Huckleberries: Caucuser’s disillusionment highlights party divisions

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

National Libertarian blogger Lew Rockwell tells of the plight of an unnamed supporter of Ron Paul who attended the maligned Kootenai County Republican presidential caucus – the one at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Seems the Ron Pauler became distressed as evening stretched into morning during the seven-hour marathon. He watched with excitement as Paul won caucus vote after caucus vote at the resort, only to trail and finally lose to Rick Santorum countywide. Mitt Romney, of course, won Idaho’s 32 delegates as a result of all those votes from Mormon Southern Idaho. The Ron Pauler smelled a conspiracy. He told Rockwell: “To say I’ve lost some faith in the system isn’t accurate, since I never had much to begin with. But I am tired and discouraged, and am more convinced than ever that we the people have no real voice in this process.” What now? The Ron Pauler told Rockwell he plans to write in Paul’s name for president “or vote straight Constitution Party.” Which underscores the point that many partisans in Kootenai County who call themselves Republican are really Constitutionalists, Libertarians, Birchers and even further right.

Extra! Extra!

Northern Kootenai County will have three of the most contested legislative GOPrimary races in Idaho this spring, with a five-way race for tax protester Phil Hart’s House District 2B seat as the main event. Now, the region will also have a hometown paper to follow the action. Three former Spokesman-Review writers will provide fodder for the new paper, the Panhandle Sun: reporter Taryn Hecker Thompson and correspondents Mary Jane Honegger and Herb Huseland. Business owners from Rathdrum, Spirit Lake and Athol/Bayview contacted Mary Jane after publisher Tom Burnett, now 70, and his weekly, the Rathdrum Star, retired in December. ’Tis nice to know some readers still see value in a local newspaper.

Scanner Traffic: Around noon last Monday, Rathdrum police responded to the local Super 1, where four or five boys were trying to catch a seagull. Which is odd in itself. But the boys were using a fishing pole in their vain attempt. Wonder what they were using for bait? … Remember that chicken farmer in Rathdrum who found three sticks of dynamite while looking for eggs on March 8? He called the gendarmes the following evening, too. Seems he was tired of rubbernecking newscasters from the Spokane TV stations filming stories near his property … So this guy returns home from Stateline Showgirls with a story for his wife that the bouncers had broken his hand – and, oh yeah, he was missing $500. Which begs the larger question.

Parting shot

If you are 21 and have lived in Idaho for a year, you probably are eligible to run for sheriff. Take Shaun P. Winkler, for example. Puh-LEEZ. You last saw Winkler and his racist playmates picketing the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day ceremonies at North Idaho College in January. A year earlier, Winkler & Co. focused their considerable hatred for their non-white fellow man on the Mexican food carts in Coeur d’Alene. Winkler has since moved to Hoodoo Valley and is now running for Bonner County sheriff. County Clerk Marie Scott asked the prosecutor to check Winkler’s criminal history before accepting his candidacy application. It’ll be interesting to see whether he attracts more than the 50 votes (2 percent) that the late Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler did in 2003 when he ran for mayor of Hayden. Stay tuned.

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