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The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports,” I join Jim Weatherby, Marty Peterson, Bill Manny and co-host Melissa Davlin to discuss the Idaho political developments of the past week, from prospects for a special session of the Legislature to anti-federalism and its role in Idaho’s political history. Also, Davlin and producer Seth Ogilvie, who traveled to Sandpoint and back this week, interview Shahram Hadian, an anti-Islam pastor from Washington state who opposes child support enforcement legislation in Idaho; and freshman Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay.

Hadian told Idaho Reports that his message to the 155,000 Idaho families whose child support payments are at risk because Idaho hasn't conformed its rules to federal law is that the risk is worth it. “I would say to those families, would you rather have short-term gain or lose our liberty long-term?” he said. Also, Davlin reports on her blog here that when Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, testified against the child support enforcement bill in a House committee, including raising concerns about Sharia law, she was reading verbatim from a memo Hadian gave her on his concerns about the bill.

The show airs at 8 tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time. It also re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific. Even though the legislative session has ended, the action hasn’t, and “Idaho Reports” will continue airing through May.

The session that was, and the fallout that follows…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports,” I join Dr. Jim Weatherby, Lewiston Tribune reporter Bill Spence and co-host Melissa Davlin to discuss the fallout from this year’s tumultuous legislative session. Also, Davlin talks with Post Register reporter Bryan Clark about the “surplus eliminator,” and interviews Sen. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, and Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell.

The hour-long show airs at 8 tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time. It also re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific. Even though the legislative session has ended, the action hasn’t, and “Idaho Reports” will continue airing through May.

The week that was … and still is…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports,” I join Jim Weatherby, Bill Dentzer, and co-hosts Aaron Kunz and Melissa Davlin to discuss the tumultuous developments of the 13th week of the legislative session, perhaps its last, perhaps not. Also on tonight's show, Davlin interviews Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene, on child support enforcement law; and Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, D-Boise, on closed-door meetings; and there's a report on the rare conference committee that convened for the past two days over transportation funding.

The hour-long show airs at 8 tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time. It also re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific.

The week that was: Talking education, transportation and taxes on tonight’s Idaho Reports…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports,” I join Jim Weatherby, Clark Corbin, and co-hosts Aaron Kunz and Melissa Davlin to discuss the education developments of the 12th week of the legislative session; and in a second panel, Kimberlee Kruesi joins Weatherby, Kunz, Davlin and myself to talk transportation and taxes.  Also on tonight’s show, Kunz interviews state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra; Kunz takes us inside the Idaho National Laboratory to explore nuclear waste issues; and Davlin interviews House Majority Leader Mike Moyle.

The hour-long show airs at 8 tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time. It also re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports,” I join Jim Weatherby, Bill Dentzer, and co-hosts Aaron Kunz and Melissa Davlin to discuss the events of the 11th week of the legislative session, and to analyze Davlin’s timely interview with Gov. Butch Otter this week, which is featured on the program.

Among the topics addressed: Davlin asks Otter if he’ll call a special session if lawmakers don’t take action on transportation funding before the current legislative session closes. He responds, “I’m not going to go there. I’m not going to threaten anyone with that. I just don’t see us going there, I don’t see that crisis coming. I think we’re going to come up with something, and it’s going to be reasonable, and it’s going to be long-term.”

The hour-long show airs at 8 tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time. It also re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports,” I join Dr. Jim Weatherby, reporter Bryan Clark of the Idaho Falls Post Register, and co-hosts Aaron Kunz and Melissa Davlin to discuss the events of the ninth week of the legislative session, from school broadband to transportation funding to instant racing. Also, Kunz interviews House Education Chairman Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, on teacher pay; Davlin interviews Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, R-Boise, on transportation funding; there’s a report on post-adjudication water management in the Wood River Valley; and Kunz and Davlin interview House Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane, R-Nampa, and Assistant Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, D-Boise.

The hour-long show airs at 8 tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time. It also re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports,” I join Jim Weatherby, Bill Spence, and co-hosts Aaron Kunz and Melissa Davlin to discuss the events of the eighth week of the legislative session, from party politics to civil rights. Also, Davlin interviews House Majority Caucus Chair John Vander Woude, R-Nampa; Kunz reports on the nuclear waste issue that has two former governors threatening to sue the current governor; and Davlin and Kunz talk education with Penni Cyr, president of the Idaho Education Association; Tim Corder, special assistant to state schools Supt. Sherri Ybarra; and House Education Vice-Chair Julie Van Orden, R-Pingree; along with more.

The hour-long show airs at 8 tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time. It also re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports,” I join Jim Weatherby, Bill Manny, and co-hosts Aaron Kunz and Melissa Davlin to discuss the events of the seventh week of the legislative session, from criminal justice to guns to comments and emails that go viral. Also, Davlin interviews Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, and Kunz interviews Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett. The hour-long show airs at 8 tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time. It also re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports,” I join Jim Weatherby, Bill Dentzer, and co-hosts Aaron Kunz and Melissa Davlin to discuss the events of the sixth week of the legislative session, from taxes to budgets to former Gov. Phil Batt’s ground-breaking speech to Canyon County Republicans. Also, Bill Roberts joins the pundit panel for a discussion of school funding and the Idaho Education Network, and the show takes a deep look into the Idaho Education Network, including its history, with interviews with Sens. Dean Cameron, Bob Nonini and Shawn Keough, former state schools Superintendent Tom Luna and former Senate Education Chairman John Goedde. The hour-long show airs at 8 tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time. It also re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports,” I join Jim Weatherby, Kevin Richert, and co-hosts Aaron Kunz and Melissa Davlin to discuss the events of the fifth week of the legislative session, including the Idaho Education Network developments, instant racing, and bills on guns and abortion. The show also includes Aaron’s interview with Attorney General Lawrence Wasden; and another with Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill.  The hour-long show airs at 8 tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time. It also re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific.

Wasden: It may be time for a state gaming commission in Idaho

It may be time for Idaho to establish a gaming commission, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden told “Idaho Reports” in an interview for tonight’s program. “The question is: Do we have gaming in this state? The answer is yes, we do,” Wasden said. “Perhaps the time has come to have a gaming commission that actually then has the authority, ability and power to regulate that.” He said his office has no authority to regulate tribal gaming, horse racing or bingo, under current law. You can read more here at Melissa Davlin’s “Idaho Reports” blog; the program airs at 8 tonight.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports,” I join Jim Weatherby, Kimberlee Kruesi, and co-hosts Aaron Kunz and Melissa Davlin to discuss the events of the fourth week of the legislative session, from the Idaho Education Network to Medicaid expansion to abortion, guns and gambling. The show also includes Aaron and Melissa’s interview with House Speaker Scott Bedke; Melissa’s interview with lobbyists Dan Chadwick of the Idaho Association of Counties and Wayne Hoffman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation; and a report on the plight of rural communities that are losing population, including an on-scene report from North Idaho’s Silver Valley. The hour-long show airs at 8 tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time. It also re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports,” I join Jim Weatherby, Kevin Richert, and co-hosts Aaron Kunz and Melissa Davlin to discuss the events of the third week of the legislative session, from the education budget to “Add the Words.” The show also includes Aaron and Melissa’s interview with three university presidents – Chuck Staben of the University of Idaho, Bob Kustra of Boise State University and Arthur Vailas of Idaho State University; a discussion between Reps. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, and Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, on the “Add the Words” bill; and Aaron and Melissa’s interview with Rep. Wendy Horman, R-Idaho Falls, and Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, on the education budget.

The hour-long show airs at 8 tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time. It also re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports,” I join Jim Weatherby, Bill Dentzer, and co-hosts Aaron Kunz and Melissa Davlin to discuss the events of the second week of the legislative session, from Health & Welfare budgets to a presidential visit. The show also includes Aaron and Melissa’s interview with JFAC co-chairs Rep Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, and Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert; a discussion with Rocky Barker about water curtailment; and a report from Melissa, Seth Ogilvie and Kevin Harrison on problems with fiscal notes on Idaho legislation.

The hour-long show airs at 8 tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time. It also re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

‘Idaho Reports’ kicks off season tonight

“Idaho Reports” kicks off for the season at 8 tonight on Idaho Public Television, and this week includes an extensive interview with Gov. Butch Otter and a look back at his entire career. The program also reports on events in the run-up to the start of the legislative session on Monday, and I join Jim Weatherby and co-hosts Melissa Davlin and Aaron Kunz to discuss them. The hour-long show airs at 8 p.m. tonight; after it airs, you can watch it here online any time.

The election that was…

On a special edition of “Idaho Reports” tonight on Idaho Public Television, I join Jim Weatherby, Kevin Richert, Bill Manny, and co-host Melissa Davlin to discuss the results of Tuesday’s Idaho election, and their implications for Idaho politics and policy going forward. Tune in at 7 p.m. After the show airs, you can watch it here online any time.

Election fallout includes big shakeups on some House, Senate committees…

Idaho Reports co-host Melissa Davlin reports that between retirements and incumbents losing in the primary and general elections, there are four committee chair positions up for grabs in the Idaho House and two in the Senate. Plus, some committees will see huge shake-ups: House Appropriations is losing four of its 10 members, including the vice-chair; House Resources is losing six of 18 including the chairman; and the Senate Education Committee is down three of its nine members, including the chairman. You can read Davlin’s full post on her blog here. She also notes that Idaho Reports will have a post-election special edition this Friday night at 7.

Catching up on the news…

Catching up on some of the news I missed while off last week, it’s striking how the big political story in Idaho – rift and strife within the state’s supermajority Republican Party – remains the same. Over the course of the week, two dueling dates were set for a party Central Committee meeting: Aug. 2, set as a result of a petition from county party committees, and Aug. 9, set by embattled party Chairman Barry Peterson, who maintains he’s still the chairman despite the lack of an election of officers at the party’s failed state convention in Moscow in mid-June. The central committee meeting – one of them, anyway – ostensibly would decide where the party goes from here.

Mary Tipps Smith, the sole remaining paid staffer at the troubled party’s central office, resigned mid-week as finance director, asking people on Facebook to “pray for the Party during a difficult time.” This was the week after the departure of executive director Trevor Thorpe, whom Peterson said had left to pursue a master’s degree; at that point, Peterson also changed the locks at the party offices.

The day after Tipps Smith’s depature, Peterson hired Judy Gowen, former political director for Sen. Russ Fulcher’s unsuccessful primary challenge to GOP Gov. Butch Otter, as the party’s new executive director. Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey has the rundown at his blog here, at which he also reports that Peterson told KIDO radio’s Kevin Miller on Friday that Otter was angry “because the party would not bend over” to his wishes on a state health insurance exchange.

Meanwhile, the Idaho Transportation Department announced last Monday that every rural stretch of interstate freeway in southern Idaho that’s now 75 mph would rise to 80 mph on July 1, as soon as it could get the new speed-limit signs posted, causing consternation for AAA, which had raised safety concerns about the new law that passed this year – and been assured that only after extensive and specific traffic and safety studies would any particular stretch of freeway see the higher speed limit. On Friday, ITD back-pedaled, announcing that the speed limit increase would be delayed to allow the department to “review input expressed since the announcement.” Now, the ITD board will review the traffic and safety analyses at its July 11 meeting in Coeur d’Alene.

Gov. Butch Otter announced reforms to the state’s Workforce Development Training program, initiated by his new state Labor director, Ken Edmunds; they include higher standards for companies to qualify for aid under the program, aimed at avoiding repeats of instances where companies have gotten lots of money for specific job training for workers, then later failed and laid off those same workers.

With Coeur d’Alene, Boise and Idaho Falls all in competition to get the first mental health crisis center in the state – since the Legislature this year chose to fund only one instead of all three – the announcement came that Idaho Falls would get the center.

And U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill tossed out the state’s lawsuit against the Coeur d’Alene Tribe for opening a poker room at its Coeur d’Alene Casino, calling it premature; the tribe and the state have a gaming compact that calls for arbitration of disputes before any lawsuits can be filed. The tribe argued that the Texas Hold ‘Em tournament play it was offering was legal in Idaho; the state maintained it wasn’t. Rather than enter a 60-day arbitration period, the state filed suit. “The state jumped the gun and violated the provisions of our agreement when it raced to the courthouse with this unnecessary lawsuit,” tribal attorney Eric Van Orden said in a statement; you can read a full report here from S-R reporter Becky Kramer.

This year’s final episode of “Idaho Reports” aired Friday on Idaho Public TV, with analysis of both the comparatively smooth Idaho Democratic Party convention in Moscow and the earlier GOP fiasco and a look ahead to new laws taking effect this week and the election season ahead; you can watch online here.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports on Idaho Public Television, I join Jim Weatherby, Kimberlee Kruesi and co-hosts Melissa Davlin and Aaron Kunz to discuss the tumultuous GOP state convention and its fallout for Idaho politics, as state Democrats kick off their own convention in Moscow today. The show also includes a discussion with two GOP legislative leaders, Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder and House Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane, about the party politics blowup, and more. It airs at 8 p.m. tonight; it re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific; and plays on Boise State Public Radio on Sunday at 7 p.m. After it airs, you can watch it here online any time.

Tonight’s Idaho Reports looks at Labrador leadership run, GOP convention doings, more…

As you might expect, we’ve got lots and lots to talk about on tonight’s “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public Television. I join Jim Weatherby, Dan Popkey and co-host Aaron Kunz to discuss Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador’s run for House majority leader, the happenings at the state Republican Party convention thus far and more, and co-host Melissa Davlin reports in from the convention in Moscow. The show airs at 8 p.m. tonight; it re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific; and plays on Boise State Public Radio on Sunday at 7 p.m. After it airs, you can watch it here online any time.

This week on Idaho Reports…

Tonight’s “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public TV examines recent political developments, from the Boulder-White Clouds to the impact of the primary election results. I join Jim Weatherby, Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise, and co-host Melissa Davlin for a discussion of impacts on education, including on the Senate Education Committee – where both serve – whose longtime chairman, Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, was defeated. The show airs at 8 p.m. tonight; it re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific; and plays on Boise State Public Radio on Sunday at 7 p.m. After it airs, you can watch it here online any time.

Tonight’s Idaho Reports…

Tonight’s “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public TV examines the voter engagement and potential political influence of Idaho’s Hispanic population, the state’s largest minority. Also, I join Jim Weatherby, Rep. Mat Erpelding, and co-hosts Melissa Davlin and Aaron Kunz to discuss politics, parties and more. The show airs at 8 p.m. tonight; it re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific; and plays on Boise State Public Radio on Sunday at 7 p.m. After it airs, you can watch it here online any time.

The week that was…

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa joins the pundits on tonight’s “Idaho Reports” program on Idaho Public Television, to discuss the just-concluded primary election. In addition to Ysursa, I join Bill Manny and co-hosts Melissa Davlin and Aaron Kunz to try to make sense of it all. The show airs at 8 p.m. tonight; it re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific; and plays on Boise State Public Radio on Sunday at 7 p.m. After it airs, you can watch it here online any time.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports” program on Idaho Public Television, I join Jim Weatherby, Kevin Richert, and co-hosts Melissa Davlin and Aaron Kunz for a discussion of a wild week in Idaho politics. Yes, there’s some mention of that much-talked-about gubernatorial debate. The show airs at 8 p.m. tonight; it re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific; and plays on Boise State Public Radio on Sunday at 7 p.m. After it airs, you can watch it here online any time. And if you want to see the GOP governor's debate, the full video is posted online here. Check it out - more than 350,000 people have. And they haven't been just watching snippets - the average watch time is 48 minutes.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports” program on Idaho Public Television, I join Jim Weatherby and co-hosts Melissa Davlin and Aaron Kunz for a discussion of current events and election politics. Also, the show features a report on the GOP primary race in District 30 between 3rd-term Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Idaho Falls, and Republican newcomer Steve Yates; it’s the latest in a series of looks at legislative races around the state. The show airs at 8 p.m. tonight; it re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific; and plays on Boise State Public Radio on Sunday at 7 p.m. After it airs, you can watch it here online any time.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports” program on Idaho Public Television, I join Jim Weatherby and co-hosts Melissa Davlin and Aaron Kunz for a discussion of current events and election politics. Also, Davlin and Kunz discuss Idaho college tuition hikes and the state Republican Party’s platform survey for candidates, and Davlin and Seth Ogilvie interview two legislative candidates facing off in the primary – both Democrats from District 19, Troy Rohn and Melissa Wintrow. It’s the latest in a series of looks at legislative races around the state. The show airs at 8 p.m. tonight; it re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific; and plays on Boise State Public Radio on Sunday at 7 p.m. After it airs, you can watch it here online any time.

 

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports” program on Idaho Public Television, I join Jim Weatherby and co-hosts Melissa Davlin and Aaron Kunz for a discussion of current events, from election politics to agency rule-making. Also, Davlin and Seth Ogilvie discuss rifts in the Idaho Republican Party and report on a District 34 race, in which freshman GOP Rep. Douglas Hancey is being challenged in the primary by Ron Nate; it’s the first in a series focusing on some of the legislative races around the state.  The show airs at 8 p.m. tonight; it re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific; and plays on Boise State Public Radio on Sunday at 7 p.m. After it airs, you can watch it here online any time.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports” program on Idaho Public Television, I join Jim Weatherby and co-hosts Melissa Davlin and Aaron Kunz for a discussion of the political developments of the week, from the Supreme Court decision on campaign finances to endorsements in the Secretary of State’s race. Also, Davlin talks with House Speaker Scott Bedke about federal land transfer proposals and examines that issue; and Kunz and Rocky Barker report on the Boulder-White Clouds national monument issue. The show airs at 8 p.m. tonight; it re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific; and plays on Boise State Public Radio on Sunday at 7 p.m. After it airs, you can watch it here online any time.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports” program on Idaho Public Television, I join Jim Weatherby, Sven Berg, and co-hosts Melissa Davlin and Aaron Kunz for a discussion of the events of the week, from the final action of the legislative session to Idaho politics. Also, Davlin and Kunz interview Sen. Roy Lacey, D-Pocatello; Davlin interviews Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa; and the show explores the real-world implications of Idaho’s current medically indigent/catastrophic health care program. The show airs at 8 p.m. tonight; it re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific; and plays on Boise State Public Radio on Sunday at 7 p.m. After it airs, you can watch it here online any time.

The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports” program on Idaho Public Television, I join Jim Weatherby, Clark Corbin, and co-hosts Melissa Davlin and Aaron Kunz for a discussion of education funding issues that came up in the Legislature this week, from WiFi to broadband to teacher pay. Also, Davlin and Kunz interview House Majority Leader Mike Moyle on the end game for the session; Davlin explores the new Idaho core standards and how they’re playing out in Idaho classrooms; and you’ll get a glimpse of various Idahoans reciting the Gettysburg Address as part of a Ken Burns documentary project. The show airs at 8 p.m. tonight; it re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 Pacific; and plays on Boise State Public Radio on Sunday at 7 p.m. After it airs, you can watch it here online any time.