All politics and election news

Ballot error could cause election re-do in Canyon County

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho city may have to redo its school board election after officials found problems with ballots in one district. The Idaho Press-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1HxwSIo ) that the Canyon County Elections Office announced… Read more

Coeur d’Alene School Board election: Terri Seymour versus Tambra Pickford

Coeur d’Alene School District Trustee Terri Seymour considered not running for a second term. She wanted to spend more time with her children. “It was tough at times when I wasn’t able to attend some of their sports activities because I had a board meeting that lasted for six hours after I’d be at work all day,” Seymour said. Read more

CdA voters to weigh public safety bond issue next week

A $1.4 million ladder truck and three fire engines costing almost $600,000 apiece are the big-ticket items in a proposed public safety bond measure going before Coeur d’Alene voters next week. The city is asking for $6 million over 10 years, mainly to buy fire vehicles but also for some police needs. A similar tax measure approved in 2005 expires this year, and the city says property owners will see their taxes go down a bit even if the new bonds are approved. Read more

Airway Heights mayor downplays ‘minor’ school bus accident

Airway Heights Mayor Patrick Rushing suspects politics are behind increased interest in a noninjury crash involving a school bus he drove in January. “You know the saying, ‘Hold your friends close and your enemies closer’; I take that to heart,” Rushing said Thursday. Read more

Airway Heights mayor says bus incident tied to politics

Airway Heights Mayor Patrick Rushing said Thursday he believes political opponents are behind efforts to play up what he called a “minor vehicle accident’ that took place in January while he was driving a Medical Lake School District bus. Read more

Idaho voters back schools

North Idaho voters were in a generous mood Tuesday, approving school tax measures from Bonners Ferry to St. Maries. The Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls school districts had strong voter support for replacing two-year supplemental operating levies, and Post Falls voters also passed a major school construction bond measure. Read more

Women’s pay 78 percent of men’s in Washington state

Spokane City Councilwoman Candace Mumm is all too familiar with the conditions that have led women workers in Washington state to make 78 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. As a young nightly TV news anchor in South Dakota, Mumm was tasked with writing scripts, producing shows and appearing in front of the camera. In spite of those tasks – above and beyond those of her male co-anchor – Mumm earned $10,000 less annually, she said. Read more

Post Falls to vote on school levy, bond

Population growth in Post Falls was putting pressure on its schools a decade ago, but officials held off asking voters for help when the economy soured and was slow to rebound. “It’s time,” Superintendent Jerry Keane said. “We delayed it as long as we can.” Read more

Shawn Vestal: Too quick to mock lawmaker for anatomy query

As someone who initially gloried in the apparent idiocy of Vito Barbieri and his tiny-camera question, I think it might be time for a second opinion: Vito was wronged. Barbieri – whose political ship tacks right so hard that it goes in circles – was saying something ridiculous while questioning a doctor on a bill that would ban doctors from overseeing abortions by videoconference. But it is very, very unlikely that he does not know that a pill swallowed by mouth does not proceed to the vagina, and it is very, very likely that he was posing a rhetorical question, and not a literal one, however inartfully he did it. Read more

Coeur d’Alene School District voters to decide on two-year levy

At Lakes Magnet Middle School north of downtown Coeur d’Alene, a small room inside the main office is piled high with obsolete textbooks. A larger room one floor up is stacked with hundreds more, some more than 10 years old. New, relevant instructional materials that align to the latest educational standards and curricula are one of the priorities of a $15 million-a-year school levy the Coeur d’Alene School District has on the March 10 ballot. Read more

Editorial: Prepaid postage for ballots would boost voter participation

Washington should try putting the “mail” in mail-in voting by providing prepaid postage on ballot envelopes. Despite a relatively high turnout rate compared with other states, too many Washington voters are losing or discarding the ballots that are their tickets to full participation in our democracy. In November, returns collapsed to less than 40 percent of eligible voters for only the third time since 1958, and the first time since mail-in voting became the rule for all Washington elections. Read more

Spin Control: Weighing candidates’, voters’ return on election investment

How much should a reasonable person spend to secure a $42,000-a-year job? A job with pretty good benefits, like a strong health care plan, generous expenses for food and lodging, and a decent pension – if you keep the bosses happy and they keep you around for a while. It’s mostly inside work, no heavy lifting, although you may have to spend time with people who disagree with you, and some who can be downright disagreeable. You have to agree to work 105 days straight, although no one ever does. There’s no clock to punch, and no one docks your pay if you don’t show up on one or even most of those days. Read more

More men than women voted in November in Washington

Washington’s 2014 general election may go down in the books as the year of the male Republican voter. For the first time in a while – it’s not quite clear how long – more men cast ballots in Washington than women. Not just for all voters, but in every age group broken down by state elections officials. Read more

Idaho’s longtime Secretary of State Ysursa to retire

BOISE – After 40 years in state government, Ben Ysursa has strong opinions about how things ought to work in Idaho – and how, on occasion, they have. For example, when both of the state’s political parties came together, they successfully passed a ballot measure to create the College of Western Idaho, now the state’s fastest-growing community college. Read more

Republicans begin remaking Senate

OLYMPIA – The axiom that elections have consequences is much in evidence in the capital these days as the Senate’s new Republican majority rearranges the deck chairs. Although they have kept the title “Majority Coalition Caucus” in an apparent nod to Sen. Tim Sheldon, the one Democrat in their midst, gone is any suggestion of power-sharing with the remainder of the minority Democrats. All committee chairmen or chairwomen are Republicans, as one would expect when a party has enough seats to decide most issues by itself. Read more

Hundreds protest new background check law

OLYMPIA — Hundreds of gun-rights advocates, some dressed in camouflage and some wearing Santa hats, gathered on the Capitol grounds to denounce the background-check law voters approved last month. Read more

State gets grade adjustment of voter guide

OLYMPIA — Like a college student keeping a watchful eye on the GPA, the Secretary of State’s office successfully argued for a higher grade and got an A on its voter guide. The grader in question, Ballotpedia, had to admit it missed a feature worth… Read more

Betsy Z. Russell: Recount confirms results of Stevenson, Rudolph race

The recount has been completed in the District 6 Idaho House race in Nez Perce County, and the outcome was the same as it was on election night: Freshman Rep. Thyra Stevenson, R-Lewiston, has lost to Democratic challenger Dan Rudolph. The final figures from the recount showed Rudolph beating Stevenson by 25 votes, down from the 26-vote margin in the final, unofficial count on election night. Stevenson gained one vote in the recount. Read more

Stevenson picks up one vote in recount, Election Night outcome unchanged

The recount has been completed in Nez Perce County in the District 6 House race, and the outcome was the same as it was on Election Night: Freshman Rep. Thyra Stevenson, R-Lewiston, has lost to Democratic challenger Dan Rudolph. The final figures from the recount… Read more

Will Condon overcome the curse of Spokane’s one-term mayors?

Mayor David Condon is a guy’s guy. Early in his term, he referred to himself as an “action guy.” Not long ago, he called himself an “accountability guy.” Earlier this week – during an interview discussing his time so far in office – he called himself “kind of an operations guy.” Read more