Latest from The Spokesman-Review
With all the rhetoric touting the imagined benefits of the looming Common Core Standards, perhaps it is time to apply a little critical thinking and examine some of the claims made about Common Core. 'Idaho Core Standards are better than Common Core Standards.' No, Idaho Core Standards are Common Core Standards with the word "Common" scratched out and "Idaho" written in its place. This makes them easier to market to Idahoans but functionally, there is no difference. In fact there is a legal requirement that the state standards cannot vary more than 15 percent from the national standards. 'Common Core Standards were developed by the state governors using a 'grass roots,' bottom-up effort.' No. Imagine Butch and Bobby, Gary and 47 other governors sitting down with their crayons and crafting the new standards. Ridiculous. Furthermore, if it was a communal effort by government employees (politicians and teachers) then the standards produced would be the property of the taxpayers who paid for the effort and the standards as written would be in the public domain. But they aren't. The copyright for the standards is owned by a private company; the company that wrote them/Brent Regan, Coeur d'Alene Press op-ed column. More here.
On Friday, Jeff Selle of the Coeur d'Alene Press reported that three families have contributed a considerable amount of money to Mary Souza's mayoral campaign: $6000 of her $29,223 from six members of the Damiano family; and $4000 from former Coeur d'Alene school trustee Brent Regan and three other members of his family. Additionally, state Sen. Kathy Sims ($500) and her daughter, Rita ($1000), contributed $1500 combined. Souza campaign finance report here. Regan and the Sims family also made large contributions to the three Reagan Republican candidates aligned with Souza:
- Noel Adam: $500 of his $2635 from Regan; $700 combined from Kathy and Rita Sims. Adam also loaned himself $1000. Campaign finance report here.
- Sharon Hebert: $500 of her $2800 from Regan; $700 combined from Kathy and Rita Sims. Adam also loaned himself $1000. Hebert loaned herself $1300. Campaign disclosure statement here.
- Chris Fillios: loaned himself $2554; received $100 apiece from Dan Gookin and John Corcoran. Campaign disclosure statement here.
Question: I'm surprised that mayoral candidate Mary Souza's campaign coffers runneth over, while the other Reagan Republican candidates on her informal ticket are digging in their own pockets for loads to fund their campaigns.
In a Coeur d'Alene Press online exchange with HREI director Tom Carter, former Coeur d'Alene school trustee Brent Regan continued to claim that his version of an encounter with human-rights activist Tony Stewart was accurate:
- Tom Carter: "THE TRUE FACTS OF WHAT WAS SAID FROM A WITNESS ((BRENT)) If you recall as it seems you do not. I was standing behind Tony during your conversation. The TRUE recollection of the story was as follows: Brent walks up to Tony and states, 'Tony you have No Integrity!' Tony Responds, 'Mr. Regan we did not ask you to resign from the board. When you did apologized and we accepted your apology.' At that point Tony and I walked away."
- Brent Regan: "That is not what transpired. If face it does not even make sense. You must have me confused with another person dissatisfied with Mr. Steward's lack of professionalism."
(Tom Carter, director of the Human Rights Education Institute) said if Regan is willing, he would be happy to take a lie detector test with him. "Because I know who would win," he said.
Former Coeur d'Alene School Board Trustee Brent Regan took aim at human rights advocate Tony Stewart on Wednesday, calling him out for publicly opposing two mayoral candidates who do not support the city's anti-discrimination ordinance. In what he described as "An open letter to Mr. Steward (sic)" Regan posted the following comment under the online version of Stewart's My Turn column. "Tony, During our conversation at the CDA Library I chastised you for falsely and publicly characterizing a person's position without doing the due diligence of first talking to that person. You apologized and assured me it would never happen again and yet here you are doing EXACTLY the same crime," Regan wrote. "If you are to lead the Task Force on Human Relations then perhaps you should invest in the 'relations' part and actually talk to people before you start squawking like Chicken Little." The problem is, both Stewart and Tom Carter, director of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, said on Wednesday that conversation never happened/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
“During our conversation at the CDA Library I chastised you for falsely and publicly characterizing a person's position without doing the due diligence of first talking to that person. You apologized and assured me it would never happen again and yet here you are doing EXACTLY the same crime" — Brent Regan comment today, on Coeur d'Alene Press online site.
"I just spoke to Tony. He shared his discussion with Brent Regan at the library. This is what Tony told me "Brent approached me and said I have no integrity. My exact response to him was Mr. Regan we did not ask you to resign from the Board. When you did apologize we accepted your apology. That is all I said to him and walked away. There was no other discussion as he indicated" — Christie Wood, president, Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations.
Tony Stewart has contacted both Huckleberries and Coeur d'Alene Press Editor Mike Patrick to challenge an online statemnt made today in the Press by former Coeur d'Alene school trustee Brent Regan. In an email to Huckleberries, Stewart said: "I was to say the least shocked that Mr. Brent Regan indicated that I apologized to him and it would never happen again. My very words were as told to Christie Wood listed below. I had no reason to apologize. Tom Carter, the Executive Director, of the Human Rights Education Institute was present with me. He can verify the conversation. It is so important to set the record straight and I thank both of you."
"During our conversation at the CDA Library I chastised you for falsely and publicly characterizing a person's position without doing the due diligence of first talking to that person. You apologized and assured me it would never happen again and yet here you are doing EXACTLY the same crime. If you are to lead the Task Force on Human Relations then perhaps you should invest in the 'relations' part and actually talk to people before you start squawking like Chicken Little. Your apparent inability to be fair minded makes you unfit to serve as a leader of the Task Force and the Board would be wise to consider your 'retirement' before you do further to damage the credibility of that organization."
Adam Graves (re: Regan targets foes on way out): I loath responding to this apparent sour-grape attack but, I should enlighten the public on this drivel before someone actually buys into it. I am not speaking for the School or the Magnet Committee here but personally…The auction this year brought in a total of $95,455.97. The total spent for marketing the event was $5,666.95 not the lessor amount Brent said. So, roughly around 6% of the gross sales of the event went to market the event. This is well under the typical % of gross sales allocated for marketing a niche-target event. Every marketing item has an estimate submitted and purchased order created after it is decided on and approved by the auction/magnet funds committee. My time as Chair and the hours and hours of time spent strategizing, planning, meeting, organizing, procuring, etc. is all donated as a volunteer. More here.
(Former Trustee Brent Regan) said that while considering ways the district could save money, he noticed that the district had paid about $4,700 to Range Northwest, a downtown design firm, for graphic design work and printing work for Sorensen Magnet School's spring fundraiser auction. He noted that Range Northwest's owners are Eden Irgens and Adam Graves. Irgens sits on the board of Balance North Idaho, a political action committee, he said. Balance North Idaho endorsed Regan's opponent, Hazel. Graves chaired the Sorensen fundraiser, Regan said. "I'm not giving any allegation of wrongdoing here, but what I am saying is that things like this can put the board in a difficult position, because the optics on it are very bad," he said. He said that the $4,700 would have been better spent on something for the district rather than for printing services. Lisa May, a Sorensen mother and parent who has worked on the school's auction, said the funds spent on the event were not school district dollars. They were raised by the parents at the school, she said/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
The appointed trustees who lost their election bids to hold on to their positions on the Coeur d'Alene school board aren't leaving quietly. When the trustees met Monday to vote on the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, Brent Regan said he could not "in good conscience" give his blessing to the budget. Regan, whose term ends June 30, blasted the Coeur d'Alene Education Association during the meeting, stating that the teachers union members engaged in bad faith negotiations last spring before the election. "They came to the table wanting to, I guess, demonize us," Regan said. Because of the teachers union's lack of good faith, the current board members are faced with the prospect of approving a budget that "hurts kids," because it includes cuts, Regan said/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Would teachers say that the Coeur d'Alene School Board negotiated in good faith?
On her Facebook page, Coeur d'Alene Trustee-elect Christa Hazel posts: "I received a gracious phone call last night from Trustee Regan congratulating us on our win. His call to me was classy and I appreciated it. Regardless of political views or personal opinions, Trustee Regan has served our community by giving his time and energy without pay or benefit. I recognize his efforts and I thank him for his service. I hope you will consider doing the same. Our district needs to come together and move past negative divisiveness. We begin to do that by thanking those that have served on our school board while we waited for the election."
Question: Will the Coeur d'Alene School Board now be able to get past the negativity and divisiveness of the past two years?
On his campaign Facebook wall, Trustee Brent Regan (shown walking to a post @ 15th & Hazel Tuesday (in this Duane Rasmussen photo), posted the following, after his loss to Trustee-elect Christa Hazel last night:
First I would like to congratulate the victors in the School Board race, Tom Hearns, Dave Eubanks and Christa Hazel. You each ran a good campaign and won the day. Now, for you, the real work begins. Next I would wish to express my heart felt gratitude to the volunteers and donors who worked tirelessly on my behalf. … Finally I would like to thank the voters who endured the mailings, door knocks, and phone calls and, despite these annoyances, took time from their busy day to go to the polls and vote. The vitality of our Republic depends on active and engaged citizens and you have set a fine example for others to emulate.
DFO: A Coeur d'Alene School Board with Brent Regan and Christa Hazel serving on it would have been a strong one. Unfortunately, the two were matched against each other. For all his baggage, Regan was a decent man who offered outside-the-box ideas. I'm glad Christa won. But I'm sorry to lose Regan's input in school matters.
Brent Regan’s yard signs identify him as a Republican. His challenger, Christa Hazel, has “common sense conservative” on hers. Political persuasion is on full display in the race to sit on the Coeur d’Alene School Board, even though the ballots make no reference to party. It’s one in a series of election showdowns here forming a politically charged battleground for offices long seen as strictly nonpartisan. Ever a conservative stronghold, Kootenai County looks to be swinging even further to the right with a wave of party faithful targeting city councils, school boards, the Kootenai Hospital District board and even lowly highway districts. Firing the salvos is the Reagan Republicans, a group that formed in 2009 with a clear focus in mind: Make elected Democrats and moderates as rare as the giant Palouse earthworm/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo: Brent Regan’s election sign adorns the front yard of a home in Hayden)
Question: So which side did better in promoting its candidates during the School Board/hospital board campaigns — Reagan Republicans or Balance North Idaho?
On his Brent Regan Trustee Facebook wall, Trustee Regan says the Coeur d'Alene School Board is diverse and doesn't display a partisan balance. In part, he says:
The ONLY way you can claim the current Board is not diverse is if you put on partisan goggles that filter out everything but political affiliations. You must have a partisan perspective in order to claim there is a POTENTIAL for partisan behavior. But where is the evidence? Where is the proof that this Board has made ANY decision that advances one political party over the other? Where is this imagined party bias? You can read the rest of the post here.
Question: Why would/wouldn't you describe the Coeur d'Alene School Board as diverse? Can you point to any party bias in the board's dealing over the last 12 months?
Here's the one-liner from challenger Christa Hazel that received the biggest laugh/ovation of her debate with Zone 1 Trustee Brent Regan Tuesday evening — a reaction that drew a warning to the audience from Coeur Group moderator Peter Smith. (Video courtesy of Coeur d'Alene TV Channel 19)
On his Regan for Trustee Facebook page, Brent Regan tells of a political sign being pilfered within 48 hours after he put it out. But Regan sign pilferers shoud beware. In 2010, the trustee/inventor built a few, tiny, camouflaged cameras w/motion sensing for a candidate that he supported. As a result, Regan and his candidate were able to catch a thief, as a camera snapped a photo of the male in action, along with his car license plate. Regan comments: "I mailed the parents a copy of the picture showing junior in action and a brief note. Problem solved." Regan sez he has the cameras "on the charger now."
Question: Why do you suppose would someone steal a candidates' yard signs?
On his campaign Facebook wall, appointed Coeur d'Alene School Board Trustee Brent Regan reports re: a cyber task force meeting that occurred Wednesday. Seems Huckleberries and the Coeur d'Alene Press Online comment sections were mentioned in the same breath of cyber bullying. Regan posts: "Vice Chair (Terri) Seymour (pictured in Coeur d'Alene School District photo) agreed and suggested that Mr. Patrick and Mr. Olivera (sic) be approached on the subject. The question is how we can tell our children not to cyber bully others when the blogs are full of adults who cyber bully?" Regan commented that Seymour had an "excellent point." Huckleberries heard from another source that Seymour referred to the comment sections for Huckleberries Online and Coeur d'Alene Press as "nasty" — and suggested that the papers be approached to seek to substantively change the current interaction that happens.
Question: Is it possible that the Coeur d'Alene School Board trustees are mistaking online criticism for bullying?
On his Facebook page, Coeur d'Alene School Trustee Brent Regan posts: "I’ll be giving a seminar on Saul Alinsky to the kids at the Reach America School this afternoon." Alinksy, of course, was the radical community organizer who wrote, "Rules for Radicals." Regan presented a talk on just that subject — "Rules for Radicals" and "The Art of War" — in a Friends for Liberty discussion in March 2010 at a Liberty Lake Church. Other speakers included Phil Hart and Tina Jacobson ("Campaign Particulars: How to run a successful campaign") and Pastor Gary Brown ("The role of clergy in the restoration of freedom"). Flyer here. Regan's interest in Alinsky may reveal why Regan is hard to pin down politically. Alinsky wrote: "
I've never joined any organization—not even the ones I've organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it's Christianity or Marxism. One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as 'that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you're right.' If you don't have that, if you think you've got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide."
Question: Have you ever read anything by Saul Alinsky?
I'm trying my darndest to figure out what political party Trustee Brent Regan belongs to. The Regan Republicans and United Conservatives of North Idaho are fond of him. Which means he's on the right edge of the local Republican scale. If he's a Republican. Libertarian Wayne Hoffman has added him to his Idaho Freedom Foundation board of directors. He's spoken at local Tea Party functions. Now, he's involved, with Tea Party Patriots of North Idaho and the Sandpoint Tea Party in bringing "Virtual President" Bill Whittle to Coeur d'Alene (at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Coeur d'Alene Inn). In an email promoting the event circulated by Regan and Pam Stout of the Sandpoint Tea Party, Regan writes: "We wanted to give the area conservative leaders the first opportunity to reserve tables." No where in the email is the word "Republican" mentioned. So is Tea Party and Republican Party synonymous in Kootenai County and North Idaho? You can see flyer for Whittle event here.
On his Facebook page, Coeur d'Alene School Board Chairman Tom Hamilton chastizes Sorensen Magnet School fund-raising Chairman Adam Graves for criticizing trustees in an Coeur d'Alene Press op-ed piece:
Mr. Graves, had you wished the Board to be in attendance, the most certain way to accomplish that would have been to formally invite the Board as you did with several District Administrators. Knowing that formal invitations (likely printed by your firm) were mailed to several District Administrators, the Board is left to assume that your failure to extend the same invitation to the Trustees could only be an act of omission, deliberate or otherwise. Could it be that an opportunity to slander the Board was your intent all along? If so, shame on you for creating a blight out of what should be viewed as a great success for Sorensen. If the lack of a formal invitation to the Board was indeed merely an oversight, then shame on you for publically chastising the Board for what was in fact, your failure as Chairman for the fundraiser. More here.
Question: Izzit just me, or would Chairman Hamilton and appointed Trustee Brent Regan have been better served simply by saying: "Oops. Sorry for missing the fund-raiser. Congratulations on your success"?
Bubba32 (w/26 likes so far, re: Graves' op-ed miffs Trustee Regan): Regan, accusing the volunteer who chaired a school fundraiser that raised $85,000.00 of "incompetence" is not a credible way of making your point. Also, you aren't holding yourself accountable. You want others to spoon-feed you information about the district. You are responsible for not knowing about an important event, and should educate yourself. Slandering the chair of a highly successful auction (85k), for being incompetent is a fairly pathetic attempt to divert from your own. You should have said: I was unware of the event, and apologize for not attending. I thank the parents, teachers, volunteers, and local businesses who made the event such a success. I appreciate the efforts of all involved, and will make sure I attend next year's auction to show my support for this important event. This day's political lesson is brought to you by the word: humility.
Question: We all could use a little humility, right?
An op-ed column by Adam Graves in the Coeur d'Alene Press has gotten under the skin of appointed Coeur d'Alene School Board Trustee Brent Regan. In it, Graves wonders why none of the School Board members attended the annual Sorensen Magnet School auction that raised $85,000:
Adam Graves: What was disheartening to myself and to other parents, teachers and attendees that I spoke to at the auction is that not a single current school board member came to show their support and see what a special thing they have in their district. Not one. They seemed to have no problem clearing their schedules to attend the Republican Fundraiser Lincoln Dinner only weeks earlier. This seems to paint a picture of where their priorities lie, and it is apparently not with the children or the success of our schools. Coeur d'Alene Press op-ed & comments section here.
Brent Regan response in comments section: I investigated the circumstances that Mr. Graves complains about. As it turns out, some members of the administration did receive invitations to the Sorensen event by mail. However, Board members did not receive invitations. As chairman of the event, it was Mr. Graves' responsibility to invite public officials. At best, his indignation is the direct result of his own incompetence. Also: Regan has a lengthier response on his Facebook page.
Question: Perhaps the School Board members should spend as much time at important school functions as they do mugging for the various Republican luncheons and dinners in town?
Huckleberries is still amused by appointed Trustee Brent Regan's reference to some challengers for area School Board elections as "recently minted conservatives." On his Facebook page, he listed himself among the "solid conservatives" along with Ann Seddon, Glorie Ward, Carol Goodman, Bjorn Handeen. Possibly Regan wasn't living in the Coeur d'Alene area when his opponent, Christa Hazel, was working for the Queen Mother of All Conservatives, the late Helen Chenoweth-Hage. Or when Christa was working on the campaigns for Phil Batt and Butch Otter — or serving as constituent coordinator in the Coeur d'Alene office for then Gov. Dirk Kempthorne. Regan is using the routine trick of local Hard Right in denouncing reasonable Republicans as "libruls." Meanwhile, he, the Reagan Republicans and others even further to the right readily embrace trustee candidate Bjorn Handeen, who was a Minnesota Constitutionalist only a few years ago. Huckleberries doesn't mind Constitutionalists, Libertarians, Birchers or Ron Paulers running as Republicans. That's certainly their right in Kootenai County. But these candidates should at least have the integrity to tell voters what they really are.
Question: Are you as tired as I am of the Hard Right questioning the Republican and conservative credentials of anyone who isn't in his/her camp?
If I'm reading the tea leaves correctly, the Kootenai County Republican Women are already on board in support of appointed Coeur d'Alene School Board Trustees Ann Seddon and Brent Regan — and candidate Bjorn Handeen. On the Republican Women Web site, Duncan Koler of Citizens for Better Education (CBE), which was instrumental in the elections of Trustees Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour, is calling for help in supporting these candidates. Koler wants ground troops to begin walking precincts as early as April 6. Quoth Koler: "We need to be super-organized because the liberal opposition is fully mobilized. Both sides view this as a critical election." You can read the rest of the post here.
Question: Are you happy with the work of the current Coeur d'Alene School Board?
Coeur d'Alene School Trustee Brent Regan (pictured) has issued the following statement to a school district patron who criticized his anti-Obama joke at a legislative forum Saturday. The patron's criticism, Regan's response, and an editorial on racism by Regan are now online at the Coeur d'Alene Press site:
Brent Regan (to school constituent): "Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I assure you I am not a racist, as people who know me will confirm. I am sure that if we got to know each other that you would also come to that conclusion. I believe that people should be judged by their actions and then their words but absolutely never by their race. This is the opposite of racism. I also believe a person is responsible for what they say, but not what others chose to infer from those words. Your suspicions of my narrow mindedness are unfounded as I rigorously encourage the consideration of all viewpoints in an attempt to craft a solution that is the best fit for a given situation. Prior to making my comments at the meeting I made a clear statement that I was participating as an individual, not as a Trustee, specifically to insulate others from my comments. It is unfortunate that was not also quoted as I would not presume to speak for others unless specifically directed to do so. More here.
Last fall, Brent Regan (middle) is interviewed by a Coeur d'Alene Press reporter during a demonstration by United Conservatives of North Idaho, near the Kootenai County Courthouse, against the proposed Unified Land Use Code.
A forum involving 8 Kootenai County legislators Saturday in Post Falls prompted an exchange between freshman Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene, and Coeur d'Alene School District Trustee Brent Regan that's caused a buzz on the local blogosphere re: gun rights:
Regan, responding to Malek, said he hasn't heard a concise definition of an "assault" weapon or rifle. He said the legislature could help define what an assault weapon is to preserve rights of gun owners. Then, Regan added, to some shocked and uncomfortable laughter and rumblings in the audience, "My wife and I were having this conversation and I said, 'They can't figure out what an assault weapon is — it's just black and it looks scary.' And she looks at me and says, 'Well, so is Obama.'"
Question: On the Coeur d'Alene Press Web site (see link above), commenters are arguing re: the appropriateness of Regan's comment about President Obama. What do you think?
Brent Regan (middle), one of three applicants for a Coeur d'Alene School Board vacancy, is interviewed by a Coeur d'Alene Press reporter during a demonstration by United Conservatives of North Idaho near the Kootenai County Courthouse earlier this fall.
The next trustee to round out the Coeur d'Alene School District's five-member school board will likely be one of three applicants who submitted their paperwork by Wednesday's 5 p.m. deadline. Trustees will consider Christa Hazel, Casey Morrisroe and Brent Regan for appointment to the board's vacant Zone 1 seat. Jim Purtee held the position by appointment from April until Nov. 15, when he resigned, citing health reasons. The board will meet Monday at 5 p.m. at the Midtown Center to interview the applicants and potentially select one for appointment. Hazel and Morrisroe each previously sought appointment to the Zone 1 seat and were in a pool of six applicants from which Purtee was selected last spring. Hazel also applied for appointment in May 2011 following Edie Brooks McLachlan's resignation/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Will Coeur d'Alene school trustees base their next appointment on ideology or qualifications?
Brent Regan, who is seen leaving to applause at the first local Tea Party event (April 15, 2009) at Independence Point, will be one of those in attendance at a Unified Land Use Code Project workshop scheduled at 5:45 p.m. today in the community room of the new Coeur d'Alene Library community room. Kendig Keast Collaborative (KKC) will be giving a presentation of Chapter 3, Density, Bulk and Scale, Chapter 4, Accessory Structures and Signs, Chapter 6, Site and Subdivision Design. More here. Mary Souza circulated an email urging followers to attend the workshop: "(Brent Regan's a good friend and a very smart man, so please join me and let's learn more about this important topic that touches all of our lives." Recently, Regan wrote on op-ed piece for the Coeur d'Alene Press Online warning county residents that their property rights were under attack and that they need to be wary of changes to the comprehensive plan. You can read Regan's op-ed here. (Phantom Photographer photo)
Question: Which side worries you more when it comes to county planning — commissioners or Hard Right critics?