March 15, 1998 in Idaho

Election ‘98

Compiled By Staff Writer Ken Ols
 

County race?

The rumors abound as the filing season nears for county offices. Reliable wags say that former Coeur d’Alene personnel chief Rob Beck is angling for one of the seats on the Kootenai County Commission. Considering Beck cut his own job at the city, he might be just the thing Kootenai County needs. Between Beck and tax rabble-rouser Ron Rankin, we’ll expect the politicians to cut their own salaries, eliminate their own jobs and show us what streamlined government is really about.

No thanks, we’ll keep this Republican

Meanwhile, in other parts of the county political machine, the coffee shop telegraph reports that former Republican County Commissioner Bob McDonald won’t try to retake the throne from Rankin. On the heels of that news, we hear that an eager young lad from Concerned Businesses of North Idaho was out recruiting candidates. Out recruiting until the Republican Party stalwarts told him to ease off. Apparently the party doesn’t want to take a chance of losing it’s elephantine troika on the commission, even if it means enduring Rankin. As if that’s a danger in this land of three living Democrats.

Gubernatorial glory

As for those wondering why there is a dearth of candidates for the governor’s office, beyond the prospect of the almost undefeatable Dirk Kempthorne, consider this. Next week, Gov. Phil Batt’s schedule includes holding a press conference with Plum Creek Timber Co., proclaiming Irish Day, proclaiming poison prevention week and holding a press conference regarding a Hispanic initiative. Oh yeah, there’s a gig with the Land Board.

Campaign financial pain

The Republican members of the Northwest’s delegation aren’t doing anything to threaten their financial dominance in the fund-raising arena. Recently U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, Wash., U.S. Sens. Larry Craig and Dirk Kempthorne, Idaho, and U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth, Idaho, voted against the most recent attempt to keep special interest money out of federal campaigns. Their normal objection to that legislation is that it violates the First Amendment. But when it came to a vote on giving union members an easy, advance way to keep union dues from being spent on politics? Our folks all voted yes. Could it be that they are willing to limit traditional sources of money for Democrats (union) while keeping the rest for themselves? That must be part of the First Amendment, too.

Polling your leg

In a triumphant moment in campaign history, Chenoweth last week released results of a poll she commissioned. Not surprisingly, the numbers Chenoweth commissioned make her a clear winner. For example, 23 percent will cast their ballot for the congresswoman, “no matter who ran against her.” That prompted Chenoweth to declare that she has “an unshakable base that comprises almost one quarter of her electorate.” Of course, the possible error in the poll is nearly 5 percent. So that unshakable base could be 18 percent. And neither number says much considering Nampa physician William Levinger got 32 percent of the vote in the ‘96 primary after some shaky campaign performances.

Campaign calendar

March 23 is the first day to file for political office in Idaho.

, DataTimes MEMO: Campaign ‘98 is published during the campaign season and is compiled by staff writer Ken Olsen from staff reports. To submit information on a political event or to submit a question for a candidate, write us c/o The Idaho Spokesman-Review, 608 Northwest Blvd, Suite 200, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814, or send e-mail to keno@spokesman.com.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by staff writer Ken Olsen from staff reports

Campaign ‘98 is published during the campaign season and is compiled by staff writer Ken Olsen from staff reports. To submit information on a political event or to submit a question for a candidate, write us c/o The Idaho Spokesman-Review, 608 Northwest Blvd, Suite 200, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814, or send e-mail to keno@spokesman.com.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by staff writer Ken Olsen from staff reports


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