I'm trying to figure out how to get my hands on a High Country News story that talks of the takeover of North Idaho politics by conservative activists from California. It's behind a firewall. It begins:
If anyone in Kootenai County could have predicted the Democrats' downfall, it was Dan English. He had spent most of his life in the Idaho Panhandle and monitored more than 100 local elections in his 15 years as county clerk. The first ballots he counted, in 1996, revealed tight contests between Republicans and Democrats, but in the years that followed, the margins only widened. By 2002, the Democratic presence had been so whittled down that only one Democrat -- English himself -- still held an elected county office. For his re-election campaign that year, he distributed wooden nickels labeled, "Save the Last One," reminding voters of a bygone time when his party dominated the county. That caught the attention of USA Today, which observed that English was a rare political survivor in what had become "the most Republican county in the most Republican state in the nation." Story here (but you'll need a subscription).
DFO: I contacted High Country News. They are willing to grant re-print permission for $250, adding that the link will be open to the public in a month. Mebbe I'll buy the mag at Hastings to find out what it says. And write a note to myself to post the story when it becomes available to the public in a month.