Political and legislative news out of Idaho.
SUNDAY, MARCH 20, 2016, 4 A.M.
Eye on Boise: Lawmaker’s anti-Sharia bill draws fire
North Idaho Rep. Eric Redman’s anti-Sharia law bill drew lots of negative comments at a public hearing last week; it’s now awaiting amendments and its fate is uncertain.
MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2016, 1:09 P.M.
Last-minute filings set up competitive races in Idaho’s May primary
A flurry of last-minute filings late Friday set up an array of contested races in Idaho’s May 17 primary election, including a six-way race for an open seat on the …
SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2016, 4 A.M.
Eye on Boise: Democrats make statement by rejecting art budget
As the Idaho Legislature lurches toward what are supposed to be the final two weeks of this year’s session, an unexpected bump came late last week when the House killed …
SUNDAY, MARCH 6, 2016, 7:29 P.M.
Rubio rallies Boise crowd, says he’s best bet to beat Clinton
GOP hopeful Marco Rubio stressed his conservative credentials and religious beliefs as he urged Idahoans to back him for president at a Boise rally on Sunday night, just two days …
SATURDAY, MARCH 5, 2016, 1:30 P.M.
Most high-profile Idaho Republicans say they’d back Trump if he’s nominated
Among high-profile elected Republicans in Idaho, Donald Trump isn’t a popular first-choice. But most say they’re willing to vote for him if he wins the GOP nomination. Here’s a breakdown …
SUNDAY, FEB. 28, 2016, 4 A.M.
Eye on Boise: Southern Idaho lawmakers fail attempt to block conservation easement budget item
With key pieces of education policy still pending in the Legislature even as budgets are being set, some are being set with pieces missing, pending cleanup later. Meanwhile, legislative budget …
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 24, 2016, 12:31 P.M.
Idaho Gov. Otter endorses Kasich for president, joins campaign
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich for president and joined Kasich’s campaign as a national co-chair.
THURSDAY, FEB. 18, 2016, 1:51 P.M.
Idaho lawmakers say new fee on hybrid cars a mistake, propose repeal
Idaho lawmakers made a mistake last year when they slapped an extra $75 annual registration fee on hybrid vehicles. That was the consensus of the Senate Transportation Committee this afternoon, …
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 17, 2016, 3:09 P.M.
Idaho Democrats protest state-funded election billboards
The Idaho Democratic Party is protesting a statewide, 22-billboard voter education campaign launched by the Idaho Secretary of State’s office for the upcoming March 8 presidential primary, because the billboards …
TUESDAY, FEB. 16, 2016, 10:56 A.M.
Sens. Crapo, Risch say Idaho Statehouse is ‘where common sense reigns’
Idaho U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch addressed the state House and Senate today, and both told lawmakers they’re the ones doing things right. “It is so fabulous to …
MONDAY, FEB. 15, 2016, 3:49 P.M.
Bill would bar Idaho cities from increasing minimum wage
Idaho lawmakers split along party lines Monday, with majority Republicans on the House Business Committee backing a ban on local laws or ballot measures to raise the minimum wage.
SUNDAY, FEB. 14, 2016, 5 A.M.
Eye on Boise: Tearful Idahoans push for Medicaid expansion
BOISE – Hundreds of people filled the state Capitol’s largest hearing room Friday morning to press for expanding Medicaid to help Idahoans who don’t have health insurance, reforming the state’s …
TUESDAY, FEB. 9, 2016, 5:09 P.M.
Idaho wolf board officials kept news of kill operation from lawmakers
When the head of an Idaho board charged with killing problem wolves was asked directly by a state senator on Monday how many wolves the board has had killed this …
TUESDAY, FEB. 9, 2016, 2:49 P.M.
Idaho bill could raise homeowners’ taxes in Kootenai County
The Idaho House voted Tuesday to remove the inflation index from the state’s homeowner’s exemption from property taxes, instead fixing the exemption at a maximum of $100,000 - and opening …
SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2016, 5 A.M.
Eye on Boise: Idaho county assessors stunned by House panel vote
BOISE – County assessors, in town for an Idaho Association of Counties meeting, were stunned to hear the House tax committee vote to remove the annual indexing of the homeowner’s …
THURSDAY, FEB. 4, 2016, 2:53 P.M.
Idaho lawmakers told specialty license plate for Orofino “Maniacs” would be offensive
After hearing from advocates for the mentally ill and people who suffer from mental illnesses that an “Orofino Maniacs” specialty license plate would be offensive, Idaho’s House Transportation Committee on …
TUESDAY, FEB. 2, 2016, 5:32 P.M.
Failure to expand Medicaid has resulted in nearly 1,000 deaths of Idahoans, doctor says
Idaho lawmakers are responsible for the deaths of close to 1,000 Idahoans in the past three years because they’ve refused to expand Medicaid, a doctor told a state Senate committee …
TUESDAY, FEB. 2, 2016, 1:05 P.M.
Bill to move up Idaho party-affiliation deadline dies; voters will be able to switch at polls on March 8
It turns out that voters who want to change their party affiliation at the polls for Idaho’s March 8 presidential primary will be able to do so after all.
MONDAY, FEB. 1, 2016, 3:46 P.M.
Idaho parties trying to increase state’s impact in selecting president
Idaho may be small potatoes in the national presidential nominating process, but the Gem State’s trying to position itself to have maximum impact on the process in both parties.
SUNDAY, JAN. 31, 2016, 5 A.M.
Eye on Boise: Otter wants technical-ed boost to address labor shortage
Eye on Boise column for Sunday
THURSDAY, NOV. 3, 2016, 2:26 P.M.
AdWatch: Crapo’s final ad tries to stir voters to turn out
Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo has launched his final campaign commercial of the season, focusing on stirring images and broad themes to stress the importance of the upcoming election. “So much …
THURSDAY, NOV. 3, 2016, 11:01 A.M.
Rep. Labrador stumps for Trump across the country
Idaho GOP Congressman Raul Labrador is criss-crossing the country stumping for Donald Trump, speaking at Trump rallies so far in Florida, Arizona and Utah. Labrador’s high-profile national role in the …
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 2, 2016, 4:02 P.M.
Labrador digs deep to help out GOP state legislative hopefuls; full story
Why would GOP Rep. Raul Labrador have given campaign contributions to 40 GOP candidates for the Idaho Legislature over a two-day stretch in late October? Labrador’s campaign spokeswoman says he’s …
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 2, 2016, 8:40 A.M.
Brody, McKenzie offer differing perspectives on judicial demeanor and the current court
The two candidates for an open seat on the Idaho Supreme Court had some interesting comments at the forum yesterday, particularly on the subject of judicial demeanor. Candidate Robyn Brody …
TUESDAY, NOV. 1, 2016, 11:13 A.M.
Candidate forum today to feature Supreme Court candidates Brody, McKenzie
Idaho Supreme Court candidates Robyn Brody and Curt McKenzie will be featured this afternoon at a candidates forum sponsored by the Idaho State Bar, Idaho Women Lawyers and the Idaho …
TUESDAY, NOV. 1, 2016, 11:05 A.M.
Labrador spreads $$$ to candidates
On Oct. 18-19, Idaho GOP Congressman Raul Labrador sent campaign contributions of either $250 or $500 to 40 GOP candidates for the Idaho Legislature, plus $10,000 to the Idaho Republican …
TUESDAY, NOV. 1, 2016, 10:30 A.M.
Rep. Labrador spreads campaign $$ to GOP candidates for Idaho Legislature - 40 of them in 2 days
Over two days, Oct. 18-19, Idaho GOP Congressman Raul Labrador sent campaign contributions of either $250 or $500 to 40 GOP candidates for the Idaho Legislature, plus $10,000 to the …
MONDAY, OCT. 31, 2016, 4:51 P.M.
It’s not THAT Tom Katsilometes…
Rep. Mark Nye, D-Pocatello, is running for the Senate, now that Democratic Sen. Roy Lacey has retired, and the GOP opponent who’s listed on the ballot as running against Nye …
MONDAY, OCT. 31, 2016, 9:39 A.M.
SupCourt race: McKenzie has never argued a case before the high court; Brody calls that concerning
One of the two candidates for the Idaho Supreme Court acknowledged in a televised debate Friday night that he’s never argued a case before either the Idaho Supreme Court or …
MONDAY, OCT. 31, 2016, 8:12 A.M.
Otter raises legal concern about HJR 5, Bonner prosecutor speaks out on harassment allegations; full Sun. column
From my Sunday column: Idaho Gov. Butch Otter raises a legal concern about HJR 5, the constitutional amendment on the November ballot; and Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall discusses harassment …
MONDAY, OCT. 31, 2016, 7:57 A.M.
A rundown of some of the competitive legislative races around the state…
Here’s a rundown from the Associated Press of some of Idaho’s competitive legislative races around the state, from District 1 up north to District 15 in Boise, and from Lewiston’s …
MONDAY, OCT. 31, 2016, 7:39 A.M.
District 1: Politics heat up in Idaho’s northernmost legislative district
In Idaho’s northernmost legislative district, the legislator who made headlines when she displayed the Confederate battle flag at a local parade and visited occupiers of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge standoff …
MONDAY, OCT. 31, 2016, 7:35 A.M.
District 2: Rep. Barbieri argues he fits this conservative stronghold
North Idaho’s Legislative District 2 is among the most conservative in the state, and GOP incumbents Vito Barbieri and Eric Redman are hoping to keep it that way. Both face …
MONDAY, OCT. 31, 2016, 7:31 A.M.
District 4: Dems try for comeback, bid to retake Rep. Sayler’s former seat
A dozen years ago, two of the three state lawmakers from Coeur d’Alene were Democrats. Now District 4, like the rest of the North Idaho Panhandle, is an all-GOP legislative …
FRIDAY, OCT. 28, 2016, 8:45 P.M.
Candidates focus on experience in Idaho Supreme Court debate
Republican Sen. Curt McKenzie downplayed his partisan ties and defended his resume as a qualified candidate for an open seat on the Idaho Supreme Court, while Rupert attorney Robyn Brody …
FRIDAY, OCT. 28, 2016, 6:37 P.M.
Brody, McKenzie debate tonight on statewide TV
Idaho Supreme Court candidates Robyn Brody and Curt McKenzie will face off on statewide television at 8 p.m. tonight in the “Idaho Debates.” The hour-long debate is co-sponsored by the …
FRIDAY, OCT. 28, 2016, 1:40 P.M.
Idaho Dems file complaint alleging GOP broke campaign laws in minority leader’s race
The Idaho Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the Secretary of State’s office claiming that an official inside the Idaho Republican Party violated the state’s campaign laws. According to …
FRIDAY, OCT. 28, 2016, 11:17 A.M.
AdWatch: New fly-fishing Piotrowski ad takes Labrador to task on everything from votes to two paid cars
James Piotrowski, the Democratic challenger to 1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador, is airing a hard-hitting new TV ad that takes Labrador to task on everything from his voting record …
FRIDAY, OCT. 28, 2016, 9:04 A.M.
AdWatch: Labrador’s second TV ad plays it safe, striking conservative theme
Idaho 1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador has launched his second TV ad of the campaign, replacing the earlier one that focused on his personal life story. The new ad, …
FRIDAY, OCT. 28, 2016, 8:25 A.M.
Two vie for open Idaho Supreme Court seat
The two attorneys facing off for an open Idaho Supreme Court seat have taken decidedly different approaches to their campaigns. Here’s my full story as rivals Robyn Brody and Curt …