I understand what Trustees Dave Paul and Julie Hunt of Post Falls are going through this morning. After years of dedicated service to the Post Falls School District, they got blindsided by a campaign trick pulled by the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, involving state Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Idaho. I'm not going to try to decipher what happened re: an attack letter sent out under Nonini's letterhead and signature (which the legislator says wasn't written or authorized by him). I'll simply accept Nonini's claim in the Coeur d'Alene Press that he supported the intent of the letter that included a claim that he'd met Paul and Hunt several times -- and knew they only were concerned with making the teachers union happy. Paul and Hunt say they haven't met Nonini and deny the truth of his union claim (which is absurd on the surface). You can drawn your own conclusions. We in Coeur d'Alene have seen these propaganda tactics by the Reagan Republicans before. The organization founded by Ron Lahr and Jeff Ward, with their PR wing Strategery, blindsided Coeur d'Alene two years ago when they used their political muscle. partisanship and surprise to win two seats on the School Board (Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour) and two seats on the City Council (Dan Gookin and Steve Adams). Both of those local boards have been in turmoil ever since. The Reagan Republicans won two more seats on the North Idaho College board (Ron Nilson and Todd Banducci) last year. And appeared headed for more gains until they were stopped in their tracks Tuesday, with their candidates losing all four seats in Coeur d'Alene. The Balance North Idaho group and Coeur d'Alene residents said enough to the divisive partisanship and archconservative ideology that the Reagan Republicans have exported for four years. It was only a matter of time until the two Post Falls leaders of the Reagan Republicans turned their focus to their own back yard. Post Falls school patrons were caught off guard by the Reagan Republican machine and the Nonini mailing mailing with its dubious content. Post Falls has now sampled what Coeur d'Alene has been tasting for years -- the nasty incursion of archconservative politics into nonpartisan races. Here's predicting that the hard-working competent Post Falls School Board will become as divisive as the Coeur d'Alene School Board has been for the last two years. The silver lining? Post Falls is now aware of the threat posed by ideological king makers and should be ready for them next time/DFO.
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.