All politics and election news

Dems have hope in Idaho schools chief race, as Jones faces Ybarra

Conventional wisdom is that the Democrats’ best chance of capturing a statewide office in Idaho this year is the state…

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Democrats have hope in Idaho schools chief race

BOISE – Conventional wisdom is that the Democrats’ best chance of capturing a statewide office in Idaho this year is the state school superintendent’s post. It’s an open seat in which the Republican nominee is a political newcomer with no statewide experience and the Democratic nominee is the former chief deputy state superintendent who almost beat current GOP Superintendent Tom Luna eight years ago. Read more

Eye on Boise: Idaho treasurer’s office receives clean audit

The office of state Treasurer Ron Crane received a clean bill of health in a new management audit released late last week by Idaho’s state auditor’s office. The new review, which covers fiscal years 2011 through 2013, is a turnaround from the previous three-year report, which highlighted three concerns that state auditors reported to the Idaho attorney general. They were related to gas card purchases, staff time and state funds supporting a program that wasn’t specifically authorized by the Legislature as well as travel costs for annual bond rating trips to New York, including the use of stretch limos to transport Idaho’s delegation there. Read more

Luna on Idaho’s next state superintendent: ‘I hope they’re bold’

Curious about his comments to the Times-News last week, I chatted today with state schools Superintendent Tom Luna about the…

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Ysursa urges voters to register, marks National Voter Registration Month

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa is reminding voters that September is National Voter Registration Month, and urging them to…

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Prosecutor candidates promise fresh approach to criminal justice

Both candidates for Spokane County prosecutor promised change as they debated Thursday at a downtown candidate forum. The extent of those changes, and the person most qualified to make them, divided the two men vying to succeed Steve Tucker, who has held the office since 1998. Private-practice attorney and former Center for Justice Director Breean Beggs touted his work with the Smart Justice campaign, which led to the lengthy “blueprint” for criminal justice reform that has been adopted in principle by city and county officials. Read more

Study: Criminals easily skirt law buying guns online

This spring, a man in King County posted an ad on an online gun market, seeking a 9mm handgun. “Cash in hand for the right deal,” he wrote. Read more

Idaho state treasurer’s transactions under scrutiny

BOISE – Deborah Silver, the Twin Falls accountant who’s challenging four-term Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane, is calling on Crane to release a full review of questioned investment transactions. “What else does he have to hide?” Silver asked. “Idaho taxpayers deserve the truth from their state treasurer.” Read more

Silver calls on Crane to turn over investment review documents to state auditors

Deborah Silver, the Twin Falls accountant who’s challenging four-term state Treasurer Ron Crane, is calling on Crane to release…

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Silver calls on Crane to release Idaho investment review info

Deborah Silver, the Twin Falls accountant who’s challenging four-term Idaho state Treasurer Ron Crane, is calling on Crane to release a full review of questioned investment transactions to state auditors. “What else does he have to hide?” Silver asked. “Idaho taxpayers deserve the truth from their state treasurer.” Crane maintains he’s released all the information he can, but Idaho’s state auditor’s office, in an audit report released at the end of June, said it still hadn’t received documentation showing that Crane’s office has reviewed all potentially problematic transactions, after news of one surfaced in which a state investment pool lost millions when Crane’s office reallocated assets between it and a local government investment pool. Read more

Idaho GOP charges against Balukoff, Democratic Party fizzle

BOISE – Charges flew – then fizzled – over the weekend as the Idaho Republican Party claimed that the Idaho Democratic Party and Democratic candidate for governor A.J. Balukoff were doing something “shady” that involved passing money back and forth that might violate campaign finance laws. The Democrats responded that Balukoff had contracted out his campaign payroll services to the state party, and it was all reported, legal and on the up-and-up. Read more

Charges fly, then fizzle in governor’s race

Here’s a link to my full story at spokesman.com on how charges flew – then fizzled – over the weekend…

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Idaho GOP backs off from complaint over Balukoff and Dems’ campaign finances

The Idaho Republican Party now says it won’t pursue any campaign finance complaint against A.J. Balukoff, Democratic candidate…

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Idaho Secretary of State says no violation in Balukoff payroll contract

Idaho Chief Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst says there’s no campaign finance violation in the way Democratic gubernatorial…

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Of parties, payroll, and politics…

The Idaho Republican Party charged in a press release sent out late Friday night that Democratic candidate for governor A…

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‘Otter fatigue’ a factor as two-term GOP governor seeks a third term

An Idaho Statesman story over the weekend explored how “Otter fatigue” – a phrase I’ve been hearing increasingly this year…

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Crane faces first debate of 16 years in office

Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane will participate in his first series of political debates since he was elected 16 years ago…

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Zombie politics shaping state Senate race

There’s more than civic pride riding on Friday night’s premiere of “Z Nation,” the zombie-apocalypse TV show filmed and produced in Spokane. It’s also become the symbolic centerpiece of Democratic state Senate challenger Rich Cowan’s pitch as the candidate with the best economic development résumé. Cowan’s studio, North By Northwest, is producing the 13-episode SyFy network series, which has brought the equivalent of about 200 full-time and mostly union-scale jobs to Spokane, as well as hundreds of other part-time opportunities. Read more

Senate challenger Rich Cowan making most of ‘Z Nation’ debut

There’s more than civic pride riding on Friday night’s premiere of “Z Nation,” the zombie-apocalypse TV show filmed and produced in Spokane. It’s also become the symbolic centerpiece of Democratic state Senate challenger Rich Cowan’s pitch as the candidate with the best economic development résumé. Cowan’s studio, North By Northwest, is producing the 13-episode SyFy network series, which has brought the equivalent of about 200 full-time and mostly union-scale jobs to Spokane, as well as hundreds of other part-time opportunities. Read more

Dana Milbank: Political outsider fad misguided

Among many talents exhibited by Chuck Todd in the days since he replaced David Gregory as host of “Meet the Press” is his ability to turn a proper noun into a verb. “I’m not trying to Horatio Alger,” Todd told my Washington Post colleague Ben Terris. “But it’s an advantage that I grew up middle class in South Florida” – where, he said, his father wasn’t always fully employed and the whole family at times shared a mattress. “I feel like I understand that resentment that can build when the New York perspective or the Washington perspective doesn’t seem to understand what’s going on in America. Tim Russert had that advantage because he grew up a middle-class kid. I do think that helps.” Read more