Posts tagged: Lawerence Denney
Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune takes former House Speaker Lawerence Denney and state Sen. Chuck Winder to task for wasting taxpayers money by hiring an outside attorney to pursue an unconstitutional issue. Denney and Lawerence put Idaho taxpayers on the hook for $41,736 — and counting — because they refused to accept the advise from Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden's office that the state can't take over federal lands: “We hired legal counsel from outside of state government primarily because we didn't feel as the Legislature that we were getting the help that we needed from the attorney general's office, once they determined the legal prospects of the case against the federal government on this didn't have much merit,” Winder told Montana lawmakers last month. Full editorial here.
Question: Izzit just me — or is it OK for conservative hardliners to waste money on a quixotic clause as long as the cause is popular with their base?
In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune Jeers … former Idaho state Sen. Mitch Toryanski, R-Boise: “Because of him, you're about to risk entrusting the integrity of Idaho's elections and campaign finance reform laws to former House Speaker Lawerence (Boss) Denney - a man known for extreme partisanship and ethical lapses. Only 37 percent of Idaho Republicans thought Denney fit for higher office. But in a four-way race for secretary of state, it was good enough to win the GOP nomination. Everyone could see this train wreck coming. Unable to win, Toryanski could bleed off enough Treasure Valley votes from deputy Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane to hand the nomination to Denney. Yet Toryanski waved off every entreaty to quit. As predicted, Toryanski came in last Tuesday, but his nearly 21,600 votes came at McGrane's expense. Now all that stands between Denney and the keys to Secretary of State Ben Ysursa's office is the Democratic nominee - freshman Rep. Holli Woodings of Boise”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: She may be a long shot by Rep. Woodings already has my vote. How about you?
(Former Idaho senator Evan) Frasure acknowledged that he’s in a crowded race – announced GOP candidates for Secretary of State so far also include Rep. Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale; former Sen. Mitch Toryanski, R-Boise; and Chief Deputy Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane. But he said he likes his chances. Frasure, a former redistricting commissioner, said by his calculations, 43 percent of the Republican primary vote comes from east of Boise, a third comes from Ada and Canyon counties, and 24 percent comes from north of Boise/Betsy Russell (pictured), Eye on Boise. More here.
Other Eye on Boise stories today:
Question: At this point, which one of the Republican candidates for secretary of state do you favor?
House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke (pictured), R-Oakley, publicly announced he is running for speaker of the Idaho House. Bedke, who was first elected to the Legislature in 2000, is challenging current House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale. Denney has held the position for six years. “It’s time for a change,” Bedke told the Times-News. Rumors have circulated about the House speaker race for months, with the Idaho Statesman interviewing Denney about his intent to seek another term. Bedke had previously declined to comment. Denney couldn’t be reached for comment for this story, but last week he told the Statesman he would campaign aggressively to keep his position/Melissa Davlin, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.
Question: House Speaker Lawerence Denney's abysmal handling of all things related to Artful Tax Dodger Rep. Phil Hart is sound reasoning for electing a new speaker, if nothing else. What do you think?
Graham Paterson is no political newbie, having done campaign work for Dirk Kempthorne, Steve Symms, Helen Chenoweth-Hage and Brent Coles. But asked in an editorial board meeting to offer his take on House Republican leadership, the normally glib Paterson slowed down to pick his way through the field of rhetorical cowpies. The silence was awkward, and Paterson tried to break the tension. “I can hear the clock ticking.” Ultimately, the best Paterson could offer was a general statement that leadership — executive and legislative, in both parties — has done a good job navigating an “extremely stressful” economic environment. As an outsider, running for an open seat, he said he considered it hard to judge leadership further. And that’s how it went generally, when we asked House Republican candidates about the race they don’t want to discuss/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Idaho Legislature photo of House Speaker Lawerence Denney)
Question: Is it time for House Speaker Lawerence Denney to go?
If Lawerence Denney (pictured) were just one more talk radio crank, his dissociation from reality would be another form of entertainment for ditto heads. And if Mike Moyle were just another Republican Party conventioneer with a self-righteous disregard for evidence, he might settle for his 15 minutes of fame on a cable news outlet. But Denney, R-Midvale, is the speaker of the Idaho House. Moyle, R-Star, is the majority leader of that body. With rare exceptions, what they say goes. And when it comes to Obamacare, here's what they say: “Resistance usually comes at a cost, but the state of Idaho must resist Obamacare. The cost of not resisting will be much higher.” Translation: They resist. You pay. Denney and Moyle want Idaho to refuse expanding Medicaid coverage to poor adults - an option the U.S. Supreme Court gave states when it validated Obamacare/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Are Republican legislative leaders in Idaho going to hurt state taxpayers — big time — by digging in against Supreme Court approved Obamacare?
The Idaho Democratic convention may generate a few headlines but the Republican next weekend in Twin Falls may tell a larger story, when it makes decisions on picking a new chairman and approving platform and resolutions. The chairmanship is opening with the end-of-term departure of Norm Semanko, and there’s not only no obvious heir, but also no now-obvious battle lines. The chair fight in 2010 was not about different gradations of “conservative,” or even ideology, but more about ins vs. outs. The outs (under Semanko’s banner) won. … The divisions this year seem not nearly as sharp as two years ago. A bunch of names have been floated. Some are not prominent statewide (the county chair of Elmore County, for example). At least one is well known – Dean Sorensen, a former legislator who (fairly or not) for some bears the “moderate” tag, not a good sign for election inside this party. A dark horse could yet emerge. Then there’s Lawerence Denney …/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.
Question: Would you like to see House Speaker Lawerence Denney resign that seat and become chairman of the Idaho Republican Party?
What is the battle between Idaho’s House GOP leaders all about? Let me answer that by telling you what it is not at all about. Policy. There isn’t much of a discernible difference on policy between current House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, and the man who appears best poised to challenge him, Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke. Bedke, R-Oakley, may be a touch less conservative than Denney — Bedke served on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee in the mid-2000s, an experience that tends to temper lawmakers’ views of the budget. But I can’t see the philosophy of the House shifting very much if Bedke unseats Denney/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Given that any challenger will share his political views, does it really matter if Rep. Lawerence Denney continues as House Speaker?
House Speaker Lawerence Denney, left, and Majority Leader Mike Moyle, ceenter, have contributed to a political action committee seeking to unseat six fellow Republicans, including Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts. right. Groundwork is being done by at least four interconnected PACs led by Lou Esposito, Denney’s appointee to the first 2011 redistricting commission. Esposito operates Spartac, a political consulting firm. He also is coordinating with a fifth PAC, Idaho Chooses Life, led by his friend David Ripley. Idaho Chooses Life is targeting some of the same candidates as Esposito’s PACs. The PACs are sending direct mail, identifying voters and turning out the vote. Last week, a flier from the Free Enterprise PAC blasted Roberts — the No. 4 Republican in the House — for supporting fuel-tax increases in 2009 and for this year’s failed bill to allow Boise County commissioners to raise property taxes to pay a legal judgment without a vote of the people. A subsequent bill that became law requires a popular vote and is on the May 15 ballot, as are the legislators/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Popcorn, anyone?
A few weeks ago, Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, blocked a bill to end legislative pension-spiking by former lawmakers. The bill, brought by Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, would have essentially prevented legislators spiking their taxpayer-funded pensions by taking high-paying state jobs after lengthy careers in the Idaho Capitol. The bill was heard by the House State Affairs Committee early in the session, but because Lake had to attend another meeting during the hearing, committee members couldn’t get answers to their questions and held the measure at the call of the panel chair. That call never came and will not come this year. House State Affairs Committee chair Tom Loertescher, R-Iona, told IdahoReporter.com last week that he placed a hold on the bill at Denney’s request. When approached about the issue, Denney said that he feels it’s completely improper for lawmakers to decide issues relating to their own salary and benefits/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.
Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney, right, speaks to reporters at the Idaho Press Club on Tuesday; at left is Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill. (SR photo: Betsy Russell)
During today's Idaho Press Club Headliner luncheon, House Speaker Lawerence Denney was asked about the prospect of the “Add The Words” legislation coming up in the House; the Senate State Affairs Committee earlier refused, along party lines, to hold grant the bill a hearing. It would expand Idaho's Human Rights Act to bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Denney said, “I have not seen a bill, and I don't think that there is any change in support on the House side”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: What's the best/worst action taken by the Legislature or a committee today?
House Speaker Lawerence Denney told the Idaho Press Club today, “I think we're at the point where we're ruling out the independent ethics commission.” A bipartisan House-Senate working group couldn't reach agreement, and there were separation of powers issues with the question of whether a commission could oversee both the legislative and executive branches, Denney said. However, both Denney and Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill said they still expect some moves toward ethics reforms in this year's legislative session, including, at the very least rules changes in both houses adjusting how ethics committees work and requiring annual ethics training for lawmakers/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Are you surprised that early ethics push by Legislature apparently has fizzled out?
On Jan. 19, House Speaker Lawerence Denney (pictured) ordered the doors to House members' basement office areas locked down and open by card access only. “Anyone without a House State ID badge will not be allowed into those spaces until the security guard has cleared it with the Representative or staff member they wish to see,” Denney directed in an email. The lockdown continues today; asked about it, Denney said, “They are going to remain locked at least until we're done with the Occupy bill, and then we will go to caucus and see if our caucus wants to reopen that. There are some, I'm sure, that like that locked down”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Do you think Occupy Boise presents a legitimate threat to Idaho lawmakers? Or is House Speaker Denney using the controversy to further distance legislators from the general public?
Denney (left) and Semanko (right) got caught up in trying to out-conservative their own conservative party. We have seen this attitude play out too often right here in Kootenai County, and inevitably, it serves neither the citizens at large nor the Republican Party itself. This Constitutionalist/Libertarian wing of the party represents a political splinter group so contrary to the basics of good government that the county's Reagan Republicans have distanced themselves from their alleged party mates. … We're hopeful that the Republican Party will find leaders more in tune with this great state's ideals, and we offer a sincere suggestion for those who argue that the party isn't conservative enough: Declare yourself a Constitutionalist, a Libertarian or even an anarchist, but stop masquerading as something you're not/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Question: What do you make of Mike's point that the Constitutionalists/Libertarians/militia, etc., embedded in the local Republican Party should be honest enough to quit masquerading as something they're not?
Jeers … to Idaho state Treasurer Ron Crane. Crane spends lavishly. He's above the rules. He's entitled to live better than the taxpayers who cover his $93,756 salary. If he hasn't crossed ethical boundaries, he's getting awfully close. Yet voters trust this man to fly to New York City and handle hundreds of million of dollars? Here's what a legislative audit of Crane's affairs reports: Crane expects the taxpayer to buy his gas when he commutes between his Nampa home and Boise. No problem, says Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor. After auditors referred the case to Taylor, he concluded state travel policies - which bar state employees from charging taxpayers for commuting costs — don't apply to elected officials. That's only an interpretation. Even if Crane's behavior is legal, fleecing the taxpayers at the gas pump isn't right, nor is it common/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. Complete Cheers & Jeers column here.
Question: Will recent controversies involving state Treasurer Ron Crane cause you to support another candidate when/if he runs for re-election?
Here's what you don't know about last week's Idaho Supreme Court rejection of the GOP insurgency against the citizen redistricting commission. The insurgents couldn't shoot straight. Which is rather funny when you consider how many times they've said that about Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.Their latest challenge to Wasden followed the Supreme Court nixing the commission's original plan to realign Idaho's population growth to its 35 legislative districts, sending the panel back to work on a new mock-up. House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, and Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko tried to fire their appointees, former state Reps. Dolores Crow, R-Nampa, and Randy Hansen, R-Twin Falls.After Denney and Semanko lost, the six-member panel went back to work and adopted a new plan. But the court didn't say Denney and Semanko were wrong. It tossed the case because the attorney representing the speaker and the chairman dropped the ball/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Whose opinion would you trust move on a legal issue involving the Idaho Legislature — attorney general Lawrence Wasden of House Speaker Lawerence Denney?
A subdued House Speaker Lawerence Denney said after a 45-minute closed GOP caucus today that he apologized to the caucus for his handling of the attempted ouster of GOP redistricting Commissioner Dolores Crow. “Most of the comments were very, very supportive,” Denney said. He said he gave “kind of a statement as to what happened and what went on,” lasting two to three minutes, then took questions from caucus members. Then, he said, “We talked about two or three other things that kinda came up in the course of that”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Can Denney unilaterally declare as over the botched attempt by Stormin Norman Semanko and him to dump Dolores Crow & Randy Hansen from redistricting commission?
Idaho's bipartisan citizen redistricting commission has submitted its new legislative district plan, approved on a unanimous 6-0 vote, to Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa (pictured). Ysursa, joining the confab by phone from a meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State, told the commissioners, “I sure want to thank you for all the work you've done.” He quoted Commissioner Sheila Olsen about a “triumph of civility,” and said in his view, that's what occurred in the commission. “We can get going for that May primary,” Ysursa said. “Obviously there could be lawsuits, but I think you've done a commendable job of it. Thank you all for your service”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Lawerence Denney plans to apologize to his caucus for his boorish behavior toward 2 appointed Republican redistricters and Norm Semanko doesn't plan to seek re-election to his office as Idaho GOP chairman. Do you think the redistricters have won the day and this plan will survive?
Rep. Lawerence Denney plans to gather his 57-member Republican caucus this week to make amends for his botched attempt at firing Dolores Crow, a woman he calls “an institution.” “I’ll probably just apologize if I made any of them uncomfortable and explain kind of what I did and why,” the House speaker told me Thursday. “That’s probably about it.” The Midvale Republican’s misstep is by no means the first in a six-year reign. The blowback has been more intense because it included revered former Gov. Phil Batt, who said Denney sullied the redistricting process by introducing rank partisanship to a reformed system approved by voters in 1994. But there’s a far greater force at play than a publicity snafu over trying to force Crow from the redistricting commission. Lawerence Denney is playing King Lear. Instead of three daughters he can’t figure out, he has three ambitious men who aspire to the throne and don’t want to wait until 2014 to be crowned/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Has Lawerence Denney overstayed his time as House Speaker?
Idaho Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko has sent out a guest opinion defending his attempt to try to fire GOP redistricting commissioner Randy Hansen, touting the party's Idaho electoral successes and announcing that he won't seek another term as party chairman. Semanko wrote that the “secret to our success” was that “the grassroots of our Party was motivated and energized to recruit candidates and support them because they were included, and we weren't shy about standing up for our core, conservative Republican principles.” He wrote, “As I conclude my four year tenure as Chairman and hand the reins over to someone else at the Republican State Convention in Twin Falls this summer, this will be my proudest accomplishment”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Interesting point Semanko makes re: persons from Hansen's Twin Falls area being among those calling for his ouster. And that Twin Falls filed suit against the redistricting plan. What do you think?