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Posts tagged: kathy sims

Regan, Sims Back RRepub Candidates

On Friday, Jeff Selle of the Coeur d'Alene Press reported that three families have contributed a considerable amount of money to Mary Souza's mayoral campaign: $6000 of her $29,223 from six members of the Damiano family; and $4000 from former Coeur d'Alene school trustee Brent Regan and three other members of his family. Additionally, state Sen. Kathy Sims ($500) and her daughter, Rita ($1000), contributed $1500 combined. Souza campaign finance report here. Regan and the Sims family also made large contributions to the three Reagan Republican candidates aligned with Souza:

Question: I'm surprised that mayoral candidate Mary Souza's campaign coffers runneth over, while the other Reagan Republican candidates on her informal ticket are digging in their own pockets for loads to fund their campaigns.

Austin: Urban Renewal & Outsiders

A funny thing happened to Silver Valley residents on their way to a decision on whether or not they want an Urban Renewal Agency (URA) in their county. They've heard from their neighbors to the west, including two elected officials angry over Coeur d'Alene's agency and its investment in McEuen Field. The newest change to urban renewal law requires approval from local residents before their elected officials can form a URA. Previously, in over four dozen cities and at least one county, those officials needed only proof of deterioration within their boundaries to authorize the URA and appoint its members. As a result of the law change, Shoshone County Commissioners have scheduled a vote on the issue for this Tuesday. What they could never have imagined was the interference of residents outside the Valley, but that is exactly what has happened/John Austin, Coeur d'Alene Press op-ed article. More here. (Idaho Legislature photo: Rep. Kathy Sims)

Question: Should state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, and Coeur d'Alene Councilman Dan Gookin be trying to export their anti-urban renewal philosophy to the economically depressed Silver Valley?

John: Sims, Culbreth, Gookin Intruded

JohnA (re: Idaho Freedom Foundation opposes Shoshone County urban renewal agency): Well, I guess it is time that I opined on this issue, since I am under contract with Shoshone County to help them create an urban renewal agency. The fact is that the county commissioners have a chance with their private partners in the Big Creek area, Sunshine and Crescent Mines and Essential Metals silver refinery, to rebuild Big Creek Road from I-90 to the Sunshine and thereby fix the deficiencies in the road. The net gain is over 300 high paying jobs, which makes this the exact purpose of urban renewal in the first place. After intrusions from those who don't live in the county, in particular Kathy Sims from CDA, we tried to give the correct facts last night in Kellogg. Then, we heard from Sharon Culbreth and our own Dan Gookin, both of whom said it was a bad idea to help the county to create 300 mining jobs at Sunshine. Now, no one in the crowd was a rich realtor or best selling author, but they clearly knew from the onset that the Silver Valley needs these jobs to grow their economy and some clearly resented this intrusion from the west. More below.

Question: Should anti-urban renewal types from Kootenai County stick their noses into the debate re: an urban renewal agency proposal in Shoshone County?

Sims Miffed Henderson Bill Now Law

Generating more jobs in Idaho might get a little easier now that the Legislature passed House Bill 100, and the governor signed it into law last week. “It is designed to create jobs, and we do need more jobs in Idaho,” said Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, who sponsored the legislation. “This helps us be a little more competitive with our neighboring states when we are recruiting jobs.” But not everyone agrees that the state should be spending $3 million, which was appropriated to the fund, on job creation. Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, voted against the bill along with Rep. Ron Mendive, R-Post Falls, and Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Post Falls. She said she has little faith in government creating good jobs. “We don't have an extra $3 million in this budget,” Sims said. “This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever”/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

DFO: Notice the byline on that Coeur d'Alene Press story?

Question: Do you think government has a role to play in job creation?

Nesse Steps Out

Anne Nesse, a Democrat for the House District 4 seat now held by Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, leaves the monthly luncheon of the Women Republican's Club after listening to Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna speak in Coeur d'Alene today. After Luna's speech, Nesse left when a club member asked the group to support Coeur d'Alene School Board members who have been criticized this week for voting to dump the Primary Years Programme at Hayden Meadows.

My 2 Cents: It Ain’t Over

State Rep. Kathy Sims is shown at her station across from Sherman Hardware, trying to attract signatures for her recall petitions.

Even if City Clerk Susan Weathers declares the Coeur d'Alene recall attempt a failure (void ab initio) at 4:30 p.m. today, the attempted takeover of City Hall ain't over. I doubt that the Souza-Orzell-Sims would waste the time and energy to launch another recall against the same officials in three months. But I suspect to see a lawsuit of some sort surface in the next few days, challenging disqualified ballots and maybe seeking an injunction against an upgrade to McEuen Field. Beyond that, the Recallers will spin the results of their failure and go back to work networking with the Tea Party & Reagan Republicans to target the 2013 city elections. Good city elected officials like Mayor Sandi Bloem and the three targeted for recall will remain vulnerable to this organized and vocal minority if the individuals who made the Decline to Sign movement successful lose focus. The 75-day recall attempt is just the beginning. The future is still up for grabs between those who applaud the upgrades along the waterfront and those who have opposed many of those projects, including state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, who supported the suit to stop the North Idaho College Foundation purchase of the Education Corridor. (BTW, NIC Trustee Christie Wood responded to all of Sims' claims in the link above here.) The first referendum on the Coeur d'Alene recall attempt isn't in November 2013. It is this November when Sims, an outspoken supporter of the recall effort, faces Democrat Anne Nesse in an attempt to win re-election to her House seat. Sims has an advantage in that she's a Republican in an area that votes knee-jerk Republican. A poor showing or even the defeat of Kathy Sims would serve to be a harbinger of the 2013 city elections — DFO.

Correction: Rep. Kathy Sims supported the lawsuit to stop the purchase of the old mill site for an Education Corridor that was filed by Larry Spencer, Tom Macy and Bill McCrory.

Democrat Nesse Challenges Sims

For those wondering if there is an alternative this year to state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, who is busy trying to overthrow Coeur d'Alene city government. The answer is no and yes. Not in the GOPrimary. But Anne L. Nesse of 854 Victoria is a Democrat who will challenge Sims in the general election. I found this information about Nesse @ “I’ve watched for some time as our state legislature has become less representative of Idaho’s voters. I pledge to represent people from “all walks of life,” including youth, professionals, workers, and retired citizens. I will not represent only special interest groups. Our family moved here about 18 years ago from rural Oregon in 1994. We have loved the environment of Coeur d’Alene ever since. My employment history includes a wide background in health care, education, research, and small-business. I have a bachelor of science degree in nursing, a bachelor of arts in psychology, and a teaching certificate in elementary education, as well as in music grades K-12. I would like to apply my experiences and higher education to represent each of you fairly.” More here.

Question: Should everyone who opposes Kathy Sims' attempted recall of Mayor Bloem & 4 council members, whether Democrat or Republican, support Nesse?

Sims Continues Anti-Bloem Campaign

State Sen. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, continues her crusade against Mayor Sandi Bloem's administration today, as she stands across the street from Sherman Hardware, 11th & Sherman/CdA, trying to woo motorists to sign the four recall petitions. Notice the strategically placed Decline to Sign yard sign behind Sims?

Question: Captions?

DFO: $40M Fib, Grudges Fuel Recall

The recall election launched last week against progressive Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and three City Council members is based on a fib and old grudges. A recall backer circulated a flier at the Republican Women’s luncheon Thursday claiming that her group is trying to remove Bloem & Co. from office because they wouldn’t allow an advisory vote on the, ahem, $40 million upgrade of McEuen Field (the ball fields and green space at the foot of Tubbs Hill in downtown Coeur d’Alene). Only the real cost of the makeover is $14.2 million, including about half to transform five acres of concrete into green space by moving the Third Street parking lot. All without raising property taxes. Mary Souza, one of the recall leaders, was an outspoken critic of the Bloem administration, even before she lost a 2005 three-way race to Mike Kennedy, one of the recall targets. State Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, is another recall leader. Sims helped circulate an attack ad against three City Council incumbents in the 2007 city election and then fought City Hall for more than a year before paying a small fine for submitting incomplete campaign finance papers/DFO, print Huckleberries. More here.

Blast From Past — Sims’ Attack Ad

Here's proof that state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, has had it out for Mayor Sandi Bloem's administration for some time. Sims, a signer of the petition to launch a recall against Bloem and Councilmen Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy, circulated this attack ad against three council members, including Ron Edinger, just prior to the November 2007 municipal elections. She and Tom Macy later became embroiled with the city of Coeur d'Alene for more than a year over improperly filed campaign finance reports.

Question: And you think this recall effort is only about McEuen Field?

Sims Urban Renewal Bill Flounders

Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, has had a rough go of it with one of her bills this year. With the session winding down and about two weeks to go before the final gavel drops for the year, Sims, for the second time in the last few weeks, pitched her bill to force urban renewal districts to hold elections for their oversight boards. And, for the second time this session, the bill was held in committee. As it stands now, commissioners are either chosen by a city council, a mayor or county commissioners, depending on how the urban renewal agency is set up. Sims believes that because the agencies handle millions of public dollars, they should be accountable to local residents. That, she says, would be achieved through direct election of oversight commissioners/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Does Rep. Kathy Sims' extreme anti-urban renewal bills reflect yours?

Press: Urban Renewal Foes Myopic

Urban renewal makes an easy target for those of us who don't like taxes. Yes, that's just about all of us. But should it? Are we being fair, are we being prudent, when we clamor for elimination of the laws that permit the use of tax-increment financing - an unwieldy term that assures much misunderstanding right out of the gate - to spur economic development in the short term for benefit in the long one? Rep. Kathy Sims of Coeur d'Alene recently recommended changes to the way urban renewal agencies function, but Rep. Robert Schaefer, a Nampa Republican, introduced legislation last week that would repeal Idaho's urban renewal laws altogether and require debts incurred by urban renewal agencies to be retired. Schaefer's goal - to funnel more money toward schools, fire departments and highway agencies - seems laudable on the surface. But we think it bears deeper examination/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Legislature photo: Kathy Sims, outspoken opponent of urban renewal)

Question: Do you understand the long-term benefits of tax-increment financing and urban renewal law?

Sims Targets Urban Renewal Again

For the second time in the last two years, the House Local Government Committee introduced a slate of urban renewal reform bills, though fewer measures are coming forth this time around. Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, brought a retooled bill to force urban renewal agency commissioners to be elected to serve. It would, however, only apply to urban renewal districts created after July 1, 2012. Existing districts would still be able to choose how members are named to their oversight boards. “Having the board stand for election will have them be more accountable than what they are,” Sims said/Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Rep. Kathy Sims' legislation, attacking urban renewal law?

Sims Upset w/LCDC Rent Income

According to records obtained by, the Lake City Development Corporation (LCDC), Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency, is bringing in more than $14,000 each month in rental income from residential and commercial properties it owns. One LCDC official says the practice is common, but an area state lawmaker (state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-CdA, of course) wants the agency to sell the properties immediately. Tony Berns, LCDC director, wrote in a letter to that his agency is holding onto the properties because it has strategic plans for the land on which the houses and businesses sit. “As practiced across the country, one of the key tenets of urban renewal/redevelopment is the acquisition of and assemblage of real estate located in key strategic areas identified for future public/private redevelopment purposes,” Berns wrote/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here. (Idaho Reporter photo: LCDC owns several rental properties along Park Drive, near NIC)

Question: Are you surprised that Rep. Sims is bedeviling LCDC re: earning rental income from residential & commercial properties it owns? Seems to me that the agency is acting responsibly.

Kathy Sims Backs Gookin, Adams

Coeur d'Alene Honda, owned by state Sen. Kathy Sims, has contributed $908.48 apiece to the Coeur d'Alene City Council campaigns of Dan Gookin and Steve Adams. Sims, an outspoken critic of Mayor Sandi Bloem's administration, made the contributions Oct. 3. Of note, Sims filed the 7-day, pre-election campaign financial disclosure statement on time and to the appropriate entity, the city clerk's office. Four years ago, Sims & Tom Macy of Post Falls violated city statutes by filing an incomplete disclosure statement with the state rather than the city. Sims & Macy then fought the city for more than a year re: the matter before reaching a settlement. The controversial disclosure statement covered the cost of an attack flyer Sims & Macy circulated on the final weekend of the campaign against City Council incumbents.

Prosecutor: No Conflict Of Interest

Item: Bonner County prosecutor: No conflict of interest: Marshall: Officials won't benefit from McEuen project/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall said Friday conflict of interest violations for Coeur d'Alene city officials regarding the McEuen Field project do not exist. … The Bonner County Prosecutors reviewed a complaint from Coeur d'Alene Rep. Kathy Sims that said ethics in government laws were breached as Coeur d'Alene city officials worked on the conceptual plan for the downtown park because some officials have business and property ties near the park.

Question: Should state Rep. Kathy Sims apologize to Mayor Sandi Bloem and the Coeur d'Alene City Council for her frivolous, public accusation that they had a conflict of interest in dealing with McEuen Field?

AG To Sims: Sorry, Can’t Help

Huckleberries has received the lengthy response by the Idaho Attorney General's Office into a request by Rep. Kathy Sims, R-CdA, to investigate possible conflicts of interest involving local elected officials and the McEuen Field project. Deputy AG Brian Kane dismissed Sims contentions that Council members Al Hassell and Deanna Goodlander have conflicts simply from serving on the council and Lake City Development Corp. Also, he said Mayor Sandi Bloem gets no direct benefit from the project simply because a building she and her family own is nearby. Also, he said the AG's office is not authorized by statute to initiate a law enforcement investigation into a local matter at the request of a legislator. “If after reviewing this analysis, you believe an investigation is warranted, I recommend that you contact your local county prosecutor or county sheriff s office because they have primary law enforcement authority.” Read full response here.

Question: What is your reaction after reading Brian Kane's response to Kathy Sims?

Sims Responds To Gridley Letter

State Sen. Kathy Sims sent the following terse note to Coeur d'Alene City Attorney Mike Gridley after reading his letter denouncing her claims that Mayor Sandi Bloem & City Council members had conflicts of interest in dealing the proposed McEuen Field upgrades: “Your letter is of no concern to me. It is what I would have expected from you. it has been forwarded.” Gridley told Huckleberries: “It is troubling that facts and law are of “no concern” to an elected representative.” (You can read Sims' letter to the attorney general here.)

Bystander: Sims Respected In CdA

Almost Innocent Bystander: Kathy Sims is obviously smart and well respected outside of this blog and in this case, size matters. I think the numbers are going against the current Cda City cabal-no one with more than a couple of brain cells believes that borrowing money is a good idea right now. The spending habits of Sandi B and sycophants is akin to someone making $10/hr and buying the Hope Diamond.

Question: What do you make of the exchange of letters to the attorney general (see link) between Coeur d'Alene City Attorney Mike Gridley and state Sen. Kathy Sims?

Gridley Rips Sims’ ‘Conflict’ Claims

  • Originally posted at 5:02 p.m. Friday

Huckleberries has acquired a copy of a response sent by City Attorney Mike Gridley to Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane re: state Rep. Kathy Sims' claims (which Gridley called “scurrilous”) of widespread conflicts of interest among elected officials who OK'd McEuen Field changes. Quoth Gridley: “It appears that Rep. Sims has opened a new front in her on-going battle against urban renewal and Coeur d'Alene city government.” Gridley then goes on to break down the allegations raised by Sims. You can read what he says about Mayor Sandi Bloem's ownership of one-third of a building a block from McEuen Field and other so-called conflicts that Sims' claims here.


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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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