Will the last departing Democrat please turn out the light?
The local Democratic Party already qualifies for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Now the bad news that party stalwarts Mike and Florence Blackbird are moving to Seattle. Mike Blackbird served the party in the Legislature and Florence Blackbird has been a party faithful forever. This leaves so few Democrats there may not be enough to pass out party literature at the next Fourth of July parade.
The butt of the campaign joke
Democrat Walt Minnick’s quest for Larry Craig’s U.S. Senate seat turned to costume campaigning this past week. Democrats dressed one of their members up as a big cigarette and sent him to Craig’s office to deliver a big thank you for his support from tobacco companies in return for $10,000 in PAC money. Craig fired back via the Idaho Republican Party, which called Minnick duplicitous for taking $10,000 from the National Education Association. Bring on the mudslinging gear.
It was a banner week, meanwhile, for U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth, who made the “Wall Street Journal’s” list of freshmen Republicans most likely to lose their seat in November. After digging up a Republican city councilwoman from Garden City to say she wouldn’t vote for Chenoweth on a bet, the Journal concluded with a more insightful quote from a Kamiah timber company executive. He supposes Chenoweth will get lots of votes because “she stands up for what she believes in” no matter what the popularity.
Headlining Helen, part II , Chenoweth decided to make an appearance in Orofino Saturday. True to her unconventional ways, she decided to ride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the celebration. Meanwhile, the League of Conservation Voters put her on its “Dirty Dozen” list for her abysmal voting record on environmental issues. Chenoweth supporters call it “biased campaign rhetoric from a liberal political action committee.”
The bare necessities
This just in from the office of Gov. Phil Batt: “Gov. Batt will sign a proclamation for ‘Idaho Breastfeeding Week.’ This event will take place in the governor’s office.” That leaves the question of whether the event will be in his office or the proclamation signing.
Fax polluter of the week
Despite Democrats’ desire to cultivate an environmentally sensitive image, they rank right down there with Republicans when it comes to cranking out the faxed press releases in quadruplicate. The top offenders this week are Minnick and Craig, tying with 19 pages each, most of them duplicates and triplicates. Chenoweth challenger Dan Williams drops in the ranking with 16 pages, edged out by Chenoweth’s 17 pages. Dirk Kempthorne, who doesn’t officially have to declare for another term in the Senate for a couple of years, churned out a respectable 11.
Web site of the week
Here’s another compendium of political information and references: Election Nexus. It offers a good supply of links to campaigns and candidates, and one of the most complete sets of links to the emerging third parties … Find it at http://dodo.crown.net/(tilde)mpg/ election/96.html. And just so you know, when we say (tilde), we mean use the little wavy line usually found as the upper case on the key next to the 1 key. The newspaper’s typesetter doesn’t make a tilde … And this extra attraction comes to cyber politicos from former Kootenai County Commission candidate Reed Simpson. Simpson put the entire county budget on the Internet. Dial for dollars at http://www.idtownhall.com
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: How they voted
MEMO: Campaign ‘96 is published regularly during the campaign season and is compiled from staff reports. To submit information on a political event or a question you want the candidates to answer, write us c/o The Idaho Spokesman-Review, 608 Northwest Boulevard, Suite 200, Coeur d’Alene 83814. Or call Cityline at (208) 765-8811 on a Touch-Tone phone, then press 9893 to leave a message, your name and phone number.