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AM Hucks: Craig Rankles Rank-and-File R’s

Huckleberries hears … that Sandy Patano made an impassioned plea to Kootenai County Republicans Tuesday to stand by her U.S. senator, embattled
Larry Craig. Now that he's fighting for his political life (after being caught in that airport bathroom sting), she said, Idaho R's should back him for the good work he's done on their behalf. This, from four different eyewitnesses to the Tuesday meeting. One Berry Picker told Huckleberries that it was obvious that leadership wanted to circle the wagons while grass-roots elephants desired to tar and feather Craig. FerXmple, he said that three top local R's – Chairman Brad Corkill, Vice Chairman Duane Rasmussen and North Idaho College Trustee Ron Vieselmeyer – gabbed among themselves that the media was to blame for Craig's predicament. Another Berry Picker described the scene to Huckleberries: "Sandy Patano was in the unenviable position of having to defend her boss, her friend. Out of respect for her, no comments were made, no discussion was held. More than one person was thinking that she may be seriously damaging her own political future if she clings to Craig's sinking ship much longer. But there was no overwhelming support for Senator Craig. Polite is an apt description." Gadfly Larry Spencer said few R's thought Patano's "spiel" was credible. "I might be wrong," said Spencer, "but I don't think I am, just based on the looks around the room."

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.