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Idaho Voices

Vote count nitpicking goes global

As you know, challenger Jim Brannon is suing Mayor Sandi Bloem and a laundry list of city and county officials in an attempt to annul his five-vote loss to incumbent Mike Kennedy in the Nov. 3 election. But did you know that one of his allies who scoured election books looking for voter discrepancies incurred the wrath of a soldier serving in Iraq?

The matter has been lost in the local blogosphere. Until now. Before Christmas, Larry Spencer challenged the right of Army Sgt. Maj. Gregory A. Proft to vote in the local elections, based on residency. And Proft fired back in a Coeur d’Alene Press comment below a Spencer letter to the editor.

The key sentences are these: “It sounds like since Larry doesn’t like the results of the election, my right to cast a ballot should be cast aside, thrown out because I am not physically present in the state in which I vote. I bet Larry would not grant me a pass on the property taxes I paid on my house while I was fighting in Baquobah, Ramadi and Baghdad while he was doing whatever it is he does in Spirit Lake.”

Concludes Sgt. Maj. Proft: “Instead of challenging the legitimacy of my ballot, Larry ought to be offering to buy me a beer when I return for going out of my way to participate in the democratic process.” If Spencer doesn’t offer to buy the beer, I’m sure many others will.

A tough cop

Tina Griswold, the slain Lakewood Police Department officer whose parents live in Post Falls, would have been a fit in Kootenai County, one of the reddest of red Idaho counties, according to a eulogy provided by her police union. In a personal recap of the four officers who died at the hands of a crazed gunman in a coffee shop last Sunday, President Brian D. Wurts of the Lakewood Police Independent Guild wrote: “Tina was our conservative friend. She was excited to be a part of the Olympia Tea Parties and proudly stated why she got involved in politics over the past year.” Only mornings before her death, Wurts recalls, he and Tina had a good discussion on the future of this country – and “how we felt true limited-government conservatives should take back our political party. If you wanted any details over the massive government spending she would have them for you.” Wurts concludes: “She was the toughest little cop I have ever known.” Donations to the families of the slain officers can be made to: Lakewood Police Independent Guild, Benevolence Fund, PO Box 99579, Lakewood WA 98499.


Huckleberries Online poll: 82 percent of the respondents to a poll last week say that incumbent Mike Kennedy will win again if a judge orders a re-election in Jim Brannon’s attempt to get the results of the CdA municipal elections nullified … Look up “public servant” in the dictionary – and you should find a photo of county elections chief Deedie Beard, who retired last week after 33 years at the Kootenai County Courthouse … Bumpersnicker (on white SUV in CdA’s S-R parking lot Wednesday): “My Labrador retriever is smarter than your honor student” … Tongue firmly cheeked, Kent Propst faked offense when I described his native Nebraska as “godforsaken.” E-mailed Kent, the former NIC spokesman who now has the unenviable task of trying to raise money as director of alumni affairs, Peru State College, the godforsaken part of Nebraska “starts about six miles west of here … and runs all the way to the Rockies.”

Parting shot

Poet’s Corner: They daily stand in danger’s way/to shield us from the beasts of prey;/embrace them all with love divine/and please protect their thin blue line – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Prayer For Cops”).


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