Huckleberries Online

DFO: Artful Tax Dodger All Smiles

Kootenai County Republicans continue to be the Political Gang That Can't Shoot Straight. They're about to botch a golden opportunity to send Artful Tax Dodger Phil Hart of Athol packing during the GOPrimary election in May by flooding the field with challengers. Yeah, yeah, I know that local party poohbahs can't tell candidates not to run. And, given the ideological makeup of the badly split local party, I wouldn't want them to do so. But someone should take the contendahs for Hart's throne aside -- and let them know that the crowded field benefits the controversial incumbent. Give the nature of his starry-eyed, passionate disciples, Hart would be hard to beat in a one-on-one race. The candidacies of Ed Morse, Councilwoman Jeri DeLange, and possibly Fritz Wiedenhoff make this a three-on-one race, splitting the remaining vote. I've often wondered why challengers for elected positions don't realize that the goal for the overall good is to beat a controversial incumbent like Hart, not personal ambition. I predict Hart will win a four-way race, despite his mountain of baggage. Help us, Obi Wan Dan English, you're our only hope -- DFO.

Question: Why don't challengers realize that a crowded field tends to benefit the incumbent?

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D.F. Oliveria
Dave Oliveria writes the Huckleberries Online Blog for North Idaho readers and the Huckleberries print column.

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