidential caucus. The Qwest Arena has a capacity of 6,500, and state Democratic Party spokesman Chuck Oxley said,...

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Merrill to run for House – but which seat?

Former Eagle Mayor Nancy Merrill has announced she’ll run for the state House from District 14, but the GOP candidate hasn’t decided which seat she’ll seek. The two seats from that district currently are held by House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, and freshman Rep....

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Emergency declaration expanded

Gov. Butch Otter has added five more counties to his disaster declaration due to the extreme winter storm conditions up north. Last week, Otter declared disaster emergencies for Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Latah counties. Now, he’s added Benewah, Clearwater, Fremont, Power and Shoshone counties. The...

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MONDAY, FEB. 4, 2008

Judge: Duncan evidence won’t be suppressed

A federal judge has rejected motions by Joseph Duncan’s defense attorneys to suppress evidence seized from Duncan’s vehicle, which he was driving when he was found with young Shasta Groene, the only survivor of Duncan’s bloody attack on her family. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge...

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House passes driver's license bill, 47-21

HB 366, legislation designed to deny driver’s licenses to those without documentation that they’re legally in the United States, just passed the House on a 47-21 vote, despite concerns raised by some representatives that the bill is flawed, and actually would deny driver’s licenses to...

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Grocery tax bill killed

The House Revenue & Taxation Committee has voted 10-8 to kill HB 439, the grocery tax relief bill. Read my full story here. The vote came after a hearing that stretched for more than two hours in a stiflingly hot, jam-packed committee room. Fifteen people...

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Senators: Otter muzzling agency directors?

The Senate State Affairs Committee, which includes top members of leadership from both parties, today grilled Gov. Butch Otter’s budget director, Wayne Hammon, about word that state agency heads have been told not to share information with the Legislature about anything other than those items...

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Senators looking to oust 3 board members

The Senate Education Committee, which has expressed strong concerns about budgetary blunders at the state Board of Education and plans to grill all eight board members about it, also may push for ousting some of the board’s members. "I'm not going to be satisfied until...

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SATURDAY, FEB. 2, 2008

‘It gave me hope’

Nineteen-year-old Michelle Butler, a college student from Boise, came away inspired – both by presidential candidate Barack Obama’s words and by the outpouring of support from Idahoans. “I was absolutely amazed at how many people showed up – that absolutely blew my mind,” she said....

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'Students made the difference'

Rallying the crowd, Idaho Obama volunteers T.J. Thomson and Kassi Cerami led the crowd in sending text messages with their cell phones that will get the senders regular updates on the Obama campaign, and talked up the upcoming caucus. Even 17-year-olds can participate in Tuesday’s...

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Why folks are here

Here’s why Lori Wielenga of Boise, decided to come down to Taco Bell Arena on a cold, snowy morning to see a Democratic presidential candidate speak: “I support Barack, and I’m interested to see him in person, and I’m also proud that a politican decided...

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Eye On Boise

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