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Huckleberries: Andrew Whipple brings common sense to Central Committee

First, you need to know that Kootenai High (Harrison, Idaho) instructor Andrew Whipple served as an Idaho National Guard captain in Iraq from November 2004 until November 2005. Now, onward.

Whipple, who ran successfully for Kootenai County GOP Central Committee member from Precinct 70, was listed as a RINO (Republican in Name Only) in a list of recommended GOPrecinct candidates circulated at a local Coeur d’Alene church last Sunday. GOParty purity is next to godliness among the tin gods who control the Kootenai County GOP machine.

Whipple told Huckleberries that he suspects he got the bum’s rush from the small-tent politician circulating the list because he’s a public school teacher (an anathema among the county’s tea party wing) and he opposes the state GOParty platform plank calling for repeal of the 17th amendment (which allows state residents to choose their U.S. senators rather than the Legislature).

Whipple told Huckleberries: “I doubt many of my fellow GOP were on the ground in Iraq in 2005 when the Iraqi people enjoyed their first free election. Seeing the joy on their faces as they emerged from the voting centers with ink on their finger (signifying they voted) will always be etched in my mind. There is no way I want to take a step backward when it comes to my freedoms and rights.” Whipple will bring badly needed common sense to the tea party-controlled Central Committee.

Out, out damn voter

You need look no further than Mary Souza’s upset victory over seven-term Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, to see how the closed Republican primary in Idaho has helped red-meat conservatives. Souza’s unsuccessful, nonpartisan race for Coeur d’Alene mayor against winner Steve Widmyer six months ago attracted 8,407 votes. Souza won 3,556 votes, or 42.3 percent of the total. On Tuesday, Souza’s race with Goedde attracted 3,440 votes – total. Souza won with 1,853 votes, or 53.87 percent. The boundaries for Senate District 4 and the Coeur d’Alene city limits are about the same. In other words, about 5,000 fewer voters from within the same boundaries turned out for the important Idaho Senate race. And that’s how the tea party in Kootenai County has imposed its will on moderate Coeur d’Alene. Tea, anyone?


Poet’s Corner: “The votes are cast/the count complete/please take your signs/now off our street.” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Request for the Candidates”) … License holder message on Mercedes with personalized “KJ SIMS” plates: “I’d Rather Be Reading Stephen King” … How thrilled was owner Robert Kobrick of San Francisco Sourdough Eatery with that new bicycle corral in front of his downtown Coeur d’Alene business? So thrilled that he bought a new bike and was seen wiping down the bike corral Thursday. Also, he has offered a free drink with any sandwich to customers who wear helmets into his eatery or say the word “bike” during Memorial Day weekend … On Thursday, popular Java on Sherman had a soft opening at its new location in the old Jonesy’s restaurant building in the 800 block of Sherman Avenue. It’ll be interesting to see if regulars will be willing to travel four blocks farther east for the coffee shop’s famous Bowl of Soul with whip.

Parting shot

The Kootenai County Clerk’s Office may blame a software glitch on the excruciatingly slow counting of votes Tuesday night – absentees out after 10 p.m., then nearly nothing until the final tabulation at 1:19 a.m. But I call it what it is – the worst performance on Election Day by any clerk’s office in my 30 years in Coeur d’Alene. At one point in the glacial vote tabulation, SReporter Scott Maben tweeted: “This just in: Horse throws shoe on wagon carrying Kootenai County ballots. New horse en route from livery.”

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