Posts tagged: Idaho Republicans
Former Sheriff Richard Mack will be back in Idaho in August, following up last year’s controversial appearance at the Kootenai County Republican Party Lincoln Day with a speech to the Gem State Tea Party’s 3rd “Liberty Summit” in Burley. Mack, who won two terms as the Democratic sheriff of Graham County, Ariz., also has run for office as a Republican and a Libertarian. Some Kootenai County Republicans tried to cancel his speech but an allegedly forged proxy ballot was tossed by party officials and Mack was invited again. He drew about 400 listeners and appeared with Congressman Raul Labrador/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you consider Sheriff Mack fans to be mainstream Republicans?
The seat Sen. Jim Risch will defend next year as Republicans eye control of the U.S. Senate has been in Republican hands since 1949, trailing in longevity only two Kansas seats which have been held by the GOP since 1919 and 1939. So reports Eric Ostermeier at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Ostermeier has a knack for such cocktail-party-chat lists. Earlier this month, he reported that former Idaho Govs. Cecil Andrus (No. 11) and Bob Smylie (No. 31) were among the nation’s 50 longest-serving governors/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you think a Democrat will win Risch's Senate seat between now and 2049, which would mean 100 years of dominance if it's still in Republican control?
The Latah County Republican Party has voted to censure its chairman for his vote as a Moscow city councilor supporting an ordinance outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that a small assembly of county Republican precinct committee members voted 7-6 earlier this month to censure Walter Steed for his city council vote. Committee member Gresham Bouma says the ordinance will penalize business owners for their personal beliefs when it comes to hiring/AP via Eye on Boise. More here.
With blood running down his face, Latah County GOP Chairman Walter Steed had a clear message for his fellow Republicans on Tuesday night - “I am not resigning.” Twelve Latah County Republican precinct committeemen last month passed a vote of no confidence in Steed after he signed a letter to the Legislature as president of the Moscow City Council recommending ways of curbing gun violence should it take up the issue this session. Those rallying for his resignation say he didn't uphold the party's values in the Second Amendment. Steed didn't even get a chance to call for a prayer and recitation of The Pledge of Allegiance before Precinctman David Klingenberg called for a point of order. “Do we even have a chairman?” he asked. “We took a vote”/Brandon Macz, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here. H/T: Digger.
Christie Wood: Today is my birthday. I woke up with a plan that would set the world on the right course for me again. I drove to the clerk’s office and changed my voters registration card to unaffiliated. It felt so good to be free of ideals and platforms I do not support. The State Republican platform failed to include support for Human Rights. The National Republican platform has no exceptions for abortions even if a woman is raped. What has happened to the party that used to be celebrated and recognized for the great people in it like Nelson Rockefeller? Oh let me guess…too moderate. Not pure. On the other side of the aisle the Dems can’t decide if they want God or Jerusalem in the platform (well I guess they did decide last night). Whew- I am free to look at candidates for their strengths and weaknesses rather than their party. It feels good. My new moniker is UNAFFILIATED. So happy now. Something tells me they won’t miss me…
Question: What do you think of Christie's move?
In a guest opinion that is appearing in southern Idaho newspapers, Idaho Senate pro tem Brent Hill targets Constitutionalists embedded in the Idaho Republican Party:
As I was traveling recently, I picked up a campaign brochure in which the candidate described himself as a “Constitutional Republican.” The implication was that his fellow Republicans were somehow not “constitutional” — that they cared little about protecting the God-given rights delineated in the U.S. Constitution. Over and over again in the recent primary election campaign, candidates touted the Constitution as if they were the only ones who loved, honored or understood that great document. Such rhetoric is not only demeaning but dangerous. More here.
Question: Which political party has the biggest tent — Democrats or Republicans?
The upcoming Idaho Republican Party convention, which kicks off Thursday and runs through Saturday, will show whether Idaho's tea-party tide will rise further or if it's on the ebb in this election year, writess AP reporter John Miller. Miller reports that at the party's 2008 Sandpoint convention, as well as the 2010 edition in Idaho Falls, mainstream Republicans rolled their eyes as libertarians added planks to the party platform — the GOP's guiding document — urging the Federal Reserve's abolition, the gold standard's resurrection, support for “nullifying” federal laws and abandoning popular elections of U.S. senators. Yet tea party candidates were repudiated in May's GOP primary, with several high-profile challenges to mainstream GOP incumbents falling far short/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Will the Tea Party emerge stronger/as strong/weaker from Idaho Republican Party convention?
Now that the Idaho Republican Party is requiring candidates to pledge their support to the state party's platform or outline where they disagree, the candidate surveys are taking on new significance as primary elections approach, reports AP reporter John Miller, and they've divided the state's dominant political party. Jonathan Parker, executive director of the state GOP, told Miller the review “gives people the opportunity to find out where the candidates stand.” But critics such as Priest Lake Republican Rep. Eric Anderson, pictured, say it's an unnecessary “purity test.” “It's silly,” Anderson said. He added, “There's always going to be things in life you disagree with.” The platform includes planks such as calling for the repeal of the 17th Amendment, which let voters, rather than state legislatures, elect U.S. senators; returning to the gold standard; abolishing the state's redistricting commission and handing that task back to the state Legislature; and calling for state nullification of federal laws/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Would you return this survey if you were running for election as a Republican candidate?
Bonneville County is hard-line conservative speaker Richard Mack’s latest on-again, off-again suitor in Idaho. As of Wednesday afternoon, Bonneville County’s commitment to Mack was off – for now. Mack had been scheduled to speak March 29 at a $15-per-ticket fundraiser for the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee and Republican women of both Jefferson and Fremont counties. But the groups canceled the event. Don Schanz, head of the Bonneville County Republicans, said the cancellation was not related to any controversy over Mack, but rather the difficulty of preparing for his appearance so soon after last week’s caucus. “In fact, I talked to a number of people who were excited about (the event),” Schanz said. “I didn’t even know that there was anyone that would resist it”/Sven Berg, Post Register. More here.
DFO: The Spokesman-Review is preparing a weekend story about Mack's appearance in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene later this month.
Question: Had you heard of Richard Mack before the local controversy erupted?
It's good for you when Idaho Republicans cut $35.7 million from the tax burden borne by the state's corporations and richest citizens. At least, that's what they say. “It lowers taxes in the state of Idaho, it makes Idaho more competitive with its surrounding states,” said House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, who is co-sponsoring this measure with Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter. Speaking to the House tax committee Tuesday, Moyle promised lowering taxes at the top tier would make “Idaho known on the map and sends the world a message that Idaho is open to do business. While I don't think it's enough, I think it's a step in the right direction, and it's probably the best economic development bill we've seen all year.”In other words, if the rich pay less in taxes, they'll invest more. That way, everybody else in Idaho will prosper. Just one thing: It doesn't work/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: It's hard to imagine that the Idaho Legislature would squander $36 million to provide a tax cut for the most prosperous Idahoans rather than use the money to restore draconian tax cuts of the last few years. What say you?
In his editorial today, Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune harkens back 18 years when the Idaho Republican Party was led by such stalwarts as Phil Batt (pictured), Tom Boyd, Mike Simpson, Bruce Newcomb, the late Jerry Twiggs, Mike Crapo, and Jim Risch. Trillhaase appreciated their ethics and collegiality. That was then. Here's what he sez about the current crop of Idaho GOP leaders: “This is not your father's Idaho Republican Party. In the second decade of one-party rule, Idaho's GOP serves its own interests, not yours. It arrogantly dispatches questions about cronyism, ethical lapses and front-page embarrassments. The GOP brand has been tainted. Not enough to give Idaho's under-financed and poorly organized Democrats an opening to exploit. But that day is getting closer”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (SR file photo by Jesse Tinsley)
Question: Are any current Idaho GOP leaders in the same mold as Phil Batt, Bruce Newcomb, and the late Jim McClure?
Idaho lawmakers can't do math. They have missed the state's revenue targets two years in a row. They can't run a school system. The results are apparent. And they have difficulty accepting new ideas. Just take a look at how tone deaf they've been about protecting gays from discrimination. But they do know one thing better than anyone else: what it takes to be a good lawyer. At least 20 of them think so. Along with House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, House Education Committee Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Post Falls, and Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, this crew wants University of Idaho law school Dean Don Burnett to lighten up on the diversity training/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Are you wary of diversity training?
University of Idaho administrators have a lot to deal with. Or, perhaps, these professional academics really don’t know much about running a university. Either way, U of I need not worry about going it alone. Not when the Idaho Legislature is around. Recently, 21 legislators took some time away from their day job to tell the U of I law school how not to mandate attendance at a diversity workshop. Unsolicited advice is just one more service this Legislature offers. These lawmakers wrote a letter to U of I law school Dean Don Burnett, criticizing the decision to require the school’s 360 students to attend a 75-minute program in professionalism and diversity. If a student doesn’t attend, a note may be placed in his or her file — and that’s what set off the legislators/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Does the Idaho Legislature need sensitivity training?
Santorum, fresh from three victories this week, will be in Coeur d'Alene and the Boise area, said Jonathan Parker, executive director of the Idaho Republican Party. Santorum has booked the Hagadone Events Center in Coeur d'Alene from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday, and will then fly to Boise. Parker said the campaign is planning an evening rally in Boise or Meridian, probably at a school auditorium or gym. Santorum seeks the 32 Idaho delegates to the national convention/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP photo)
Question: Does the visit of presidential candidate Rick Santorum mean that Coeur d'Alene's role in Idaho politics has grown?
in his St. Maries Gazette Record column, Chris Carlson notes how Idaho D's have drifted “away from common sense conservation, balanced budgets, continuing investment in Idaho education and protecting the values which make Idaho such a great place to live. Instead, being on the correct side of hot button issues such as abortion, guns and more wilderness became the goal of what other Idahoans perceived as a party growing out of touch and into the hands of the “wine and cheese” liberal set as represented by multi-millionaires living in Blaine County.” From the mid 90’s on, he continues, Idaho Democrats have appeared hell bent on narrowing their base of support. The voters noted and duly administered rebukes which should have awakened the D’s but so far haven’t. Now, corrupted by power, Carlson says, the GOP hell bent on narrowing its base. More here.
Question: Are Idaho Republicans immune from a voter backlash?
Idaho Department of Commerce Director Don Dietrich (pictured) is resigning from his post effective Sept. 2. Dietrich, a former executive with Aspen Technology and Cargill Inc., said he plans to return to the private sector. He's also been a lightning rod as rumors have circulated that Gov. Butch Otter's “Project 60” trade-building initiative is really a plot to sell Idaho's sovereignty to China; the John Birch Society has been pushing the theory and using quotes from Dietrich about trade with China. The furor even spread to the Idaho Republican Party's Central Committee, which passed a “China Beachhead” resolution last month calling on the Legislature to look into it/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: What role did paranoia over China investment in Idaho play in this resignation?
Beck is no longer content with a system that has served his party just fine: one where anyone can run as a Republican and face the scrutiny of primary voters. He wants the state central committee, county committees and legislative committees to vet the would-be candidates and filter the field. The committees would choose up to two candidates for every primary race. Other candidates are out. This proposal disenfranchises the voters — those not already alienated by the new closed GOP primary, another Beck handiwork. It places way too much power in the hands of a few kingmakers. It’s a thinly veiled way of punishing incumbents who aren’t Republican enough to pass muster with the screening committee. That’s what happened in Utah, where three-term U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett was shown the door. As with so much Beck does, this seems driven by a single-minded desire to root out and eradicate the “RINO,” the politico who is “Republican In Name Only”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: I'd like to hear from Republicans at Huckleberries Online re: what they think of this ongoing attempt by Rod Beck & other party hardliners to install purity tests for their voters and candidates?
At a congressional forum in 2006 in Post Falls (from left): Robert Vasquez, Sheila Sorensen, Norm Semanko, Bill Sali, Dave Olson, Cecil Kelly, Keith Johnson, Andy Hedden-Nicely and Skip Brandt. Larry Grant missed to forum. (SR file photo: Jesse Tinsley)
Idaho's current Democratic and Republican party chairmen shared a stage for the first time today at the Boise City Club, and some sparks did fly. The two started off with a shared experience: “We both lost to Bill Sali in 2006,” said GOP Chairman Norm Semanko, who lost to Sali in the 1st District GOP primary that year, while current Democratic Chairman Larry Grant fell to Sali in the general election. “Norm and I did both lose,” Grant said, “and you might conclude from that that the penalty for losing a congressional race is to become the chairman of the party”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Who would win a WWF cage match between Norm Semanko and Larry Grant?
Item: Independent Idaho in for poll surprise: Largest bloc must decide between GOP, Democrat/Betsy Russell, SR
More Info: Say you’re an Idaho voter who wants to cast a ballot in next year’s primary election for Sarah Palin for president, or Mike Huckabee, or Mitt Romney. In a state that’s never had party registration, you could be in for a surprise at the polls, where voters will be required to become party members – or they might not get to vote in anything but nonpartisan judges’ races. “Being an independent, you don’t like that too well,” said Mitch Campbell, a Twin Falls businessman who heads the American Independent Movement of Idaho.
Question: Do you consider yourself to be a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, Constitutionalist, or something else?
They won't ban drivers who text
And health care reform makes them vexed.
Their right is to farm
Their students they arm
Your budget is what they'll cut next.
Objections don't stick in their throats
Nor loss after loss get their goats
Rather than cut
They'd revenue up
But they simply don't have the votes.
Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise