February 6, 1995 in Nation/World

Rankin Rolls Up His Sleeve For A Good Cause

By The Spokesman-Review

Our Temporary Man In Boise tells of a discussion that took place Thursday between a state senator and a staffer in a Statehouse hallway. Staffer: “Hi, senator.” Senator: “Hi. Everything under control?” Staffer: “No sir.” Senator: “Anything under control?” Staffer: “No sir.” Senator: “Good. Everything’s normal then.” Onward.

Bleedin’ ‘em dry: Who says you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip? At a recent luncheon, the Inland Northwest Blood Center recognized tax activist extraordinaire Ron Rankin and others for donating 10 gallons of blood. At a minimum, that’s more than 13 years worth of rolling up your sleeve. Attaboy, Ron. Kudos also to other North Idaho 10-galloners, including retired instructor Dick Raymond and Silver Valley broker Mary Hendrickson.

Fan mail: Two readers objected to me awarding a best-line-of-night to Chuck Lempesis, the Post Falls chamber banquet emcee, for this observation about House Speaker Newt Gingrich: “I don’t want anyone running Congress who’s too stupid not to take the $4 million.” … Writes CdA’s Jordan Blaschka: “Chuck Lempesis best summed up the prevailing attitude that is extremely harmful to this country! Get mine! What a wonderful example for the young. Real statesmanship! We’re a greedy people.” … And Anne Salisbury-Brown of Hayden hopes my fingers slipped when I wrote that Huck: “I guess the corollary to that would be that (former speaker) Jim Wright deserved to be ousted, with the charge led by Gingrich, because his book deal was for only $44,000 or so, and therefore, he wasn’t smart enough to remain in office.”

A long cold one: So, you think some of our planning meetings run long? Consider the 4-hour meeting Jan. 3 at 30-below Jackson, Wyo. Afterward, attorney Peter Moyer, who stayed till the bitter end, discovered a personal problem and petitioned the mayor for help: “I had a bottle of Coors in my car,” he wrote. “When I finally got out of the meeting the bottle had exploded from the intense cold. I lost a perfectly good bottle of beer. Moreover, my car smells even more like beer than usual, and a small traffic violation could lead to serious problems when I open my window to say hello to the policeman.” Moyer asked for an excuse note in case he had a close encounter with a flatfoot and that the planning director’s pay be docked one beer for setting such a long meeting.

Huckleberries: This Huck’s for any feminists out there who are having a tough time getting started this fine Monday: When asked by an S-R reporter how she would vote Tuesday on the tax-deferral initiative, a Post Falls woman responded: “I don’t even know which issue it is. My husband will tell me when it’s time.” … FYI: Yes, former commissioner Mike Anderson has applied for a job at the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office. … Idaho Statehouse quote of the week comes from state Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis: “We bow and we scrape and we knuckle under to the federal government. And we pay them for the privilege.” … Congrats to Russ Moritz of Sandpoint, The Spokesman-Review’s first monthly Golden Pen winner of 1995 and only the second monthly winner ever from North Idaho. CdA’s Nancy Klein was the first. … During debate about a bill that would require legislators to vote on their raises, veteran state Rep. Marv Vandenberg began, “I hate to bring up ancient history …” And was interrupted by a voice from the peanut gallery that said, “You’re the only one around here that knows any.”

Parting shot: In case you’re channel-surfing, David Bond of the Coeur d’Alene Press and I are guests on the first “Pressure Point,” a talk show hosted by Don Morgan of Post Falls. During the half-hour program, Bond blames the Mormons for the Thong Man controversy. I fret about having three Republicans running the county courthouse. And we’ll probably both get our pink slips afterward. Tune in at 7:30 p.m. Friday on Cablevision.


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