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Posts tagged: Phil Hart

Vieselmeyer: Voters Unhappy w/Hart

(Phil) Hart's primary opponents include Ron Vieselmeyer, 71, an outspoken Christian conservative, ordained minister, former state lawmaker and current North Idaho College trustee; longtime Hayden real estate appraiser Ed Morse; and local firefighter Fritz Wiedenhoff. The winner of the four-way race will face Democrat Dan English in November. Vieselmeyer said issues aren’t as much at stake in this year’s race as people. “It’s either somebody else wins and represents them, or they continue to have Phil Hart representing them,” he said. “And that’s been an uncomfortable situation for a lot of people”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.

DFO: I've been trying to figure out how former legislator Ron Vieselmeyer will affect this race. He attracts the same conservative crowd as Hart. Meanwhile, Reagan Republicans have endorsed Ed Morse. I view this as a three-man race with Fritz Wiedenhoff finishing a distant fourth.

Question: Will Ron Vieselmeyer pull votes away from Hart or Morse?

Idaho Court Rejects Hart Tax Appeal

A unanimous Idaho Supreme Court has rejected state Rep. Phil Hart's appeal of an order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest on grounds of legislative privilege; you can read my full story here at In a seven-page opinion authored by Justice Jim Jones, the unanimous court held that the Idaho Constitution's legislative privilege clause from arrest or “civil process” during legislative sessions didn't protect Hart, or permit him to file his state tax appeal months later than anyone else would have been allowed to. “Hart's untenable argument flows from his misunderstanding of the word 'process,'” Jones wrote/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


Green Has Long Supported Phil Hart

I've been curious re: the relationship between state Rep. Phil Hart (pictured), R-Athol, and sheriff's candidate John Green for some time. It has been mentioned here that Green, an attorney for the past two decades, has represented Hart in some capacity over the years. Hart, of course, is embroiled in an income tax fight with both the IRS and Idaho Tax Commission, a fight that will end up in court the day before the general election and could cost him his home. Huckleberries Online has found a link that shows John O'Neill Green of Houston, Texas, was one of the Tax Attorneys who signed on to a full-page ad in the 2008 GOPrimary. The ad includes this statement: “t has been our pleasure to work with your State Representative, Phil Hart. Our relationship withPhil came about when we were exposed to his book Constitutional Income. That book tears away the veil of obscurity covering the 16thAmendment's true nature and scope, by placing the Income Tax Amendment in its proper historical contest — shredding decades of misinformation and misunderstanding. Phil illuminates a rich historical record that sets thefoundation for any serious discussion of federalincome tax law and policy.” Full ad here.


Hart Makes A Point At Tea Party Rally

At the Tea Party speed-date event at the Greyhound Park Wednesday night, state Rep. Phil Hart emphasizes a point while opponents for his House Seat 2B seat listen. They are (from left): Fritz Wiedenhoff, Ed Morse, Hart, and Ron Vieselmeyer.

A Berry Picker reports: There seemed to be a pretty good crowd at the Greyhound Events Center when we got there at 5:20 or so.  Walked in & was immediately greeted by Luke Malek who was holding the door open for folks entering the venue.  There were lots of other people offering flyers and talking point cards of their candidates in the entryway.  The Recall booth was located just passed the bar (!) and next to the booth where people could register to vote. We were approached to sign the Recall petition several times and we declined, politely. More below.


Popkey: Democrat Can Win Hart Seat

Dan Popkey, the Idaho Statesman political writer and columnist, picks state Rep. Phil Hart's District 2 seat as one of six legislative seats in which Republicans are vulnerable to a Democratic upset this year. He writes: “Kootenai County’s District 2 is among the half-dozen most Republican strongholds in the state. But if tax scofflaw and timber thief Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, wins a four-way GOP primary, it’s game on. Democrat Dan English is a licensed professional counselor and popular former city councilman, school board member and county clerk, who was president of the Idaho Association of County Recorders and Clerks. English is the sort of common-sense Democrat who used to win in North Idaho and enough embarrassed Republicans might be willing to vote D to end the Hart farce. Former GOP Rep. Ron Vieselmeyer could give Hart trouble because of lingering name ID, but a four-way race always favors the incumbent. If party elders have any sense, they’ll be pressing for a further thinning of the GOP ranks. (Hayden City Councilwoman Jeri DeLange dropped out last week, citing the crowded field.) The other GOP hopefuls are real estate appraiser Ed Morse and firefighter Fritz Wiedenhoff. And: More here.

Question: Do you think Democrat Dan English can with the House District 2 seat from the Republicans?

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Richert: A Wild Week For Rep. Hart

Even by his high standards, this was a crazy, newsy week for Rep. Phil Hart. It started at about 3:30 a.m. Monday, when Hart was asleep at a Latah County rest area. A masked man attacked a woman in the other car parked at the rest stop, shooting her in the abdomen with her own gun. The victim, Kayla Sedlacek, is expected to recover; police quickly determined Hart was not a suspect, and sent him on his way. Those travels took the tax-dodging (or, as he’d have you believe, tax-protesting) Hayden Republican back to Coeur d’Alene Monday, for an audience with a skeptical Idaho Supreme Court. Considering the case of the $53,000 Hart owes Idaho — in income taxes, interest and penalties — the justices grilled Hart and his attorney over their claim that the state Constitution protects a sitting lawmaker from civil action 10 days before, and during, a legislative session. Then came Tuesday/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: I'm not sure that I want Phil Hart to go away, via the ballot box. This guy is. Absolute. Gold. You can't make up the things he routinely does. Can you?

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Reasonables Reject Green For Sheriff

In the Kootenai County sheriff's race, the Reasonable Republicans said two men are qualified and would serve well: Keith Hutcheson and sheriff' Major Ben Wolfinger. Brad Corkill of the Reasonable Republicans had pointed words for a third candidate, John Green: “It was clear, though, that we could not support John Green.  He’s expressed some peculiar views advocating the arrest of federal law enforcement officers in the county, and his agenda contains ideas that would expand the role of county sheriff beyond what most law-abiding citizens would accept. Last but not least, Mr. Green has served as legal counsel for Phil Hart, which calls into question how he would interpret and enforce the law as sheriff.”


Reasonable R’s Air Endorsements

The North Idaho Political Action Committee (AKA “Reasonable Republicans) made their endorsements moments ago, setting as its highest priority the defeat of Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol. You can read the list & reasons for endorsements here.The endorsements:

  • District #1:  Shawn Keough (Senate); Eric Anderson (Seat A);George Eskridge (Seat B)
  • District #2: Mark Fisher (Seat A); Ed Morse (Seat B)
  • District #3: Jeff Tyler (Seat A); Frank Henderson (Seat B)
  • District #4: Luke Malek (Seat A)
  • Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney: Barry McHugh
  • Kootenai County Commissioner District #1: Bruce Noble
  • Commissioner District #2: Dan Green


Hart In Wrong Place At Wrong Time

In what officials are calling a coincidence, Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, was asleep in his car at the Latah County rest area where a woman suffered a gunshot wound. “He is not a suspect,” Latah County Sheriff's Office Lt. Brannon Jordan said Wednesday.Deputies who responded to the 3:30 a.m. Monday shooting, found Hart asleep in his car when they searched the rest area parking lot and awakened him at gunpoint.”They identified him, cleared him immediately, and sent him on his way,” Jordan said. Kayla M. Sedlacek, 28, of Princeton, called 911 from the rest area's pay phone to report she had been shot once in the abdomen after being attacked in the restroom by a masked assailant/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune. More here.


Hart Asleep In Car During Shooting

Idaho State lawmaker Phil Hart was questioned and released early Monday morning following a shooting at the Mineral Mountain Rest Area near milepost 370 on US 95. Representative Hart, according to Latah County Sheriff's Lt. Brannon Jordan, was asleep in his vehicle when deputies woke him up at gunpoint. Jordan says Hart's vehicle was parked “quite some distance” away from where the incident took place and Hart “did not know anything about it.” Hart is not a suspect in the shooting of 28-year-old Kayla Sedlacek of Princeton, who told deputies she stopped at the rest area at about 3:30 Monday morning and was attacked by an unidentified male suspect/KXLY. More here.

DFO: I'm not making this up.

Judge Clears Way For Hart Nov. 5 Trial

A U.S. District Court Judge has cleared the way for federal prosecutors to proceed with their case against Athol Republican Rep. Phil Hart for failing to pay income taxes. Justice Edward Lodge handed down three orders today, all in favor the U.S. Government and against Hart. The north Idaho lawmaker had argued that feds should have been barred for serving him with a notice of deficiency while the Idaho Legislature was in session. Additionally, Hart had sought to have tax assessments reduced and foreclosure stalled on a parcel of his property in Kootenai County. Lodge ordered that there be no more delays in the matter and presented Hart with a firm schedule/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here.

Question: Hart's trial date is the day before November's general election. How does that play in his chances at re-election?

Supreme Court Hears Hart’s Appeal

Phil Hart’s anti-tax battle hit the big time Monday, at least in Idaho. The visiting Idaho Supreme Court considered oral arguments in Hart’s continuing fight against income taxes and the justices appeared to have little patience for the Athol lawmaker’s claims that the state constitution shields him from tax collectors. At issue is $53,000 in unpaid state taxes, penalties and interest that the Idaho State Tax Commission ruled Hart owes. In a separate action, Hart faces a federal trial next year where the government is seeking to foreclose on his log home near Athol to recoup about $550,000 for several years of unpaid federal taxes and the corresponding penalties. Hart’s legal defense in both courts centers on a provision of Idaho’s state constitution that bars senators or state representatives from any civil process 10 days before and during the legislative session/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here. And: Coeur d'Alene Press coverage here.


Supreme Court To Hear Hart Appeal

Tax-protesting Idaho State Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, takes his appeal of his state income taxes to the Idaho Supreme Court today; the arguments start at 11:10 a.m. Pacific time in the old courthouse in Coeur d'Alene, second floor, Judge Luster's courtroom. S-R reporter Tom Clouse is there and we'll have a full report/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.


DeLange Withdraws From Hart Race

Republican Jeri DeLange (pictured) announced today that she is withdrawing her candidacy in the primary for State Representative, District 2, Seat B, due to the high number of candidates who filed for this position.  DeLange believes that it’s more important to step aside to allow a greater opportunity for the incumbent to be defeated because it’s inappropriate for an elected official and lawmaker to demand a special standard that is not equal to the same other citizens are bound to by state, federal, and local laws.  She encourages voters to make their voices heard at the ballot box in May.  “For change to occur, action must happen.  We are each responsible for our greatest freedom and privilege at the ballot box.”

Question: Should anyone else withdraw from race?

Hart Defends Taking Public Timber

Apparently, state Rep. Phil Hart has been busy writing opinion pieces this past week, defending his stands with the Internal Revenue Service and the Idaho Tax Commission. Below, in this thread, you will find his comments re: my use of the description “tax-dodging” to describe him in a recent Sunday Huckleberries column. Now, in a commentary on his re-election Web site, Hart conjures the images of Lewis & Clark to defend his taking of timber from public land to build his Athol home. You can read “Media controversy about logs & Phil Hart” here.


Phil Hart: Answering Mr. Sound Bite

State Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, sent this response to HucksOnline moments ago re: a Parting Shot item that appeared in my Sunday column March 4: “When a friend handed me a recent copy of  David Oliveria's Sunday Spokesman-Review column, it became clear what Thomas Jefferson meant over 200 years ago, when he said, “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” In that column Oliveria referred to me as an “artful tax dodger.” One must assume he gets this term from the Charles Dickens story “Oliver Twist.” I had a difficult time making any connection between that story and my circumstances. But there is one similarity, in that, the Dickens' novel is a fictional story and what Oliveria wrote about me was also fiction. The following are a few non-fictional facts, none of which Oliveria cares to report.” More here. (SR file photo of Phil Hart at Ron Paul rally in Spokane Feb. 21)


Hart, Vito Oppose Canada Trade Idea

Ten House Republicans have voted against a non-binding memorial backing improved cooperation with Canada on trade and security, but HJM 13 passed the House, 56-10, and now moves to the Senate.  The memorial, co-sponsored by Reps. George Eskridge, R-Dover, and Max Black, R-Boise, and Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, recognizes that the U.S. and Canada are each other's largest single export market, and calls for Congress and the federal administration to work together to carry out the “Beyond the Border Action Plan” released in December 2011, pursuant to an initiative announced a year earlier by the president of the United States and the prime minister of Canada/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Hart & Barbieri can waste the Legislature's time with “sound money” and nullification bills; yet, they oppose a memorial supporting trade with Canada? Seriously?

Group: Too Much Bile Oozing In Boise

A group calling itself MIDDLE (Moderate Idahoans Discussing Diverse Legislative Efforts) says there's too much BILE (Bad Idaho Legislative Effects) in the Idaho Legislature. Carrie Scheid, former head of the Idaho Falls Arts Council, says she knows that legislators are prone to preen and posture. But this year seems particularly bad when 65,000 unemployed Idahoans, and public schools and Medicaid programs have absorbed three years of budget cuts. In a Post Register article, Scheid said she couldn't believe that legislators wasted two days debating Rep. Phil Hart's bill that would designate gold and silver as a form of currency in Idaho. As another waste of time, she cited Sen. Jeff Siddoway's bill that would allow the use of live bait and employ helicopters to kill wolves. You can read the entire article here.Q

Question: Which bill would you consider the worst in the 2012 Idaho Legislature?

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DeLange: Hart Has Own Standard

Hayden City Council Member Jeri DeLange announced that she is running for District 2, House Seat B in the Legislature held by Phil Hart. DeLange said she decided to enter the race because she strongly believes that lawmakers should not attempt to place themselves above the law. “Hart is entitled to his own views, but it's inappropriate for an elected official and lawmaker to demand a special standard that is not equal to the same other citizens are bound to by state, federal, and local laws,” she said in a press release. DeLange believes change is needed. “It's important to elect a representative who is respected and can work well with other legislators throughout the state to best represent the interests of North Idaho and its constituents,” she said/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Which of the four non-incumbents has the best chance to beat Hart in the House District 2B GOPrimary?

Hart, Vito Oppose Animal Cruelty Bill

The House has voted 64-4 in favor of HB 650, Rep. Ken Andrus' animal cruelty bill; the measure now moves to a Senate committee. The only “no” votes came from Reps. Barrett, Barbieri, Hart and Harwood. In his closing debate, Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, said, “I don't care if we're the only state that doesn't have animal cruelty for a felony if we're right. But I think there is some concern about … treatment of animals. … I think this is a reasonable approach.” He said, “I don't guarantee you that this will stop initiatives”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Are you amazed that two of the four votes against the animal cruelty bill came from Reps. Phil Hart & Vito Barbieri in the same North Idaho House District?

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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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