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Posts tagged: debate

Obama, Romney Pursue Women Vote

Mitt Romney and President Obama spent much of Wednesday battling for the support of women voters — a form of electoral hand-to-hand combat that is likely to persist all the way to Nov. 6. As Time Magazine's Michael Scherer put it, “there was no doubt about the winner of the second presidential debate: Women. Both candidates lurched onto the campaign trail Wednesday with new appeals to shore up support among a key demographic that may decide the outcome in key swing states.” And ABC News political analyst Nicolle Wallace said on “Good Morning America” today that “all women are making trade-offs with both of these guys. I don't think men — but particularly women — were attracted to the nastiness in that debate. Women, more than men, are turned off when it gets below the belt”/Michael Falcone & Amy Walter, ABC News. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Why does the media and candidates try to focus on women as a monolithic group that can be pidgeon-holed rather than a widely diverse group that simply shares gender?

Stapilus: Why Luna ‘BS’ Matters

Superintendent Tom Luna and wife, Cindy, talk with North Idaho College trustee candidates Paul Matthews, left, and Ron Nilson at the GOP Women's Club monthly lunch at the Coeur d'Alene Resort Thursday. (Duane Rasmussen photo special to HucksOnline)

Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press explains why it matters whether or not Superintendent Tom Luna uttered the BS word to Democrat Brian Cronin at their debate over the Luna Laws in Boise this week, especially if both run for governor in 2014:

That's mattering a little more as time goes on, because the dispute is unresolved. If, say, Luna had acknowledged the remark Cronin alleges — whether it was real or not, or maybe some kind of half-mea culpa (“I may have been a little heated there,” or something similar) might have sufficed — he would have had the whole matter behind him; the subject is asked and answered. Representative Raul Labrador did that when his opponent criticized him for missing too many votes in Congress. He offered a partial explanation, but then said that, yes, he had missed more votes than he should have, and he would try to do better in future. That closed the subject (for now anyway). It's the nagging loose ends that give the story some legs. The comment Luna was said to have delivered wasn't, after all, so terribly extreme even if true. But the did-he or didn't-he aspect may not specifically go away, and it may feed into other narratives down the road. Full column here.

Question: Am I the only one who thinks this flap is silly?

Luna Reimburses Lobbyist For Lunch

After first saying, “I don't have a problem with it,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna reimbursed a lobbying firm that represents Apple and other clients with an interest in upholding his 2011 education reforms in November. Four state staffers were part of a table of 10 at Tuesday's City Club forum on Props 1, 2 and 3 featuring Luna and Rep. Brian Cronin, D-Boise. Most of the others at the table were guests of Luna's. Two representatives of the Boise firm Sullivan Reberger Eiguren were present, lobbyist Gloria Totoricaguena and an intern who studies at Boise State. Luna repaid the lobbyists out of his own pocket, said his spokeswoman, Melissa McGrath/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Photo: Superintendent Tom Luna and Democrat Brian Cronin at City Club lunch in Boise)

Question: Did Superintendent Luna handled this situation properly?

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Poll: Most Tune In To Debate

  • Wednesday Poll: Prior to the first 2012 presidential debate last night, 7f6 of 123 respondents (61.79%) said they planned to watch the event. Only 38 of 123 respondents (30.39%) said they wouldn't. 9 (7.32%) were undecided.
  • Today's Question: Who do you think won the debate?

Obama, Romney Come Out Swinging

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talk at the end of the first presidential debate in Denver Wednesday. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

In a showdown at close quarters, an aggressive Mitt Romney sparred with President Barack Obama in their first campaign debate Wednesday night over taxes, deficits and strong steps needed to create jobs in a sputtering national economy. “The status quo is not going to cut it,” declared the Republican challenger. Democrat Obama in turn accused his rival of seeking to “double down” on economic policies that actually led to the devastating national downturn four years ago – and of evasiveness when it came to prescriptions for tax changes, health care, Wall Street regulation and more. With early voting already under way in dozens of states, Romney was particularly assertive in the 90-minute event that drew a television audience likely to be counted in the tens of millions – like a man intent on shaking up the campaign with a little less than five weeks to run/AP. More here. (AP photos)

Question: Who won the debate?

Debate: What Did Luna Say?

Both sides are standing by their conflicting versions of what was said yesterday in the Luna-Cronin clash at the City Club of Boise, shown here, when, just after Rep. Brian Cronin's opening remarks, state schools Superintendent Tom Luna leaned over to him and expressed displeasure about Cronin's remarks. This photo, taken by Dan King, contract photographer for the City Club, captures the moment. I requested the audio from Boise State Public Radio, which broadcasts City Club forums, and will broadcast this one on Saturday evening; the forum also is scheduled to air on KTVB's 24/7 channel twice tomorrow, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Cronin maintains that Luna said something like, “That's the biggest piece of bullshit I've ever heard.” Luna maintains he said something like, “I could not believe the rhetoric in your speech” or “I could not believe what you said in your speech”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Would it make a difference to you if Luna has said (BS)?

School Reform Gets Personal

Idaho Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna is shown at a Robotics competition in Boise a few years back in this file photo provided by Duane Rasmussen. On Tuesday, Republican Luna and Democrat Brian Cronin engaged in a passionate debate about the three referendums on the November ballot that would nullify Luna's education reforms of 2011.

Here’s how fiery the debate over school reform has gotten in Idaho: After a forum at the City Club of Boise on Tuesday, state Rep. Brian Cronin (pictured), D-Boise, accused state schools Superintendent Tom Luna of grabbing his arm after his opening remarks and berating him. “He grabbed my arm rather forcefully and got in my face and said, ‘That’s the biggest bullshit I’ve ever heard,’ ” Cronin said. “I looked at the people at the lead table and I think they saw that I was visibly alarmed, shaken, but that’s what he said. He grabbed my arm hard enough such that I spilled my water. … When he tried to touch me again, I told him not to touch me.” Luna’s spokeswoman, Melissa McGrath, said, “He never used that language. That’s completely inaccurate”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Is the attempted overthrow of the Luna Laws a personal issue for you?

Luna, Cronin Face Off re: Luna Laws

  • Betsy Russell is live-blogging the debate between Superintendent Tom Luna and Democratic legislator Brian Cronin today in Boise. Click here.

State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna is speaking first at today's City Club of Boise forum. “About 30 states have passed some form of education reform in the past two years,” Luna said. “Education reform in the state of Idaho is absolutely necessary, not because we have bad schools, in fact in the state of Idaho, we have good schools. … But in the world that we live in today, it isn't whether we have good schools, the question is, is good good enough?” Luna said not enough Idaho high school students are furthering their education after high school, and those who do aren't succeeding. “It should be alarming and unacceptable to all,” he said. He said that's the focus of his “Students Come First” reforms. “As a result of Students Come First, we now have high academic standards in place,” he said. “We didn't have that before
/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (AP file photo: Brian Cronin debates against the Luna Laws during 2011 Legislature)

Question: Do you have your mind made up re: how you're going to vote re: referenda on Luna Laws?

Obama Slightly Ahead Before Debate

Five weeks before Election Day and two days before the first presidential debate, a set of new polls shows that President Obama has a slight two-point edge over Mitt Romney nationally. While both campaigns have tried to lower expectations for their respective candidate's debate performance, it's clear that conservatives expect Romney to use the debate to alter the campaign trajectory. The polls, meanwhile, show that there are also high expectations for Mr. Obama to perform well in the first debate. In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, Mr. Obama leads Romney among likely voters nationally, 49 percent to 47 percent. The poll shows Mr. Obama with a more comfortable lead in swing states, where he leads among likely voters 52 percent to 41 percent/CBS News. More here. (AP photo)

Question: How do you expect the two major candidates to do in Wednesday's presidential debate?

Aerodynamic: Nelson No Show Again

Aerodynamic: And as I write this DFO, Nelson once again has blown off a forum - this time at the CDA Tribe in Plummer. Of course, she invites folks to call her and speak with her one-on-one, where she can spin as the mood strikes her. Nelson will NOT face th voters in a public forum.. So who’s advising her? Hart of Spencer? What a cast of characters this year!

DFO: According to a source, Nelson has been a no-show at the following debates or candidate forums this fall: Arrow Point — about 20 people, Medimont — 6 people, Mica Grange — cancelled due to her non-participation, and now the tribe. The League of Women Voters, of course, didn’t include the commissioner race because they don’t cover ones that have write-in candidates.

Question: Are there any forums that Nelson has attended?

Labrador: Minnick ‘Fat Cat … Insider’

GOP congressional hopeful Raul Labrador has issued a blistering press release in response to incumbent Rep. Walt Minnick’s decision to back out of a scheduled debate against him on KTVB-TV; in it, Labrador recalled Minnick’s comments in 2008 about the value of debates, when he challenged then-Rep. Bill Sali to a series of 10 debates across the district. “What a difference two years makes; it was all the time it took for Walt Minnick to become a fat cat Washington insider who shows nothing but contempt for the voters of Idaho and for his own previously held values,” Labrador declared/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

DFO: I agree with Labrador that it’s B.S. to back out of a debate — whether you’re Walt Minnick or Butch Otter. I don’t buy the ‘Washington insider’ nonsense that Labrador’s trying to sell. But I’m disgusted that incumbents can get away with this stuff.

Question: How about you?

Daniel To Enter Post Falls Lions Den

County Clerk Dan English tells Huckleberries Online that he has accepted an invitation from Linda Cook to debate Republican opponent Cliff Hayes at the Panhandle Pachyderm Club luncheon at Garden Plaza (by Post Falls WalMart) at noon Friday, Sept. 17. Hayes, the former police chief and administrator of the city of Post Falls, is challenging for the clerk’s seat held for years by Democrat English. Making this debate even more interesting is the fact that it comes a day after the four days assigned by Judge Charles Hosack for Jim Brannon’s lawsuit against Councilman Mike Kennedy in the 2009 Coeur d’Alene municipal elections. Brannon supporters have tried to blame English for what they claim are tabulation mistakes on the part of his office that resulted in Kennedy’s 5-vote win over Brannon.

Question: Is English wise to take on Hayes in a debate sponsored by an organization that’s probably in his opponent’s corner?

Allred, Otter Mix It Up @ Debate

Wow. In a very lively, issue-oriented debate in Idaho Falls, Gov. Butch Otter and challenger Keith Allred departed from the set format just now, with Otter using his final rebuttal to a question about the Republican Party platform to ask Allred about his view of planks of the Democratic Party platform. Though it wasn’t his turn to speak, Allred responded, and moderator David Adler said he’d allow that through “moderator’s prerogative.” Allred responded, “The governor did ask me a question,” to which Otter put in, “But that doesn’t mean under the rules you get to reply.” Responded Allred: “It’s good to do this with a career politician who knows all the tricks.” Otter then declared, “This is the first college professor I ever ran against,” prompting Adler to make a crack about losing control of his class/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Labrador, Ward To Debate In Post Falls

With all the commotion that has occurred in the Raul Labrador-Vaughn Ward race for the 1st Congressional District GOP nomination, a debate scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday will be of interest. Labrador, Ward, and Harley Brown will be debating at the Garden Plaza, 545 North Garden Plaza Court,  Post Falls. The sponsor is the Panhandle Pachyderm Club. Coeur d’Alene Press Editor Mike Patrick will serve as moderator. To reserve a seat, or submit questions in advance, email Reggie Correll at

AM Headlines: Labrador, Ward Debate

There were some tense moments, a whole lot of lively debate, and even a few moments of agreement - very few - as 1st Congressional District GOP candidates Raul Labrador and Vaughn Ward faced off in a live debate last night. Betsy Russell’s Eye On Boise report here and here. 

Debate: Labrador Vs. Ward Tonight

The forum is likely to become contentious as each man tries to convince voters that he is the right choice for Idaho’s 1st Congressional District.  Both men continue to spar over illegal immigration, an issue which, despite high unemployment, two wars currently in progress, and a ballooning national debt, has become the pivotal issue of the race.  One week ago, Labrador, an immigration attorney, called on Obama to send military troops to the southern border of the U.S. to stop the inflow of illegal immigrants.  Labrador also claimed that because of his work as an immigration attorney, he is an expert on the matter and someone who will take the knowledge to Washington, D.C., to solve the country’s immigration woes/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Unlike Otter, Simpson Will Debate

Voters in Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers the eastern portion of the state, including parts of Boise, Twin Falls, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, and Rexburg, can get a closer look at the three men who want to represent them in the U.S. Congress.  Republicans Mike Simpson, who has held the seat since being elected in 1999, Chick Heileson, and state Rep. Russ Mathews, R-Idaho  Falls, are set to debate Sunday night at the Idaho State Capitol building as part of Idaho Public Television’s (IPTV) effort to televise debates for all major primary races/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: How come U.S. Rep Mike Simpson can find to debate his GOPrimary challengers, but Gov. Butch Otter can’t?

Labrador, Ward Spar @ Tea Party Debate

Raul Labrador (pictured) also came out fighting and really showed his experience well. He had a direct and calm tone to his delivery and answered questions well. Labrador was prepared and had a great line when talking about global warming. Labrador said, “Global warming does exist and it’s man made, it’s coming from all the hot air in Washington DC.” Labrador said that he is the only one on the stage who has actually fought against reforms. ”We told the federal government to shove it.” Speaking of the Idaho Health Freedom act, which authorized Idaho to sue the federal government over National Health Care. He said of his opponents, “They’re all going to stand up and they’re all going to tell you that they will fight the federal government, I’m the only one who has actually fought the federal government.” On Immigration Labrador said of Ward, “Do you want to send somebody to Washington, D.C., who doesn’t even understand immigration law?” Labrador said he has not taken a position on Arizona’s new immigration law/Idaho Conservative Blogger. More here.

Question: Do you plan to watch a political debate this spring, in person or on television? Which one(s)?

HBO Poll: Cowboy Up, Butch

  • Thursday Poll: 92 of 125 respondents (74%) said Gov. Butch Otter should cowboy up and debate GOPrimary foes Rex Rammell and Sharon Ullman. 29 of 125 respondents (23%) support his decision to dodge the debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters/Idaho Press Club. 4 people were undecided.
  • 3rd Tankovich Trial: 49 of 91 respondents (54%) said it wasn’t worth the time and effort by the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office to try two Tankovich brothers for a third time on hate-crime charges, after a mistrial and a hung jury. 40 of 91 (44%) want to see a third trial. 2 people were undecided.
  • Weekend Question (in lefthand rail): Do you look at Facebook and post notes or comment to your friends while you’re at work?

Bent: No Need For GOPrimary Debate

Bent: DFO, I would agree that incumbent candidates should debate in the general elections. But in the case of a primary election, Otter and Crapo are the incumbent candidates for their party, the assumption is the party already understands the incumbent positions clearly. Like it or not, this is the party’s election to decide the candidate they will put up in the general election. It is the job of a primary challenger to turn the party against the incumbent. Why then would the incumbent give any statewide face time, media attention or name recognition to a primary challenger who polls less that 10% of the vote?

Question: Would you like to see Butch Otter debate GOPrimary challengers Rex Rammell, Sharon Ullman, Tamara Wells, etc.?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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