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 …
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)
Students hold their position during a yoga class at Capri Elementary School in Encinitas, Calif. Reading, writing, `rithmetic _ and PE? The prestigious Institute of Medicine is recommending that schools provide opportunities for at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day for students and treat physical education as a core subject. The report says only about half of the nation's youngsters are getting at least an hour of vigorous or moderate physical activity every day. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
Question: Should P.E. return as a core subject in schools?
From the Get Out! North Idaho Facebook Wall, OrangeTV reports: “
Post Falls Trustee Dave Paul sent the following letter to Huckleberries Online this morning:
How can we let Mr. Nonini, Mr. Ward, Glorie Ward and Carol Goodman get away with slander and lies? Sure Nonini will continue to back track – unbelievable. You can use any of the following you like, this kind of politics have to stop on school board elections because this is what we end up with and Post Falls deserves better. I hope the people of Post Falls now understand why partisan politics have no place in school board elections. Two extremely hard working dedicated people with a combined 30 years of volunteer experience were not elected and 2 candidates endorsed by the Kootenai County Regan Republicans (KCRR) with NO experience in the district were elected. It is not that I lost that has me upset, it is the KCRR tactics of lies, of deceit and most recently the letter from the Desk of Senator Nonini was just plain over the top. This is a school board election for crying out loud. Two days after the election and it is still confusing with regards to who wrote the defaming letter. Full letter here.
Question: I'm trying to read the tea leaves here, too. Nonini sez he didn't write the letter; yet, he agrees with it. So somebody else wrote it and sent it out without his final authorization. And that's OK?
A Facebook Friend posts: “
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.
Dunno exactly where Idaho falls on the grand scale of bars/resident. But it couldn't be too far outside of the Top 10. The Cap Times reports that North Dakota (1 per 1,580 residents) and Montana (1 per 1,633) run one-two in the number of most watering holes per residents. Alaska is 10th with 1 per 4,171. (Notice how all these states are in cold climates?) Idaho probably falls in the next 5 to 10 places with 1 per 4,726 residents (total population: 1,549,987). Of Idaho's bars, 175 have one to 4 employees; 102 have 5 to 9 employees; 37 have 10 to 19 employees; 13 have 20 to 49 employees; and one has 50 to 99 employees. You can see a map re: Top 10 information and relevant info for all states re: presence of bars here.
Question: Do you think Coeur d'Alene has too many/too few bars?
Board chair Tom Hamilton said he's not sure what to expect from the trustees-elect. Hamilton and Trustee Terri Seymour were elected in 2011 with the support of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans and anti-International Baccalaureate activist Duncan Koler. By December 2012, three Republican activists, including Regan and Seddon, had been appointed to fill out the five-member board. Hearn, Eubanks and Hazel were supported by Balance North Idaho, a new political action committee that does not align itself with any one political party. “The business of the board goes on, and elections happen every four years,” Hamilton said. “I hope they take the time to educate themselves on the issues, to learn the depth and complexity of the issues rather than handling things the way they did during the campaign”/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you think hold-over Trustees Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour are going to play well with the new trustees?
Following is a portion of the letter that Post Falls Trustee Julie Hunt dropped off at the Coeur d'Alene office of the Spokesman-Review Wednesday re: a letter circulated in the closing days of the Post Falls School Board election, under Sen. Bob Nonini's signature:
The one that really ticks me off … as a mom, as a woman, as a 22-year resident of Post Falls, and a voter … is the letter sent “From the Desk of Senator Bob Nonini” dated May 17, 2013. May 17, 2013 … are you kidding me? Four days before the election the letter was sent so that there was no chance for me to refute Senator Nonini's lies! That's cowardly, even for the worst of politicians. I received a copy of Nonini's letter the afternoon of the election after it had been circulated privately for maximum effect. Senator Bob Nonini, you sir, are a bold-faced liar! You claim in that letter that “…I have had many opportunities to meet with their opponents…” (referring to me as one of the 'opponents'). The truth is (not that you would know it if it slapped you in the face), that you and I have NEVER met. Not once! Full letter here.
Question: You thoughts on Hunt's response?
A letter signed by Sen. Bob Nonini that arrived in some Post Falls voters' mailboxes a few days before Tuesday's school board races is stirring a post-election debate. Nonini said he was caught off guard when he was the only lawmaker who had a signature on the letter. It was dated May 17 and in support of candidates Carol Goodman and Glorie Ward, both endorsed by the Reagan Republicans and election winners. “There was a misunderstanding behind the letter,” he said, adding that he didn't send the letter. Nonini said, had he known he would have been the only legislator to have his signature on the letter, he would have given it a second thought as to whether to allow to have it sent. However, Nonini said he signed off on the content in the letter. It says “From the desk of Senator Bob Nonini” on the top. Jeff Ward, treasurer of the Republican group and Glorie's husband, said he did the footwork on the letter in collaboration with the candidates/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
DFO: Some of you have asked about the letter that was sent out in Sen. Nonini's name. SReporter Scott Maben tried to contact Nonini last night about this issue, leaving a message on his cellphone. Nonini didn't call back.
Question: Why am I not surprised that the Reagan Republicans are also involved in this?
This 1948 Cadillac was just one of several classic cars that were vandalized at the home of Don Martin of Coeur d'Alene. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Don Martin surveyed the damage and could only shake his head in disgust. Late one afternoon last week, he heard what he thought were gunshots on his rural property near Coeur d’Alene. Martin, 87, drove around back to investigate and discovered someone had been smashing the windows, headlights and taillights out of his classic cars. They got to his Volkswagen Karmann Ghias. They got to the ’55 Ford Crestline, the ’59 Cadillac, the ’37 Packard 120. And they shattered the glass of the 1960 four-door Caddy hard top. “It’s a nice car – it was, till they busted the windows,” Martin said. “I was pretty mad. I was mad.” More than two dozen cars were vandalized in all, and the only people he found trespassing on his farm were two boys who had ridden there on their bicycles/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: Have you ever owned a classic car?
Whoever came up with the supermarket “impulse buy” had a sucker like me in mind. I can’t stand in a checkout line without grabbing a candy bar or a tube of lip balm or another box of mints from the goodies that have been put there to tempt the weak and simple-minded. That’s how I wound up owning a copy of “Red Dawn,” the documentary about Spokane being invaded by North Korea. It was in a box of “previously viewed” DVDs that was located suspiciously close to my checkout line. A few minutes later, I was $7.99 poorer and cursing my lack of willpower/Doug Clark, SR. More here.
Question: What unnecessary product displayed near a checkout counter are you most likely to buy?
Any hunting dog with gift for finding birds also has a nose for trouble. It’s in the contract you accept when a pup joins your world. That’s why I’m always prepared for the day my bird dog sniffs the business end of a skunk. I’ve packed home dogs with broken legs, wounds from barbed-wire and snouts full of porcupine quills. Traumatic? Yes. Toxic? No. A dog that returns to the hunting rig after rolling in a steaming cow pie or wallowing in putrid roadkill is relatively pleasant compared to a cur that’s taken a full-bore load of skunk musk at close range/Rich Landers, SR. More here.
Question: Have you or one of your pets ever been hit by skunk musk at close range? What did you do?
Hmm. It's after 2 in the afternoon the day after the local elections … and not a creature is stirring at OpenCDA.com or the Reagan Republicans Facebook page. We've had Councilman Dan Gookin's analysis of the election. Now we need to hear from Mary, Jeff & Ron. Crickets. Now for a re-posted Wild Card …
In this Duane Rasmussen photo from Tuesday, Christa Hazel leaves her SUV to greet volunteers who were holding her signs near Bryan Elementary. Hazel, who was denied appointment to Zone 1 vacancies three different times, led a sweep of candidates endorsed by Balance North Idaho over appointed trustees who were endorsed by the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans. One of the three winners — Hazel, Dave Eubanks or Tom Hearn — likely will replace Tom Hamilton as the Coeur d'Alene School Board chairman after s/he takes office next month.