I just received 2 complimentary copies of the High Country News, featuring the article by Sierra Crane-Murdoch re: the takeover of North Idaho politics by archconservative emigres. There's a nice photo of Jeff Ward and Dan Gookin at election headquarters for the Coeur d'Alene City Council elections. And another nice photo of CSB Chairman Tom Hamilton with Brent Regan and Ann Seddon at a Reagan Republican luncheon at Fedora. Plus much more. Note to self: Follow-up with High Country News to tell them that uber-cons in Coeur d'Alene aren't feeling so hot this week. Now for today's Wild Card …
In one of their most dramatic choices in a century, local leaders of the Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to ease a divisive ban and allow openly gay boys to be accepted into the nation’s leading youth organization. Gay adults will remain barred from serving as Scout leaders. Of the local Scout leaders voting at their annual meeting in Texas, more than 60 percent supported the proposal. Casting ballots were about 1,400 voting members of BSA’s National Council who were attending their annual meeting at a conference center not far from BSA headquarters in suburban Dallas. The vote will not end the wrenching debate over the Scouts’ membership policy, and it could trigger defections among those on the losing side/Associated Press. More here.
Defeated Coeur d'Alene school Trustee Ann Seddon, left, and Becky Funk, campaign manager for defeated Trustee Brent Regan, listen to Reagan Republican leaders explain why all four group endorsees lost in the Tuesday local elections. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Duane Rasmussen reports from Reagan Republican luncheon: Jeff Ward said he has already done an analysis of yesterdays election results in which Ann Seddon lost her seat to Dave Eubanks. Ward said generally, the Reagan Republicans failed with its networking. It a relationship campaign. He also noted that both newspapers were against the Reagan Republicans. Ron Lahr said that generally, the CDA Press is a good conservative paper, but this time it was against the Reagan Republicans. Lahr also said that the Spokesman Review has always been, and is, a liberal paper. Lahr said he has always known the SR was Liberal because he grew up in Spokane and read the paper there. Ward also said that he was so upset Tuesday night, that failed to fully recognize the fact that his wife had won. It was a bitter sweet evening for Ward. Sharon Culbreth suggested that Ward buy his wife some flowers. Ward acknowledged that is would be a good idea.
HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, May 22): 12,698 page-views/6,903 unique views
Folks maneuver their way through the construction site for the McEuen Park renovation on Monday. The rproject is sure to cause congestion for upcoming events in Coeur d'Alene including Car d'Lane, Ironman Coeur d'Alene, Downtown Street Fair/Taste of the Coeur d'Alene/Art on the Green, Coeur d'Alene Triathlon and the Diamond Cup hydro races. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Vernon Yates, founder of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, lays his hands on Ty, a 400-pound tiger, as staff prepare to surgically extract a 4-pound hairball from the big cat on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in Clearwater, Fla. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Courtesy BluePearl Veterinary Partners, James Judge)
Wednesday Winner — Nic/with 6 likes: “Ain't no Tea Party like Godwin Tea Party because a Godwin Tea Party don't stop” You can see Wednesday photo & all 10 cutline entries here.
In the draft minutes for the Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting Tuesday, City Clerk Renata McLeod reports the discussion that led to a 5-1 vote (w/Councilman Steve Adams dissenting) to accept $125,000 in federal money to add officers to understaffed Coeur d'Alene Police Department:
Finance Director Troy Tymesen stated that the grants were the same and that leveraging dollars is an efficient way of managing staffing levels. He clarified that the City does not know when these grants are going to be available, so they have to be responded to quickly. Councilman Gookin stated that he understands that there are strings that come with a grant; however, the City needs the police positions and he will support this item. Councilman Adams stated that he has made his position clear, and clarified that as a fundamental fact government does not produce anything; therefore it has nothing to give. Anything the government gives away it must take from somebody else to do, therefore violating their rights. He believes it is a liberty and moral issue. He believes modest restructuring within the budget could cover the positions.
Question: Do you consider the ongoing, anti-federal government position by Adams to be principled or unreasonable?
In the current issue of High Country News, an article by Sierra Crane-Murdoch re: Take over of North Idaho politics by archconservative emigres touches George Sayler's acknowledgement that he was an Obama supporter during the 2011 City Council race with Dan Gookin:
“A week later, Strategery reprinted the quote on a flier beside headshots of Sayler and Obama, and dropped it on peoples' doorsteps. Sayler lost by 15 percent. The City Council election aggravated an ideological conflict within the local Republican Party — not between conservatives and moderates, but between those who believed, like (Tina) Jacobson, that only conservatives counted as Republicans, and those like (Ron) Lahr, who believed that any Republican, moderate or conservative, was better than a Democrat, and those like Gookin, who believed that there was still a sacred place for nonpartisanship. The flier unsettled Gookin — Sayler's politics, though no secret, struck him as “just one of those things” that needn't be mentioned. (You can read article re: How Right-Wing Emigrants Conquered North Idaho, with subscription, here.)
An Idaho football player could face a felony assault charge for his part in an altercation that ended the career of former Washington State receiver Mansel Simmons. Pullman Police announced in a press release Wednesday that they are recommending a second-degree felony assault charge against Idaho receiver Roman Runner for allegedly delivering the punch that fractured Simmons’ face and caused a severe concussion in the early morning hours of March 24. Whitman County prosecuting attorney Denis P. Tracy will decide whether to file charges in the case. Runner also allegedly displayed a knife, according to the release, but put it away before Simmons charged at him, which is when Runner punched Simmons in the head and knocked him to the ground/Christian Caple, SR. More here.
Question: Are you as tired as I am of all the football players from the University of Idaho and Washington State who get in trouble with the law?
A reflective Gov. Butch Otter says depending on news from sources that one agrees with can complicate problem solving, citing a dysfunctional Congress, the state-run health exchange under Obamacare and the “Common Core” debate as examples. “My primary portal for looking into the world is Fox News,” Otter said. “So I get a certain contamination — maybe ‘contamination’ is the wrong word — get a certain feeling of relief that they agree with my conservative philosophy.” Otter said the practice of seeking news from outlets with an ideological slant also applies to the left. In recent months, Otter has led the enactment of the state-run exchange and supported adoption of Common Core education standards over objections of Fox News loyalists in the Legislature and the public/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Do you rely on a news source that you agree with politically?
Politics is a “full-contact sport,” Republican state Sen. Bob Nonini told his hometown Coeur d’Alene Press this week. And at least he’s consistent in applying this principle. Last spring, when Nonini was seeking to move from the House to the Senate, his political action committee poured nearly $15,000 into campaigns targeting six GOP incumbents, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Dean Cameron of Rupert and Vice Chairwoman Shawn Keough of Sandpoint. All six candidates won. If Nonini was chastened by the experience — or by the awkwardness of serving alongside fellow Republicans he targeted for defeat a few months earlier — there’s no visible sign of it/Kevin Richert, TheEDge (IdahoEd News). More here.
Hannah Cvancara, Miss Spokane 2013, stands on a patio by the Spokane River on May 9. Cvancara is a senior at The Oaks Classical Christian Academy. See link below in “Other senior profiles by Cindy Hval.” (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)
It’s easy to overlook Michelle Kazuba in the halls at East Valley High School. Her small stature can make her seem swallowed up in the crowd. Yet counselor Heidi Youseph said Kazuba has “made a huge impact at our school.” Kazuba has achondroplasia dwarfism, but she’s never let the condition get in her way. “I figure I can do most things by myself because that’s the way I’ve lived my life”/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.
Other senior profiles by Cindy Hval:
Question: Do you know a high school senior who has overcome hardship to graduate? Can you describe him/her?
From the Coeur d'Alene Police Department Facebook wall: “We hope that all of you have a safe Memorial Day weekend. PD starts our summer reserve officers this weekend. You will see an added police presence ( bicycle/foot patrols) in City Park and downtown area. Full time officers ride with the reserve officers.
As part of the McEuen Park Reconstruction Project, improvements to Third Street will begin at 9 p.m. Monday with the installation of traffic signage and closing of Sherman Avenue from Second to Fourth streets. The contractor will then begin milling asphalt from Front Avenue to the alley north of Sherman Avenue on Third Street that evening and into Tuesday morning. This portion of the project should end with the finishing of paving on Thursday, June 13. Third Street will be open for Car d’Lane on Friday, June 14. During this three week period the contractor will be installing new stormwater manholes and 36” stormwater main down the center of Third Street from Front Avenue to the alley north of Sherman Avenue. The boat launch will still remain open until June 1/Coeur d'Alene Today.
You don't have to be an expert on current events to win our weekly news quiz, but it can't hurt! All entries this week are eligible to win two movie tickets to area cinemas, and our overall champ will earn a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. Simply enter, and you're eligible. Good luck! You can take the News Quiz here.
I understand what Trustees Dave Paul and Julie Hunt of Post Falls are going through this morning. After years of dedicated service to the Post Falls School District, they got blindsided by a campaign trick pulled by the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, involving state Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Idaho. I'm not going to try to decipher what happened re: an attack letter sent out under Nonini's letterhead and signature (which the legislator says wasn't written or authorized by him). I'll simply accept Nonini's claim in the Coeur d'Alene Press that he supported the intent of the letter that included a claim that he'd met Paul and Hunt several times — and knew they only were concerned with making the teachers union happy. Paul and Hunt say they haven't met Nonini and deny the truth of his union claim (which is absurd on the surface). You can drawn your own conclusions. We in Coeur d'Alene have seen these propaganda tactics by the Reagan Republicans before. The organization founded by Ron Lahr and Jeff Ward, with their PR wing Strategery, blindsided Coeur d'Alene two years ago when they used their political muscle. partisanship and surprise to win two seats on the School Board (Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour) and two seats on the City Council (Dan Gookin and Steve Adams). Both of those local boards have been in turmoil ever since. The Reagan Republicans won two more seats on the North Idaho College board (Ron Nilson and Todd Banducci) last year. And appeared headed for more gains until they were stopped in their tracks Tuesday, with their candidates losing all four seats in Coeur d'Alene. The Balance North Idaho group and Coeur d'Alene residents said enough to the divisive partisanship and archconservative ideology that the Reagan Republicans have exported for four years. It was only a matter of time until the two Post Falls leaders of the Reagan Republicans turned their focus to their own back yard. Post Falls school patrons were caught off guard by the Reagan Republican machine and the Nonini mailing mailing with its dubious content. Post Falls has now sampled what Coeur d'Alene has been tasting for years — the nasty incursion of archconservative politics into nonpartisan races. Here's predicting that the hard-working competent Post Falls School Board will become as divisive as the Coeur d'Alene School Board has been for the last two years. The silver lining? Post Falls is now aware of the threat posed by ideological king makers and should be ready for them next time/DFO.
House Judiciary Committee members Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, right, and Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev. talk on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, during the committee's hearing on immigration reform. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)