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Posts tagged: Mike Simpson

Crapo, Simpson “fiscal heroes”

Idaho's two most experienced lawmakers — Republican Sen. Mike Crapo and 2nd District GOP Rep. Mike Simpson — have been named to the inaugural class of 32 “Fiscal Heroes” in Congress by the Campaign to Fix the Debt.

The award was announced last week by the non-partisan group based in Washington, D.C. “Fiscal Heroes,” according to the group, take fiscally responsible votes, push their leaders to make debt a priority, lead bipartisan efforts and educate constituents by “advocating to keep tough choices on the table.”

Fix the Debt supports entitlement reform and tax reform to put the nation's $17 trillion debt “on a downward path in the long-term and allow the economy to thrive.” More here. Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesmen

Well? Are they your fiscal heroes?


Boehner Tweaks Neutral Labrador

House Speaker John Boehner drew applause from a crowd of 430 backing 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson with a clear misstatement: he said Simpson’s 1st District colleague and fellow Republican was backing Simpson in his primary race. “I want to thank Raul Labrador for being here today and being supportive of his colleague in his re-election bid,” Boehner said Monday at a Boise event that raised more than $95,000 for Simpson’s campaign for a ninth term. Trouble is, Labrador has said he will remain neutral in the contest between Simpson and tea party challenger Bryan Smith, who is endorsed by Club for Growth. Labrador is allied with tea party groups and the anti-tax Club for Growth, which Simpson expects to raise up to $2 million on behalf of Smith/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson is one of the better congressman. The fact that Tea Party darling Raul Labrador won't back him for re-election says more about Labrador than Simpson. What do you think?

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Labrador Won’t Endorse Simpson

Though they deny it, the breach between Idaho's only two members of the U.S. House of Representatives might be widening. Rep. Raul Labrador says he won't observe the longstanding custom of endorsing fellow Republican Rep. Mike Simpson over primary foe Bryan Smith. Smith is courting the GOP's right wing, where Labrador is popular. Neither will Labrador say whether he considers Simpson a conservative. “You know,” Labrador said Wednesday, “I said I wouldn't speak about the race.” Simpson, however, says he will back Labrador over primary challenger Michael Greenway. “Well, let me just say I'm supporting Raul,” Simpson said Wednesday/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you consider this bad/good form on Labrador's part?

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Simpson Wants To Slash EPA 35%

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson put forth an appropriations bill today that would slash the EPA’s budget by $2.9 billion next year, a 35 percent cut that would drop the agency to a funding level below what it had in 1978 and block the Obama Administration’s climate change agenda. The Interior and Environment Appropriations bill includes a total of more than $5 billion in cuts, including major cuts to the Forest Service, BLM, national parks and more, but EPA would bear the biggest brunt/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Is Simpson wooing reactionaries with this bill, which has zero chance of success, now that he's being challenged with a Club for Growth candidate?

Group Rips Simpson For Stones Show

The political silly season is off to an early start with the anti-tax group Club for Growth throwing its financial weight behind Idaho Falls lawyer Bryan Smith in his challenge to eight-term GOP Congressman Mike Simpson. Among Simpson’s outrages, says the club, is attending a 1999 Rolling Stones show in the MCI Center skybox of a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm. Simpson and his Oregon colleague, GOP Rep. Greg Walden, paid $165 for the seats, a step they didn’t need to take under House rules. Having ponied up for the ducats, it appears Simpson’s true transgression is showing an interest in Mick Jagger and the boys/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo, of Mick Jagger)

DFO: Don't tell Club for Growth that I have several early Stones vinyls.

Question: Are. You. Kidding. Me? Does this type of nonsense play in Mormon-dominated southern Idaho? Or are already LDS friends more in tune with modern culture than Club for Growth?

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Labrador, Simpson Oppose NCLB

Idaho’s two House members joined 219 other Republicans Friday, voting for a bill to reverse components of the No Child Left Behind education law. Supporters of H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, say it will return educational control to states and school districts. The change represents “a complete U-turn, policy-wise, from the existing federal school accountability law,” says Alyson Klein of Education Week. Friday’s bill passed 221-207, on nearly a party-line vote. Twelve Republicans broke ranks to vote against the bill, and no Democrats supported it. “I am proud to support this legislation that will restore federalist principles by eliminating the one-size-fits-all federal mandates established by No Child Left Behind,” 1st Congressional District Rep. Raul Labrador said Friday/Kevin Richert, The EDge, IdahoED News. More here.


Centrist R’s To Fight Club For Growth

A group led by an former Republican congressman who retired last year citing frustration with Washington gridlock has chosen Idaho 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson as the first of a handful of GOP incumbents to support in 2014. Former Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio announced the effort Tuesday in reaction to last week’s announcement from the anti-tax group Club for Growth that Simpson is their first 2014 target. Club president Chris Chocola, a former two-term Indiana GOP congressman, told me his group will spend “spend as much as we can” to defeat Simpson and support newcomer Bryan Smith, an Idaho Falls lawyer/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: There are centrist Republicans in this country?

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Simpson touts record fundraising

2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson says he's had “one of his most successful fundraising quarters ever,” raising more than $300,000 for his re-election campaign, the largest amount raised since his first election to Congress in 1998. The latest campaign finance reports, for the most recent quarter, aren't due until Monday, and as of yet, neither Simpson's nor that of his GOP challenger, Bryan Smith, has arrived at the Federal Election Commission and been posted on their website to show the numbers or details.

Simpson's campaign said he's “received a tremendous response to his conservative message of limited government and fiscal discipline in recording one of his most successful fundraising quarters ever.”  Betsy Russell, EOB

To what do you attribute Simpson's successful fundraising efforts?

Club for Growth recruited Simpson challenger

The Club for Growth, the national group that funneled money to bankroll one-term 1st District Idaho Rep. Bill Sali’s run for Congress in 2006, announced today that it not only is endorsing 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson’s GOP primary challenger, Bryan Smith of Idaho Falls – it actually recruited him and got him to run for the seat.

The Washington, D.C.-based group sent out a timeline “showing how the Club for Growth PAC, for the first time in history, used the Internet to solicit a viable primary challenger to an incumbent member of Congress,” saying it launched a website, www.PrimaryMyCongressman, in late February; tallied up submissions over the next month and a half and noticed “dozens of recommendations” for Smith as a challenger for Simpson; contacted Smith on April 12 at his law office to ask if he was interested in running; interviewed him May 6 at the Club for Growth offices in Washington, D.C.; and Smith announced his candidacy June 27. More here. Betsy Russell, EOB


Andrus Calls Risch ‘Obstructionist’

Former Democratic Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus called Republican Sen. Jim Risch an “obstructionist” for stopping Republican Rep. Mike Simpson’s Boulder-White Clouds wilderness bill. The two men fought regularly when Risch was Idaho Senate Pro Tem and Andrus was governor in the 1980s. So Andrus got personal when he chided Risch for withdrawing his support for Simpson’s bill, describing Risch as “this little short guy” who stopped Simpson’s Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act from getting out of the Senate. “I apologize, not for what I said previously, but that I said he was short,” Andrus said. Because of Risch, he has supported having President Obama designate the 500,000-acre Boulder-White Clouds and Jerry Peak areas as a national monument/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo: Singer and environmental activist Carole King testifies during 2005 Boulder-White Clouds hearings in Washington, D.C.)

Question: Should Boulder-White Clouds be designated as a wilderness area?

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Statesman Backs Simpson, Labrador

Fiscal health is the most urgent issue facing Congress. Not the only issue. But it’s close. And on this defining issue, incumbent Republican Reps. Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson are the clear choices. They are far stronger on deficit and debt issues than their Democratic opponents. Labrador rode the conservative crest in 2010, one of a whopping 87 GOP freshmen to win a House seat in the midterm elections. Amidst this crowd, the 1st District lawmaker has managed to do something unusual — if not unheard of — for a first-term Idaho House member. He has begun building a national profile. Labrador has become a repeat guest on the Sunday morning talk show circuit. He has been among a group of Latino Republicans campaigning in swing states for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. With a background in immigration law, Labrador would be well-positioned to assume a key role on a sensitive issue that is critical to Idaho/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Agree/disagree with Idaho Statesman endorsements in Idaho congressional races?

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Unpopular EPA: Rhetoric & Reality

Rep. Mike Simpson once said the Environmental Protection Agency is the scariest federal bureaucracy of them all — surpassing even the IRS. Simpson now says, somewhat grudgingly, that the statement was “inappropriate.” But he doesn’t back away from his criticism of the EPA, nor his attempts to slash the agency’s budget. The EPA has become a red meat talking point for Republicans on the campaign trail. But the criticisms are a bit hazy — and the reality considerably more complex. When Simpson met with the Statesman editorial board last month, we interviewed him at length about the EPA. I gave his staff the heads up beforehand. Since Simpson is the chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the EPA, he’s on the front line of the budget debate. So I wanted Simpson to explain his concerns with EPA. It’s a sketchy case, I must say/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you consider the EPA necessary? A necessary evil? Or simply evil?

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Simpson Damns McCarthyism Revival

Seven-term GOP Rep. Mike Simpson said Friday that Rep. Michele Bachmann's claim that an extremist Islamic group has infiltrated the U.S. government is a revival of McCarthyism that must be condemned. “I thought it was outrageous,” Simpson told the Idaho Statesman's editorial board Friday. “We don't need to go back to those days. I thought we'd learned our lesson when (Sen. Joseph) McCarthy (R-Wis.) finally went down.” Simpson lamented that publicity about the former presidential candidate from Minnesota stains the Republican Party. “Unfortunately, it's not just Michele. The public says, 'There go those Republicans again.' It's a bad reflection on all Republicans. I can't believe the other four members she got to sign the letter with her. Amazing….That doesn't reflect the House Republican Caucus”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo of Michele Bachmann)

Question: Do you think Congressman Mike Simpson raises a legitimate concern?

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Write-In Jokes re: Shooting Simpson

Well, that’s one way to launch a campaign. Buhl resident Jack Wayne Chappell announced his intent to run as a write-in candidate for Congress, with a press release implying he wants to shoot Congressman Mike Simpson. In the lengthy announcement, Chappell acknowledges his bid is less about politics and more about publicity, though he did have criticisms for Simpson. He ended with this: “So here’s the famous original quote, Mike, written especially for you. To wit: ‘You can’t even be a duck in this world without somebody wanting to shoot you.’” Chappell ran against Nicole LeFavour in the May Democratic primary, calling his campaign a “political cartoon” and acknowledging that he ran mostly to drum up support for Simpson primary challenger Chick Heileson. LeFavour won with 84 percent of the vote/Melissa Davlin, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Congressman Simpson's campaign isn't taking Chappell's words seriously. Should it do so?

Column: Don’t Count LeFavour Out

A long-held principle in electoral politics: Until the votes are counted, there are no absolutes – no 100 percent chance of winning, no zero percent chance of losing. Even in a race that looks like a slam dunk, there’s a little room for long-shot possibility. So the newly-posted Facebook page from 2nd district Democratic challenger Nicole LeFavour, “Why Nicole can win,” makes for provocative reading. Widespread wisdom is that six-term Republican incumbent Mike Simpson is solidly positioned for a seventh term; is there an argument to the contrary? (Bearing in mind, it would be political malpractice for her not to pitch one.) To start: Idaho’s congressional districts change this year, and the second now includes more of Boise than before, including nearly all its Democratic-leaning voters. “Some consider this district stronger for Democrats than Idaho’s first congressional district was when Walt Minnick was elected to U.S. Congress in 2008.” Maybe. But Minnick won in unusual conditions, and lost two years later/Randy Staplius, Ridenbaugh Press. More to come.

Question: Who is the best bet to score an upset win in an Idaho election?

Carlson: We Need More Like Simpson

Second District Congressman Mike Simpson continues to make a case to be Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives some day. He believes in solving problems and making government work. We need more like him. He recently spoke candidly to the Idaho Conservation Leagues’ annual retreat at Redfish Lake. What he said was a breath of fresh air to those who are beginning to wonder if either political party will figure out that real solutions to the nation’s challenges will require compromise and bipartisanship. Simpson not only figured it out a long-time ago, he has taken steps to form a working coalition of like-minded Republicans and Democrats. His frustration is that outside of the “Gang of Six” in the Senate he sees little else that gives any hope that the Senate, which has failed to pass a budget for three straight years, will be of similar mind/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicle. More here. (AP file photo of Mike Simpson & Butch Otter)

Question: Are you surprised that a congressional statesman hails from Idaho?

MT: Jeers To Labrador, Simpson

JEERS … to U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson, both R-Idaho. The Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012 may be just sloppily drafted. Or the measure - which all three Republicans joined in passing Tuesday by a 274-146 vote — might deliberately expose the nation's wilderness lands to all-terrain vehicles, off-road traffic, motor boats and aircraft, as well as road-building, logging and mining. Ostensibly, it's about preserving the rights of hunters, anglers and recreationists - and putting endangered Democrats, such as Montana Sen. Jon Tester, on the wrong side of a National Rifle Association priority. The Wilderness Society is worried the bill seems to elevate rights of motorized recreationists, loggers and miners ahead of the wilderness values. If it were just the environmentalists saying so, you might dismiss it/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. Full Cheers & Jeers column here.

Question: Do you think the Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012 compromised our national wilderness?

NRA Ranks Idaho U.S. Reps Highly

Incumbent GOP Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador have received grades of “A-plus” and “A,” respectively, from the National Rifle Association. According to the NRA’s website, an A-plus candidate is “a legislator with not only an excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues, but who has also made a vigorous effort to promote and defend the Second Amendment.” An A signifies a “solidly pro-gun candidate” who “has supported NRA positions on key votes in elective office or (is) a candidate with a demonstrated record of support on Second Amendment issues”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Is a candidate's NRA grade important to you?

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LeFavour Runs For Congress

Nicole LeFavour knows what it’s like to fight incredible odds. LeFavour, Idaho’s only openly gay legislator, gave copies of the movie “Brokeback Mountain” for Christmas to 60 fellow members of one of the most conservative legislatures in the nation and pushed in vain a bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. “Watching good people get hurt is something you can only be a part of for so long,” she said. Now, LeFavour is leaving the state Senate in frustration. She’s taking on Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson, a well-funded veteran congressman of 14 years who has never had even a close race for re-election. No Democrat has held the congressional seat since Richard Stallings, who is LDS like many of his constituents, left office in 1993/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Wouldn't Sen. LeFavour have better served her party & constituency by staying in the Idaho Legislature, where she has a voice, than attempting a quixotic race against Congressman Mike Simpson?


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Wolf Kill Bill Could Backfire On Idaho

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, who authored the federal legislation that removed Idaho wolves from protection under the Endangered Species Act, is worried that a wolf-kill bill approved by a Senate committee yesterday goes beyond the wolf management plan Idaho approved in 2002 - and could give a federal judge a reason to return Idaho wolves to the endangered list, the Idaho Statesman reports today.  The measure, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, a sheep rancher, would let let livestock owners whose animals are molested by wolves shoot the wolves from motorized vehicles, powered parachutes, helicopters or fixed-wing planes, by night or day, using rifles, pistols, shotguns, or crossbows, night scopes, electronic calls, and traps with live bait/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Would the Idaho Legislature be wise to deep-six attempts to kill more wolves?

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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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