Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Legislators and other elected officials are currently exempt from having their wages garnished for state court judgments, according to Rep. Ed Morse, R-Hayden, who introduced legislation this morning to remove the exemption. Morse said his bill would treat elected officials like anyone else. Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, spoke out against the bill and opposed introducing it. “During the Legislature, we are doing the people’s business,” he said, and shouldn’t “be distracted by such things as this.” He asked his fellow lawmakers to “reflect for a moment on how intense this three months is” and the “emotional drain,” and said, “This exception makes a lot of sense to me”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Is Vito ever correct?
It turns out the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee doesn't have the authority to censure four North Idaho legislators for voting against their wishes. “Sorry I don't have room for discussion on this,” said Chairman Neil Oliver. “I find the motion is out of order.” The central committee spent about an hour Tuesday night wrangling over whether or not to censure four North Idaho legislators for creating a state health-care exchange, only to be stopped dead in its tracks when Committeeman Luke Sommer, an expert in parliamentary procedure, pointed out that the committee could not censure anyone outside the committee itself. “If we can censure someone outside this body we could censure the president of the United States,” he said, adding there is nothing in the committee's bylaws or Robert's Rules of Order that would allow the move. Committeewoman Tina Jacobson (pictured) passionately put forward the resolution to censure Rep. Frank Henderson, Rep. Luke Malek, Sen. John Goedde and Rep. Ed Morse/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Are you surprised by the outcome?
Rep. Ed Morse (pictured), R-Hayden, gave Huckleberries the following letter, which he has asked to be read to the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee prior to a vote on the motion to censure three other legislators and him for supporting a state health exchange. Morse told Huckleberries that the Central Committee chairman and secretary advised him that they wouldn't read the letter tonight. Here's the letter:
Prior to the scheduled censure vote Tuesday, please read this letter into your minutes and provide a copy of this letter to each Central Committee member. The resolution passed Jan. 2, 2013 by the Central Committee asked for legislators to defy the Obamacare law upheld by the Supreme Court in NFIB v. Sebelius. I took an oath as a legislator to uphold the law, even ones I disagree with. The resolution passed by the Central committee preceded the final state bill, so it could not consider the actual House bill provisions. We agree on our opposition to Obamacare, but we disagree on how best to achieve that. More here.
Question: I can't figure why local Republicans would refuse to read a letter presented by a Republican legislator who's facing a censure resolution. Can you?
Several Republican state legislators representing Kootenai County districts could receive a public reprimand next week from members of their own political party. When the county's Republican central committee meets on Tuesday, its elected precinct committeemen will consider a resolution that would formally censure Rep. Frank Henderson, Rep. Luke Malek (pictured), Rep. Ed Morse and Sen. John Goedde, because they voted, during the last legislative session, in favor of the creation of a state insurance exchange. “I'm confused as to why they would censure those of us who advocated for and voted for state control,” Malek, of Coeur d'Alene, said Friday to The Press. “If you didn't, you were advocating for a federal exchange, which would be far more harmful to Idaho.” … The Idaho House of Representatives passed the bill to create the exchange in March, by a vote of 41 to 29/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo)
Question: Izzit just me or does this censure attempt, coming months after the end of the 2013 Legislature, seem silly to you, too? What is the end game of those behind this attempt?
The Idaho Statesman has listed seven legislative races to watch in Idaho, including the District 2 matchup between Republican Ed Morse and Democrat Dan English. The Statesman says this about that race:
“This is the seat that was held by Republican Phil Hart. Hart’s years of not paying income taxes have caught up with him, he now faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and penalties, both state and federal, and has been in and out of court all year. Hart lost his seat in the primary to Republican Ed Morse. Morse now faces Democrat Dan English, who is well known in North Idaho. English originally got into the race thinking he would face Hart. It's a Republican District, so English faces an uphill battle.” You can read what the Statesman says about the other 6 races to watch here.
Question: How much of a chance do you give Democrat English of winning a race in a solid Republican district?
(Phil) Hart's primary opponents include Ron Vieselmeyer, 71, an outspoken Christian conservative, ordained minister, former state lawmaker and current North Idaho College trustee; longtime Hayden real estate appraiser Ed Morse; and local firefighter Fritz Wiedenhoff. The winner of the four-way race will face Democrat Dan English in November. Vieselmeyer said issues aren’t as much at stake in this year’s race as people. “It’s either somebody else wins and represents them, or they continue to have Phil Hart representing them,” he said. “And that’s been an uncomfortable situation for a lot of people”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.
DFO: I've been trying to figure out how former legislator Ron Vieselmeyer will affect this race. He attracts the same conservative crowd as Hart. Meanwhile, Reagan Republicans have endorsed Ed Morse. I view this as a three-man race with Fritz Wiedenhoff finishing a distant fourth.
Question: Will Ron Vieselmeyer pull votes away from Hart or Morse?
At the Tea Party speed-date event at the Greyhound Park Wednesday night, state Rep. Phil Hart emphasizes a point while opponents for his House Seat 2B seat listen. They are (from left): Fritz Wiedenhoff, Ed Morse, Hart, and Ron Vieselmeyer.
A Berry Picker reports: There seemed to be a pretty good crowd at the Greyhound Events Center when we got there at 5:20 or so. Walked in & was immediately greeted by Luke Malek who was holding the door open for folks entering the venue. There were lots of other people offering flyers and talking point cards of their candidates in the entryway. The Recall booth was located just passed the bar (!) and next to the booth where people could register to vote. We were approached to sign the Recall petition several times and we declined, politely. More below.
Via Facebook, former state senator Mike Jorgenson announces today: “
- Monday Poll: Hucks Nation believes the five-way race for the House District 2B GOP primary favors controversial incumbent Phil Hart. 43 of 113 respondents (38.05%) say Rep. Phil Hart will win the primary despite considerable baggage. 37 of 113 respondents (32.74%) says challenger Ed Morse will win. 14 of 113 (12.39%) say former legislator Ron Vieselmeyer will win, while 11 (9.73%) say Hayden Councilwoman Jeri DeLange will win and 8 (7.08%) favor Wiedenhoff.
- Today's Question: Do you think Richard Mack actually will speak at the Kootenai County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner?
Kootenai County Republicans continue to be the Political Gang That Can't Shoot Straight. They're about to botch a golden opportunity to send Artful Tax Dodger Phil Hart of Athol packing during the GOPrimary election in May by flooding the field with challengers. Yeah, yeah, I know that local party poohbahs can't tell candidates not to run. And, given the ideological makeup of the badly split local party, I wouldn't want them to do so. But someone should take the contendahs for Hart's throne aside — and let them know that the crowded field benefits the controversial incumbent. Give the nature of his starry-eyed, passionate disciples, Hart would be hard to beat in a one-on-one race. The candidacies of Ed Morse, Councilwoman Jeri DeLange, and possibly Fritz Wiedenhoff make this a three-on-one race, splitting the remaining vote. I've often wondered why challengers for elected positions don't realize that the goal for the overall good is to beat a controversial incumbent like Hart, not personal ambition. I predict Hart will win a four-way race, despite his mountain of baggage. Help us, Obi Wan Dan English, you're our only hope — DFO.
Question: Why don't challengers realize that a crowded field tends to benefit the incumbent?
Breaking! Fritz E. Wiedenhoff of Rathdrum told the Pachyderm Club this AM that he's filing for Phil Hart's House District 2B seat instead of Steve Vick's Senate seat b/c Mike Jorgenson wants to run against Vick.
The race for state Rep. Phil Hart's House District 2B seat just got curiouser as Hayden City Councilwoman Jeri DeLange (pictured) has filed. That means three people now running for the spot: Hart, DeLange and Ed Morse — as well as Democrat Dan English. Nothing else has changed in the race for spots now held by Hart, Vito Barbieri and Steve Vick (although, Huckleberries hears that former state senator Mike Jorgenson should file to challenge Vick for his old seat).
Question: Will Jeri's filing split the vote with Ed Morse, improving Hart's chances to survive the GOPrimary?
Two longtime Hayden-area businessmen have announced their candidacies against Idaho Reps. Phil Hart and Vito Barbieri in the GOP primary. Ed Morse, who is challenging Hart, is a real estate appraiser and consultant and board member of the Reagan Republicans group; Mark Fisher (pictured), challenging Barbieri, runs an employee benefits insurance and consulting firm and is a past president of the local Rotary Club. The two, who held a joint announcement last month at a Hayden deli, say they offer practical solutions to the North Idaho district's problems, from jobs to regulations, rather than ideological crusades with little impact/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Can businessmen Ed Morse and Mark Fisher beat the hardline House District 3 team of Phil Hart & Vito Barbieri in the GOP primaries?
Two longtime Hayden-area businessmen have announced their candidacies against Idaho Reps. Phil Hart and Vito Barbieri in the GOP primary. Ed Morse, who is challenging Hart, is a real estate appraiser and consultant and board member of the Reagan Republicans group; Mark Fisher, challenging Barbieri, runs an employee benefits insurance and consulting firm and is a past president of the local Rotary Club. The two, who held a joint announcement last month at a Hayden deli, say they offer practical solutions to the North Idaho district's problems, from jobs to regulations, rather than ideological crusades with little impact. Hart is the tax-protesting lawmaker who's still fighting back state and federal income taxes; Barbieri, whom Hart recruited to run, is a first-term lawmaker who's pushed for nullification of federal health-care laws. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.