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Adler: The alarming state of the presidency

Any assessment of the state of the American presidency - its powers, limitations and responsibilities - has the duty to acknowledge that it remains the symbol of the nation's hopes and aspirations, and the inevitable target of criticism and blame when things go wrong. The Presidency, it may be said, is All Broadway, all the time.

Yet the singular focus on the chief executive - to the exclusion of Congress - as a source of solutions to everything that ails the nation, has generated a cult of the Presidency, clothing the Office of the President with a popular mystique that has led ineluctably to the Imperial Presidency. When the citizenry looks to the President as the nation's problem solver, you can bet that the President will assume powers - constitutional or not - sufficient to meet Americans' expectations. David Adler special to the Cda Press Read more.

David Adler, constitutional expert and head of the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University will speak on this topic tonight at 7 at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library. Admission is free. I've heard the crowd is expected to be standing room only. Do you plan to attend?

Adler on Labrador: ‘Not a promising path to legislative success’

1s tDistrict Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador was scheduled to meet with House Speaker John Boehner today, but Idaho Statesman reporter Dan Popkey reports that both are mum about what was said – or if the meeting even happened as planned. Meanwhile, Boise State University political scientist David Adler, director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy, says in a new essay that the feud between Labrador and 2ndDistrict Congressman Mike Simpson over Labrador’s support of an ill-fated attempt to overthrow the speaker shines light on the style and effectiveness of both lawmakers: Simpson’s style is similar to that of the effective deal-making of McClure and Andrus, Adler says, while Labrador’s approach is “more ideological and reflective of an insurgency mentality,” and therefore, “one that is likely to win attention, particularly media attention (which he has received), and designed to win primaries and elections in a safe district, but is not a promising path to legislative success.” You can read Popkey’s full post here, including Adler’s full essay.

Idaho Senator Still Pushing Romney

A state senator from north-central Idaho is touting a scheme that’s been circulating on tea party blogs, calling for states that supported Mitt Romney to refuse to participate in the Electoral College in a move backers believe would change the election result. Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, sent an article out on Twitter headed, “A ‘last chance’ to have Mitt Romney as President in January (it’s still not too late).” Constitutional scholar David Adler, director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University, said the plan is not “totally constitutional,” as touted in the article, but is instead “a radical, revolutionary proposal that has no basis in federal law or the architecture of the Constitution.” Adler dubbed it “really a strange and bizarre fantasy.” Nuxoll said, “Well, I guess that’s one lawyer”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.

Question: What do you think of Sen. Nuxoll's radical idea?

Scholar: History belies suggestion founding fathers would have been appalled by ruling

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador reacted to Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court decision on health care reform by saying the nation's founding fathers would be “appalled.” He wasn't the only one invoking the founding fathers in the wake of the controversial decision. But David Adler, constitutional scholar and director of the Andrus Center at Boise State University, said a look at history suggests a different conclusion.

“In the 1790s, the Congress on two different occasions passed statutes that imposed health insurance mandates,” Adler said. Congress at the time was “filled with people who wrote the Constitution.” You can read my full Sunday column here at spokesman.com.

Kustra: Adler’s move to BSU fits university’s public affairs mission

David Adler, a longtime political science professor and constitutional scholar at Idaho State University who for the past two years has served as director of the University of Idaho's James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research, has been named the new director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University – completing an arc across of all three of the state's universities.

“With our designation by the State Board of Education as Idaho’s public affairs university, Dr. Adler’s appointment allows us to realize the full extent of our public affairs mission,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra. “It not only recognizes the contributions Cecil Andrus has made to his state and nation, but it also allows us to carry out our public affairs mandate with the leadership of such a distinguished teacher, author, lecturer and administrator as Dr. Adler.”

The Andrus Center, founded by former four-term Idaho governor and U.S. Interior secretary Cecil Andrus, has focused since 1995 on providing a forum for non-partisan policy discussions on major issues in Idaho and the West. With Adler's appointment, the center will expand its programming to include the Constitution, civic engagement and education, political civility and the American presidency.

The UI has temporarily named Marty Peterson, the just-retired special assistant to the president and the university's former chief lobbyist, as interim head of the McClure Center; you can read my full Sunday column here at spokesman.com, which also includes a look at how North Idaho GOP legislative candidates answered the state party's platform survey.
  

Idaho ranks fair to middling on civic engagement, voting…

A national survey of “civic engagement” finds that Washington scores well, while Idaho's fair to middling, on such measures as voting, volunteering, participating in a group and working with neighbors to solve community problems.

Washington's scores in the new survey by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship are “admirable,” said David Adler, a University of Idaho constitutional law professor and head of the UI's McClure Center for Public Policy. “I think that many in Washington have fully seized the potential of participation in the civic life of their state. And so that represents a standard toward which Idahoans can aim.”

Washington ranked fourth in the nation for the number of residents who participate in a group, such as a religious institution or a neighborhood association; sixth for voting; 11th for volunteering; and ninth for working with neighbors to fix a community problem. Idaho ranked 17th for participating in a group; 25th for voting participation; 10th for volunteering; and fifth for working with neighbors to fix a community problem - the state's highest ranking. However, the numbers were very low in that measurement: Idaho's high-scoring level was just 13.6 percent participation on average each year over the last three years. Washington's was 12.8 percent, and the national average was just 8.4 percent. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
  

Adler to head UI public policy center

Former Idaho State University political scientist David Adler has been named director of the University of Idaho’s James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research, where the UI says he will “take the University of Idaho to center stage” on public policy issues and civic education.

“He brings a blend of scholarship, national prominence and dynamism to the role,” said Katherine Aiken, dean of College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences. “We are confident of the deep engagement the center will enjoy promoting civic education and public dialogue on critical issues that face Idaho, the region and the nation.”

Adler has been an ISU political science professor since 1985, and is the author of more than 100 scholarly articles that have appeared in political science journals, law reviews, books and encyclopedias. The McClure Center provides non-partisan public policy research for Idaho and the region, along with work to improve civic education, increase public dialogue, promote collaborations and more. Adler’s work at the center will include sponsorship of research, publications, conferences, forums and lectures; he’ll also seek external funding for the center’s activities. Adler said the McClure Center will generate research to “tackle the great public policy challenges of our time.” He started in his new post yesterday; click below to read the UI’s full announcement.