October 31, 2010 in Idaho Voices

Huckleberries: Big fight over small change


You may know that Christa Hazel demanded a witness fee and mileage when she was subpoenaed by attorney Arthur B. Macomber to testify in the contempt-of-court case against Bill McCrory. But did you know that Christa refused to give the $21.27 back after charges against Macomber’s client were dismissed by Judge Charles Hosack? The contempt case was a sideshow during the long-running legal circus starring disgruntled City Council election loser Jim Brannon and his attorney, Starr Kelso. On Oct. 19, Macomber sent a letter to Christa asking that she return the fee because she didn’t have to testify or drive to the courthouse. And Christa, through attorney hubby Joel, told Macomber to pound sand. Responds Joel Hazel to Macomber in writing: “It is certainly not my wife’s fault that you mistook a 4 p.m. status conference for a trial. (Never in my 16-year law practice has a court set a trial at 4 p.m.)” Joel goes on to say his wife endorsed the witness fee check and turned it over to Councilman Mike Kennedy’s defense fund. So she doesn’t have the $20 and change to turn over to Macomber. “As such,” concludes Joel, “the $21.46 (sic) will not be returned.” (In case you were wondering, the clock doesn’t start ticking on a possible appeal by Brannon until Judge Hosack officially signs the papers. Then, according to defense attorney Scott Reed, Brannon will have 10 days to appeal.)

Out, Out Damn Guv

Seems the GOP Bus Tour had an unhappy ending as it swung into the Lake City High parking lot for the final stop of an all-day tour in North Idaho, prior to the football game between Sandpoint and the host Timberwolves Friday, Oct. 22. The governor, his first lady and other top elected officials had barely set foot on the ground when they were told by Principal Deanne Clifford that they couldn’t campaign on school grounds. A Berry Picker wondered whether the administrator knew she was talking to the governor’s wife, Lori, Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna, or Senate Education Chairman John Goedde. At Clifford’s insistence, the Elephants and their entourage moved campaign signs north across the street from the football field parking lot and joined well-wishers for hot dogs in the corner of the lot. Go Wolves?


Poet’s Corner: The trees are aflame/with a fire that’s soon gone/and leaves all the ashes/piled up on your lawn – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“A Blaze of Autumn Color”) … Sam Taylor, former SReporter visiting from Bellingham with newborn son in tow, was upset that he couldn’t find UI Vandal baby gear at the new Hayden WalMart. P’haps Vandal gear is like Idaho potatoes – you can only get them in southern Idaho … In 10 minutes tops, NIC trustee candidate told me after a Post Falls City Hall forum last Monday that he thought I was a “liberal” and “emotional” when it comes to protecting the Education Corridor. Also, he introduced me to someone as an individual who “persecuted” him on my Huckleberries Online blog. Well, his wife seemed like a nice woman … BTW, Ken Howard had the best quip of the trustee forum, when asked about the differences between opponent Ron Nilson and him: “He’s better looking and I have a mustache” … Poll: Easily, Hucks Nation prefers write-in candidate Rick Currie (59%) to Jai Nelson (26%) in a poll of almost 300 votes. Mebbe word’s getting out that Nelson and not-so-artful tax dodger Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, are an item … BTW, write-in Howard Griffiths beat Hart in a Coeur d’Alene Press poll … BTW2, Editor Tom Burnett of the Rathdrum Star columnized recently that his readers should vote for Griffiths, citing Hart’s problems with the IRS & Idaho Tax Commission – and that five-finger discount of endowment land timber to build his Athol home … Scanner Traffic (from last Monday): “Female reports that her husband was temporarily unconscious on Lookout Drive. But she believes he may have been faking it to avoid a dispute with her.” Ah, don’t try this at home.

Parting shot

At first blush, radio gabber Austin Hill of Boise appeared to be correct when he described that controversial yard sign to a “game-change” – you know, the one that read: “Support Obama – Vote Minnick.” Conservative Demo Congressman Minnick has been running hard from our liberal president. But the small print at the bottom of the sign explained everything: “Paid for by Ron Lahr and not authorized by any candidate or candidates committee.” Lahr, of course, is a Kootenai County Republican. In an online thread that attracted 70 comments, Lahr defended his sign against charges that it was a “dirty trick.” Quoth: “The sign is just a reminder to people that Minnick is a Democrat since his own campaign materials neglect to mention it. A dirty trick? Hardly.” On Wednesday, this’ll all be over.

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