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Huckleberries: Kootenai County’s GOP barely sidestepped embarrassment

Jeff Ward saved the Kootenai County Republicans from themselves when he successfully opposed their plan for Richard Mack to speak at their Lincoln Day Dinner on March 24. Ward is a founder of the county’s Reagan Republicans organization. Mack is a controversial former Arizona sheriff and, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a darling of the militia, patriot and tea party movements. (Mack is now suing SPLC, claiming libel, slander and defamation.) Mack has also co-written a book with Randy Weaver (“Vicki, Sam and America: How the government killed all three”) – yeah, that Randy Weaver, the separatist of Ruby Ridge infamy. Ward challenged Mack’s Lincoln Day appearance on the grounds that he may not be a Republican. A GOP precinct committee member, Ward succeeded in getting Mack disinvited to the fundraising event on a 31-30 county Central Committee vote Tuesday. Which means the local GOP avoided the stigma of officially associating themselves with a fringe-right figure. The Coeur d’Alene area has long struggled with its reputation as a haven for racists. Mack isn’t in that category. But he is light years from Republican mainstream – at least elsewhere in the country.

Sinking flagship

Seems Richard Westerberg eschews that “single, outdated word” that has caused a furor among Vandal fans since its removal from the University of Idaho mission statement: “flagship.”   The Idaho Board of Education prez said so in a guest opinion in Idaho newspapers last week. But 5,000 Vandal Nation petition signers disagree as they lobby to have the collegial designation reinstated. Also, University of Idaho Associated Student Body prez Samantha Perez is calling for the head of Milford Terrell, the Ed Board trustee whose term expired Thursday. Terrell, an ex-Boise State booster club prez, led the charge to remove “flagship” from UI’s mission statement. Some say Vandal Nation hasn’t been this upset since July 2010 when BSU prez Bob Kustra labeled UI culture “nasty” and “inebriated.” P’haps UIdaho is lucky that the BSU Broncophiles on the Ed Board didn’t add those words to the mission statement.


Poet’s Corner: “Your hours will bring joy,/ your days will bring gladness;/ how welcome you are,/ you month of March Madness” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Ode to the New Month”) … Don’t you wish every 911 call was as benevolent as the one fielded by Rathdrum police at the Super 1 parking lot at 12:30 p.m. Thursday? “About 20 boys are throwing snowballs at one another.” Book ’em, Dan-o? … After watching first two seasons of “Sister Wives” on Netflix streaming, Facebook Friend Katrina Swaim said of the featured, polygamous Mormon fam: “It was amazing how weird they weren’t. When it was just the wives hanging out, it looked kinda fun. I told (hubby) we could get another wife, as long as she is uglier than me and likes to cook.”

Parting shot

Huckleberries hears … that former Kootenai County Clerk Dan English, of Twin Lakes, the last Democrat to hold elected office in the Kootenai County Courthouse, will decide tonight whether to run for office this year. Dan isn’t saying which office, whether county or legislative. But my HucksOnline blog followers want him to take on tax-dodging Rep. Phil Hart, the Constitutionalist- turned-Republican from Athol.