Posts tagged: Ben Wolfinger
Is sodomy against the law in Idaho? More to the point: If a law in Idaho violates the Constitution – as determined by the constitutionally created Supreme Court – is it still a law? If you want the correct answer, don’t ask Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger. And the fact that Wolfinger seems not to know, or maybe care, about the answers should give pause to anyone who thinks it’s swell that Wolfinger wants to go all judge, jury and executioner on the Boy Scout troop his office sponsors. Wolfinger said last week that he’s not sure the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office can continue its charter with the Boy Scouts, due to the Scouts’ recent decision to stop discriminating against gay kids. Wolfinger based this qualm, in part, on Idaho’s 1972 anti-sodomy law/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here. (SR file photo: Kathy Plonka)
Ben Wolfinger, the sheriff of Kootenai County, said he has not decided to keep or drop the Boy Scout troop chartered by the sheriff’s office. But he said his Christian faith and what the Bible says about homosexuality are weighing heavily on him as he struggles with the recent decision by the Boy Scouts of America to end the organization’s membership ban on gay youth. “I don’t think I can make any decision in my life without bringing my faith into it,” Wolfinger, an elder in the large, evangelical Real Life Ministries church, said in an interview Thursday. “My faith influences what I do every day.” Wolfinger indicated last week he was compelled to drop the charter with Troop 911, saying it would be inappropriate for the sheriff’s office to continue the association because Idaho’s “crimes against nature” statute prohibits sodomy/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (SR file photo of Sheriff Wolfinger in February)
Question: What would you tell the sheriff to consider as he reaches a decision re: the Boy Scout charter?
In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, opinionator Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune give jeers to …
… Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger. Peeved at the Boy Scouts of America national office's decision to admit openly gay boys, Wolfinger is ending his department's sponsorship of a Boy Scout troop. Bad enough that a man in his position would practice open discrimination against boys. That's on Wolfinger's conscience. But Wolfinger justifies his decision on Idaho's 1972 anti-sodomy law. “It would be inappropriate for the sheriff's office to sponsor an organization that is promoting a lifestyle that is in violation of state law,” he said.It may be on the books, but it's not the law. Ten years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an anti-sodo-my law in Texas - and with it, the statute in Idaho and the 12 other holdouts. How can Kootenai County's top cop be so ignorant of the law? What else doesn't he know? Complete Cheers & Jeers column here.
Item: Sheriff mum after meeting: Wolfinger may end Boy Scout charter after gay ban pulled/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: A meeting between the Inland Northwest Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Kootenai County sheriff didn't appear to change anything Tuesday. Kootenai County Sheriff's Lt. Stu Miller said Sheriff Ben Wolfinger had no further comment on Friday's decision to pull the KCSO's Boy Scout charter. The sheriff announced he was pulling it because the BSA National Council passed a resolution last week that removed a ban against openly gay members in the scouts. On Friday, Wolfinger said “It would be inappropriate for the sheriff's office to sponsor an organization that is promoting a lifestyle that is in violation of state law.” He said sodomy was illegal in the state of Idaho.
Question: How do you think this will play out?
Rumor has it that there is some distrust of President Obama. And with all the legislative sabre-rattling recently about prying assault weapons from the cold dead hands of American patriots, anxiety might be a tad higher than normal, even by North Idaho standards. Yet the persistent call issues forth for Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger to stand before a cadre of concerned citizens and testify, with one hand on the Holy Bible and the other on his loaded sidearm, that he will actively defend county residents from any incursion of federal forces bent on depriving folks of their Second Amendment rights/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: I agree with this stand by the Coeur d'Alene Press. How about you?
Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger's first day on the job began with swearing in his staff Monday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Ben Wolfinger took the oath as Kootenai County’s new top cop Monday, but he shared the spotlight with Boston Wolfinger, his 5-week-old grandson whose tiny outfit declared, “New sheriff in town.” The first grandchild for Wolfinger and his wife, Mary, marked a peak in a rollercoaster year for the 30-year veteran of the sheriff’s department. Emerging from the spring primary as the Republican nominee, Wolfinger was swept into office last November with 72 percent of the vote. But four days before the victory, his mother, Alice, died from congestive heart failure. “She was one of my best campaigners,” Wolfinger said.
Question: Who was the better sheriff over the last 25 years — Rocky Watson or Pierce Clegg?
Wednesday's final ballot counts marked both a stark victory and a clear failure in the Kootenai County races. Residents voted overwhelmingly for Ben Wolfinger to take up the sheriff's badge, while they also shot down the proposal for an alternative form of county government. Wolfinger easily took the four-way sheriff's race with 72 percent of the votes, or 39,707 votes. Currently major at the sheriff's department, Wolfinger was pleased with the victory on Wednesday. “The numbers turned out well,” said Wolfinger, who has served in all of the agency's departments over the past 30 years. “We're looking forward to moving forward come January.” Wolfinger, who will serve a 4-year term as sheriff, has no plans to immediately tweak the agency of 300 employees, he said/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Ben Wolfinger)
Question: Can anyone name the sheriff before Pierce Clegg?
Major Ben Wolfinger has raised more money overall than his Independent opponents in a four-way race for Kootenai County sheriff, but he has less money on hand for the fall campaign than Independent Bob Foster. Wolfinger has raised $14767, including $850 in the last reporting period, in his bid to replace retiring Sheriff Rocky Watson. But he spent much of the money in his bruising GOP primary campaign. Foster has raised $10,838 overall, including $695 during the last reporting period. You can read Wolfinger's report here, and Foster's here. Also, you can read Independent Tom Dickson's report here, and Independent Joe Bodman's report here.
Major Ben Wolfinger, the Republican candidate for Kootenai County sheriff, and Idaho First Lady Lori Otter prepare for a presentation before a news conference at the Coeur d'Alene Inn Friday. Wolfinger presented the First Lady with a check for $40,000 for the Idaho Meth Project, which represents 10 percent of the debt-seizure proceeds from the department from 2011. Wolfinger said: “This is drug dealer money that we're using against them.” More here. (Duane Rasmussen photo special for Huckleberries Online)
A little birdie in Independent Bob Foster's campaign for Kootenai County sheriff tells Huckleberries: “The Coeur d'Alene Police Officers Association voted unanimously to endorse Bob Foster for Kootenai County Sheriff. The vote has been in the process for the past couple of weeks via the association's website where members voted online. Voting ended June 30, at 17:00. If you recall, the Lake City Employee's Association voted earlier in the year to endorse Bob, so now he has 2 of the 3 city groups supporting him. All that remains is the Firefighters group and Bob has made a presentation to them.” Foster is the code enforcement officer for the city of Coeur d'Alene. (Sgt. Christie Wood of the Coeur d'Alene Police Department has confirmed that the police association has endorsed Bob Foster.)
Question: Can Independent Bob Foster beat Republican nominee Mayor Ben Wolfinger in the sheriff's race?
Both Keith Hutcheson and Ben Wolfinger have outraised Tea Party candidate John Green in the three-way GOPrimary race to replace Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson. Hutcheson (who is supported by Reagan Republicans & Reasonable Republicans) had a warchest of $21,652 including donations, in-kind contributions and a personal loan, exceeding the amount raised by Wolfinger and Green combined. Top contributors to Hutcheson's primary campaign are Sound Industries, $999; John Grimm, $750; Cliff Findlahy, Idaho Veneer and Kevin Rogers, $500 apiece. Hutcheson has spent a combined $10,443 with the Strategery Group (and received $587 in in-kind services from Strategery). You can read see his campaign finance report here.
Question: What surprises you most about these campaign finance reports for sheriff?
The Phantom Photographer of Huckleberries Online snapped this shot of the three Republican sheriff's candidate during the “speed-dating” event staged by the local Tea Party at the Greyhound Park: (from left) sheriff's Mayor Ben Wolfinger, Keith Hutcheson and John Green.
Question: Why is Ben Wolfinger looking at the microphone offered to him by Keith Hutcheson, like it is a dog turd? And why is John Green sweating?
After nearly three decades with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department, Ben Wolfinger said he is ready to tackle the county's highest law enforcement position. “It's time to step up and be a leader,” said Wolfinger, a major with the sheriff's department who has filed to run for sheriff. Wolfinger pointed out that since starting with the sheriff's department in 1983, he has worked in every branch, including jail, patrol and detectives. He was promoted to captain in 1995, and appointed to major in 2009/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: The Reasonable Republicans rank Wolfinger and Keith Hutcheson as qualified. Hutcheson also has backing of Reagan Republicans. John Green is endorsed by local Tea Party. Who wins?
Herb Huseland: Why anyone would want a hard right or hard left sheriff is beyond my comprehension. The ideal law enforcement officer is politically neutral, constitutionally correct and community oriented.An example of this in Ben Wolfinger is last year’s Athol Daze Parade. The community was so impressed with the handling of a abusive officer, replaced by a good one that they made the community cop the Grand Marshall of the parade. The first time ever. The radical politicizing of the Sheriff Department is a scary thought. Will Spencer send his minion to harass me if I write negative things about him? If we don’t shuck the radicals from out local government we will have hell to pay. (SR file photo: Ben Wolfinger acting as media contact during the Groene-McKenzie murder investigation)
I was watching a replay of wannabe John Green's rant from the sheriff's candidate forum in February about the “cowards” who hide in the dark “spreading hate & dissension” online, when the thought hit me: Bob Foster was wise to file as an Independent. Foster? He's the Coeur d'Alene code enforcement officer who took part in the Republican forum with Green & three others. And then decided to run as an Independent. Foster has the schooling and law enforcement background to be a good sheriff. But he would have been lost in the crowd of candidates in the Kootenai County GOPrimary race. Green has the backing of the Tea Party/United Conservatives crowd. Keith Hutcheson has the backing of the Reagan Republicans. And Ben Wolfinger has the backing of mainstream/chamber Republicans. Foster would likely have finished fourth in that race. However, as an Independent, he has 6 more months to make himself known to the public. Should he be an Independent facing Green (and that could happen depending on the primary split), he can bank on support from Republicans who individuals who backed Wolfinger & Hutcheson, as well as Independents & Democrats shut out by the Republicans closed primary. Of course, two other men have filed as Independents — Tom Dickson, a former sheriff's captain, and Joe Bodman, the former Post Falls councilman. No matter how the race plays out, Foster has improved his chances — DFO.
Question: Who do you think will win the sheriff's race?
On his Facebook wall, Adam Johnson, one of five candidates for the Kootenai County GOP nod, posts: “
Keith Hutcheson, former Coeur d'Alene Tribal Police chief (left), and sheriff's Major Ben Wolfinger mull a question at the candidates forum for the Kootenai County Republican sheriff's nomination at Coeur d'Alene Library Wednesday night. I consider these two the most qualified of five-man field.
A Coeur d'Alene man wanted for possible felony probation violation for a DUI is at the front of sheriff's Major Ben Wolfinger's class of individuals wanted on felony warrants this week. Richard Arlan Whiterock, 36, of Coeur d'Alene (upper left) is wanted for the alleged violation. A bail bond of $100,000 has been set for him. Others wanted on felony warrants this week include: Thomas John C. Bartlett, 23, of Coeur d'Alene, (upper middle) for probation violation for grand theft (no bond). Damien Scott Plucker, 18, of Coeur d'Alene, (upper right) for aggravated battery charge ($10,000 bond). Chad Andrew Radden, 21, of Spokane, (bottom left) sexual abuse of a minor & failure to appear for DUI ($55,000 bond). And Annie Iwalani Wilson, 31, of St. Maries, (bottom right) for failure to appear for fraud charge (no bond). Full list of felony & misdemeanor warrants here.
John Green, a Kootenai County sheriff's candidate, was present at the first meeting of United Conservatives of North Idaho, the re-invented Rally Right group, but was the only candidate to miss the sheriff's forum sponsored by the Reagan Republicans Thursday.
Jail expansion, unionization, deputy retention and gun rights. Three of the four Republican candidates for Kootenai County sheriff fired off reasons Thursday why they are the best officer for the job. Bob Foster, Keith Hutcheson and Ben Wolfinger each have decades of law enforcement experience and each is vying for the department's top post. Something should be done with increasing the jail if the demand calls for it, the candidates said, though they differed on what option they would support. “I'm not opposed to tents,” said Foster, a code enforcement officer with the Coeur d'Alene Police Department, who began his law enforcement career in 1967 in California. Exploring cheaper options, if they meet regulations, should be the first choice, he said, referring to the tents Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio set up in Arizona/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Should the Kootenai County sheriff use tents to house prisoners more cheaply, like controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio does?