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Eye On Boise


Otter speaks out

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter sat down for an interview with AP reporter John Miller yesterday, and said he’s ready to ask for higher fees for car owners to fund needed road improvements, now that the ITD has supplied him with detail on how it can...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 4, 2007

MONDAY, DEC. 3, 2007

Guilty - ten times

Joseph Duncan, his voice low and sometimes cracking slightly, said “guilty” 10 times in response to questions from U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge about each of the 10 federal charges against him, three of which carry the death penalty. First, the charges were read, and...

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SUNDAY, DEC. 2, 2007

Reporter leaves town, news breaks

I only took one day off work – just one – to head to a family gathering in California on Friday. But I returned on Sunday afternoon to find that a big pile of news broke as soon as I left town, including a major...

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THURSDAY, NOV. 29, 2007

Federal judge ponders case against justices

Here’s a link to my full story in today’s Spokesman-Review on the court hearing yesterday in federal court in which a group of Idaho school districts is suing five Idaho Supreme Court justices. The districts say the justices violated the U.S. Constitution by declaring Idaho’s...

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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 28, 2007

Beck: 'Just a minor setback'

Rod Beck, lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to close Idaho’s GOP primary election to anyone other than registered Republicans, is upbeat today, even though a federal judge tossed out his lawsuit yesterday. “Do we give up? Heavens no,” Beck said. “This is just a...

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TUESDAY, NOV. 27, 2007

Judge tosses closed-primary case

Seventy-one dissident Republicans who sued to try to keep anyone but registered Republicans from voting in Idaho’s GOP primary have lost their case. A federal judge today tossed out the lawsuit, ruling that the dissidents lacked standing to sue. “It is for the Idaho Republican...

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MONDAY, NOV. 26, 2007

Two new federal magistrate judges named

The competition was hot, but after what was described as a “rigorous six-month process,” Ron Bush and Candy Dale have been named to the two federal magistrate judge positions that will open in Idaho in 2008. Chief United States District Judge B. Lynn Winmill said,...

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SATURDAY, NOV. 24, 2007

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 21, 2007

Of holidays and domestic violence

As we head into Thanksgiving, a traditional time of family gathering, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has stepped forward on a key family issue – domestic violence. “This time of year brings out the best in people,” the governor said. “Unfortunately, sometimes it also brings out...

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TUESDAY, NOV. 20, 2007

State names new tourism chief

Karen Ballard is Idaho’s new top tourism official, replacing Carl Wilgus, who held that post for the past 20 years. Ballard is a 15-year employee of Idaho’s state tourism division, who also worked earlier for Elkhorn Resort in Sun Valley and has worked as a...

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MONDAY, NOV. 19, 2007

Cost of a plane ride

Jason Risch, spokesman for dad Jim Risch’s campaign for the U.S. Senate, responded back this morning to an earlier request for the amount the Risch campaign paid to eastern Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot for use of VanderSloot’s Learjet for Risch’s fly-around announcing his candidacy. The...

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It's not that kind of beer

Walking into the Mitt Romney campaign fundraiser this morning, it was a bit startling to see what appeared to be six-packs of Mitt Romney-logo beer stacked up and for sale at the check-in desk, given the widespread attention to Romney’s membership in the LDS Church,...

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Romney hits Boise for breakfast fundraiser

It’s $500 a plate this morning for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s breakfast fundraiser at the Hillcrest Country Club. The GOP presidential candidate, whose campaign says he’s made two previous official campaign visits to Idaho, one last March to Boise and one to Idaho Falls,...

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FRIDAY, NOV. 16, 2007

No corporate jet for this fly-around

Asked whose plane Walt Minnick and Cecil Andrus used to fly around the state for Minnick’s congressional campaign announcements this week, Minnick’s campaign reported that it was a chartered five-seater from SP Aircraft, a Boise air charter company that does a lot of back-country charters,...

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THURSDAY, NOV. 15, 2007

Sali takes credit for bill he voted against

Idaho 1st District Congressman Bill Sali is touting his success in getting $500,000 in funding for a Highway 95 widening project included in a bill that he then voted against. “U.S. 95 has an unmistakable and irreplaceable role to play as part of Idaho’s economy,”...

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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14, 2007

Guv offers a heapin' stack of Otterisms

Gov. Butch Otter was a little coy as he began his keynote speech to the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho today, saying, “You’re here today to hear about the future and what to expect in the 2008 Legislature. Well, I don’t want to disappoint you, but...

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Senate ethics vice chair says 'stay tuned'

Erica Bolstad of McClatchy Newspapers in D.C. gleaned what appears to be a hint that something is coming soon from the Senate Ethics Committee on Sen. Larry Craig, in her story today on the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force pushing the committee to either...

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TUESDAY, NOV. 13, 2007

Of immigration raids and welcoming the stranger

It’s interesting timing, that human rights and interfaith groups are launching a “welcome the stranger” ad campaign just as big immigration raids are hitting in the Magic Valley. The groups say the immigration debate, the tone of talk radio and other factors are making Idaho...

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Could Duncan case become a test for death penalty?

Joseph Duncan may be the most-hated man in Idaho. The confessed murderer is awaiting a federal trial here for allegedly kidnapping then-8-year-old Shasta Groene and her 9-year-old brother, Dylan, and torturing and murdering Dylan after holding the children captive and molesting them for weeks. Duncan...

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FRIDAY, NOV. 9, 2007

1st District race getting bigger

It looks like the already contested primary election for Idaho's 1st District congressional seat – now held by Republican Bill Sali – is getting even moreso. Sali is facing Iraq vet Matt Salisbury on the GOP side, and former Micron exec Larry Grant, whom Sali...

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THURSDAY, NOV. 8, 2007

It's your right to know

One way to promote compliance with the state’s open meetings and public records laws is simply to educate people about them, from public officials to reporters to citizens, so that everyone knows what’s required and what they’re supposed to do. That’s the idea behind a...

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Full house plus at cottage site hearing

About 100 people are crowded into a meeting room at the state LBJ building this afternoon for a public hearing on lease rents and terms for state-owned cottage sites on Payette and Priest lakes. Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said, “We kind of expected the...

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Eye On Boise

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