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Election challenge gets zanier

SUNDAY, MARCH 14, 2010

You want to know how far over the top the biggest cheerleaders for unsuccessful City Council candidate Jim Brannon are? Some sincerely believe that there’s a conspiracy to steal votes and elections in Coeur d’Alene. Bill McCrory, who together with ex-Coeur d’Alene Press columnist Mary Souza operates the site, shared his thoughts in a recent post titled, “Cowardice in Coeur d’Alene,” and then commented further underneath: “Advertisers (e.g., car dealers and real estate agents who like to have a very controllable and buyable public officials) have told the newspapers not to print any information that will reveal to the people of Coeur d’Alene just how badly the November 3, 2009, election was mismanaged by City Clerk Susan Weathers with approval of the Mayor and Council and by County Clerk Dan English.” The Repub county commissioners and Repub Prosecutor Barry McHugh are in on the “coverup is a coverup is a coverup,” too, according to McCrory’s zany theory. Their role? Again, McCrory: “They are being told to obstruct Jim Brannon’s court action no matter what the cost.” Yeah, Judge Benjamin Simpson’s part of the conspiracy. And Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Secretary of State Ben Ysursa may be, too. Otherwise, all the public officials castigated by McCrory above have sterling reputations.

‘Corrupt d’Alene’?

Starr Kelso, the attorney for Jim Brannon, may be the only one in the hornet’s nest of Brannon allies to show a semblance of humor. In his blog, Placer Creek, he poked fun at Civil Deputy Prosecutor John McCafferty, who used the term “witch hunt” to describe the vast amount of documentation that Brannon originally sought from elections officials. Posted Kelso: “Idaho hunting tags for elk, deer, bear, turkey, and wolf average around $12. The price of a ‘Witch Tag’ is now set at $40,000.00. I think with that type of tag fee ‘witches’ must be an endangered species” … By the way, McCrory isn’t alone in thinking that the Powers That Be have the fix in. Souza, an erstwhile failed council candidate, agreed in the comment section with the individual who referred to the Lake City as “Corrupt d’Alene.” This, after Judge Simpson ruled that Brannon had to produce a $40,000 bond plus and cover the cost to produce documentation he wanted … Dan Gookin, another unsuccessful former council candidate, preferred: “Rotten to the Coeur d’Alene.” Sounds like sour grapes are fueling Brannon’s suit.


Poet’s Corner: “That spring is here, I have/no doubt –/the Harley-Davidsons/are out” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“A Sure Sign”) … Scanner Traffic: Nah, I didn’t catch the name of the business that called local police last week to report that it has an “ongoing problem with people drinking cough syrup in the parking lot” … Duane Rasmussen, who has helped many other Repubs get elected over the years in his various roles of leadership in the local GOParty, was ready to sign up for his shot at retiring Jim Clark’s House District 3 seat. How ready? He and Independent Jeremy Boggess (Senate District 4) were the only ones in line when the Secretary of State’s office in Boise opened eight minutes early on the first day of filing, Tuesday … In a Huckleberries Online poll, 168 of 210 respondents (80 percent) backed a bill that would give the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe power to arrest non-Indians on its reservation, over Benewah County Sheriff Bob Kirts’ opposition. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do.

Parting shot

A political junkie in Jim Brannon’s lawsuit provided insight to Huckleberries re: why Brannon believes Judge Simpson is biased against him and sought to have him disqualified from the case: “Simpson ruled against him.”

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