Advertise Here

Huckleberries Online

Posts tagged: Mike Kennedy

Mike Kennedy: Life in ‘an accessible place’

COEUR d'ALENE - In 1991, a “fortuitous screw-up” propelled Mike Kennedy toward a life in North Idaho.

Kennedy had just graduated from Southern Methodist University and was accepted to law school at Gonzaga University. After moving his belongings from Dallas, Kennedy said he sent his second deposit in to the university. However, he sent it in a month late and his enrollment was delayed for a year.

“But I never went,” Kennedy said. “I got involved in community engagement and went and did an internship with congressman Larry LaRocco, which is where I met my wife. The stars were aligned for me to not go to law school.”

The internship, a lifelong interest in politics and government, and the move to North Idaho propelled the New York native into local politics.Full story. Keith Cousins, CdA Press

I admire anyone willing to wade into local politics. Have you ever thought about getting involved or served in some capacity in local politics? (HucksOnline commenting doesn't count.)

PS: I could have posted my Kennedy polar plunge pic here, but I didn't because I'm nice like that.

Kennedy: Reagan Repubs ‘Extreme’

More from: Kennedy not long for council: Also squelches mayor rumor/Tom Hasslinger, Press

One of the political groups Kennedy called extreme was the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, which endorses candidates on the grounds that all elections are partisan, regardless if candidates have to declare a party or not. Its founder, Jeff Ward (pictured), said Kennedy's Democratic affiliation made him a political minority across the region, and that a reason the councilman received so much criticism was because Kennedy's views ran counter to the majority who live in North Idaho. “That's exactly what a Democrat would say,” Ward said of Kennedy's “extreme” remark about a political group founded in what many people call the most conservative county in the most conservative state in the union, “because Democrats find conservatives extreme. The reality of it is that Coeur d'Alene and Kootenai County is highly conservative - it's not extreme, it's mainstream.

Question: Whose politics are more in line with yours — Mike Kennedy's? Or Jeff Ward's?

Dan: Sandi, Mike Fear McEuen Fallout

Item: Kennedy not long for council: Also squelches mayoral rumor/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Kennedy supported McEuen Field's reconstruction, now well underway. He is the second of the four park supporting incumbents targeted in the recall not seeking re-election. Mayor Sandi Bloem is the other. The two remaining council members, Woody McEvers and Deanna Goodlander, haven't declared. City Councilman Dan Gookin (pictured) said McEuen Park will be a mandate this election, as it was in 2011. He said regardless of what incumbents say, a major decision not to rerun is because victory at the polls will be hard to achieve over of the public's dissatisfaction with McEuen Park. “I think that's absolutely why they don't run,” Gookin said. “They don't want to face an angry mob”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you think that, deep down, Mayor Sandi Bloem and Councilman Mike Kennedy decided not to run for re-election because they feared facing fallout for supporting McEuen Field reconstruction?

Kennedy Not Running For Re-election

Councilman Mike Kennedy announced this morning that he is not running for re-election nor is he running for mayor this year:

“Today I’m announcing that I will not run for re-election to the City Council nor will I run for Mayor this fall.  There are two reasons:  1) after eight years of public service my family is looking forward to having more of my undivided time and energy; and 2) our company Intermax Networks is growing rapidly with the construction of our new fiber data and voice network throughout North Idaho.  The opportunities are great, we are hiring and expanding, and I want to focus on that growth. I’ve loved this chapter in my life as an elected official, and I will definitely continue my civic involvement in some form in the future because it’s the right thing to do.  My time on City Council has been a valuable down payment on public service.” More here.

DFO: I will interview Mike online about 11 o'clock this morning re: his announcement.


Kennedy Explains Anti-Bias Vote

Councilman Mike Kennedy, acting as mayor in the place of the injured Sandi Bloem, explains his support for the antidiscrimination ordinance, including mention of his late mother and his gay brother in New York City.

Hucks: Kennedy Faces ‘Nontroversy’

Coeur d’Alene Councilman Mike Kennedy thought he’d struck gold Thursday when he conjured the word “nontroversy.” According to Mike’s definition, “nontroversy” means roughly “a ginned up scandal, controversy or otherwise politically inspired nonsense by some political partisan (from either side).” In jest, Mike was busy on his Facebook wall calling for a lawyer to help him copyright the word when a buzz-killer noted that “nontroversy” was already defined in the “Urban Dictionary.” Approximate same definition. Undeterred, Kennedy commented on my Huckleberries blog: “I think my political career has been characterized by nontroversy. Maybe it comes with the territory of the name Kennedy living in Idaho?” Or from having the misfortune of being a Democrat in an elective, albeit nonpartisan office, in ruby-red-slipper North Idaho/DFO, Huckleberries Online. More here.

Question: Mike Kennedy says his political career is characterized by “nontroversy.” What word would you use to describe your career?

Councilman Offers ‘Nontroversy’

On his Facebook wall, Councilman Mike Kennedy posts: “I NEED A LAWYER!! I have coined a new word and I'd like to protect it via patent, trademark, or copyright. Legal help will be compensated by a small piece of ownership of this trademark (and I mean small). Here's the word: Nontroversy (noun?): A ginned up scandal, controversy, or otherwise politically inspired nonsense by some political partisan (from either side). I think I have a winner, here, Madame or Mr Lawyer who will do this work gratis!! Bring it on!”

Question: What is something that's happened locally, in the political realm, that you would describe as a “nontoversy”?

CdA’s Anti-Bias Debate Makes WSJ

How big is that discussion occurring this week re: Coeur d'Alene's possible decision to extend anti-discrimination protections to the gay community in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations? The story was picked up by the Wall Street Journal today. Coeur d'Alene's General Service Committee voted 2-1 Tuesday to recommend approval of the ordinance to the City Council. (Photo: Thom George)

From WSJournal article by Jim Carlton: “Council President Mike Kennedy, who supports the proposal, said he plans to schedule it for a vote sometime in June. Three other council members said in interviews they either plan to vote for the ban or lean to doing so, while a fifth declined to comment and the mayor, Ms. Bloem—who votes only to break ties—said she would pass it.” Complete article here.

Question: Will the vote on this controversial issue have repercussions for the November city election?

Council Panel OKs Anti-Bias Law

Item: Cd'A fights discrimination: Rule would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: The city of Coeur d'Alene moved forward Tuesday with an anti-discrimination ordinance that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The proposed rule would prohibit anyone from discriminating in areas of housing, employment and public accommodations based on “sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.” Any violation would be a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. … The committee voted 2-1 in favor of sending an ordinance to the full city council for approval.

Question: How will the council vote on this proposal?

Lake City To Mull Ban On Gay Bias

Councilman Mike Kennedy tells Huckleberries Online that he will introduce a Coeur d'Alene ordinance that would ban discrimination against gays in Coeur d'Alene. The ordinance, which will be patterned after one in Boise, will be introduced at the noon meeting Monday, May 13, of the General Services Committee, which Kennedy chairs. Kennedy said he would like to see the matter taken before the council later in May. He said he had decided to go ahead with the ordinance after the 2013 Idaho Legislature refused to give fair hearing to the “Add the Words” campaign, which would have made Idaho the 34th state to adopt anti-discrimnation laws protecting gays. Four Idaho cities have adopted similar resolutions — Boise, Moscow, Sandpoint and Ketchum. The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations had approached the city earlier this year with the proposal to adopt the anti-discrimination law. Mayor Sandi Bloem put Kennedy in charge of the process.


Gookin Describes ‘Crony Capitalism’

Coeur d'Alene TV Channel 19 provides an interesting video 4:45 minutes in length in which LCDC executive director Tony Berns and anti-LCDC Coeur d'Alene Councilman Dan Gookin discuss urban renewal philosophies. To Gookin's credit, he admitted that he supported urban renewal money for infrastructure at Riverstone and the Education Corridor — and that LCDC had been “more focused” on correct things in recent years. Toward the end of the video, Gookin is challenged by Councilman Mike Kennedy after he uses the term “crony capitalism” to describe some of LCDC dispersals. Gookin stands pat, stating: “Giving public money to people who already have a ton of money is crony capitalism.” Enjoy:

Kennedy Welcomes Gookin To Govt

In this video provided by Coeur d'Alene TV Channel 19, Councilman Mike Kennedy expresses amazement at the pickle that Councilman Dan Gookin finds himself in re: the purchase of Bryan Field.

Breaking: Court Rules For Kennedy

Originally posted at 11:02 a.m. today

A Coeur d’Alene man who contested his loss in a 2009 City Council election has lost his appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court. The court today issued its opinion in Jim Brannon’s legal fight over the narrow election loss to Councilor Mike Kennedy. The justices ruled that Kootenai County 1st District Judge Charles Hosack properly denied Brannon’s motion for a new trial. Hosack concluded in his October 2010 decision that there was no error in the counting of votes, as Brannon had argued, nor misconduct on the part of county elections workers that would change the result of the election/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Supreme Court conclusion: “We find that the district court did not err when it denied Brannon’s motion to disqualify. We also hold that the UOCAVA absentee voter requirements did not apply to municipal elections held prior to 2011, but that there is insufficient evidence in the record to conclude that the five disputed votes in this case were illegal. We hold that the district court did not err when it refused to order non-city residents to testify about their residency at trial.”  Idaho Supeme Court ruling here.

Question: How will Brannon's followers spin this one?

Hucks: MikeK Tackles Challenge

Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Mike Kennedy didn’t shrink from appearing at the Idaho Supreme Court hearing for Jim Brannon’s challenge of his three-vote 2009 loss to Kennedy last week. But Kennedy is shrinking. Sixty-four pounds and counting since this time last year – from 245 pounds to 181 pounds. In September 2011, Kennedy decided to get serious about his health. On his Facebook wall, he explained to well-wishers that his motivation “was avoiding a massive stroke or heart attack, and the fact that someone has to walk my three beautiful daughters down the aisle.” When I kidded that he was getting in fighting trim for a rematch with Brannon in 2013, Kennedy replied that I must be a “sadist”/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries. More here.

Question: Would you like to see Mike Kennedy run for re-election in 2013?

Supreme Court Hears Brannon Case

The 2009 Coeur d'Alene city election lawsuit went before the Idaho Supreme Court Wednesday, with the high court saying it will consider whether to uphold or reverse a previous ruling that solidified a City Council incumbent's narrow victory over his challenger. The five-member bench, four of which were present at First District Court, didn't give a timetable on when a decision would be reached, meaning it could be weeks or months before a written ruling is issued on the three-year old case. “The issue here isn't vote totals, and who won and who lost,” said Starr Kelso, attorney for then-Seat 2 City Council challenger Jim Brannon, who filed the lawsuit. “It's the sanctity of the” election process/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you consider Brannon to be a crusader fighting for justice? Or a sore loser?

High Court To Hear Brannon Appeal

Nearly three years removed from the election, and two years since its court ruling, the 2009 city election lawsuit will go before the Idaho Supreme Court on Wednesday. It's scheduled to go before the high court's five-member body at 11:10 a.m. at the Kootenai County Courthouse. The election challenge suit, filed by then-Seat 2 City Council challenger Jim Brannon (pictured), claimed that inadmissible ballots had led to incumbent Mike Kennedy's five-vote victory. Brannon filed the suit shortly after the election day loss. But litigation with the highly-publicized suit stretched over a year, ending when 1st District Judge Charles Hosack upheld the election following a six-day trial in September 2010. Part of the ruling tossed out four illegal votes (one of which was for Brannon), trimming Kennedy's victory to three votes/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Kennedy Confronts Gookin re: Rumor

Following is Mike Kennedy's response via the comments section re: why he confronted fellow Councilman Dan Gookin at the Tuesday meeting:

I had asked Dan during a break if he recently called a reporter for the Press telling them that SD271 was going to have the School Resource Officer program “moved” to work with the county instead of the city. After pressing a bit he admitted that he had placed that story with the reporter even though it was false. I had asked him if he had called any of the following for clarification of the facts before calling the reporter: Mayor Bloem, Administrator Gabriel, Chief Longo, Superintendent Bauman, Sheriff Watson, or anyone else in a position to know. Dan said he did not call any of them. There is only one reason to plant a story like that, to spread a rumor like that - because you want to make a city department (in this case police) or a city department head (in this case Wayne Longo) look bad. Dan said that wasn’t his motivation, but there are enough other examples of his intimidating, aggressive and hostile questioning of staff to allow me to believe it. In my mind the episode only highlighted the need for a true Public Information Officer for the city, something I’ve advocated for years. I shared my feeling that a sitting council member feeding false stories to the press and causing untold hours of fact-checking and rumor-controlling is long term more costly and corrosive to productivity, efficiency, morale, and the city’s “bottom line” than one line item in the budget that is intended to help communicate basic facts and real-time information with the public better.


Edinger, Adams Oppose McEuen Pact

The fine print behind financing McEuen Field is set to go to the Coeur d'Alene City Council. Not that moving forward on the contract between the city and its urban renewal agency was recommended by the General Services Committee Monday - it wasn't - but the agreement that spells out the financial details on the downtown park reconstruction project will go before the City Council next week anyway. And if it's like everything else with McEuen Field, it will eke by, four votes to three. “Their concern is they want to make sure the work gets done and done in an acceptable manner if they're putting the money out,” City Attorney Mike Gridley said on the reasons for a formal written agreement with Lake City Development Corp., the city's urban renewal agency. “They're putting out a lot of money and they just want to make sure it goes for the project they're funding.” LCDC has agreed to pay up to $11.5 million on the city's $14.2 million proposed park overhaul project/Tom Hasslinger,  Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that Edinger and Adams appear to be no more than speed bumps as the city continues to work to improve McEuen Field?

Mary Emerges

Mary Souza, thrice denied by Coeur d'Alene voters (loss to Mike Kennedy in 2005, Brannon's loss to Kennedy at polls and court 2009, and now RecallCDA loss), has emerged to denounce Secretary of State Ben Ysursa for recall failure. Seems Mary (shown in Phantom Photographer photo setting up for a Tea Party event at Greyhound Park) thinks Ysursa affected recall effort by shortening petition process & by declaring “that any person signing the Recall petition must have their petition city address match their Voter Registration city address exactly.” Seems Mary thinks that Ysursa's “second pivotal interpretation” cost Recallers 200 signatures. You can read her 10:01 post under today's editorial by Coeur d'Alene Press at Press Online here. You'll notice that Meesterbox & Timeless are engaged in thread, trying to match facts with fiction provided by Mary & her entourage (MisterD, LTRLTR, DeNiles, etc.) Don't be afraid to join the online party.

  • Talking points to counter Mary & Co. at Press Online: Ysursa has forgotten more about election law than they'll ever know; hundreds of signatures were accepted before voter registration cards were turned in; signature gatherer Rod Bitterman's petitions were accepted and counted; and get over it.


Recall Fails; Orzell: No Litigation

Item: Recall effort fails: RecallCdA organizer Frank Orzell has no plans to pursue litigation/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

Mayor Sandi Bloem: “This isn't a victory celebration … It's difficult it happened. I think anyone can say it's been difficult and tough, no matter what your view is on the recall. One has to look at what has happened and say, 'What have we learned from this? What is positive out of this?' And I do think there are some positives. One is, I think a lot more people were engaged and tried to know the facts and tried to know what's going on and listening to both sides and getting involved. And particularly with younger people, I saw. And the community needs that. In order to be more healthy, we need to be more engaged.”

Question: What do you see as the silver lining to the recall attempt?

Get blog updates by email

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.

Find DFO on Facebook

DFO on Twitter

Betsy Russell on Twitter

HBO newsmakers Twitter list

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Huckleberries Online.

Take this week's news quiz ›
Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here