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East Coasters have trouble with their I’s

Sat., Aug. 23, 2008

For a brief and shining moment, Idaho was running with the big-dog states – California, Florida, New York and Texas. And the Wall Street Journal was just as surprised as everyone else. In an article re: the number of millionaires in each state, WSJ listed Idaho as the No. 5 state in the union. In fact, the respected national newspaper made an issue of it with this line: “In fifth place was Idaho. That’s right Idaho.” The first four places were taken by the four states mentioned above. respectively. Of course, Idaho’s surprising placement was highlighted at Huckleberries Online. It was like the darkest of dark horses emerging from the pack to capture an Olympic medal. After all, Idaho tries to stay ahead of Mississippi on most lists of this sort. Alas, our glory was short-lived. Seems WSJ meant Illinois, not Idaho. Those East Coast types tend to mix up Idaho with other “I” states. Usually, it’s Iowa. WSJ changed the story after a coupla commenters from Illinois questioned Idaho’s ranking. Berry Picker Idawa was all over the miscue. I couldn’t tell for sure from the IRS tables where Idaho ranks. Idawa has us pegged around 43rd or so with 5,000 millionaires. All I know for sure is that I’m not one of them.

Where’s Risch?

So, what happens if you throw a U.S. Senate debate and few people including front-runner Lt. Gov. Jim Risch show? Mebbe more than you think. On Monday evening, while most of us were eating dinner and getting ready to watch the Olympics, Demo Larry LaRocco and Independent Rex Rammell squared off at the Hampton Inn/CdA for the historic first of 10 online live-stream debates around the state. It was broadcast live at Huckleberries Online. About 1,700 computers tuned in from around Idaho. I watched from the comfort of my home office as moderator Tony Stewart asked the two candidates questions for an hour. And heard each of them criticize Repub Risch for failing to attend the debate. Prominent local Repub Duane Rasmussen pooh-poohed the impact of the live-stream debate. But it worried former state legislator Gary Ingram because Rammell came across as a reasonable conservative alternative to Risch. Quoth Gary: “Rammell will pull votes away from Risch as they both have similar conservative values. Risch would be well advised to advance his candidacy for the Senate by getting involved in these debates, or I’m afraid my Republican colleagues will lose this seat in the Senate.” You heard it first here.


In my Prairie Voice Huckleberries, I told you that S-R reporter Meghann Cuniff had been pulled from her assignment of Twittering (read: blow-by-blow, instant message-type coverage online) of the Duncan sentence hearing until the conclusion. I wrote that Tuesday. It landed on your doorstep Thursday morning. Shortly afterward, Meghann was back Twittering. Mebbe that means end of this Duncan ordeal is near. Too bad we can’t say the same for Duncan … BTW, Gary Ingram isn’t the only Repub urging Risch to debate more. Dennis Mansfield, a former congressional candidate for the late Helen Chenoweth’s seat, posted in his blog: “C’mon, politics is a contact sport, and it’s time to have two great opponents begin the brawl. It’s either that, or we should all just return to the days of Dirk Kempthorne’s coronation(s)” … I’m still trying to figure out the saying that launches the obituary for double-murder victim Cynthia Ann Bewick (18, of Pinehurst): “If you want me to fall in love with you, give me something to trip over.”

Parting shot

Few North Idahoans enjoy bragging about accomplishments by local Potato Heads more than Marianne Love/Slight Detour. Earlier this month, she touted on her blog the appearance of golfing legend Jack Nicklaus to christen a new Sandpoint course. Then, she turned her attention to a trio of current Idaho Olympians: UI grad Kristin Armstrong (cycling gold medalist), Debbie McDonald of Sun Valley (in her second Olympics as a horse dressage participant), and Matt Brown (USA baseball team). They are from Idaho, right? Not Illinois? Or Iowa?

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