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Posts tagged: Walt Minnick

Minnick To Lobby For Gun Control

Former Idaho Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick has been hired by his former colleague Gabrielle Giffords’ to assist her effort to expand background checks on gun purchases. Minnick’s Washington, D.C., firm is Majority Group LLC, which he founded in 2011 after losing his first re-election bid to GOP challenger and now-Rep. Raul Labrador. Minnick and two others from Majority Group registered as lobbyists effective March 31 and filed their disclosure report April 12 as the Senate was preparing to vote on background checks, which were ultimately rejected. The filing is available on the Sunlight Foundation website. Minnick has had his differences with the NRA, getting a “D+” grade when he defeated Republican Bill Sali in 2008. Two years later, the NRA boosted his grade to a “B+,” while Labrador got an “A”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo, of Walt Minnick)

Question: Can't trust those dern Democrats with guns, can you?

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Minnick Sues Law Firm For $300K Loss

Former Congressman Walt Minnick said Wednesday it now appears likely he will lose his appeal in U.S. Tax Court and blames one of Idaho’s most storied law firms for his predicament. Last week, Minnick and his wife, A.K., filed a lawsuit alleging negligence and professional malpractice by Hawley Troxell, a firm that has handled business and personal matters for Minnick for 25 years or more. Minnick says real estate lawyer Geoffrey Wardle failed to comply with IRS regulations in handling a 2006 conservation easement granted to the Land Trust of Treasure Valley for the Minnicks’ seven-lot, 74-acre development near Hidden Springs, Showy Phlox Estates. The IRS denied Minnick’s claim of a deduction of about $1 million, disallowing $305,629 in tax savings in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Minnick is suing the IRS in U.S. Tax Court, but said an April ruling in a Colorado case makes Wardle’s mistake potentially fatal to his case/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.


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Minnick Wearied Of Asking For Money

Minnick says his friends grew weary of his repeated phone calls asking for dough during his two runs for Congress in 2008 and 2010. His comments come in a 27-minute segment titled “The Hamster Wheel,” which is the heart of an hour-long show called “Take the Money and Run for Office.” Minnick helps describe the seedy side of the fundraising that drives American politics. The program aired over the weekend and is
available online.
Minnick is a Democrat and former CEO who unseated Republican Rep. Bill Sali in 2008 and was defeated by GOP Rep. Raul Labrador in 2010. He now works as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C./Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Would you be good at asking for money if you ran for office?

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EOB: Sali Eyes Legislature Again

Former Idaho Congressman Bill Sali, who popped up at the Statehouse today proposing a specialty license plate bill to raise funds for his new nonprofit organization, the “American Heritage Foundation,” says he's considering running for the state Legislature again. “I am looking at this open seat out here,” Sali told Eye on Boise. “We have not made a final decision yet, but I'm looking at it.” Sali served 16 years in the Idaho House before serving one term in Congress; he lost to Democrat Walt Minnick in 2008/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Wouldn't it be fun to have Bill Sali in the Idaho Legislature again? Only next time, if it happens, I don't think he'd be the strangest bird in the Legislature. Not even in the top 5.

Minnick: Gang Of 6 Has Best Idea

Does any serious person believe the United States should cease or delay paying its debts? Social Security? Military retirement? Only in Washington, D.C., where extremists in both parties torpedoed a bipartisan agreement between President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner to cut the deficit over 10 years by $4 trillion by slashing government spending, reforming entitlements and closing tax loopholes while simultaneously reducing federal tax rates. Sensible Republican House leaders who understand the need for compromise, including my former colleague, Mike Simpson, were unable to sell this agreement to their tea party base because it closed some of the most egregious tax loopholes like those which enable hedge fund billionaires and General Electric to pay little or no taxes on their annual earnings/Walt Minnick, Idaho Statesman guest column. More here.

Question: Who will blink?

GOP Still Beats Dead Horse Minnick

The National Republican Congressional Committee has issued a statement on the two-year anniversary of the stimulus package passage, ripping … (pause for effect) ex-congressman Walt Minnick. Kevin Richert/Statesman points out the two reasons why the following statement is weird: “Today marks two years since the stimulus package was signed into law, riding on a wave of support from Walt Minnick and his former Democrat colleagues. Unfortunately, during the past two years, the $814 billion stimulus effort has failed to produce the jobs and economic recovery that had been promised. Today, as Minnick considers a run for his old seat, his former House Democrat allies are united under President Obama’s budget plan which proposes even more of the stimulus-style spending that will continue to add to our national debt and bring more uncertainty to small businesses trying to create jobs.” More here.

Question: Seriously?

Minnick’s concession made Twitter history

Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick talks about the race on Election Night in Boise

BOISE – Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick’s election-night concession on Twitter made history – according to Twitter. It was ranked No. 8 on the site’s list of the “10 Most Powerful Tweets of 2010.”

The tweet, sent by campaign manager John Foster around 2 a.m. as Election Night stretched into morning, said, “Congratulations to Raul Labrador on a hard-earned win, and best of luck as Idaho’s next Congressman.”

In its “Year in Review,” the microblogging social network site reported, “Twitter was a powerful campaign tool during the 2010 U.S. Midterm Elections, and Election Night results often broke first on Twitter. Demonstrating how quickly the world of political communications is changing, Idaho incumbent Walt Minnick’s campaign manager issued a concession Tweet.” Betsy Z. Russell/SR

Who do you follow on Twitter? Or are you not a Tweeter, er Twit, uh Twitterer. Oh, you know what I mean.

Roll Call: Minnick’s Done w/Politics

The Capitol Hill newspaper “Roll Call” reports today that Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick says he’s “gone for good” from elective politics. “I think I’m done with elective politics,” he told the newspaper.  “I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I think it’s time for somebody else.” The article examines the dismal elective record of Democrats in Idaho in the past three decades, and the Idaho party’s future prospects, perhaps with conservative, well-funded Democratic candidates like Minnick/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Will Raul Labrador break the string of one-and-done representatives from the 1st Congressional District?

Minnick, Simpson Split On ‘Don’t Ask’

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an amendment to the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act which would repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding homosexuals serving in the armed forces.  Idaho’s House delegation vote was split; Congressman Walt Minnick voted to repeal it, while Congressman Mike Simpson voted to keep it in place/Jay Howell, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Which Idaho representative voted the way you wanted?

Minnick Concession Makes Tweet List

Idaho Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick’s early-morning concession, made by campaign manager John Foster, ranked No. 8 on Twitter’s list. Tweeting from Foster 208 at about 2 a.m. Nov. 3, Foster wrote, “Congratulations to Raul Labrador on a hard-earned win, and best of luck as Idaho’s next Congressman” Asked to comment Tuesday, Foster said in an e-mail, “I’m stunned. It’s a huge honor.” Said Twitter in explaining its ranking, “Twitter was a powerful campaign tool during the 2010 U.S. Midterm Elections, and Election Night results often broke first on Twitter. Demonstrating how quickly the world of political communications is changing, Idaho incumbent Walt Minnick’s campaign manager issued a concession Tweet”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you tweet or follow anyone’s Twitter?

Foster: No Democratic Party In Idaho

“I say this as a former executive director of the state Democratic Party. There is no Democratic Party in Idaho. A party is infrastructure. A party is operation and fundraising. There is simply no party” — John Foster, former campaign aide to Congressman Walt Minnick, responding to a question from the Boise Weekly. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Foster that there simply is no Democratic Party in Idaho?

The Other Idaho Gains Clout

Since 1998, the voters of Idaho’s 1st Congressional District have sent five people to the U.S. House. They had Helen Chenoweth-Hage, who retired in 2000. That led to C. L. (Butch) Otter, who served six years. Next up was Republican Bill Sali, who served one term. Democrat Walt Minnick defeated Sali in 2008. And now Republican Raul Labrador has ousted Minnick. In other words, the district has rotated through a string of freshmen and junior members. None of them amassed any real seniority on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, the people in the 2nd District have stuck with one representative. Now their investment is paying off. Just elected to his seventh term, Republican Mike Simpson is about to become a “cardinal” — one of the dozen chairmen who lead the House Appropriation subcommittees/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Why does the 1st Congressional District keep turning over its representative, while the 2nd District sticks with Mike Simpson and gains political power?

Minnick, Simpson Oppose Extension

Votes from Idaho Reps. Walt Minnick and Mike Simpson (pictured) helped defeat an extension of unemployment benefits in the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday. The plan would have extended benefits through February and cost $12 billion. Extended federal unemployment benefits, which can last up to 99 weeks for some Americans without jobs, are set to expire at the end of this month. Such benefits expired at the end of May, which affected 10,000 unemployed Idahoans receiving weekly benefits.  However, the benefits were extended from May to their current expiration date, which is Nov. 30. … Minnick was one of 11 Democrats who joined Simpson and 141 other Republicans in opposing the extension/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter. More here.

  • Also: Latest jobless figures shows Kootenai County jobless rate now 10.8%

Question: Did the Idaho representatives vote on this issue the way you wanted them to?

Sis: We’d Rather Go Down Swinging

Democrats running against the Democratic party is a shortsighted losing strategy which enables the destruction of the Democratic brand in Idaho leaving us little to work with in the next cycle. … When all the Democratic candidates do it, as all three top tier candidates did, people just stay home. And in addition to being dead wrong, poobahs telling the media after an election that there was nothing to be done, ignores the consequences of that pronouncement. That self serving excuse demoralizes volunteers and tells funding sources not to bother next time we come a knocking, not to mention throwing a bucket of cold water on future candidate recruitment. Most Democrats would rather go down swinging, standing up for who we are, whether right or left, but as proud Democrats, with pragmatic and successful solutions, not self contradicting platitudes/Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues. More here.

Question: Which strategy is better in Idaho — to run as a Democrat against the Democrat Party, and occasionally win as Minnick did 2 years ago — or to run as a Democrat and lose?

Larry Grant: Race Was Walt’s To Lose

In the comments section Friday, Larry Grant, the Demos’ 2006 candidate for Congress writes: in 2008, I stepped aside to let Walt run because I thought he had a better chance of winning than I did. I was right. He squeaked by in a tough race. I have also kept my mouth shut since then in order to let Walt run whatever kind of race he thought he needed to win in 2010. So let me get it straight: when I lost, I was a bad candidate, when Walt loses, there was nothing anybody could do, even though he was an incumbent with a conservative voting record with a $2 million dollar war chest who loses to an underfunded R who doesn’t have the support of half his party or groups like IACI. The race was Walt’s to lose. Full post below.

Question: Did Walt Minnick lose his congressional seat because he ran a poor campaign? Or was he simply a victim of the big Republican sweep in 2010?

Dennis: Minnick Deserves Our Thanks

I’d like to thank Walt Minnick. As he and I both concurred the other day: “It’s hard to run and lose a race for Congress”. Most people have no idea the energy it takes to run…and then lose. No, it’s not some type of misery-loves-company, political back-slapping insincere thank you. It’s a thank-you that deals with acknowledging his public service to the state for two years and for what he gave up in his family to do so. Congressmen’s lives are so chaotic. They feel like they live in airports half their lives…and the other half in hotels. Crab and moan all you want about the unjust “perks” that any congressman receives and then sit back and think about what they DON’T recieve: a normal life of seeing their kids play ball, going to a restaurant with their spouse, without interruptions and THEN having to endure these ungodly campaigns/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate Congressman Walt Minnick’s service to country?

Sali Won More Votes Than Labrador

In 2008, in Idaho’s 1st U.S. House district, Republican Bill Sali lost his office to Democrat Walt Minnick. In 2010, Minnick in turn lost it to Republican Raul Labrador. Question: Which of these Republicans, Sali or Labrador, would you suppose won about 45,000 more votes than the other in these elections? You can guess where this is going: Sali, in losing, took 171,687 votes, while Labrador, winning this year – in a strong win by a strong margin – took 126,231 votes: Far fewer. Look closely at the vote totals in the two elections and you find what sure looks like evidence in Idaho of that vaunted enthusiasm gap: A relatively larger number of Democrats not voting in 2010 who had in 2008. The closer you look, the more it looks that way/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Stapilus acknowledges a dropoff in voters can be expected in a nonpresidential year. But the dropoff for Minnick was steeper than the one for Labrador. Do you know a Demo who refused to vote for conservative Minnick?

Labrador Breaks Idaho Stereotype

Idaho elected its first Hispanic to represent the state in Congress on Tuesday, as Raul Labrador upset freshman Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick with a decisive 51 percent to 41.3 percent victory. Labrador, a conservative Republican state lawmaker and immigration attorney, said he thought the “first” was significant because it sent a message to the nation about Idahoans. “People have such a bad connotation of what Idaho represents,” Labrador said, “a bad place, a racist place. I can’t think of a better message for Idaho to send than to send a young man who was born in Puerto Rico, was raised in Las Vegas and was adopted by this state”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here(AP/Idaho Press-Tribune Photo: Labrador with his wife Rebecca inside the Republican election night headquarters in Boise Tuesday.)

Question: Will the election of Puerto Rican Raul Labrador as a congressman help change the nation’s view of Idaho?

Foster: No Regrets For Negative Ads

Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick’s campaign has no regrets for running negative advertisements against Raul Labrador, Minnick’s campaign manager said Wednesday. Labrador responded to Minnick’s negative ads with negatives ads of his own. Minnick campaign manager John Foster said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ran ads that were more negative than Minnick’s and ran them earlier in the campaign. He said that’s one of the reasons Reid beat Republican challenger Sharon Angle, and it shows the impact negative ads can have. Minnick fell victim to a nationwide Republican wave, Foster said, that was not unexpected/Mike Butts, Idaho Press-Tribune. More here.

Question: Did the negative ads really have an impact? Or was Minnick, like Dan English, simply a sitting duck who had 2 strikes against him: ‘incumbent’ and ‘Democrat’?

Walt Reads Handwritin’ On The Wall

Idaho first-congressional district incumbent congressman Walt Minnick (D) monitors election results at his election-night party with son Dixon, 17, (to Minnick’s immediate right) and campaign staffer Dean Ferguson (background) on Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Joe Jaszewski - Idaho Statesman)

Question: What will be Walt Minnick’s legacy from his two years as a U.S. congressman from Idaho?

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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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