The political dance cards didn't fill up rapidly last week, the first of two weeks in which the legislative and courthouse candidates can file for office. But that will change next week. I suspect there will be a lot of scrambling to file papers just before the 5 p.m. Friday deadline. Of interest will be state Rep. Frank Henderson's House District 3 seat, now that Len Crosby has decided not to run, due to family reasons. And the GOPrecinct races will be interesting, too. I suspect the battle for the Central Committee will be as fascinating as any of the Main Event races. We'll talk about all this next week. Now, I'll post this Wild Card and prepare for a leisurely weekend.
8 Days & Counting (to affiliate with the Republican Party to vote in the closed GOPrimary in May): The flying pigs have taken to the air ways today as Dan of the County has come in from the cold. The last Democrat standing has affiliated with the local Republican Party to vote in the closed GOPrimary this spring. Now, if we can get his nephew OrangeTV and Mike Kennedy, the Democrat who lives rent free in the minds of some local Republicans, to cross the Rubicon, we'll have a movement. Only 8 days left to cross over to the light. ;-) Now for today's Wild Card …
Former Panhandle Health District Director Larry Belmont filed candidacy papers for Kootenai County clerk today, as a Democrat. The only other announced clerk's candidate is Republican Don Pischner. Appointed Republican Clerk Jim Brannon is expected to seek election to the post also. You can see the latest courthouse filings here. Several more people have filed for GOPrecinct committeeman posts, including Duane Rasmussen, Kellie Palm and Herb Huseland. Full list to date here.
Moments ago, Chairman Tom Hearn of the Coeur d'Alene School Board issued the following statement to Huckleberries Online. The statement is a second response to accusations made at the Coeur d'Alene School Board meeting Monday that he hadn't been transparent re: his dealing with a request district civil rights protections to gays:
“As I continue to learn in my new role as an elected official and leader in our school district, I understand that perceptions are often more important than the realities of a situation. I absolutely see how my actions surrounding the events leading up to our Board meeting and the discussion about the district’s anti-discrimination policies have been perceived as less than transparent; that was never my intention. Again I apologize for the angst and disappointment I have caused. My hope is that we can move forward on this issue with civil discourse and open dialogue towards a healthy resolution.”
Time 2 Vote …
A young man spits fire for fun with friends, near to the Tagus riverbank in Lisbon on Wednesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Thursday Winner (tie with 6 votes apiece) — JohnA: “Nice to meet ya, Purina. You know, I was just tellin' the missus, you're our favorite dog food. Now, get out there and score a bunch of points, Kay?”; and: Sisyphus: President Bush was able to assist the mascot with his uniform by posing as the other half. You can see Thursday Photo and all the Cutline Contest entries here.
Former Idaho state Sen. Nicole LeFavour is arrested after blocking the entrance of the Senate chambers at the Idaho Statehouse on Monday, Feb. 3, in Boise. LeFavour was arrested again today, for the fifth time, during her ongoing protest against the Idaho Legislature's refusal to hear arguments that call for extending civil rights protections for gays. See story below. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Joe Jaszewski)
North Idaho College wants to help you tell your story. From now until April 15, NIC interviewers are seeking participants for the “Stories of the Gathering Place” project. Storytellers are asked to tell a two-minute story on camera about an experience they had that relates to the Fort Grounds neighborhood and NIC area, which has traditionally been a “Gathering Place” for centuries. “There are so many important stories out there that we want to preserve for future generations,” said Max Mendez, NIC Cardinal Connections director. They hope to hear from people with connections to the Fort Grounds and NIC - mill workers, people who grew up there, a tug boat operator, a Coeur d'Alene tribal elder, students/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (NIC Press Club photo: North Idaho College Technology Coordinator Andy Finney sets up the camera in the NIC studio to film Cardinal Connections Director Max Mendez recently)
Question: Do you have a connection to Coeur d'Alene's historic Fortgrounds?
Moments ago, Len Crosby, the announced candidate for state Rep. Frank Henderson's House District 3 seat, released a statement saying he's withdrawing:
Earlier this week, my 90-year old mother who still lives in her own home in Kentucky, had a fall and was admitted to the hospital. Since then, it has become apparent that the many and complex issues associated with providing more intense care for Mom, handling the medical issues that have resulted from her fall, and managing Mom’s personal affairs, will require greater involvement on my part. We all want to do the best for our family and our Community. We all want to be of service to others. I am no exception. … Duty to family must, however, take precedence over other ambitions and commitments. Because of that, and after a significant amount of prayer and discussion with my family, I have come to the decision to withdraw my name from consideration. Full statement here.
Question: Is this seat jinxed. Henderson's hand-picked candidate was found to live a few hundred feet outside of House District 3. Now, this. What's happening here?
A narrowly divided House voted 34-32 in favor of HB 556, legislation from Rep. Steven Harris, R-Boise, to require parent and student input in teacher evaluations – a bill that was opposed by all three major education stakeholder groups in Idaho, and a departure from the governor’s education improvement task force recommendations. “I think we’ve been down this path before, when we assumed we know better than the professionals in education,” House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, told the House. “It didn’t end well last time”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Other Eye on Boise posts today:
Joker (RE: Mike Kennedy's voting Republican, too): “It sure seems that one of the big fears about Democrats defecting to redder pastures is that they'll be able to report back to the rest of us the inner workings of GOP. Going past the red door into the sausage factory could provide a terrifying glimpse into the behaviors and antics of the local Republicans who go crazy when huckleberries hears about their latest soap opera over guest speakers, rules of order and who gets to wear the Rush Limbaugh crown of ascension. We won't just (have) pictures from Duane Rasmussen, we'll get the embedded reporting directly from the Fedora clubhouse!”
Question: Who do you think will be the first openly partisan Democrat to win election to the Kootenai County GOP CC?
A May re-opening is back on track for McEuen Field, according to city of Coeur d'Alene spokesman Keith Erickson. Winter weather and a shortage of subcontractors had threatened the regularly scheduled deadline date, earlier this year. You can read more about it here. The photo above of evolving McEuen Field was taken in February. (Photo: Coeur d'Alene Today)
HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, March 6): 7723 page-views/4532 unique views, (for February): 183,395/104,381, and (for year-to-date): 363,947/209,016.
The six House members from Kootenai County voted unanimously in favor of the guns on campus bill. Generally, however, legislators from North Idaho were split Thursday on the vote on Senate Bill 1254, which gained final legislative approval on a 5049 tally in the Idaho House. Outside Kootenai County, four of the seven House members from legislative districts 1-7 present for the vote cast red lights against the measure. Reps George Eskridge, R-Dover, and Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, joined four Republican colleagues statewide in voting against SB1254. Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, also voted against the measure/David Goins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
DFO: I wasn't being fair to state Rep. Luke Malek yesterday when I criticized him for supporting the wrong-headed Campus Carry bill. All six of our legislators supported the bill despite overwhelming opposition from the colleges. In fact, state Rep. Ron Mendive, R-Post Falls, co-sponsored it. A pox on whole lot of them, not just Malek.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, second right, and Secretary General of the Russian Paralympic Committee Mikhail Terentyev, right, attend the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Paralympics, in Sochi, Russia, today. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)
Question: Which former USSR country will President Putin invade after the Winter Paralympics?
A thief stole the Moscow Special Olympics team’s sporting equipment last month, and with it their chance to compete at the State Winter Games on March 1. Fortunately, the Moscow community and others rallied around the team with donations and an outpouring of support that enabled them to compete. The kind gesture penetrates deeper than most would realize. Because unfortunately, the reality of living with a disability is one of dependence and reliance on community support and technology. This reality of dependence is not one that Hollywood or general culture would believe exists. News stories on people with disabilities often feature people “overcoming” their disabilities and accomplishing amazing things/Aleya Ericson, UI Argonaut. More here.
Question: Do we overplay the disabled superheroes to the detriment of those who struggle mightily with disabilities?
Idaho school districts – like Coeur d’Alene – that opted not to join a controversial statewide contract for high school WiFi services should qualify for state funding for their own WiFi networks, state lawmakers decided Friday. On a 15-5 vote, the Legislature’s joint budget committee agreed not only to start reimbursing districts that went out on their own, but also to offer that option to those now in the contract who want to withdraw; those districts, if they met certain standards, would get $21 per student, the same price the state is paying Education Networks of America. Meanwhile, the state will conduct a “service audit” to see what services are being provided where, what they cost, and how satisfied districts are with them/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: I wonder how long it'll take the Legislature to work through the mess that was the Luna years?
Jimmy Farris, former congressional candidate and current Democratic candidate in House District 16 (Boise): I was asked recently why my campaign isn't super active on social media like some other campaigns. It's simple: No amount of “copy and paste” FB posts can make up for real work on the ground in a campaign. It might look good, but it's not very effective. Knocking on doors, making calls, and engaging voters is what matters. The reason why I don't spend much time posting every article thats already online that someone else has already posted, is because I'm out walking the district, and I'm about to knock on your door and meet you face to face. See you in the streets.
Question: Does social media serve a purpose in local/legislative campaigns in Idaho?
Believe it or not, today is National Middle Name Pride Day. The day falls either on March 10 or on Friday of the 1st full week in March. So what's National Middle Name Pride Day do. As the title says it's design to produce pride in your middle name. Promoter Jerry Hill said: “It just seemed that people can tend to hide a middle name. They might do so for any number of reasons. What MNPD represents is a chance to let a person’s middle name receive the recognition that its giver most likely intended for it.” You can find out more about National Middle Name Pride Day here.
DFO: I'll go first. My middle name is Franklin. I was named after my father. Had he gotten to the hospital a few minutes earlier, I would have been Franklin Simas Oliveria Jr. But Mom didn't want me to be a “Junior.” So she pre-empted him. Good call.
Question: What's your middle name and how did you get it?
Dave LeMote uses an allen wrench to adjust hands on a stainless steel tower clock at Electric Time Company, Inc. in Medfield, Mass., earlier today. Most Americans will set their clocks 60 minutes forward before heading to bed Saturday night, but daylight saving time officially starts Sunday at 2 a.m. local time (0700GMT). (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
DFO: I consider the return to daylight-saving time as the second step toward spring — 1. Groundhog's Day, 2. Daylight-Saving Time, and 3. Easter. My three steps toward winter are: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don't look at the calendar in either instance.
Question: Which sign do you consider to be the first one of spring?