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Wow, that was quite a debate. It just wrapped up, and the “Takeaway” online discussion is about to begin; you can watch here (click on “Watch Live”). Click below for a complete report on the debate from Associated Press reporter Jessie Bonner.
Tonight’s 1st Congressional District debate starts at 8 p.m. Mountain time, 7 p.m. Pacific, and airs live on Idaho Public Television. You can also watch it online here; the link to the live stream will be up shortly before the debate begins.
A new TV commercial began running this week criticizing state Sen. Chris Marr for running an auto dealership that settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with an employee.
The issue popped up in Marr’s first run for office in 2006. Marr, a Democrat, is in a heated reelection battle with Republican Michael Baumgartner.
We at Spin Control haven’t seen the ad yet, but we are told it was financed by a group called “Spokane Families for Change.”
According to the Public Disclosure Commission, Spokane Families for Change raised $80,000 from one donation from a Kirkland-based fund called “Working Families for Change.”
The Kirkland group’s $200,000 came entirely from three donations this year from “The Leadership Council.”
The Leadership Council’s has raised $827,000. The biggest donations are from the Republican State Leadership Council, Washington Health Care Association, the Building Industry Association of Washington, the Washington Hospital Association political action committee, Sabey Corp., Katsam, Anheuser-Busch, Bank of America, Comcast and MillerCoors.
Only four individuals with Spokane addresses are listed as contributors to the Leadership Council. They each gave $500: John Condon, Terrill Hunt, David Moore and Larry Moran.
Tonight’s annual televised Chase Youth Commission debate will have a noticeably absent candidate: John Ahern.
While Ahern has appeared with his opponent, incumbent Democratic State Rep. John Driscoll, at several other forums, Ahern also missed last month’s debate sponsored by the League of Woman Voters of the Spokane Area. That event was the only other televised forum that would have featured the two side-by-side.
Tonight is the big debate in the 1st Congressional District race, the sole statewide televised debate of the campaign. It starts at 8 p.m. Mountain time, 7 p.m. Pacific, at the Idaho Capitol Auditorium. In addition to taking place before a live audience, the debate will be broadcast live statewide on Idaho Public Television. It’s part of the “Idaho Debates,” sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Idaho Press Club; there’s more info here.
Incumbent Congressman Walt Minnick and GOP challenger Raul Labrador got the sparks going when they faced off yesterday on a “town hall” debate on KBOI radio in Boise. In tonight’s debate, I’m on the reporter panel, along with Idaho Statesman reporter Dan Popkey and Associated Press reporter Todd Dvorak. Got suggestions on questions for the candidates? Post ‘em here before 4 p.m. today.
Gov. Butch Otter and Democratic challenger Keith Allred sharply disagreed over recent cuts to dental programs for the poor; independent candidate Jana Kemp said Otter’s “Project 60” isn’t working and backed privatizing state liquor sales; Otter said tax exemptions were put in place for good reason; and Allred promised no cuts in school funding next year if he’s elected. That was on tonight’s debate in Caldwell, sponsored by KTVB, KIFI and KREM TV stations. Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller; here’s a link to video of the debate. On Oct. 28, all five candidates for governor will face off on Idaho Public Television.
Three candidates for governor will face off in a televised debate tonight on KTVB-TV in Boise, in partnership with KIFI-TV in Idaho Falls and KREM-TV in Spokane. The debate, featuring Gov. Butch Otter, Democratic challenger Keith Allred, and independent Jana Kemp, starts at 8 p.m.; there’s more info here.
The final debate in the governor’s race will be Oct. 28, when all five candidates for governor debate on Idaho Public Television as part of the “Idaho Debates,” sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Idaho Press Club; there’s more info here.
More tickets have been released for tomorrow night’s big debate in the 1st Congressional District race, the sole televised debate of the campaign. It starts at 8 p.m. Mountain time, 7 p.m. Pacific, at the Idaho Capitol Auditorium; free tickets are available here. In addition to taking place before a live audience, the debate will be broadcast live statewide on Idaho Public Television; it’s part of the “Idaho Debates,” sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Idaho Press Club.
I’m on the reporter panel, along with Idaho Statesman reporter Dan Popkey and Associated Press reporter Todd Dvorak. Candidates debating are 1st District Congressman Walt Minnick, his Democratic challenger Raul Labrador, and independent Dave Olson.
In a statement entitled “A Difficult Choice,” former longtime Idaho GOP state schools Supt. Jerry Evans today has endorsed Keith Allred, the Democratic candidate, for governor over incumbent GOP Gov. Butch Otter. “It came as a disappointing surprise this year when Governor Otter recommended a large cut in public school support,” Evans writes. “We cannot afford another four years like the past four.” You can read his statement here.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter today reported raising $752,000 in campaign funds in the past four months, while his Democratic challenger, Keith Allred, raised $372,500. With both candidates spending heavily on advertising as the campaign season hits its peak, Otter reported $211,634 in cash on hand at the close of the period on Sept. 30, while Allred reported $102,072.
Otter’s campaign said he has another $67,200 in contributions already committed, but not yet paid. “This has been an incredible quarter for my campaign,” Otter said in a statement. “We not only raised a significant amount of money, but the momentum going forward is extremely high.” Allred had actually outraised Otter, the incumbent Republican who’s seeking a second term, in the previous two reporting periods, but Otter turned that around in the most recent period, which ran from June 5 through Sept. 30.
Year to date, Otter’s raised $1.04 million and spent $1.34 million, but he also carried over $316,718 from the previous year. Allred, year to date, has raised $732,640 and spent $757,532; he carried over $126,963 from the previous year. Neither candidate reported any debt; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
“Americans should be working their way into the middle class, not falling out of it,” Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Tom Sullivan said in his closing comments in tonight’s debate. “To do that we have to tax fairly and cut wisely.” Incumbent Sen. Mike Crapo said if Sullivan is elected, “He will be another vote for the Harry Reid-Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama agenda.” Crapo said, “This country is in very serious trouble,” and said he’ll push for “sensible conservative solutions that will work.”
Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Tom Sullivan was asked, given his struggles with big tax debt in his business, why voters should choose him to replace Sen. Mike Crapo, who holds a key finance committee position. “Because I have been the one who has been able to pay down my debt,” Sullivan said, saying Crapo wasn’t able to reduce the national debt. “I was caught up in this 2008 downturn. I’m not complaining, I’m not crying, I rolled up my sleeves and I got to work and I’ve paid it off, nearly completely paid it off. … I worked, I paid it off, Mike Crapo has not.”
Crapo declined to comment on Sullivan’s personal tax issues. “With regard to the tax issues, I have not made it an issue in my campaign and I don’t have a comment on it now,” he said. Asked if he should be accepting bankers’ contributions, and whether he’d continue to do so as he decides major financial issues in the Senate, Crapo said, “Yes. My record … is very solid.” Businesses, he said, “support the kinds of policies I support, and that’s why I have received their support.”
In tonight’s U.S. Senate debate, Sen. Mike Crapo and Democratic challenger Tom Sullivan already have clashed repeatedly over taxes. “I don’t think the Republicans are in favor of tax cuts for anybody except the wealthiest people in this country,” Sullivan declared. “The real tax cuts are going to the people at the top of the income chain. … I think it’s time that we have a system of fair taxation - not, you know, Mike Crapo’s friends at Goldman Sachs.”
Crapo responded, “That’s the spin we always hear about tax relief - it’s always for the rich people.” He said the Bush tax cuts weren’t just for the wealthy. “Everybody’s income tax was reduced,” Crapo said. He said he supports continuing them; Sullivan said he opposes extending them for the wealthiest. “I just don’t think that old tired spin plays any more,” Crapo responded. “Americans know that this is not the time to be increasing taxes on anybody, particularly on small businesses.”
In their opening remarks, Tom Sullivan, who’s running against Sen. Mike Crapo, said, “I am terrified about the size of our national debt. … We need something different from what Mike Crapo has been delivering for the last 18 years in the United States Congress.” Crapo, in his opening remarks, said, “America is facing very difficult times - reckless spending, skyrocketing debt, looming tax increases and exploding government control.” He said he wants to press “Idaho’s principles in the fight that we will inevitably have for the future of this nation.”
It’s time now for the debate in the U.S. Senate race, between Sen. Mike Crapo and his Democratic challenger, Tom Sullivan of Tetonia. Here’s a bit about the two:
Mike Crapo, 59
BIO: Two terms in U.S. Senate, three in U.S. House; eight years in Idaho Senate; Harvard-educated lawyer; B.A., Brigham Young University; Idaho Falls resident; married, five children and two grandchildren.
Campaign promises: “I promise to work hard for Idahoans, fight to protect our Constitution, eliminate the national debt and our culture of deficit spending, reduce federal regulations that choke our economy, cut the size, expense and control of the federal government, and always to listen to Idahoans to find common sense solutions to our problems as I represent Idahoans in the U.S. Senate.”
Notable: In his Owyhee Initiative, Crapo helped bring together ranchers, conservationists and more in a collaborative wilderness proposal that passed and was signed into law. He’s also a prostate cancer survivor who’s crusaded for early detection.
P. Tom Sullivan, 42
BIO: Owns credit card processing business in eastern Idaho; partner in a weekly newspaper; first run for office; former owner of Tubbs Cafe in Coeur d’Alene; high school equivalency degree; married, two children.
Campaign promises: “I will work to see “Made in America” again; I will support small business, fair taxes and responsible spending to avoid ever repeating the enormous deficit racked up between 2000 and 2008 and I’ll vote in the interests of the people of Idaho, not for Wall Street interests; I will work to bring new technology, jobs, training and education to make Idaho a green energy leader in 21st century.”
Notable: Sullivan, who has both federal and state tax debt after a bank failure left his business struggling with the credit crunch, has been critical of Crapo’s record on financial issues, accusing him of promoting corporate interests over small businesses.
The Ferris High School debate team will host a debate Wednesday between incumbent Democratic state Sen. Chris Marr and his Republican opponent, Michael Baumgartner.
The two candidates, who are fighting one of the most expensive state Legislative battles this year in Washington, hope to represent the 6th Legislative District, which surrounds central Spokane on the north, west and south.
The debate starts at 7 p.m. in the Ferris High School auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the Ferris Jazz Orchestra will play until the political forum starts.
(If you’ve seen the two debate so far this election season, you’ll find the boxing poster imagery quite relevant.)
Here’s a look at the claims in GOP congressional hopeful Raul Labrador’s new campaign commercial, his first of the campaign, which just began running in the Boise broadcast TV market today, and also is coming out on cable elsewhere. It seeks to cast freshman Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick as a close ally of President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, though the “blue-dog” Democrat has bucked his party leadership on many of its key initiatives; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
CLAIM: “Democrat Walt Minnick isn’t telling the truth. He says he’s against amnesty but wouldn’t send illegals back. Can’t have it both ways, Walt.”
CONTEXT: Minnick has been sharply critical of Labrador’s work as an immigration attorney in two recent campaign commercials. However, Minnick doesn’t list an immigration position on his campaign website. A national group that backs reducing immigration, NumbersUSA, recently rated both Minnick and Labrador as “true reformers” on the issue; both said in the group’s survey that they oppose offering the estimated 11 million people living illegally in America long-term work permits and/or a path to citizenship.
Labrador’s campaign cites comments Minnick made at a Boise Young Professionals event in April of 2009, at which he said he’d want illegal residents who came forward to face a judge, be penalized, and go to “the back of the line for legal immigration. I wouldn’t send them home.” He called his approach “not politically expedient” but “practical.” Phil Hardy, Labrador’s campaign spokesman, said, “If they don’t have to leave, that’s amnesty in our opinion.” Minnick’s campaign disputed that, saying Minnick always has supported punishment for the crime of illegal immigration.
CLAIM: “Minnick voted with Obama/Pelosi over 70 percent.”
CONTEXT: The source cited in the ad, www.opencongress.org (the ad says .com, but that leads to the .org address), a project of the Participatory Politics Foundation, tracks all roll-call votes in Congress. It found that Minnick voted with his party - the Democrats - 74 percent of the time. But many of those were unanimous votes. The same site showed that Minnick voted with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just 57 percent of the time, but voted with GOP Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho 77 percent of the time (it also showed Simpson voted with his party, the Republicans, 91 percent of the time), and Minnick voted with House GOP Leader John Boehner 78 percent of the time (Boehner voted with his party, the Republicans, 97 percent of the time).
CLAIM: “Voted for $68 billion in more stimulus, and Minnick won’t commit to repealing Obamacare. Bottom line, Minnick’s hiding his liberal Obama/Pelosi record.”
CONTEXT: Minnick voted against both the economic stimulus bill, HR 1, and the health-care reform bill, HR 3590. He was one of just 11 House Democrats to oppose the House version of the stimulus bill in February of 2009, and one of just seven to oppose the final version. He was one of 34 House Democrats to vote against the health-care reform bill.
The ad cites two other bills to back its stimulus claim, HR 1586, a state-aid bill for schools and Medicaid that was signed into law Aug. 10, and HR 5297, a measure establishing a small-business lending fund. Minnick voted for HR 1586, and he successfully pushed an amendment to HR 5297 to make non-owner occupied commercial real estate loans eligible for the program. Minnick also is a cosponsor of a Republican bill to repeal a section of the health care bill, regarding a record-keeping requirement for small businesses, and has backed repealing other sections as well.
Hardy said, “The use of the word ‘stimulus’ now is a catch-all, even by the media, for continued efforts to prop up the economy by the president and the Pelosi agenda.” He called both the school/Medicaid funding bill and the small-business lending fund bill “all stimulus,” and said, “It’s all a culture of spending that Raul Labrador does not support at all.”
CLAIM: “I’m Raul Labrador, and I approved this message because I’m a conservative Republican who’ll stand up to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.”
CONTEXT: Labrador is a conservative Republican who bucked his own party’s governor in the state Legislature on a proposed gas tax increase. Minnick is a conservative “blue-dog” Democrat who has bucked his party’s leadership on many of its signature initiatives and favors banning earmarks.
Democratic candidate for governor Keith Allred said today that he’s against the proposed mega-loads of oil equipment proposed to travel along Idaho’s narrow and scenic U.S. Highway 12 in north-central Idaho, for which current Gov. Butch Otter has been an enthusiastic proponent. “In an Allred administration, these trucks wouldn’t get permits,” Allred said. “There simply are not good enough answers to the questions Idaho citizens have raised about these shipments.” You can read Allred’s full announcement here.
GOP congressional hopeful Raul Labrador has launched his first TV ad of the campaign, which just started running in the Boise market. In it, he sharply criticizes incumbent Congressman Walt Minnick on immigration, economic stimulus and health care reform, and declares, “Minnick’s hiding his liberal Obama/Pelosi record.” Minnick, who voted against both the economic stimulus bill and the health care reform bill, immediately denounced the new ad as “misleading” and “false.” You can watch it here; coming soon, a look at the claims and counter-claims.
Tonight will be a political junkie channel-changer’s bonanza: The U.S. Senate debate airs live on Idaho Public Television at 8 p.m. Mountain time, 7 p.m. Pacific, with Sen. Mike Crapo debating his Democratic challenger Tom Sullivan; at the same time, KTVB-TV will air a debate between the candidates for state superintendent of schools, Tom Luna and challenger Stan Olson, who first faced off on IPTV last week. There’s more to come; tomorrow night is KTVB’s debate in the race for governor, with Gov. Butch Otter facing off with challengers Keith Allred and Jana Kemp; and on Thursday night on Idaho Public TV, it’s the big debate in the 1st Congressional District, in which freshman Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick faces off with GOP challenger Raul Labrador and independent Dave Olson.
Former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt has issued the following statement on the 1st Congressional District race:
“Walt Minnick has made some courageous votes in Congress, usually reflecting the views of most Idahoans. Nevertheless, it is imperative that this nation reverse the headlong rush toward fiscal insolvency taking place under the Democratic leadership. We must replace Speaker Pelosi and her crew of Democrats. Therefore, I am endorsing Mr. Raul Labrador for Congress. I supported Mr. Labrador’s opponent in the primary election and had intended to refrain from public comment during the period leading to the general election. But Mr. Minnick’s dishonest attempt to warp Mr. Labrador’s views on illegal immigration have prompted me to break my silence. I’m backing Raul Labrador for congressman from Idaho’s 1st District.”
Click here for more on this from Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey.
KHQ is reporting that Republican state Senate candidate Michael Baumgarter deleted questions to him from Facebook users during a KHQ Facebook interview last week.
Mark Billings, executive assignment producer at KHQ, said the Baumgartner campaign admitted to deleting questions they felt were biased and likely written by supporters of his opponent, incumbent Democrat state Sen. Chris Marr.
This campaign season, KHQ’s Facebook page has hosted question and answer sessions with almost 10 candidates. Billings, who has organized the events, said candidates come to the KHQ newsroom and are signed on using KHQ’s Facebook account.
Billings said the session was monitored by a KHQ staff member, but that person was looking for cuss words and vulgarity. The moderator didn’t notice that some questions had been deleted.
Baumgartner, who was the 7th candidate to participate in the KHQ Facebook feature, was told that he had the right to “answer or not answer any question.” Billings said. He also was told that a moderator would be watching the posts and to check with the moderator if problems arose.
Billings said he did not specifically tell Baumgartner that he was not allowed to delete posts, but that ”I felt that was pretty clear.”
Here is a bit of what KHQ posted on Facebook earlier today about the incident:
The deadline to turn in the latest campaign finance reports, showing campaign activity from June 5 through September, was Oct. 10, but that was a Sunday. Then the next day, today, is Columbus Day, a state holiday. So the candidates have an extra two days to file, with their reports due tomorrow, the next business day. That doesn’t stop candidates from filing earlier, but most haven’t. According to the Idaho Secretary of State’s website, the statewide candidates who’ve already filed and had their reports posted include both candidates for Secretary of State; the Democratic challenger for state controller, Bruce Robinett; and the Democratic candidate for state Superintendent of Schools, Stan Olson, who is challenging GOP Supt. Tom Luna.
According to Olson’s report, he’s raised $103,772 for his campaign to date; spent $72,744; and had $31,027 on hand in his campaign warchest at the close of the period Sept. 30. Olson’s biggest contributions were $10,000 from the PAC for Education, $5,000 each from A.J. and Susie Balukoff, and $5,000 from Syringa Networks, but the vast majority of his donations were smaller contributions of $100 to $500 from individuals or couples who live in Idaho, a list that stretches on for 25 pages.
The Idaho Republican Party today launched a big round of robo-calls in the 1st Congressional District featuring a recorded message from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich asking voters to send Republican Raul Labrador to Congress to help build a GOP majority there. “I’d rather not say the exact number, but it was a pretty substantial amount of homes we called, all today,” said Jonathan Parker, Idaho GOP executive director. He said the idea of using Gingrich, who became speaker in 1995, was to hearken back to the 1994 Republican electoral sweep he helped lead. “I think there’s a lot of parallels between 2010 and 1994,” Parker said.
Parker spoke from the Idaho Republican Bus Tour, which kicked off this week and this afternoon was rolling out of Cascade with candidates aboard including Gov. Butch Otter, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Labrador, Tom Luna and Ben Ysursa. “It’s a great party unity event,” Parker said of the bus tour, which hits southern and eastern Idaho this week, and heads to North Idaho next week.
GOP congressional hopeful Raul Labrador has won the endorsement of the American Conservative Union PAC, whose director, Larry Hart, called Labrador “the clear conservative choice for Idaho’s First District,” and lauded his record in the Idaho Legislature. You can read Labrador’s full announcement here.
Meanwhile, incumbent 1st District Congressman Walt Minnick has won the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business, whose vice president, Lisa Goeas, said Minnick’s “commitment to Idaho’s Main Street businesses speaks for itself,” and lauded his votes in Congress against health care reform and cap-and-trade legislation. You can read Minnick’s full announcement here.
A young attorney who has big ideas on how to make court more efficient is taking on a one-term judge who said her life experiences have made her better at making tough decisions.
Defense attorney Timothy Note (left), 35, is challenging Spokane County District Court Judge Debra Hayes (right) in the Spokane area’s only contested judicial race on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.
Hayes, 54, cited her four years of experience on the job, life experiences and community service. “I think that looking at the two of us, it is a pretty clear choice,” Hayes said. “I’m committed to being a fair and impartial judge.”
But Note, an attorney since 2004, said he has more than 100 fellow lawyers endorsing his campaign to bring more structure and accountability to District Court.
“My platform is not endearing me to the judges who are working there,” Note said. “But at some point, the gravy train needs to end and we need to get back to the people’s work.”
The Idaho Republican Party’s new attack ad against Democratic candidate for governor Keith Allred charges that he’d tax everything from child care to church bake sales, a claim Allred dubs a “wild distortion.” Norm Semanko, Idaho Republican Party chairman, said the new TV commercial, which is running statewide including in the Spokane TV market, is based on Allred’s statement at a debate in Twin Falls that everything is on the table when it comes to reviewing existing tax exemptions.
“That means school lunches,” Semanko said. “That means sales of meals by churches to their members - all of these things are in Idaho Code as tax breaks. That seems to be a very dangerous road to head down during tough economic times.”
Allred, however, says his proposal is not to raise taxes, but to broaden the tax base by removing exemptions to allow overall tax rates to be lowered. “I have been absolutely consistent for the entire 10 months of this campaign that every dollar raised by closing tax exemptions goes to cutting tax rates on Idaho families,” Allred said Friday. “That is my iron-clad commitment. I have never talked about anything else.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: MIAMI (AP) — Three U.S. Senate candidates are responsible for nearly half the notices the Federal Election Commission has issued in the past year for taking contributions that appear to exceed federal limits. An Associated Press analysis found that GOP candidates Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho have received four notices each, while New York’s Democratic senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, got three. Thirteen other candidates have received one notice each. There are 75 major candidates still in Senate races nationwide. Individuals can donate up to $2,400 per candidate for the primary and another $2,400 for the general election. The FEC says it often contacts candidates about such problems. Most turn out to be accounting errors; click below for the AP’s full report.
GOP congressional hopeful Raul Labrador has announced that he’s had his best campaign fundraising quarter, and raised more than $250,000 in monetary and in-kind contributions combined during the quarter that ended Sept. 30. The report on that quarter isn’t due out for another week; that’s when full details will emerge. As of the last quarterly report, which went through June 30 and came out July 15, incumbent Congressman Walt Minnick had a million-dollar edge over Labrador in cash on hand. He’d raised $1.8 million, while Labrador had raised $285,673 including $100,000 of his own money; Minnick had $1.14 million on hand, while Labrador had $68,789.
In a news release today, Labrador said he’ll release full figures at the deadline, but said his campaign has now received more than $525,000 in total contributions. “I want to thank everyone who made these generous donations to my campaign; this is yet more proof that my candidacy has all the momentum in this race,” Labrador said.
Meanwhile, Minnick’s campaign announced that he raised more than $525,000 in the past quarter, not including any in-kind donations, and more than $2.4 million total for the election cycle.
A national group that supports curbs on immigration has weighed in on Idaho’s 1st CD race, the AP reports, and declared both Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick and his Republican challenger Raul Labrador “true reformers.” Click below to read the full report from AP reporter Jessie Bonner.