I'm more than a little surprised that no candidate or his ground troops came to my door looking for my vote this weekend. The only mailing that I received was from Zone 1 candidate Tom Hearn. I was expecting a last-minute mailing from someone. All I received on Saturday was my weekly Sports Illustrated a day late. I see Mary Souza is bellyaching about an 11th-hour mailing by Balance North Idaho. So some of you received literature over the weekend. One day to go before we head to the polls to see whether the Reagan Republicans expand their political sphere of archconservatism. Or whether Balance North Idaho protected the shire. Here's today's Wild Card …
Imagine: You're tapped to sing The Star-Spangled Banner at the , a Canadian hockey tournament being held in . Midway through, you realize you don't know the words. What do you do? Well, on Saturday, the Canadian Jazz singer Alexis Normand decided to just keep going and mumble the rest. It's cringe-inducing, but also really funny/Eyder Peralta, NPR. More here.
Question: Do you know all the words to “The Star Spangled Banner”?
Former Sheriff Richard Mack will be back in Idaho in August, following up last year’s controversial appearance at the Kootenai County Republican Party Lincoln Day with a speech to the Gem State Tea Party’s 3rd “Liberty Summit” in Burley. Mack, who won two terms as the Democratic sheriff of Graham County, Ariz., also has run for office as a Republican and a Libertarian. Some Kootenai County Republicans tried to cancel his speech but an allegedly forged proxy ballot was tossed by party officials and Mack was invited again. He drew about 400 listeners and appeared with Congressman Raul Labrador/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you consider Sheriff Mack fans to be mainstream Republicans?
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.
Some readers have gently criticized this column for being a downer about aging. They have a point. Last week, for instance, I wrote about the reasons boomers may not live into great old age (chronic illnesses and high suicide rates). So this week, I counter with a more hopeful report. Aging expert Wendy Lustbader, who has written “The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing Older,” will be in Spokane this month for a half-day seminar at The Lincoln Center. Lustbader – in her book and in her media interviews – points out that life gets better for older people because:
Question: What benefits do you see re: aging?
When a cop stops an ordinary person for speeding, here's what happens: Perhaps the driver asks for a warning. He might contest the ticket in court. Or he pays up. But Wayne Hoffman is no ordinary person. As executive director of the libertarian-leaning Idaho Freedom Foundation, Hoffman bestrides an organization with an ample but mysterious source of cash that at times has proven to be among the most influential legislative lobbies in Idaho. His Idaho Freedom Index rates lawmakers from high to low on their conservative credentials. The rating can help or break Republicans running in a low-turnout, closed GOP primary. Hoffman also supervises IdahoReporter.com, an online news service that some criticize as serving IFF's political agenda. And his own weekly column gets picked up by a handful of Idaho newspapers. That's a considerable political arsenal in the hands of a man who sounds like he may use it. Why? Because Hoffman got a speeding ticket and he's not happy about it.
Question: What do you make of Hoffman continuing to fight a speeding ticket for going 71 in a 55 in Kootenai County?
The mass-mailing letter from Balance North Idaho that attracted Mary Souza's wrath:
Your vote is Crucial on May 21: Just how crucial is your vote on May 21? It is VITAL to the direction of our School Districts and Hospital Board of Trustees.
CDA School Board:
Question: Why does this letter have the archconservatives up in arms?
A jet-boater takes a turn in the St. Joe River, near St. Maries, as the annual races took place over the weekend, as a result of last-minute pressure on the U.S. Coast Guard by Gov. Butch Otter and the Idaho congressional delegation. The Coast Guard issued a permit at the last minute after denying one, as a result of environmental concerns. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
A Facebook Friend asks: “Alli Christian, left, helps Jessica Wilkinson as she looks for her dog Bella after Wilkinson returned to find her tornado-destroyed home in Norman, Okla., on Sunday)
Balance North Idaho provides its side to the story re:Booster Fund Escrow Account:
Two jet-boaters race into a wall of spray from another boat during the annual “Race the Joe” jet-boat races on the St. Joe River near St. Maries this weekend. The races were allowed to go on, after political pressure prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to issue a permit after having denied one earlier for environmental reasons. (Photograph: Duane Rasmussen)
Tejay Van Garderen gets kissed on the podium after winning the Tour of California cycling race in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Sunday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
TGIF Winner — Photoguy: “These cutlines are getting lemur and lemur by the minute.” You can see TGIF photo + all 9 cutline entries here.
At OpenCdA.com, Mary Souza is upset by a recent mailing by the Balance North Idaho group: “The Balance North Idaho group has sent out a letter filled with twisted, manipulative information that amounts to nothing but campaign trickery. And they’ve done it at the very end of the school board campaign, when there’s no time left to respond by mass media before the election Tuesday. Who is this new Balance North Idaho? Their web site shows the small Board of Directors includes Sara Meyer and Eden Irgens, who were so active against a Public Vote on McEuen and against the Recall. Also on their Board is Mic Armon, the former NIC Trustee who was against a public bond vote on the $10 million dollar Mill site land purchase.” You can read the rest of Mary's complaint here.
“Where have you gone ?” Hum these lines to the tune of the Simon and Garfunkel song that became the theme music to that '60s classic movie, “The Graduate”: “Where have you gone Junketing Jim?/Idaho turns its needy eyes to you?What's that you say, Junketing Jim?/Hard workers have up and gone away./So those that stay might as well play?/Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey hey.” That, my friends, is essentially what Idaho's junior senator, Jim Risch, told Idaho Statesman political reporter Dan Popkey in a story that appeared May 6. Because nothing gets done in the nation's capital and everything is stalemated, a senator may as well sit back, not work hard, enjoy international travel and coast along/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicles. More here.
Question: Do you think U.S. Sen. Jim Risch is working hard for Idaho interests?
Overheard across the back fence: “Yard sales are hell.” I hear you, neighbor. I know plenty of people who have been cleaning out their closets and garages for months now, bemoaning the fact that, “I've got to get rid of some of this junk.”Even the realization that a person can make money on old castoffs - say, 25 cents for a pair of jeans that cost you $80 brand new - is small consolation. We approach getting ready for the annual yard sale with the same enthusiasm we have for getting a colonoscopy. And, when you think about it, there are some similarities between yard sales and colonoscopies. In both cases you're getting rid of a bunch of crap/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Would you compare a yard sale to a colonoscopy?
A funny thing happened to Silver Valley residents on their way to a decision on whether or not they want an Urban Renewal Agency (URA) in their county. They've heard from their neighbors to the west, including two elected officials angry over Coeur d'Alene's agency and its investment in McEuen Field. The newest change to urban renewal law requires approval from local residents before their elected officials can form a URA. Previously, in over four dozen cities and at least one county, those officials needed only proof of deterioration within their boundaries to authorize the URA and appoint its members. As a result of the law change, Shoshone County Commissioners have scheduled a vote on the issue for this Tuesday. What they could never have imagined was the interference of residents outside the Valley, but that is exactly what has happened/John Austin, Coeur d'Alene Press op-ed article. More here. (Idaho Legislature photo: Rep. Kathy Sims)
Question: Should state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, and Coeur d'Alene Councilman Dan Gookin be trying to export their anti-urban renewal philosophy to the economically depressed Silver Valley?
Brent Regan’s yard signs identify him as a Republican. His challenger, Christa Hazel, has “common sense conservative” on hers. Political persuasion is on full display in the race to sit on the Coeur d’Alene School Board, even though the ballots make no reference to party. It’s one in a series of election showdowns here forming a politically charged battleground for offices long seen as strictly nonpartisan. Ever a conservative stronghold, Kootenai County looks to be swinging even further to the right with a wave of party faithful targeting city councils, school boards, the Kootenai Hospital District board and even lowly highway districts. Firing the salvos is the Reagan Republicans, a group that formed in 2009 with a clear focus in mind: Make elected Democrats and moderates as rare as the giant Palouse earthworm/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo: Brent Regan’s election sign adorns the front yard of a home in Hayden)
Question: So which side did better in promoting its candidates during the School Board/hospital board campaigns — Reagan Republicans or Balance North Idaho?