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Posts tagged: Mary Souza

Turnout meant some incumbents were defeated by tiny slices of electorate

Widely varying turnout around the state meant that of the six legislative incumbents defeated in the May 20 primary, two were turned out of office by just tiny slices of the electorates in their districts. The lowest-turnout races that dumped incumbents were the defeat of longtime Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, the Senate Education Committee chairman, by activist Mary Souza – in which just 3,440 people cast ballots, 15 percent of registered voters; and the defeat of freshman Rep. Ed Morse, R-Hayden, by Eric Redman, in which 4,736 people voted, 18.5 percent of the registered voters in the district.

Goedde’s districts has 22,545 registered voters; Morse’s has 25,604.

GOP primary voters also ousted longtime Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover; Senate Resources Chairman Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth; longtime Rep. Lenore Hardy Barrett, R-Challis; and freshman Rep. Doug Hancey, R-Rexburg. But those races saw considerably higher turnout. Read more.Betsy Russell, EOB

Voting is important. Any questions?

Mary: To the victors go the spoils

In her latest newsletter Mary Souza writes:

You might remember that on Dec. 6, 2013, the CdA Press ran an article announcing that Jack Riggs is buying the Coeur Building on Front street, right across from McEuen Park. It is right next to the parking lot on Front Street owned by KXLY.
You also probably remember that Jack Riggs owns the Pita Pit downtown and its franchises all over the West, and his life partner/wife?, Sandi Patano, used to be former US Senator Larry Craig’s North Idaho representative. Mayor Steve Widmyer told me that Jack and Sandi ran his campaign. Both Jack and Sandi were strongly in favor of all the spending on McEuen, even the original plan for up to $40 million, and were very outspoken against any public vote on that spending and against allowing citizens to vote on the Recall in 2012.
Now McEuen’s big renovation is underway and Jack is buying one of the key properties along the “pearl necklace” fronting McEuen Park. My theory is that Jack needs more parking as well as more land for future development (condo building?). What better way to solve the problem than a tunnel access to the parking structure paid for by the taxpayers, without a vote. Watch for his probable purchase of the KXLY parking lot on Front St.  More below

Fillios Backs Souza’s Vision For CdA

Architect Dick Stauffer of Miller-Stauffer points out amenities on the new McEuen Field to Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate Chris Fillios (right) and his Fillios' wife, Linda, during an open house for the emerging park Saturday. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

A letter was circulated viIa email Friday on behalf of Chris Fillios, candidate for Coeur d'Alene City Council seat No. 2. A Berry Picker forwarded the letter to Huckleberries. It reads in part: “My opponent, Amy Evans is a self-proclaimed progressive liberal, whose view of events in Coeur d’Alene is analogous to Mr. Rogers’ wonderland.  Never mind, the money diverted to LCDC, and the special favors showered upon downtown landowners by a complicit City Council. I join Mary Souza, mayoral candidate in attempting to instill a new era of accountability, transparency, and economic growth front and center. If you believe as I do, that President Obama, is systematically ruining our nation, than(sic) you should also realize that should my opponent, Amy Evans, prevail, she will only enhance Coeur d’Alene’s demise.” Full letter here.

Question: Is it fair to try to tie an opponent in a City Council race to President Obama?

Souza, Widmyer Debate Before Dems

A few jabs were traded between Coeur d'Alene mayoral candidates Mary Souza and Steve Widmyer at the Kootenai County Democrats luncheon on Friday, but Joe Kunka was a no show. Tamara Poelstra, who moderated the event, said Kunka did not respond to repeated requests. Souza and Widmyer responded to 17 questions ranging from whether they will support the Arts Commission - which they both said they would - to how they differ from their opponents. Those differences were probably best illustrated when the candidates debated over the city's anti-discrimination ordinance which followed Poelstra's question about their positions on it and whether they believe the ordinance creates a special protected class. Souza said she had a couple of issues with the ordinance. She said the process used to pass the ordinance was rushed, and should have included more public input/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Shawn Gust CdA Press photo: Steve Widmyer and Mary Souza debate at the Democratic Club luncheon Friday)

DFO: Souza and Widmyer will debate again today at North Idaho College, from noon to 2 p.m., sponsored by the NIC Republican Club.

RRepubs Back Souza, Thoreson

The Kootenai County Reagan Republicans officially announced endorsements today for six candidates in the November 5th Municipal Elections. The organization’s President Jeff Tyler said “The choices in this election have never been so clear cut and who to endorse has never been so obvious since KCRR began making endorsements four years ago. Considering the liberal-conservative divide in this community, our endorsements may come as no surprise.”

  • Coeur d’Alene Mayor: Mary Souza
  • Coeur d’Alene City Council #2: Chris Fillios
  • Coeur d’Alene City Council #4: Sharon Hebert
  • Coeur d’Alene City Council #6: Noel Adam
  • Post Falls Mayor: Kerri Thoreson
  • Post Falls City Council #2: Barry Rubin

Complete Reagan Republican statement here.

Also: Sharon Culbreth is circulating an email inviting others to attend a meet the conservative candidates for Coeur d'Alene mayor and City Council from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Blackwell House.

Any surprises?

Gissel: Souza Forfeits Leadership Role

In the Sept. 12 edition of the Coeur d’Alene Press the following passage was included: “Souza said as mayor, she would vote whichever way the public favored on highly charged topics when the opinion is stacked on one side, regardless of how she feels personally.” I have waited several days to make sure that she did not want to retract that statement or assert that she was misquoted. To my knowledge, she has not done so. As to that statement, it is clear to me that God gave each person the capacity to form and hold moral values. He also gave each person the free will to act on those moral values. Failing to act on moral values one holds has the same effect as having no moral values. For Ms. Souza to assert ahead of time that she would go with the flow if elected is not leadership but rather a preemptive forfeiture of leadership/Norm Gissel, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Norm Gissel, foreground, and Tony Stewart)


Tony Stewart Opposes Souza, Kunka

Tony Stewart, long-time leader of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations wrote the following open letter to Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members Ron Edinger, Dan Gookin, Deanna Goodlander, Mike Kennedy and Woody McEvers:

I hope all is well with you. I want to share with you what I found deeply troubling regarding the positions of mayoral candidates Mary Souza and Joe Kunka in the “Coeur d’Alene Press” interview on September 12 when addressing the anti-discrimination ordinance passed by the City of Coeur d’Alene on June 4. As one who has spent a lifetime studying and teaching constitutional law and a human rights activist, I find these candidates’ position historically both foreign to and antagonistic toward the democratic principles of freedom and equality for all Americans including all the residents of Coeur d’Alene. We in the human rights community will once again be energized to take a firm stand against discrimination directed toward any of our citizens. I personally oppose the stands of Mr. Kunka and Ms. Souza based upon the following points. List of complaints here.


OTV: Banned In Facebook Land

OrangeTV: For what it's worth, I attempted asking Mary Souza several days ago via her campaign Facebook page if she had permission to put her signs where she was putting them. My post was deleted within several hours and I was permanently blocked from commenting on her page.

Question: Why have you booted people from your Facebook page?

Kunka Makes It 3-Way Mayor Race

Joe Kunka, as expected, filed his candidacy papers for the Coeur d'Alene mayor's race. Those signing his petition area: Kunka himself, Darron & Jill Cole and Harriet & Delmore Moug. Kunka, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor against incumbent Mayor Sandi Bloem four years ago, joins restaurant owner Steve Widmyer and activist Mary Souza as candidates to replace Bloem, who is stepping down after three terms. Kunka attracted 37.49% of the vote (2,388 votes) in his unsuccessful run against Bloem. Jim Brannon announced earlier that he will also seek the mayor's position but hasn't filed yet. You can see all the filings for mayor and council here.

Souza at the Fair

 Larry Gilman, Becky Funk, Mary Souza and Cristy Turnipseed. Duane Rasmussen photo.

Apparently Mary's tents sparkles with eye-catching white lights! Looks like everyone is having fun at the North Idaho Fair.

Yes, There Is A Mr. Mary Souza

Because you — or more specifically Cindy — asked … here's a photo by Duane Rasmussen of Coeur d'Alene mayor candidate Mary Souza and her husband, Rick, from Mary's water campaign Sunday.

I'm posting this photo as a result of a blog discussion between Cindy and Duane. Cindy launched it with this comment: “I'm just curious. Is there a Mr. Mary Souza? How come male pols always have an adoring spouse by their side during their campaigns, but ladies not so much. Unless you count Mr. Sarah Palin. He was a pretty good accessory.” Duane responded: “I guess you have never met Rick. He was with Mary all the time during the boat parade.He is very nice and very intelligent. He would make a good Mayor but he has a business to run.”

  • DFO: I'm curious re: what percentage of Portuguese is Rick Souza. Souza, after all, is a Portuguese name.

Question: What role should spouses play in local political races?

Segways send subtle message at 4th of July Parade

Those crazy kids at Open Cda are at it again.

A recent post points out the two guys riding Segways in the parade, touting Souza for Mayor campaign signs. Writes Bill, “It is subtle but appropriate that a Segway would symbolically lead a movement to segue Coeur d’Alene into an era of genuine progress and trust.”

But wait. There's more. Turns out the riders were Bill Whittle, a nationally recognized conservative political and motivational speake who lives and works in Los Angeles.  And Burt Rutan, the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Scaled Composites, a way-out-in-front-of-the-leading-edge aerospace and specialty composites development company located in Mojave, California. He now lives in North Idaho. More here.

Does this mean Mary has already secured the California vote?

Mary Invites You To Hobnob On 4th

I received the nicest postcard from Coeur d'Alene mayoral candidate Mary Souza in the mail Monday — an invitation to join her for a glass of lemonade and a chat at the Sherman Hardware parking lot after the 4th of July Parade Thursday. The invite read: “I hope you can join me for a cup of lemonade and a chat about how we can bring openness and trust back to our city government. I cannot think of a better occasion than Independence Day to hear from you on how we can together launch a better future of our city.”

DOTC re: postcard: I think it shows Mary is obviously very organized and serious. Agree with her or not, I certainly rate her as a contender.

Question: How would you rate Mary's chances of becoming Coeur d'Alene mayor?

Mary for mayor speaks to Reagan Repubs

Mary Souza addresses Reagan Republicans at Fedora, yesterday. Duane Rassmussen photo.

Duane reports, “She spoke about the need for good government.  “Does anybody here know what good government is?” she said.  Without skipping a beat Ron Lahr, president of the Reagan Republicans Club said, “I do, I am from Post Falls.”

Bada bing, Ron!

Do you think Coeur d'Alene has shown that it has good government or is there room for improvement?

Christie RE: Mary & Dan’s Stand

Christie Wood, president of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, commented on HuckleberriesOnline over the week:

I read with interest Mary's position on the proposed anti-discrimination ordinance being presented by the Kootenai CountyTask Force on Human Relations. Her statements were very similar to a conversation I had with Councilman Gookin earlier this week. He has made his support for her very public,and they are very good friends so I assume they share similar values. Mary stated she cannot support the ordinance because “There are exceptions for certain groups that don't have to follow that law.” Dan told me that he cannot support it for the same reason. Dan made it very clear to me he supports same sex marriage, and equal rights for the LGBT community.He said there should not be an exception in this ordinance for religious organizations because that still allows for discrimination. He asked me to share his thoughts with the Task Force and I have done so. More here.


Souza Won’t Blog During Campaign

On, Bill McCrory discusses Mary Souza's role — or lack thereof — in the blog site, while she is a candidate for mayor this year:

As OpenCdA reported yesterday, Mary Souza has declared her intention to file as a candidate for the office of Mayor in the 2013 Coeur d’Alene City Election. Most people who have followed OpenCdA since its inception know that it was founded by Dan Gookin (now Councilman Dan Gookin), Mary Souza, and me.  To Dan and Mary’s credit and out of respect for the people in the community, both of them chose to withdraw from OpenCdA when they became candidates.   Mary has indicated that she will not be commenting on any of the various blogs, including OpenCdA.  In my opinion, that’s very wise.  Words written on a blog can be twisted and taken out of context. Dan occasionally adds comments to posts here, and Mary has given me permission to reprint her email newsletters when they are distributed. More here.

  • You can read statements by Mary Souza and Councilman Dan Gookin from Mary's announcement Friday that she's running for mayor of Coeur d'Alene this year here.

DFO: Mary has also assured me privately that she won't be part of during her run for mayor.


Mary Souza Is Running For Mayor

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Mary Souza Announces For Mayor

Mary Souza, long-time critic of the Bloem administration, announced her candidacy for mayor of Coeur d'Alene this morning near the Third Street dock. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

In the, reporter Joe Newby writes about today's mayoral announcement by City Hall critic Mary Souza:

Speaking at the Third Street boat launch — also in need of repair — Souza said she's running for mayor to “include everyone.” “Let’s start to heal the divides. We can bridge the gaps and work together. And when there are major issues that will cost a great deal of money or change something sacred to our history, we’ll have a public vote,” she said. She also promised to hold city council meetings that are respectful and professional. “We won’t allow name-calling or juvenile behavior, and we’ll listen to citizens when they speak, and they’ll be treated well,” she said. Full article here.

Question: Can Mary Souza win a race for mayor in Coeur d'Alene? Or does she have too much baggage?

BNI Letter That Angered Mary

The mass-mailing letter from Balance North Idaho that attracted Mary Souza's wrath:

Your vote is Crucial on May 21:  Just how crucial is your vote on May 21?  It is VITAL to the direction of our School Districts and Hospital Board of Trustees. 

CDA School Board: 

  • 1.     Should Boosters be able to control their own funds?
  • 2.     Do you want Sorensen Magnet School's successful, creative curriculum offering to stay?
  • 3.     Should our kids learn beyond just Rote Memorization?

These are a few issues you can be sure to hear about should this current Board maintain leadership.  Vote for Christa Hazel (Zone 1), Dave Eubanks (Zone 4) and Tom Hearn (Zone 5).

Question: Why does this letter have the archconservatives up in arms?

Balance Mailing Upsets Souza

At, Mary Souza is upset by a recent mailing by the Balance North Idaho group: “The Balance North Idaho group has sent out a letter filled with twisted, manipulative information that amounts to nothing but campaign trickery.  And they’ve done it at the very end of the school board campaign, when there’s no time left to respond by mass media before the election Tuesday. Who is this new Balance North Idaho?  Their web site shows the small Board of Directors includes Sara Meyer and Eden Irgens, who were so active against a Public Vote on McEuen and against the Recall.  Also on their Board is Mic Armon, the former NIC Trustee who was against a public bond vote on the $10 million dollar Mill site land purchase.” You can read the rest of Mary's complaint here.


Mary Backs Handeen

In the Coeur d'Alene Press online comments section, Mary Souza announces her support for Constitutionalist-turned-GOP committeeman Bjorn Handeen (pictured in Duane Rasmussen file photo) for the Coeur d'Alene School Board post now held by appointed Trustee Jim Hightower. In doing so, she goes a step further than the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, who backed appointed Trustees Brent Regan and Ann Seddon but balked at Handeen. Who has been a thorn in the RRs side by working hard to elect uber-cons to the local GOP Central Committee. Mary writes that Handeen: “brings a fresh, younger family viewpoint. His kids are just about ready to start school and he's a concerned, passionate parent and citizen, willing to step forward.” Handeen is campaigning against Tom Hearn. (BTW, I wouldn't take Handeen for granted. He's organized and a hard worker. It wouldn't surprise me if he knocks on almost every door in his zone himself, including mine.)

Question: What does Tom Hearn and other challengers (Christa Hazel and Dave Eubanks) have to do to defeat the local GOP establishment candidates for school board?

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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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