All politics and election news

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 … 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 i… 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

Idaho ranks middling for percent of legislative races contested in the general election

The National Institute on Money in Politics reports that 36 percent of state legislative races in this year’s gene… Read more

Idaho voter turnout ‘abysmal’ at 38 percent

BOISE – As Idaho certified its election results Wednesday, it became official: This year was the first time that less than 40 percent of the voting-age population cast ballots in a general election. “Frankly, it was disappointing,” Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said. “We broke through a barrier that we didn’t want to break through.” Read more

Recount requested in District 6 legislative race, set for next week

The Idaho Attorney General’s office has received a request for a recount of the Nez Perce County portion of a Dist… Read more

Idaho voter participation hits record low

As Idaho certified its official election results on Wednesday, a troubling distinction emerged: This year’s electi… Read more

The four most interesting things I learned in 2014 Spokane County elections

4. Voters at Fairchild Air Force Base support expanded background checks for gun sales – resoundingly. Initiative… Read more

Sunday Spin3: More on the gun initiatives

In politics, as in military campaigns, victory has many fathers. That may explain the self-congratulatory press re… Read more

Sunday Spin2: Did the Ayes have too much of it?

Spokane County voters said yes to both gun initiatives, causing some observers on the West Side of the state to sc… Read more

Spin Control: Slim majorities require focus on party discipline

OLYMPIA – The most ephemeral thing in politics might be big majorities. This should be particularly obvious to Democrats as they look to next year’s Legislature. Six years ago, Democrats approached the session with 31 of 49 seats in the Senate and 62 of 98 seats in the House. Those were nearly veto-proof majorities if they’d found the need to override any vetoes from Gov. Chris Gregoire, but considering she was a fellow Democrat, that point was mostly moot. Read more

Sunday Spin: Big majorities are temporary

OLYMPIA – The most ephemeral thing in politics might be big majorities. This should be particularly obvious to Dem… Read more

Passage of Riverfront Park bond puts new ice rink on front burner

With the approval of a tax by voters in last week’s election, the future of the Riverfront Park’s Ice Palace is short. But many skaters gliding on the ice last weekend say they won’t miss the rink under the U.S. Pavilion – as long as city leaders follow through on plans to build a new outdoor rink along Spokane Falls Boulevard. Read more

Gun rights activists plan I-594 protest at Capitol

OLYMPIA – Gun rights activists plan to bring their firearms to the Capitol next month to engage in civil disobedience by violating the new background check law that they despise. But there may be a flaw in the plan. What they say they’re going to do – “openly exchange guns” by handing them to someone else – isn’t against Initiative 594, according to Bob Calkins, spokesman for the Washington State Patrol, which provides law enforcement on the Capitol grounds. They won’t be arrested or cited for doing that. Read more

Airway Heights fire levy fails

The Airway Heights Fire Department’s proposed levy to fund emergency medical service has been rejected by voters. Read more

GOP pushing for recounts in two close legislative races

The Idaho Republican Party is encouraging two of its candidates to ask for recounts in elections that they narrowl… Read more