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GOP warming to blogs

Thu., Aug. 14, 2008

First, Congressman Bill Sali. Now, Lt. Gov. Jim Risch. Slowly, Repub candidates are warming up to the blogosphere. Last week, Sali launched his blog with little fanfare. On Friday, Risch told Huckleberries Online that he plans to start his own, sometime around Labor Day, and continue it if/when he’s elected to the U.S. Senate. As you probably know, Idaho’s Demo bloggers have razzed Risch for his lack of knowledge and use of the blogosphere. They enjoy pointing out that Risch’s opponent, Demo Larry LaRocco, has live-blogged a dozen times or so already. At 43rd State Blues, blogger Serephin went further by YouTubing a video clip of Risch to include a dunce hat and a Munchkin voice. In a 90-minute interview Friday, Risch revealed that he plans to start blogging, too. Also, he said, he reads three blogs in the state – Betsy Russell’s Eye On Boise, Opinion Editor Kevin Richert’s one at the Idaho Statesman, and Huckleberries Online. In fact, Vicky Risch, who sat in on the interview, said she checks through Huckleberries in the morning to alert her husband to important posts. The lieutenant governor appreciates her help, too. When asked how important he considers the former first lady’s counsel and companionship, Risch said “the last line in the MasterCard commercial summed it up best: priceless.”

Risch fires salvo

Not only did Risch reveal for the first time that he’s going to blog, during his interview with Huckleberries Online, but he took his first public swipe at Demo opponent Larry LaRocco, who visited CdA Tuesday to work a half day sorting donations at St. Vincent de Paul’s. As part of his “Working for the Senate” campaign, LaRocco has worked dozens of day and half-day jobs in dozens of Idaho towns. When asked about LaRocco’s strategic day jobs, Risch said he did a lot of those jobs growing up. “I went to work when I was 12 years old,” Risch said. “I started peddling papers and I did a lot of manual labor jobs. … LaRocco has been a registered Washington, D.C., lobbyist for a dozen years after he was defeated (by the late Helen Chenoweth in 1994). … I don’t think that simply working a day or a half day at a job, he’s going to convince people that he’s something he isn’t.” LaRocco fired back during a visit to Huckleberries Central Tuesday: “There’s a lot of wisdom in the break room. I’m receiving an unfiltered view of the challenges Idaho working families are facing. I’m the one who is in touch and wants to put working families in front of the line. He should try it.” Touché.


Poet’s Corner: From cedar swamps/has he arisen/to go suck blood/that is not his’n/The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Montana Mosquito”) … There’s a reason why that guy in shades and a black-and-white outfit looked familiar as he walked the parade routes at Athol Daze and Bayview Daze. Most parade-goers recognized Kootenai County’s Johnny Law in the prison garb – Sheriff Rocky Watson … Marianne Love published a photo on her Slight Detour blog of actor/property owner Viggo Mortensen’s note at a convenience store in an undisclosed Bonner County town, asking neighbors to respect private property along Lightning Creek Road. On a plain piece of white paper, Mortensen printed: “Please don’t stop, camp, litter, shoot, or otherwise trespass on private land.” ’Tis surprising that the note hasn’t made its way to eBay already.

Parting shot

At Huckleberries Online, two comments stood out in the thread dedicated to Jason Felton, the former Hayden Lake police chief who lost his battle to Lou Gehrig’s Disease this month. First, Herb Huseland: “Those that were malefactors, feared him. Those that were well behaved loved him. To those that he knew were good citizens, he gave a break, just like all of them used to do when law enforcement cared. That he will be missed, is a given. They won’t be able to replace him with the new breed.” Then, Carrie Kralicek, whose husband, Mike, was severely wounded in the line of duty as a Coeur d’Alene police officer: “Jason was a wonderful person and Mike and I are grateful to have made his and Cynde’s acquaintance. My heart goes out to the entire family.” RIP.

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