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Posts tagged: Bob Nonini

Labrador endorses Nonini, Otter endorses Whalen in same race

Idaho 1st District Congressman Raul Labrador, who earlier this week made waves by endorsing Russ Fulcher for governor over two-term fellow Republican Gov. Butch Otter, announced today that he’s endorsing four North Idaho incumbents for re-election to the Idaho Legislature: Sen. Bob Nonini, and Reps. Vito Barbieri, Kathy Sims and Ron Mendive. Here’s the kicker: Otter has endorsed the challengers to all four: Post Falls businessman Patrick Whalen over Nonini, firefighter Fritz Wiedenhoff over Barbieri, former Kootenai County Commissioner Rick Currie over Kathy Sims, and longtime Post Falls city official Terry Werner over Mendive.

You can read Labrador’s full announcement here. Here’s Nonini’s statement on the endorsements:

“I am proud to have the strong endorsement of Congressman Raúl Labrador.  We worked together well in the Idaho House and support the SAME conservative principles shared by the vast majority of Idaho Republicans.

I have not supported Otter's 7+ years of failed leadership.  I was adamantly opposed to welcoming ObamaCare into Idaho and, alongside then State Representative Labrador, I helped defeat the Governor's attempt in the depth of our recession to raise the gas-tax on all Idahoans.  Idaho is no better off today than it was when he became governor.” 

Here is Otter’s endorsement statement for Whalen:

“Pat's vision for economic development and education demonstrate that he understands the issues important to northern Idaho. I appreciate Pat's philosophy of lower taxes, smaller government and better schools. Please join me in supporting Pat Whalen for the Idaho State Senate.”

Sen. Nonini, Rep. Henderson name subs for session’s opening days

When the Idaho Legislature convenes on Monday, it’ll have two unaccustomed faces in its midst: Two North Idaho legislators have designated substitutes to fill in for them for the first week or two of the session due to health concerns. Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, has designated his wife, Cathyanne Nonini, to substitute for him through Jan. 15; and Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, has designated North Idaho businessman John Chambers, a semi-retired executive at Ground Force Manufacturing, to fill in for him for up to two weeks.

Nonini has been recuperating from a serious infection. “He’s planning on coming back around the 15th,” said Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill.

Henderson broke his hip during a recent vacation mishap in Hawaii and hoped to be recovered enough to make the session’s first day, but decided he needed a little more time. “It turns out I recovered so fast, one week would’ve been plenty,” he said Thursday. “Right now, I’m doing great.”

Henderson, 91, is a fifth-term state representative, and is also a former Kootenai County commissioner and mayor of Post Falls. Nonini, 59, is a first-term senator who previously served four terms in the House, including a stint as House Education Committee chairman.

Nonini hospitalized with flu complications

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — A family friend says Republican State Sen. Bob Nonini of Coeur d'Alene has been hospitalized. Lorna Finman tells the Coeur d'Alene Press (http://bit.ly/1iHUyLm) that Nonini was admitted last week to Kootenai Health in Coeur d'Alene due to complications from the flu. Finman says Nonini is getting better and plans to be in Boise to take part in the 2014 session in January. A hospital spokeswoman on Sunday cited federal privacy laws in declining to release any information to The Associated Press, including whether Nonini is at the hospital. Finman says the family is requesting privacy so that Nonini can rest and get better.

Nonini wins two newspapers’ ‘jeers’ for reticence to Idaho reporters

Two Idaho newspapers, the Lewiston Tribune and the Idaho Falls Post Register, offered “jeers” on their editorial pages on Friday to Coeur d’Alene Sen. Bob Nonini, both picking up on not only points on which they disagree with Nonini’s legislative agenda, but his reluctance to talk to Idaho reporters.

Personally, I attempted to ask Nonini about his debate and vote against a fellow Coeur d’Alene lawmaker’s bill in the Senate this year immediately after that day’s session concluded, only to have him run off the Senate floor. That was followed by a comical sequence in which he jumped into a crowded Senate elevator, I joined him, he jumped out as the other senators gaped, and headed down the stairs, and I followed, only to receive “no comment.” I gave up after a flight and a half. Click below for the two newspaper’s “jeers.”

After I reported extensively last spring on Nonini's campaign finance activity during the primary election, he told me at the beginning of this year's legislative session that he doesn't like my reporting and wouldn't be speaking to me. Other than an occasional social comment, he kept that up all session. The editorial jeers weren't referring to his interactions with me, however, but to an item reported by Idaho Education News, the online Idaho news outlet that focuses on education.

Group pushes tax credits to fund scholarships to private, religious schools

In the wake of the Idaho's bitter debate over state school Superintendent Tom Luna's now-repealed school reform plan, the 2013 Legislature could discuss another education policy change that wasn't in Luna's package but could prove just as divisive: Tax credits to fund scholarships to private and religious schools, the AP reports. AP reporter John Miller writes that the proposal is similar to one introduced near the close of last year's session by Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, and is being pushed by Wayne Hoffman's Idaho Freedom Foundation; click below for Miller's full report.

Senate leadership PAC backs all Senate GOP contenders - except two

In practically every legislative district in the state where there's a contested race - and even one where there's not - the Senate Republican PAC has made a campaign contribution to the Republican candidate. The two exceptions: Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, in District 8, and Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, who's running for the Senate seat now held by the retiring Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Coeur d'Alene.

It turns out that Pearce was left out by mistake. “It was an oversight if we didn't make him one,” said Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg. “We need to make one to him. … It wasn't intentional.” Pearce, chairman of the Senate Resources Committee, faces Democrat Alma Hasse in the November election.

Nonini was another matter - it was no oversight. Hill said, “We had talked to him. He had $21,000 at the end of the last reporting period and his opponent had, like $30 or something like that, and it didn't seem like he needed the support on that.” He added, “Might there be feelings if he received funds from that PAC when some of the people that helped raise the money for that are people that he tried to get defeated? There may have been. That may have been part of our consideration, but it certainly was not the only consideration.”

Nonini targeted three sitting GOP senators for defeat in the primary, pouring thousands into their primary opponents' campaigns, but failing in all three cases to unseat them.

The remaining Senate GOP incumbents and aspiring GOP senators, even those facing long odds, got donations from the leadership PAC of $250, $500 or $1,000 each. Hill said the money was allocated “where we felt the need was, and where the funds would do the most good.” The unopposed senator who received money - $500 - was Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint. Her Democratic opponent withdrew from the race in June. Said Hill, “I hate to appear behind the times, but I don't think we knew that.”
  

Rep. Nonini’s primary-season mischief an issue in his Senate bid

Fourth-term state Rep. Bob Nonini is running for the Senate, but his actions in the primary - pouring thousands into the campaigns of unsuccessful challengers to several sitting GOP lawmakers, including three senators - could make him an unpopular arrival there. “I'm getting back-door support from moderate Republicans,” said his Democratic challenger, Kristy Reed Johnson. “Mr. Nonini has left the center of the party.” Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, says, “I'm going to have some bridge-building to do, I'm sure. And I'm confident that I can do that.”

It's the hottest race in North Idaho's District 3, a heavily GOP legislative district that nevertheless has Democrats mounting challenges for all three seats. Johnson's husband, Ronald K. Johnson, is challenging Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls; while fourth-time Democratic candidate David Larsen is up against GOP primary winner Ron Mendive for Nonini's old House seat. But the action clearly revolves around Nonini, who affronted the very GOP caucus he hopes to join in the Senate with his controversial moves in the primary.

“Obviously, it's going to be somewhat awkward for him,” said Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg. “I certainly don't condone what he did and I don't appreciate what he did. Sanctions, disciplinary action, those are all possibilities.” Hill added, “I've talked to Rep. Nonini, I went to his home and visited with him and his wife, and you know, we want to be able to help him to be successful as a state senator. But we have to look after the whole body, and make sure that we're successful for the people as a whole.” You can read my full story here from today's Spokesman-Review.
  

Senate candidate Nonini backs primary challenger to 11-term GOP Sen. Cameron

Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, who's running for the Idaho Senate, has made a last-minute $1,000 campaign donation through his PAC to the primary election challenger of the sitting chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert. That's a form of  political heresy in the Senate that Nonini hopes to join, where past attempts to back challengers to fellow GOP incumbents have brought major sanctions from the Republican caucus. “It's not particularly good form,” Cameron said.

Nonini's Idaho Association for Good Government PAC made the contribution Wednesday to the campaign of Douglas Pickett of Oakley, who is running against Cameron, an 11th-term senator and co-chairman of the Legislature's most powerful committee, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. Nonini, a fourth-term House member who's making a bid to jump over to the Senate this year, couldn't immediately be reached for comment; his contribution surfaced in the campaign finance reports that are now required to be filed within 48 hours of any last-minute contribution of $1,000 or more. That filing requirement took effect on Monday. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

The Legislature’s last cigarette smoker…

In a state Legislature that used to be filled with clouds of cigarette smoke, there's now only one state lawmaker who regularly steps outside for a smoke: Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene. There also are a scattering of cigar aficionados, a few discreet chewing-tobacco users and at least one pipe smoker, reports AP reporter John Miller, but far fewer legislators smoke than even the 16 percent of Idaho adults who puff cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Miller reports that the Capitol's dwindling population of tobacco users today stands in stark contrast to the 1970s, when smoking was so prevalent even inveterate abstainers gladly suspended House Rule 40 — the one forbidding smoking on the floor — just to keep business moving. Click below for Miller's full report.

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About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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