A member of the 2013 graduating class of the United States Naval Academy peeks over the shoulder of a fellow graduates to listen to President Barack Obama during the commencement ceremony at the Academy in Annapolis, Md., Friday. The president urged new graduates to exhibit honor and courage in tackling incidents of sexual assault as they assume leadership positions in the military. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Question: Do you think it was appropriate for the president to bring up sexual harassment in the military at a joyous occasion as the U.S. Naval Academy graduation?
Post Falls police are asking drivers to avoid the intersection of Seltice Way and Greensferry, where a vehicle has crashed under a semi (8:14 item). KREM2 story here. (Courtesy photo: Post Falls Police Department)
The Wednesday morning quarterbacks are busy breaking down the local election results in the Coeur d'Alene School Board and Kootenai Hospital Board races. Jeff Ward of the Reagan Republicans blames old-fashioned, over-the-fence campaigning for his candidates' lopsided losses in the Coeur d'Alene trustee elections. Joker claims the quality of Reagan Republican candidates were less than stellar. I'll add another possibility. A growing number of area Republicans are tired of the radical politics and dirty tricks of the local Republican Party. They want quality candidates serving in nonpartisan positions. Not archconservatives with an agenda. I've been voting in elections 1971. I have never voted for a Democrat for president. I registered and voted as a Republican in the 2012 closed primary forced on Idahoans by the state GOP. Yet I have had a bellyful of local and state politicians who put party and ideology ahead of the citizens — and who fight like juveniles among themselves. Take the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee … please. The Rally Right and Ron Paul factions are in control of it. In 2012, the warring factions gave us the proxygate fiasco which almost led to a lawsuit and criminal action before Tea Party “Sheriff Mack” was allowed to speak at the Lincoln Day Dinner. Almost all factions of the local GOP slime others outside their little circle as “libruls” and “Democrats” — even if they're center-right Republicans, like Christa Hazel. The disrespect shown Christa (a former campaign worker for conservative Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage) during at least one GOP lunch/dinner is clear evidence how off-the-wall party activists have become. Christa's pedigree in local Republican involvement is more extensive than any of the three “Republicans” who ran for the school board. Obviously, Christa, Dave Eubanks and Tom Hearn won their seats with a lot of Republican votes. The Balance North Idaho PAC was successful in promoting good candidates because a number of local Republicans who don't want to align with the Democratic Party were looking for a standard bearer who supported quality candidates over ideologues. BNI attracted Independents and Democrats, too. If the local GOP wants to continue to live in a small tent and act like 12-year-olds pulling dirty tricks on one another and on opposing candidates, BNI will play a larger and larger role in Coeur d'Alene area politics/DFO.
Senator Bob Nonini is still a liar! In our homes and schools we teach our children accountability for their actions, so why can’t we teach cowardly politicians accountability in front of an impartial judge and in the polling booths? It is Bob Nonini’s signature on the “From the Desk of Senator Bob Nonini” slanderous letter that was sent out right before the Post Falls School Board election. Now he claims he didn’t write the letter, but agrees with its content. WHAT? How cowardly is that? TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS! Whether it was Nonini’s “rubber stamp” signature on the letter containing the slanders does not make them true. By the way, why would the Reagan Republicans have an Idaho State Senator’s rubber stamp and letterhead anyway? Is that legal or ethical? Or did the Regan Republicans forge his letterhead and signature?/Post Falls Trustee Julie Hunt (pictured). More here.
Question: Has Nonini and the Reagan Republican leaders stirred up a hornet's nest in their own back yard?
And now a message from Berry Picker Don Sausser: (and photographer for photo above) “Memorial Day next Monday — fly your flags! There will be a memorial service at Independence Point, 0900 hrs.” Any questions?
Jeff Ward’s feeble attempt to explain what went wrong with the Coeur d’Alene School Board election and the Kootenai Health Board of Director election is eerily similar to Karl Rove’s exasperation after President Obama was re-elected. Ward was paid a nice chunk of money by the candidates and their supporters to win. Rove was paid an exorbitant amount of money to make sure Mitt Romney won. Neither paid political consultant were successful. The underlying reasons weren’t lies or some underground political activity. The best candidates won. The Reagan Republicans got sloppy and arrogant. They mistakenly believed they could send anybody in front of the voters and walk away with a victory. They foisted radical and unqualified candidates on the school board and it bit them in butt. More below.
Question: Will founders Ron Lahr and Jeff Ward of the Reagan Republicans be able to hold their star-struck followers together if they keep losing elections?
“Relationships trump ideology. Relationships trump partisanship. Relationships even trump the truth,” he said, explaining how he believes his opponents used their neighborhood relations to perpetuate a “lie.” “The lie was simple,” he said. “They told everyone that disaster would happen if our people were re-elected. The impact of that was tremendous” — Reagan Republican founder Jeff Ward of Post Falls. More here.
Question: I'm trying to figure out what the “lie” was here. Anyone?
“Medimont Reflections” is written by Chris Carlson, who served nine years as spokesman for former Gov. Cecil Andrus. In it, former Idaho Gov. John Evans receives some well-deserved attention. Evans assumed the governor's office in 1977 when Andrus became President Jimmy Carter's interior secretary, taking Carlson with him to Washington. Far less flashy than Andrus, Evans served for 10 years and might have upset GOP Sen. Steve Symms in 1986 had it not been for a late campaign visit from President Ronald Reagan. Andrus was narrowly elected to his third term that year. Between them, Andrus and Evans maintained an unlikely Democratic grip on the governor's office for 24 years. No Idaho Democrat has come within 8 percentage points since Andrus chose not to seek a fifth term in 1994/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Anyone out there remember Gov. John Evans? Any reflections to share?
For the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, Tuesday's school board elections were all about education - and they were the students. “On election night I was totally confused,” Jeff Ward, treasurer of the Republican group, told about 30 of his members during a Thursday debriefing at Fedora Pub and Grille. “Ann (Seddon) and Brent's (Regan) races were well run, but that didn't achieve a victory.” Ward said he spent Wednesday in a foul mood until his wife told him to snap out of it, and then it came to him. “It wasn't until late at night that it finally began to gel,” he said, explaining how he has analyzed the absentee ballots. “We had about 500 to 700 new people enter the race and they showed up in very conservative precincts”/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Duane Rasmussen photo: Jeff Ward at Reagan Republicans luncheon Thursday)
Question: Ward goes on to say that the opposition “exploited” neighbors talking to neighbors in rejecting Reagan Republican candidates. Exploited?
A car, lower right, and what is believed to be a travel trailer lie in the Skagit River with debris from the collapsed portion of the Interstate 5 bridge Friday in Mount Vernon, Wash. A truck carrying an oversize load struck the four-lane bridge on the major thoroughfare between Seattle and Canada, sending a section of the span and two vehicles into the Skagit River below Thursday evening. All three occupants suffered only minor injuries. At an overnight news conference, Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste blamed the collapse on a tractor-trailer carrying a tall load that hit an upper part of the span. Story here. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Question: How safe do you consider our nation's bridges?
In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, opinionator Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune give Jeers to …
… Idaho Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter. When it's time to dole out cash to his corporate cronies via tax cuts, the governor is a spendthrift. But when it comes to helping out the schools, the governor spontaneously becomes a tightwad. The steadily improving economy has yielded Idaho a bonus. By the time lawmakers meet in January, former Chief Economist Mike Ferguson expects they'll have an extra $162 million. Not so fast, Otter says. “There's no reason to go back to the old way of doing things; because we got a little money, let's spend it,” Otter told the Idaho Statesman's editorial board. Otter is engaging in historical revisionism here/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Is Gov. Otter's stand on keeping a tight rein on a $162M budget surplus, when schools are struggling financially, a responsible position?
Reagan Republicans thumped their chests because they had vaulted their guys to upset wins, but is that really what happened? Smarter money might say Gookin and Adams won because they ardently opposed a McEuen Park plan that many citizens, D, R and I alike, felt had been dictated to them. No, that's putting it too mildly; they thought a park plan had been crammed down their throats. A last-minute slip on a banana peel is all that separated an upset citizenry from a recall election that might have knocked out the council's remaining McEuenites. You don't have to be a Carnegie to realize that pushing too hard in any direction — right, left, on local parks or international educational programs — is certain to lose friends and influence enemies. And you don't have to be an Einstein to see that if you play that way, you'd better plan on plenty of pushback/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Question: What kind of candidates do you want to see emerge for the local municipal elections this fall?
I just received 2 complimentary copies of the High Country News, featuring the article by Sierra Crane-Murdoch re: the takeover of North Idaho politics by archconservative emigres. There's a nice photo of Jeff Ward and Dan Gookin at election headquarters for the Coeur d'Alene City Council elections. And another nice photo of CSB Chairman Tom Hamilton with Brent Regan and Ann Seddon at a Reagan Republican luncheon at Fedora. Plus much more. Note to self: Follow-up with High Country News to tell them that uber-cons in Coeur d'Alene aren't feeling so hot this week. Now for today's Wild Card …
In one of their most dramatic choices in a century, local leaders of the Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to ease a divisive ban and allow openly gay boys to be accepted into the nation’s leading youth organization. Gay adults will remain barred from serving as Scout leaders. Of the local Scout leaders voting at their annual meeting in Texas, more than 60 percent supported the proposal. Casting ballots were about 1,400 voting members of BSA’s National Council who were attending their annual meeting at a conference center not far from BSA headquarters in suburban Dallas. The vote will not end the wrenching debate over the Scouts’ membership policy, and it could trigger defections among those on the losing side/Associated Press. More here.
Defeated Coeur d'Alene school Trustee Ann Seddon, left, and Becky Funk, campaign manager for defeated Trustee Brent Regan, listen to Reagan Republican leaders explain why all four group endorsees lost in the Tuesday local elections. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Duane Rasmussen reports from Reagan Republican luncheon: Jeff Ward said he has already done an analysis of yesterdays election results in which Ann Seddon lost her seat to Dave Eubanks. Ward said generally, the Reagan Republicans failed with its networking. It a relationship campaign. He also noted that both newspapers were against the Reagan Republicans. Ron Lahr said that generally, the CDA Press is a good conservative paper, but this time it was against the Reagan Republicans. Lahr also said that the Spokesman Review has always been, and is, a liberal paper. Lahr said he has always known the SR was Liberal because he grew up in Spokane and read the paper there. Ward also said that he was so upset Tuesday night, that failed to fully recognize the fact that his wife had won. It was a bitter sweet evening for Ward. Sharon Culbreth suggested that Ward buy his wife some flowers. Ward acknowledged that is would be a good idea.
HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, May 22): 12,698 page-views/6,903 unique views
Folks maneuver their way through the construction site for the McEuen Park renovation on Monday. The rproject is sure to cause congestion for upcoming events in Coeur d'Alene including Car d'Lane, Ironman Coeur d'Alene, Downtown Street Fair/Taste of the Coeur d'Alene/Art on the Green, Coeur d'Alene Triathlon and the Diamond Cup hydro races. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)