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Posts tagged: Kootenai County Republicans

Attempted Censure Suffers Pratfall

It turns out the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee doesn't have the authority to censure four North Idaho legislators for voting against their wishes. “Sorry I don't have room for discussion on this,” said Chairman Neil Oliver. “I find the motion is out of order.” The central committee spent about an hour Tuesday night wrangling over whether or not to censure four North Idaho legislators for creating a state health-care exchange, only to be stopped dead in its tracks when Committeeman Luke Sommer, an expert in parliamentary procedure, pointed out that the committee could not censure anyone outside the committee itself. “If we can censure someone outside this body we could censure the president of the United States,” he said, adding there is nothing in the committee's bylaws or Robert's Rules of Order that would allow the move. Committeewoman Tina Jacobson (pictured) passionately put forward the resolution to censure Rep. Frank Henderson, Rep. Luke Malek, Sen. John Goedde and Rep. Ed Morse/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Are you surprised by the outcome?

Local GOP Opposes Govt Change

A North Idaho Republican organization released a resolution on Thursday objecting to the Kootenai County commissioners' ballot measure for an alternative form of county government. The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee's document warns that the ballot measure will deprive the county of checks and balances, and add a cumbersome level of bureaucracy. “A group (in the central committee) decided they didn't like the idea of change in our government form,” said Neil Oliver, central committee chair, adding that those committee members called a special meeting on Wednesday night to discuss the resolution. The document criticizes the ballot measure's proposals to add a county manager position and make the clerk, coroner, treasurer and assessor positions hired, instead of elected. The manager position is “a business model” position, and “not applicable to government,” the document states/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you think government can be run like a business?

Jacobson Presses Defamation Suit

  • Originally posted 4:53 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2

A Republican Party official in Kootenai County is pressing ahead with her defamation suit against a woman who posted online comments about missing GOP funds. Tina Jacobson, a Rathdrum resident and the former chairwoman of the Kootenai County Republican Party, has named Linda Cook in her suit over comments Cook made anonymously on The Spokesman-Review’s Huckleberries Online blog. In an amended filing Monday, Jacobson’s lawyer alleges that Cook also is in breach of contract for refusing to abide by an agreement to settle the claims against her. That agreement included a public apology and a donation of an undisclosed sum to a charity, according to the complaint prepared by Coeur d’Alene attorney Matthew Andersen. The suit does not name The Spokesman-Review or blog administrator Dave Oliveria, but it does allege that Oliveria conspired to obstruct the identification of Cook as author of the blog comments, leading Jacobson to pursue legal action to get the name/Scott Maben, SR. More here.


12 Local Repubs File Bylaw Complaint

Kootenai County Republican Party Chairman Neil Oliver skips the “Reagan Jelly Beans” and goes straight for the coffee, Saturday night after the Annual Reagan Republican Victory Dinner. They were actually “Jelly Belly” jelly beans carefully selected the Reagan Republicans for their connection to Ronald Reagan. Now, Oliver is caught in latest squabble involving his warring factions of his local party. (Phantom Photographer photo)

A group of Kootenai County Republicans has asked state GOP Chairman Barry Peterson to step into a controversy involving the county party's bylaws. Twelve Republicans, including former chairmen Brad Corkill and Donna Montgomery, filed a complaint with Peterson Monday, asking that Peterson order Kootenai County GOP Chairman Neil Oliver “to cease all activity as chairman” until the state party can “assure the existence of lawfully executived By-laws” for the Kootenai County party. The 12 signees contend that the local party doesn't have official By-laws. In the complaint, the 12 say: “The failure of the leaders of the Kootenai Cuonty Republican Central Committee to maintain a valid and lawsful set of By-laws has resulted in much unneeded controversy and confusion within the local Republican Party. A climate of distrust has been fostered by those Republican leaders who have refused to provide documents to elected precinct committeemen.” You can read the complaint and see the list of signees here.


Seattle Weekly Eyes Jacobson Case

Rick Anderson of Seattle Weekly provides his take on the Tina Jacobson/Linda Cook lawsuit, including: “GOP leader Jacobson is now mulling her next legal step, and appears to have put the kibosh on the theft rumor. She also has newspapers rethinking the value of allowing free-form anonymous comments.” As far as I can tell, the Spokesman-Review isn't re-thinking its policy re: allowing anonymous people to comment. But anonymous posters should be forewarned that we're probably not going to spend tens of thousands of dollars in Idaho courts protecting identities from the next possible defamation lawsuit. BTW, I noticed that Anderson refers to me as Dan Oliveria. Which means it's harder for me to hang onto my 15 minutes of fame here.

Question: Which name do you like better for a North Idaho blogger — Dan, Dave or D.F. Oliveria?

Cook-Jacobson Story Goes On NPR

A lawsuit in north Idaho over anonymous comments posted in an online forum attracted national attention. Now, the commenter at the center of that dispute has unmasked herself. The case reveals a rift within the north Idaho Republican Party. Linda Cook of Rathdrum, Idaho, pictured, is a former congressional aide and long-time Republican campaign worker. Back in February, Cook made anonymous comments on a north Idaho blog hosted by the Spokane Spokesman-Review newspaper. Using the pseudonym “almostinnocentbystander” Cook asked a question insinuating that the chair of the local party, might have pocketed $10,000 in party funds. Party chair Tina Jacobson called for an audit and filed a defamation suit. But Cook says she wanted to use the anonymous forum to address a feud over party expenditures/Jessica Robinson, National Public Radio. More here including audio of story with Linda Cook comment.

  • DFO: Martin Kaste, the NPR reporter from Seattle who interviewed me last week for another story that's about to come out, tells me that the audio version of the story played just in the Northwest, while the print version went national.


Press: Tina Should Just Drop It

Linda Cook (pictured in Phantom Photographer photo, above, tending her garden) isn’t the squeamish type. Most of the time she says her piece — fire and brimstone included, no extra charge — with her name firmly attached. But back in February, she posed a question on a Spokesman-Review blog from the shadows of an online pen name, almostinnocentbystander. That question, which by Cook’s description was an admittedly “sarcastic, facetious query” that she subsequently apologized for, has made her the target of a lawsuit that would have outed Cook had she not stepped out of the shadows before a court mandated it. Now that the object of her facetious question, former Kootenai County Republican Central Committee Chair Tina Jacobson, inset photo, has learned the true identity of her critic, it’s up to Jacobson to decide whether the courts should attempt to provide further remedy. We hope not. We hope the public exposure is enough to make Jacobson decide that the bill for being criticized as a public official, even if the criticism was hurtful, has been sufficiently paid/Editor Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Highway Commissioner Lekstrum, RIP

Dinosaur Man comments: Here is the message I got: “It is with great regret and sadness that I must inform you that Marv Lekstrum (a Lakes Highway District commissioner & past member of the county GOP Central Committee) passed away at 7:45 PM (Sunday) evening. He had had major surgery on Wednesday to make another attempt to fix digestive tract blockages that have kept him in KMC for over a month. But ever since that operation, he has been in considerable pain. I guess everybody had thought it was coming from the incision and the operation, etc, but it may have been that his cancer moved so fast that it all came together. He was moved from the KMC surgical wing to the KMC Circle of Life facility at 4:00PM today, where he was made comfortable and medicated with sufficient morphine that he did not appear to be in pain.”

R’s Outnumber D’s 8-to-1 In Affiliation

Item: Numbers game: Republicans outnumber Democrats in party affiliation forms in Kootenai County/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: So far, 8,011 county voters have checked Republican as their party affiliation, according to the county Elections Office. Only 926 have marked Democrat affiliation on their forms. … The largely Republican races explain voters' tendency to paint themselves red, said Tina Jacobson, chair of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee. If you want to have any say at all, you have to vote in the Republican party,” she said. That is bolstered, Jacobson said, by the fact that there are candidates this year who have ran as Democrats before and now have an R by their names. “Liberals who normally would've been liberals, since the Democrats are on life support here, they switch to the Republican party,” Jacobson said. “This isn't rocket science.”

Question: Do you think the closed GOP primary will actually attract a higher cross-over of Democrats voting Republican than has occurred in the past?

DFO: Repubs Export Dysfunctionalism

It appears as though the dysfunctional Kootenai County Republican Party is trying to reach its tentacles further into the government of progressive Coeur d'Alene. Last November, the Reagan Republicans, one of several splinter groups of the warring local Republicans, used their organizational clout and the divisive McEuen Field issue to help two of their members win nonpartisan office over exceptional opponents, Steve Adams and Dan Gookin. Adams has proven to be more interested in ideology than his community so far, opting at one point to vote against any project involving federal funds. Gookin has yet to distinguish himself. Now, the Reagan Republicans and elected endorsees, like state Rep. Kathy Sims and school Trustee Terri Seymour, are involved in the effort to recall Mayor Sandi Bloem and the progressive half of the City Council. This is the half that's responsible for the Kroc Center, new library, developing Education Corridor, Riverstone, and much, much more in the community. The local Republicans continue to define themselves as individuals who simply oppose every significant project under the guise of fiscal conservatism. The local branches of the Republican Party are more fixated on proving they're more conservative than the other branches — and outing RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) — than they are in improving the communities in this county. One of their standard bearers is Larry Spencer, who is fighting the concept of a new garage at our parking beset courthouse, fought tooth and nail against construciton of the Kroc Center. When did being a Republican mean that you're against progress, good government, and want to recall those with vision? — DFO.

Question: If Kootenai County Republicans do for Coeur d'Alene what they've done for their own party, what kind of a mess will be in?

Ward: ‘Bigger Fish To Fry’

Jeff Ward of the Reagan Republicans sent this e-mail this afternoon to friends who wondered what they should do at the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee meeting Tuesday night re: the Richard Mack Lincoln Day speech: “A number of people have contacted me concerning a strategy about Tuesdays Central Committee meeting. My recommendation is to have no meeting strategy. Our previous goal was to change the speaker at the Lincoln Day Dinner. Although we won a legal vote, a decision was made to disregard the will of the majority and Mr. Mack spoke anyway.  Regardless of the numerous law and bylaws violations that took place,  the milk is spilled and the point now is moot. Although the Mack invite was a mistake, I have to commend those who worked so hard on the Lincoln Day Dinner for making best out of a bad situation,  as well as the financial angels and candidates to picked up the slack by sponsoring extra tables to avert disaster.  I hope enough funds were raised to counteract the extra costs of the caucuses and pay our outstanding county quota to the state party.” More here.


Official Roll Call To Disinvite Mack

Huckleberries has received the minutes of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee meeting of Feb. 28, which includes of the official roll call on a motion by Jeff Ward to disinvite Richard Mack from speaking at the county Lincoln Day Dinner. The motion passed 31-30 but was later overturned unilaterally by the executive committee on a technicality.

  • In favor (31): Rodney Twete, Paul Matthews, Fred Meckel, Donna Montgomery, Jan Olsen, Duane Rasmussen, Ronald Honner, Barry McHugh, Luke Sommer, Jacquie Mayor, Peggy Miller, Mike McDowell, Marv Lekstrum, Jim Pierce, Gary Ingram, Julie Chadderdon, Ruth Smith, Kelly Chadderdon, Sharon Culbreth, Linda Nelson, Anita Banta, Joy Seward, Rachel Riggs, Larry Berreth, Jeff Ward, Ron Lahr, Betty Ann Henderson, Ron Nilson, Bob Hollingsworth, Jeff Tyler and Brad Corkill.
  • Opposed (30): Roger Benoit, Tom Robinson, Melanie Vanderfeer, Neil Oliver, Brad Salie, Bruce Maddux, Jeannine Frisque, Frank Reid, Ruthie Johnson, Doug Weir, Steve Adams, Allen Richardson, Jim Brannon, Mike Oliver, Bjorn Handeen, Jimmy Masters, Wendy Medlock, Fred Ostermeyer, Bob Whitehead, Bryan Crabtee, Larry Gilman, Joe Malloy, John Cross, Tony Wisniewski, Ronald Mendive, Alice Rankin, Kenneth Chausse, George Mitchell, Duane Thompson, Chairwoman Tina Jacobson.
  • GOP Central Committee minutes of Feb. 28 meeting here

Question: Does this vote define which side of the GOP divide county precinct committee members are on, whether Reagan/Reasonable Republican or the Constitutionalist-Libertarian?

Palm: Other Parties Infiltrate Local R’s

This past decade, I have closely observed how the Republican Party works in Idaho, especially locally. Over the last couple of years, I’ve paid particular attention to the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee because I’ve seen a shift in attitudes. What was once an organization that championed Republican principles has grown adversarial. Why, because its membership has been infiltrated by those of the Constitution and Libertarian Party? I’ve often wondered, why not affiliate yourselves with your own party. To date I’ve assumed it’s because they can’t get elected under their own banner. But, I recently learned more -the real answer/Kellie Palm, Coeur d'Alene Press My Turn column. More here.

Question: I believe Constitutionalists and Libertarians are embedded — and may be in control — of the Kootenai County Republican Party. Do you?

McHugh Won’t Review Mack Vote Issue

Item: McHugh's office won't review Mack vote case/Maureen Dowd, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: It's unclear yet if charges will be filed in the case of an allegedly forged Kootenai County Republican Central Committee proxy ballot, but it is likely the local prosecutor's office won't be making that call. Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh told The Press the matter would probably be sent out of the county to another office to review for possible prosecution. “I would anticipate that because I participated in the vote,” McHugh said.An evaluation independent of his office would be more fair, he said. The proxy ballot in question was cast on Feb. 28 when the county's committee of elected Republican precinctmen voted to retract the committee's invitation to Richard Mack to be the keynote speaker at the party's Lincoln Day Dinner on March 24. The vote in favor of rescinding the invitation was 31-30, and McHugh cast one of the winning votes.

How They Voted: Here's an unofficial list of how the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee voted on the Richard Mack issue.

Question: Should a county prosecutor who voted as a precinct committeeman in this matter be expected to investigate it?

Mack Strikes Back At Press Editorial

Richard Mack, the controversial speaker for the Kootenai County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner March 24, sent this response to the Coeur d'Alene Press editorial (“What's behind Mack attack”) this week: “You entirely used things about me that have very little to do with my record and what I've done. You brought up “militias” and “legalized drugs.” Well, I have never been involved with any militia group in my life and you have seen nothing to support that I have. You attempt to make me the “black eye” when I have never committed a crime and have not forged anything relating to this entire situation. But someone appears to have done that there and you focused on me? Whether I am too far right for your tastes has nothing to do with the fact that the dishonesty displayed by some of the neocons in your backyard have nothing to do with my 'extremist' views.” More here.


Poll: Mack Will Speak For Lincoln Day

  • Tuesday Poll: Hucks Nation believes that controversial Richard Mack will end up speaking at the Kootenai County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner March 24, despite being invited/disinvited/invited. 46 of 76 respondents (60.53%) said he will ultimately speak at the annual local Republican fundraiser. Only 12 of 76 respondents (15.79%) said Central Committee opponents would prevail and Mack'd be disinvited again. 18 of 76 (23.68%) were undecided.
  • Commissioner Poll: A supermajority of Hucks Nation expects Commissioner Dan Green to retain his seat this fall. 70 of 102 respondents (68.63%) picked Green to win, 18 of 102 (17.65%) picked Rathdrum Mayor Vic Holmes, and 14 of 102 (13.73%) picked Larry Spencer.
  • Today's Question: Do you support a change in Kootenai County government to county manager form with some elected offices to become appointed ones?

Press: Mack Is Antithesis Of Lincoln

Richard Mack is introduced — often to standing ovations — as “Sheriff Mack.” His website calls him that too, even though he hasn't been the top cop of Graham County since 1996, when its population was around 30,000. Mack's mantra is this: The federal government is too big, too corrupt and too oppressive. “The greatest threat we face today is not terrorists; it is our federal government,” he warns on his website. If the local Republican Party’s leadership wanted a lightning rod for controversy, someone whose stated beliefs represent the antithesis to the ideals of one great nation that Abraham Lincoln lived and died for, they got one. No wonder several state Republican leaders and numerous local party members are going to find a better way to spend Lincoln Day/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Are you planning to hear Richard Mack speak?

Press: Give Caucus Another Try

Take a deep breath, Republicans. Lasting seven excruciating hours, the caucus Tuesday night was far from perfect; on that point, everyone agrees. But it was the first of its kind, and like a kid learning to ride a bicycle - well, did you really expect there wouldn't be some bumps, bruises and bad words? Ron Lahr, president of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, nailed it when he told The Press that caucuses are naturally drawn-out processes. In fact, that's part of the fun; just ask any Iowan. … In our view, the biggest problem had less to do with time and more to do with timing. Even before some Kootenai County precincts really got under way with their caucusing, Ada County-dominated southern Idaho was already reporting that Mitt Romney had captured enough votes to ensure all 32 state delegates were his. When the outcome has already been determined, why bother to stick around?/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: What would local & state Republicans have to do to get you back to a caucus site in 2016?

37 Of 67 KCGOP CC Posts Contested

Thirty-seven of the 67 Kootenai County Republican Central Committee precinct committee posts are contested on the GOPrimary ballot this year, including six, three-way races. At least two local Republican factions are battling for control of the Central Committee — the Reagan Republicans and the Ron Paul/Constitutional faction, which is now in control under Chairwoman Tina Jacobson. No one filed for three of the precinct posts — for Precinct No. 43 , No. 62 and No. 67. You can read a complete list of the candidates for the precinct positions here.

Question: Can any of you insider tells us what's going on here?

Jacobson, Exec Board Reinvites Mack

The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee's February 28 vote to retract the former Arizona sheriff's invitation to speak at the Lincoln Day Dinner has been tossed by the party's executive board. Mack will be the featured guest speaker, as originally scheduled, at the March 24 Lincoln Day Dinner at The Coeur d’Alene Resort, according to a press release sent out by party chair, Tina Jacobson (pictured). Mack was slated to headline the event, a fundraiser for the Kootenai County Republican Party, but his appearance was canceled following a vote during the February 28 meeting of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee. It was later alleged, based on a private investigation, that the deciding vote for disinviting Mack was a forged proxy ballot/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Will the unilateral action by Chairwoman Tina Jacobson and the Executive Committee to reinvite Richard Mack further divide the splintered Kootenai County Republican Party?

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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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