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Posts tagged: Idaho Reporter

Popkey: Reporter Used Fake Name

Dustin Hurst left with unfinished business. On March 5 he had boasted on Twitter that Rep. Brian Cronin, D-Boise, “will be hired as a lobbyist in a few weeks.” But Hurst didn’t get the story. He left Idaho last week to start a new job at Montana Watchdog. What had excited Hurst was hypocrisy: Cronin was among the Democrats calling for a one-year cooling-off period before lawmakers could lobby state officials. On Tuesday, Hurst called the Seattle office of Strategies 360, identifying himself as “Joe Turner” of Boise. “He is interested in having you help with some business and would like for you to call him,” the 360 staffer’s phone message to Cronin said. Then he called his former colleague at IdahoReporter, Mitch Coffman. “He said that he had called in using a fake name,” Mitch Coffman told me. “I think the role of a good journalist is to say, OK, well, you said you verified it, but if I’m the one that’s going to write the story, I need to be the one to get the information”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.


Read more here:

Dustin Hurst Leaving Idaho Reporter

Via Twitter, Dustin Hurst has just announced that he's leaving the Idaho Reporter to take an online job in Helena, Mont. Quoth: “I am taking a news job in Helena, Montana, starting April 1. I am so excited for the new opportunity, but sad to leave the Gem State. I look forward to the team at IdahoReporter continuing the success we've had in our short time together.”

Question: Any shoutouts for Dustin?

Idaho Senate To Be More Like House?

All political observers know the election immediately following legislative redistricting leads to colossal turnover in the Capitol. This year, that turnover, combined with a newly closed primary election system and key retirements, could lead to an Idaho Senate that aligns more closely with the House in ideological terms. The changes could come from Senate newcomers who are not fresh faces around the Capitol. A number of lawmakers from the Idaho House, traditionally viewed as more conservative than the Senate, are planning election runs for seats on the other side of the Capitol rotunda/Dustin Hurst (pictured), Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Are you ready for and Idaho Senate that reflects the ideology of the Idaho House?

Russell: Reason For Free Media Space

RE: Idaho media uses Capitol space rent free/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter

Dustin, the space is not ours; it belongs to Legislative Services, which chooses to make it available to us during the session. The Legislature long has done this as a matter of public interest; it's in the public's interest that the business of the legislative session gets reported to the public. Lobbyists, who are here to represent their own interests and clients, rent a room in the capitol and pay for it.  In the past, in addition to the rent-free press work space for use during the session, there were several news outlets that also rented year-round space in the Capitol: The Associated Press, the Idaho Statesman, Idaho Public Television and NPR-Boise State Public Radio/Betsy Russell, Idaho Press Club president. More here.


Idaho Media Uses Capitol Rent Free

Idaho taxpayers are landlords of the Capitol in Boise, but it looks like they are getting stiffed on rent. Some of the biggest names in Idaho media – the Associated Press, the Idaho Statesman, the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Spokesman-Review, the Twin Falls Times-News, and the Post Register, among others – are allowed to have free, private office space in the Statehouse funded by taxpayers. The reporters are members of the Capitol Correspondents Association (CCA), which is granted credentialing authority by the Idaho Legislature in Joint Rule 14.  When news workers join the CCA, they pay a $10 fee for supplies and are granted some perks, including exclusive access to floor session of the House and Senate, along with free, private office space in the garden level of the Capitol/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Should Idaho media pay for rent for their office space in the Capitol?

Reporter Mistaken For Meth Dealer

A not-so-funny thing happened to former Idaho Reporter staffer Jay Patrick, son of Coeur d'Alene Press editor Mike Patrick, on his way to adjudicate his case on fishing without a license in Cache County, Utah. He was mistaken for a notorious methamphetamine trafficker — one of Nevada's most wanted — and booked in the county jail for two days.  Patrick, who now works in Boise for the Oregon-based Capital Press, told the Salt Lake City Tribune: “I was pretty scared. You hear of people put on death row who didn’t do it, so I’m thinking it’s feasible I could go to prison for this.” The Tribune story continues: “An attorney was able to find articles he wrote and time cards showing he wasn’t in Mesquite, Nev., on the dates he was accused of selling meth.” You can read the rest of the story here. And: KTVB story and video here.

Question: Have you ever been mistaken for somebody else?

Dustin Treads Off To HBO Graveyard

Dustin Hurst: I was talking with a Democratic operative today in the Capitol and he told me that my commentary on issues is really hurting IR's image and credibility around the state. I guess that it should have been been obvious to me that might be the case, but I didn't realize it. Phaedrus, I hate to admit it, but you were and are right on this issue. I don't care if people question me or my own credibility, but when that begins to rub off on my organization due to my actions, something has to change. That being said, I am now taking my place in the HBO graveyard. You will no longer see my posts here, even if I could post solely news stuff. I will be reborn as with a new handle in a few days.

Question: Any parting words for Dustin?

IReporter: $117K For Charter Exec?

At a committee meeting at the Capitol in Boise Thursday, State Board of Education President Richard Westerburg said the organization is requesting $117,000 in state dollars to fund a new full-time employee to carry the additional load caused by new charter schools in the Gem State. The budget figured provided by the board would include salary and benefits/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Do you think the state needs a $117,000-per-year administrator for the charter school commission?

Idaho Reporter Turns 1YO

On its Twitter site, Idaho Reporter announces that it is celebrating its first birthday as an online news source of Idaho politics. Tweets IR: “We thank our loyal readers for a great first year! We also look forward to the future of our site as we continue working for a more transparent and open government. Now, time to eat cake.” I know the hard core of our Left Bank will never accept Idaho Reporter as a legit news source as a result of its ties to the Idaho Freedom Foundation. But I consider the news site as a welcome addition to the Idaho blogosphere. Dustin, Brad, and the two Jays have provided news coverage over the past year that others have missed. I’m glad they’re out there. BTW, the Capitol Correspondents Association gave Idaho Reporter a lump of coal for a birthday present today by again denying the outlet legislative credentials.

Question (which I know is going to attract a snarky remark or two from the usual suspects): Have you changed your view of Idaho Reporter over the past year?

Caroling At Idaho’s Capitol

On its Twitter account, Idaho Reporter posts this photo of school children singing Christmas carols at the Capitol.

Question: Which Christmas carol is your favorite?

Nonini Working On Immigration Law

One state lawmaker wants to bring Arizona’s new illegal immigration laws that have sparked a federal lawsuit north to Idaho.  Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, is working with other north Idaho lawmakers on adapting the Arizona laws to Idaho. “It’s pretty much the Arizona bill that’s raised all this controversy, but I think it’s a good bill obviously,” Nonini told  “If the federal government isn’t going to go out and enforce their own policies, as they’re not in Arizona, then the states sure need to defend their borders.” The proposed laws would allow police to check the citizenship of anyone they think might be in the country illegally if they have been detained for another possible offense.  The legislation also allows citizens to sue cities and counties for not enforcing federal immigration laws/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Is the Idaho Legislature ready to pass stronger laws against illegal immigration?

HBO Poll: Idaho Reporter … Legit

  • Wednesday Poll: By the narrowest of margins, Hux Online readers say that the Idaho Reporter is a legimate news outlet. 67 of 145 respondents (46%) said the news arm of Idaho Freedom Foundation is legitimate, while 66 of 145 respoondents (46%) said it isn’t. 12 of 145 (8%) were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll: Did Congressman Walt Minnick’s flirtation with the Tea Party Express help or hurt him overall?

HBO Poll: Repeal 17th Amendment? No!

  • Tuesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, you Berry Pickers rejected the plank in the Idaho Republican Party platform that calls for repealing the 17th amendment (the one that provides for election of U.S. senators by voters rather than state legislatures). 182 of 203 respondents (90%) said the voters should continue to choose U.S. senators. Only 21 of 203 voted that legislators should choose the U.S. senators.
  • Today’s Poll (in recognition of Wayne Hoffman’s visit this morning): Is Idaho Reporter, the news arm of Idaho Freedom Foundation, a legitimate news outlet?

Semanko: Fire Minnick, Pelosi

Via HBO Nation Twitter (in righthand rail), Idaho Reporter reports these actions at GOP convention in Idaho Falls:

  • 3:19 p.m. GOP convention events in recess for a couple hours. Dinner sponsored by Melaleuca begins around 6:45. Rich Galen to speak there.
  • 3:12 p.m. GOP adopts resolutions critical of federal government.
  • 2:58 p.m. (via Idaho Conservative Blogger): Semanko says we need to fire Walt Minnick so Nancy Pelosi can get fired.
  • 1:47 p.m. ID GOP chairman Semanko just said Hawaii is @BarackObama’s home state “supposedly.”
  • 1:09 p.m. Governor Otter speaking to the delegates at the state convention.
  • 12:57 p.m. Embattled Rep. Phil Hart is in the house in Idaho Falls.
  • 11:43 a.m. Interesting diff between GOP and Dem conventions: GOP candidates give out free lunch … Dems required donations to eat.
  • 10:17 a.m. Larry Spencer is now speaking in the platform committee at the GOP convention. I (Dustin Hurst) hear he’s a divisive guy.
  • 9:55 a.m. IDGOP committee approved resolutions supporting AZ immigration law and rejecting federal health care mandate.
  • 9:53 a.m. Idaho GOPers support language calling for the repeal of the 17th Amendment in platform committee.

Question: Is this the magic that Gov. Butch Otter was talking about?

Marty: Jeers To D’s For Booting Dustin

JEERS … to Idaho’s Democratic Party. Meeting in Worley last weekend, the state Democratic Convention voted - with only one dissenting vote - to complete its platform in private. Say it ain’t so. Tell us the champions of openness and transparency, the party that condemns Republicans for conducting business behind closed doors, didn’t just do exactly that. According to’s Dustin Hurst — and there’s no reason to doubt it — delegates decided he was an unfriendly observer. Hurst works for Idaho Freedom Foundation Executive Director Wayne Hoffman. So what? Even if Hurst worked for the GOP, what’s the difference? Out went Hurst, along anyone else who wasn’t a delegate/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Did Idaho Democrats compromise themselves at their state convention in Worley by excluding the media and other public from the platform discussion?

Rusche Won’t Ask Hart To Quit Tax Panel

RE: Rep. Hart faces nearly $300K in new IRS liens/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise

House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, told that he won’t call on Rep. Phil Hart, R-Hayden Lake, to resign from the House Revenue and Taxation Committee following a revelation by a writer from the Spokesman Review that the IRS had filled more than $300,000 in liens on Hart’s property for failure to pay taxes. Rusche, attending his party’s state convention in Worley, said that though he wouldn’t call for Hart to resign from the committee, on which Rusche also sits, he isn’t entirely comfortable with it.  ”I see significant problems in someone with those kind of problems helping to craft tax policy for the state,” Rusche said.  He said the he feels that constituents in Hart’s district deserve proper representation and he is unsure if Hart can provide that/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here. (Idaho Reporter Photo: John Rusche during 2010 legislative session)

Question: Should someone with Hart’s long-standing problem w/paying federal taxes be allowed to continue to serve on the House Revenue & Taxation Committee?

Trillhaase: Jeers To Idaho Reporter says Craig “averaged about $44,500 a year during his first four years in the Senate, while Minnick averaged roughly $30,000 a quarter in his first 15 months in office.” Not only is Minnick supposedly a profligate, he’s accused of hypocrisy too. Except for one thing: What this “a free news service that provides comprehensive, factual, non-opinionated and non-ideological coverage of state government” failed to mention was that Minnick hasn’t come close to spending the wads of cash his Republican predecessor, Bill Sali, burned through by sending out his junk mail to voters. Sali, the one-termer Minnick defeated in 2008, spent $214,249 - 15 percent of his office budget — in 2008 and $112,424 in 2007/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.


Greg Smith Polls Missed Key Races

RE: John Foster: Greg Smith polls are worthless/HucksOnline

Wednesday’s poll may not necessarily be an indicator of Minnick’s true standing with voters, however.  One month before Minnick ousted Republican Bill Sali from the seat in 2008, Smith’s polling among 200 likely voters in the district found that Sali enjoyed a 51-39 lead over his challenger.  Minnick went on to defeat Sali 51-49 on election night.   In 2006, Smith found Democrat Jerry Brady ahead of Republican Butch Otter by 5 percent in the gubernatorial race.  Otter defeated Brady at the polls 52-44. The poll results drew the ire of Minnick spokesman John Foster, who showed no confidence in the work of Smith and his team. “Usually when Greg Smith promotes one of his rigged polls, he at least tries to make it look real; this one is just a joke,” Foster told “He is notorious for being inaccurate”/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Do you think the Greg Smith poll that showed Raul Labrador leading Congressman Walt Minnick 36 percent to 24 percent is accurate?

John: More To Minnick Franking Story

John Foster (for the Minnick campaign): Unfortunately, the story failed to use several salient and important facts. First. the Senate and House have very different franking rules, and money for the programs is allocated and tracked in very different fashions. Second, after Walt criticized Craig in 1996, the House passed stringent and wide-ranging rules to cut down on abuse. Current House rules prevent franked mail from being used within 90 days of a primary or general election. Members also have to submit all franked mail to a bipartisan commission for approval before the mail can be sent. (More below)

Question: Would you like to see Congress do away with franking privileges altogether?

Dustin: Questions For Raul, Vaughn?

Dustin Hurst/Idaho Reporter: I will be interviewing both Ward and Labrador tonight. Does anyone on HBO have anything they would like me to ask the two gentlemen?

Question: Feel free to post questions you want Dustin to ask the GOP congressional candidates at tonight’s debate in Nampa?

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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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