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.
On her Facebook wall, Coeur d'Alene Trustee-elect Christa Hazel alerts her FFs of the anti-bullying film that will be shown at the Kroc Center tonight: “
Reagan Republican founder Jeff Ward is interviewed by reporter Jeff Selle of the Coeur d'Alene Press during an organization election watch at Fedora restaurant Tuesday night. Ward hasn't posted anything today on the Reagan Republican Facebook page today re: the group's worst defeated in local elections since it organized in 2009. (Photo Duane Rasmussen)
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.
On her Facebook page, Coeur d'Alene Trustee-elect Christa Hazel posts: “I received a gracious phone call last night from Trustee Regan congratulating us on our win. His call to me was classy and I appreciated it. Regardless of political views or personal opinions, Trustee Regan has served our community by giving his time and energy without pay or benefit. I recognize his efforts and I thank him for his service. I hope you will consider doing the same. Our district needs to come together and move past negative divisiveness. We begin to do that by thanking those that have served on our school board while we waited for the election.”
Question: Will the Coeur d'Alene School Board now be able to get past the negativity and divisiveness of the past two years?
Scott Maben did some number crunching for voter turnout in the three Coeur d'Alene School Board races. Here's his analysis: “One in four voters cast ballots in the three contested Coeur d’Alene School Board zones. Turnout was 26.6 percent in Zone 1 (Regan/Hazel), 26.5 percent in Zone 4 (Seddon/Eubanks) and 19.3 percent in Zone 5 (Hearn/Handeen).”
Question: Is that a decent turnout for school board races?
On his campaign Facebook wall, Trustee Brent Regan (shown walking to a post @ 15th & Hazel Tuesday (in this Duane Rasmussen photo), posted the following, after his loss to Trustee-elect Christa Hazel last night:
First I would like to congratulate the victors in the School Board race, Tom Hearns, Dave Eubanks and Christa Hazel. You each ran a good campaign and won the day. Now, for you, the real work begins. Next I would wish to express my heart felt gratitude to the volunteers and donors who worked tirelessly on my behalf. … Finally I would like to thank the voters who endured the mailings, door knocks, and phone calls and, despite these annoyances, took time from their busy day to go to the polls and vote. The vitality of our Republic depends on active and engaged citizens and you have set a fine example for others to emulate.
DFO: A Coeur d'Alene School Board with Brent Regan and Christa Hazel serving on it would have been a strong one. Unfortunately, the two were matched against each other. For all his baggage, Regan was a decent man who offered outside-the-box ideas. I'm glad Christa won. But I'm sorry to lose Regan's input in school matters.
Bjorn Handeen, who lost his Zone 5 Coeur d'Alene School Board campaign to Tom Hearn, sent this message to Huckleberries moments ago:
Though I am disappointed I did not win enough votes to be elected, I still consider it worthwhile to have spread the message that we need to ensure that our students have some idea about how to make a living by the time they leave our school system. My supporters agreed with this message, and agreed that revitalized vocational instruction- along with a more honest and robust career counseling program- is the first step in organizing an economic defense of this country. While it is true that Tom Hearn and I had clear and significant ideological differences, the people of Coeur d’Alene can be proud that at no time did either campaign resort to the mud-slinging that characterizes modern political races. Mr. Hearn ran a strongly ethical campaign, and I thank him for that. We are lucky to be represented by a man of his caliber, and I congratulate him on his victory. Full statement here. (Facebook photo: Bjorn Handeen)
Question: Do you agree that the candidates were civil to one another in their campaigns?
It looks like Sheriff Richard Mack, the Northwest Patriots and others are planning for a major confab in Farragut State Park at the end of July. Dunno who's organizing this locally.
Question: Do you suppose the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee will welcome Sheriff Mack back with open arms?
Shoshone County overwhelmingly rejected formation of an urban renewal agency to attract mining related businesses to the area. By a vote of 965 against to 332 for, the county turned thumbs down on the idea, promoted by Commissioners Larry Yergler. Who wanted to create an urban renewal district in Big Creek. According to the Shoshone News Presds, the goal of the district was “to turn the area into a mining district that attracts more mining-related businesses to the area — creating jobs, increasing property value and bringing more wealth to Shoshone County as a whole.”
Question: Are you surprised that urban renewal crashed and burned in Shoshone County?
The dust has settled on Tuesday’s School District 271 election. Let the Wednesday morning quarterbacking begin. I am not immune from this practice. First, I think it’s wonderful that for the first time in about 20 years, we have a School Board that is 100 percent elected, not appointed. That’s a marvelous thing. Second, the reason the challengers won Tuesday is simple: They received more votes. Third, they received more votes because the current school board is unpopular. Too much change too quickly and without transparency led to a great amount of frustration among the parents and general public/Councilman Dan Gookin, Coeur d'Alene Press Online. More here.
Question: Do you agree/disagree with Gookin's analysis?
Corrections Corporation of America - the people who gave you Idaho's 2,100-bed “gladiator school” - is sending its third warden to the Idaho Correctional Center near Boise in as many years. First went Phillip Valdez, whose departure in 2010 came after CCA essentially admitted violating its contract with the state of Idaho when it settled an inmate class action lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. Valdez's replacement, Timothy Wengler, retired last week, although CCA says it was a personal decision that had nothing to do with how his administration falsified nearly 5,000 hours of staffing records last year. It's the latest piece of upheaval involving a prison that is responsible for:
Question: Did Idaho make a mistake by privatizing the Idaho Correctional Cener near Boise?
Alisha Levine gets her hair fixed with a wavy beach-like style at Dream Dry salon in New York. When it comes to hair, the grass often seems greener on the other side, but experts say both curly and straight looks require a little work. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Question: How much time do you spend grooming your hair? And/or: Which hair style do you wear?
Coeur d'Alene residents who have watched with growing concern as archconservatives have stolen one local government seat after another should celebrate today. The radicals of the Hard Right who have targeted the Lake City and Kootenai County for political takeover were stopped in their tracks last night. Reagan Republicans lost in all four races that they endorsed in Coeur d'Alene elections. The winners deserve to take a breather and get reacquainted with their families. However, the job isn't finished. Our viewtiful shire isn't completely saved. The next focus for Balance North Idaho and residents who support good, nonpartisan, local candidates now takes center stage: the Coeur d'Alene City Council elections. The Reagan Republicans successfully made inroads two years ago by backing former Libertarian Dan Gookin and Constitutionalist Steve Adams. Gookin backed archconservative candidate Ann Seddon in the Coeur d'Alene School Board races. Adams, with his illogical, anti-federal government stand, almost cost Coeur d'Alene millions of dollars by temporarily throwing a monkey wrench in the proposed expansion of the wastewater treatment plant. The archconservative radicals need to win one or two seats on the council and/or the mayor's seat to gain control of the most important local government in Coeur d'Alene (depending on whose side Councilman Ron Edinger is on next year). Mayor Sandi Bloem has decided not to run for re-election. Until Tuesday night's results, the smart money was that Reagan Republican candidates would overthrow the council and stop urban renewal. Now, it's apparent that the Reagan Republicans aren't invincible, if Coeur d'Alene citizens are educated and engaged. The results Tuesday should encourage the incumbents to run again — or fresh, nonpartisan new blood to step up. Coeur d'Alene needs to continue good, progressive government by holding the four municipal seats up for election. Coeur d'Alene District 4 also needs to change two of its legislators. But that's a job for 2014/DFO.
Gov. Butch Otter is rejecting the notion that a projected $162 million in unexpected revenue means the 2014 Legislature should aim to boost spending. Otter said he’s “bound and determined that the government is not going to grow back at the same rate that the economy grows” and said the lessons of the Great Recession prove government can do with less by exercising fiscal discipline, co-locating agencies and engaging in partnerships outside of government. “That all suggests to me that there’s no reason to go back to the old way of doing things: because we got a little extra money, let’s spend it,” Otter said in a Tuesday afternoon meeting with the Idaho Statesman editorial board/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Sounds like Gov. Otter is proud of Idaho's ranking as second-to-last state in the nation for spending per capita on public school students. Am I reading this right?
Columnist T.F. Charlton of the British Guardian newspaper opines on “The Thaw,” a video produced in Kootenai County by Gary Brown's Reach America organization that has gone viral:
Fears of marginalization because of Christian faith, even persecution, have deep roots in white American evangelical culture, dating back to the Scopes Trial and before. As with Representative King's comments, they're often steeped in white racial anxiety and resentment. This persecution complex is also taught – actively promoted and reinforced through fearmongering aimed at youth. One example: “The Thaw“, a modest viral hit produced by Reach America, a “Christian youth leadership program” based in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Full column here.
Question: Do you agree/disagree with columnist Charlton's view?
Dave Eubanks celebrates with his wife Sherrie at the Fort Ground Grill after unofficial results Tuesday showed him winning the Coeur d'Alene School District board of trustees seat for zone 4. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Jerome A. Pollos)