... That the Hard Right element of the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee are circling the wagons in an attempt to get one of their own into the county treasurer's office, now that Tom Malzahn has announced his resignation. A group of the conservative hardliners met last night to come up with three names to present to county commissioners, to replace Malzahn. And Laurie Thomas, the competent, long-time deputy treasurer whom Malzahn has endorsed isn't on that list. The uberconservatives, of course, failed completely to get any of their four endorsees into courthouse spots last November. So this vacancy offers a second chance to get a foot into the courthouse. The official list of names will be adopted next week when the entire Central Committee meets. But Huckleberries hears that the uber-cons have the votes to make their picks stick. That doesn't mean, however, that the commissioners have to accept any of them.