December 16, 2012 in Idaho

Eye on Boise: Henderson going strong, excited to lead

By The Spokesman-Review
 

BOISE – Idaho state Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, who was appointed chairman of the House Business Committee a day after he celebrated his 90th birthday, is excited about his new role.

“The composition of the whole committee includes a number of experienced legislators, so I think, if I can give it effective leadership, that it’s going to be a very productive committee,” Henderson said.

He said he’ll be bringing proposals to help boost existing Idaho companies, including possible new investment tax credits. “We’ll be looking for new ideas,” Henderson said.

Labrador on Judiciary

Idaho U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador has been assigned to the Judiciary Committee in the House, the panel that’s expected to handle immigration reform.

“It will allow me to work on realistic reforms to many of the most important issues facing Idaho and our country,” Labrador said. “One of my top priorities as a member of the committee will be to fix our broken immigration system. I will fight to find a conservative consensus on immigration reform that secures our borders and modernizes our immigration system.”

To get the seat, Labrador gave up his spot on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he’s been a vocal critic of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder over the “Fast and Furious” gun scandal.

Campaign finances

The final round of campaign finance reports from North Idaho lawmakers and candidates for the 2012 election showed that Rep. Shannon McMillan, R-Silverton, barely avoided fines for missing the deadline. McMillan was the only incumbent who hadn’t filed by Dec. 12, six days after the deadline; as notices were being prepared warning of fines, she filed her report just before 5 p.m. that day.

The reports also showed that the candidate who ended the election cycle with the biggest campaign debt in North Idaho is new Rep. Thyra Stevenson, R-Lewiston, who reported $21,000 in campaign debt to herself at the close of the reporting period. Stevenson defeated Democrat Pete Gertonson with 54.2 percent of the vote. In second place for campaign debt, with $14,786, was independent Jon Cantamessa, whose challenge to Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, fell short. Nuxoll won with 64 percent of the vote.

The third-highest campaign debt reported in North Idaho, in Districts 1 through 7, belongs to new Rep. Ed Morse. The $10,000 debt is a holdover from his hard-fought primary race, in which he defeated incumbent Phil Hart, R-Athol.

GOP candidate Ken DeVries, who failed to unseat Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, reported $6,119 in campaign debt; Democratic challenger Anne Nesse, who failed to unseat Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, reported $5,559 in debt.

Other news from the latest reports: K12 Management Inc., of Herndon, Va., a for-profit online education company, gave last-minute donations to five lawmakers in Districts 1 through 7. A $500 donation to Bob Nonini’s Senate campaign was reported as arriving on Nov. 6: Election Day. Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, got a similar donation on Oct. 17, while Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, reported getting $250 from the firm on Nov. 13, a week after the election, as did Rep. Paul Shepherd, R-Riggins. Nuxoll reported receiving hers on Oct. 24.

Jack Buell, a Democratic Benewah County commissioner since 1974, made a last-minute campaign donation to Republican legislative candidate Cindy Agidius, a donation Agidius reported receiving on Election Day. She defeated Democrat Paulette Jordan by 123 votes.

That’s the address?

Funniest billing address in North Idaho campaign finance reports: New Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, a 30-year-old who is one of the few candidates who reported online campaign advertising on Facebook, reported that his payments for that went off to the firm at 1 Hacker Way, in Menlo Park, Calif. And that is, in fact, Facebook’s address.

The L.A. Times earlier this year called it “Silicon Valley’s premier vanity address,” in a place where Apple Inc. is located at 1 Infinite Loop and Genentech Inc. is at 1 DNA Way.

New budget chief

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has named a new budget director: Jani Revier, who served on his congressional staff and has worked as a special projects manager for U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson since 2007. Revier, the first woman to hold the position, will start as Otter’s Division of Financial Management chief Jan. 2. The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

Revier is the daughter of state Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson.

Although Revier is the first woman appointed as the Idaho governor’s budget chief, the Legislature’s current budget chief is a woman: Cathy Holland-Smith.

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