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Sunday, December 16, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Huckleberries: Rep. Heather Scott would do well to channel the late Helen Chenoweth-Hage

Idaho 1st District congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage thanks her supporters after winning her re-election race , Nov. 5, 1996, in Boise. She was first elected to Congress in November 1994 when she upset incumbent Democrat Larry LaRocco. ((AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, File))
Idaho 1st District congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage thanks her supporters after winning her re-election race , Nov. 5, 1996, in Boise. She was first elected to Congress in November 1994 when she upset incumbent Democrat Larry LaRocco. ((AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, File))

One of the commenters in the Land of Huckleberries wonders if state Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, is channeling the late Helen Chenoweth-Hage.

There are similarities.

Scott, of course, is the outspoken, tea party/Redoubt darling who was stripped of committee assignments for saying female legislators gained power by exchanging sex favors.

Chenoweth-Hage, OTOH, was one of the most conservative members of Congress during her three terms (1995-2001). She made headlines for suggesting that federal agents in black helicopters were enforcing the Endangered Species Act. During fundraisers, she held “endangered salmon bakes,” serving canned salmon, to express her skepticism that Idaho salmon were at risk. She considered “white Anglo Saxon men” to be endangered. Chenoweth-Hage, who insisted on being called “congressman,” was tea party before there was a tea party.

But she was also loyal to the GOP, as a former Idaho Republican Party executive director. She was gracious, too. At worst, Chenoweth-Hage was a grown-up version of Scott. She was a bona fide conservative with a wicked sense of humor who talked to the media and kept her word to serve only three terms in Congress. Scott could do worse than channeling Chenoweth-Hage.

Heightening

One of my favorite Chenoweth stories involves her 1994 fall debate with then Democratic congressman Larry LaRocco in the former lobby conference room of the S-R building in Coeur d’Alene. She arrived early to change into heels and proper garb from her light-blue Western pantsuit with bling on the lapels. Why the heels? Chenoweth was about 5 feet 9 inches, a few inches taller than LaRocco. She wanted to emphasize that disparity. Before the debate, she asked to move the podiums closer together to further tout her height advantage. It was silly. It was politics. Who knows if Helen’s height advantage won any votes that night. But she went on to win a 10-point upset over LaRocco in the general election.

Huckleberries

Color Dave Keyes, the former publisher of the Bonner County Daily Bee, as someone who is having second thoughts re: turning down an invitation and tickets to Donald Trump’s inauguration. He’s never been to an inauguration. He knows it’ll be historical. He asks sadly: “Did I make a mistake by not going?” … All of us Coeur d’Loonians know that the Christmas season doesn’t end until the tree atop Hagadone Corp. HQ in downtown Coeur d’Alene comes down. It did Wednesday morning. On to spring … According to the Urban Dictionary, “snowflake” is “an overly sensitive person, incapable of dealing with any opinions that differ from their own.” Sounds like a lot of people Huckleberries knows on all sides of the political divides.

Parting shot

Shelly Robins Zollman, of Coeur d’Alene, director of the North Idaho Family Group, calls it a “carf.” Not cough. Not barf. But carf. And she provides us a definition of her recent bouts with “carfing.” Quoth Shelly: “When you cough so hard, mucus happens and chokes you and the standard ‘cough’ sound turns into more of a gaggy/phlegm-riddled/dry heave sound that is very unpleasant to the cougher and those within earshot.” With that happy thought, Huckleberries will check out for another day.


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