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Denney says he’ll ‘aggressively’ campaign for speaker despite Bedke challenge

House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, told Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey today that he's planning to "aggressively" campaign for another term as speaker - though popular Assistant majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, also is seeking the post. "The game is on," Denney said. "We know the players." The campaigning starts Sunday at the Legislature's North Idaho tour, which runs through Tuesday in Lewiston and Moscow and which nearly all lawmakers are expected to attend; you can read Popkey's full post here.

Everyone Mum On House Leader Race

Graham Paterson is no political newbie, having done campaign work for Dirk Kempthorne, Steve Symms, Helen Chenoweth-Hage and Brent Coles. But asked in an editorial board meeting to offer his take on House Republican leadership, the normally glib Paterson slowed down to pick his way through the field of rhetorical cowpies. The silence was awkward, and Paterson tried to break the tension. “I can hear the clock ticking.” Ultimately, the best Paterson could offer was a general statement that leadership — executive and legislative, in both parties — has done a good job navigating an “extremely stressful” economic environment. As an outsider, running for an open seat, he said he considered it hard to judge leadership further. And that’s how it went generally, when we asked House Republican candidates about the race they don’t want to discuss/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Idaho Legislature photo of House Speaker Lawerence Denney)

Question: Is it time for House Speaker Lawerence Denney to go?


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/10/25/2322461/the-election-no-one-wants-to-talk.html#storylink=cpy

Trib: Idaho Extremism Is No Virtue

If Lawerence Denney (pictured) were just one more talk radio crank, his dissociation from reality would be another form of entertainment for ditto heads. And if Mike Moyle were just another Republican Party conventioneer with a self-righteous disregard for evidence, he might settle for his 15 minutes of fame on a cable news outlet. But Denney, R-Midvale, is the speaker of the Idaho House. Moyle, R-Star, is the majority leader of that body. With rare exceptions, what they say goes. And when it comes to Obamacare, here's what they say: "Resistance usually comes at a cost, but the state of Idaho must resist Obamacare. The cost of not resisting will be much higher." Translation: They resist. You pay. Denney and Moyle want Idaho to refuse expanding Medicaid coverage to poor adults - an option the U.S. Supreme Court gave states when it validated Obamacare/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are Republican legislative leaders in Idaho going to hurt state taxpayers — big time — by digging in against Supreme Court approved Obamacare?

Stapilus: Denney As GOP Chair?

The Idaho Democratic convention may generate a few headlines but the Republican next weekend in Twin Falls may tell a larger story, when it makes decisions on picking a new chairman and approving platform and resolutions. The chairmanship is opening with the end-of-term departure of Norm Semanko, and there’s not only no obvious heir, but also no now-obvious battle lines. The chair fight in 2010 was not about different gradations of “conservative,” or even ideology, but more about ins vs. outs. The outs (under Semanko’s banner) won. … The divisions this year seem not nearly as sharp as two years ago. A bunch of names have been floated. Some are not prominent statewide (the county chair of Elmore County, for example). At least one is well known – Dean Sorensen, a former legislator who (fairly or not) for some bears the “moderate” tag, not a good sign for election inside this party. A dark horse could yet emerge. Then there’s Lawerence Denney …/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Would you like to see House Speaker Lawerence Denney resign that seat and become chairman of the Idaho Republican Party?

What Idaho House Fight Is/Isn’t About

What is the battle between Idaho’s House GOP leaders all about? Let me answer that by telling you what it is not at all about. Policy. There isn’t much of a discernible difference on policy between current House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, and the man who appears best poised to challenge him, Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke. Bedke, R-Oakley, may be a touch less conservative than Denney — Bedke served on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee in the mid-2000s, an experience that tends to temper lawmakers’ views of the budget. But I can’t see the philosophy of the House shifting very much if Bedke unseats Denney/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Given that any challenger will share his political views, does it really matter if Rep. Lawerence Denney continues as House Speaker?


Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/06/13/krichert/what_idaho_house_leadership_fight_and_isnt_about#storylink=twt#storylink=cpy

Popkey: Leadership fight taking shape in Idaho House

House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, is poised to do something Idaho hasn't seen in 30 years, reports Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey: Defeat the top leader of a house of Idaho's Legislature. Popkey reports that Bedke is in good position to challenge weakened House Speaker Lawerence Denney, who's served three terms as speaker; such a toppling hasn't happened since 1982, when Jim Risch beat then-Senate President Pro-Tem Reed Budge. Denney has drawn fire for targeting sitting GOP lawmakers in the primary; unsuccessfully attempting to fire his own appointee to the Idaho redistricting commission, former state Rep. Dolores Crow, R-Nampa; and unceremoniously dumping two House committee chairmen on the last day of the 2011 session for insufficient loyalty.

Popkey reports that the well-liked Bedke has contributed to 14 incumbent Republicans and nine newcomers, building good will in his caucus ahead of the Legislature's organizational session Dec. 6; you can read his full column here.

GOP Gone Wild: House Leaders Battle

House Speaker Lawerence Denney, left, and Majority Leader Mike Moyle, ceenter, have contributed to a political action committee seeking to unseat six fellow Republicans, including Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts. right. Groundwork is being done by at least four interconnected PACs led by Lou Esposito, Denney’s appointee to the first 2011 redistricting commission. Esposito operates Spartac, a political consulting firm. He also is coordinating with a fifth PAC, Idaho Chooses Life, led by his friend David Ripley. Idaho Chooses Life is targeting some of the same candidates as Esposito’s PACs. The PACs are sending direct mail, identifying voters and turning out the vote. Last week, a flier from the Free Enterprise PAC blasted Roberts — the No. 4 Republican in the House — for supporting fuel-tax increases in 2009 and for this year’s failed bill to allow Boise County commissioners to raise property taxes to pay a legal judgment without a vote of the people. A subsequent bill that became law requires a popular vote and is on the May 15 ballot, as are the legislators/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Popcorn, anyone?


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/05/09/2108651/idaho-house-leaders-attempt-fratricide.html#storylink=cpy

Denney Blocks Pension-Spiking Bill

A few weeks ago, Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, blocked a bill to end legislative pension-spiking by former lawmakers. The bill, brought by Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, would have essentially prevented legislators spiking their taxpayer-funded pensions by taking high-paying state jobs after lengthy careers in the Idaho Capitol. The bill was heard by the House State Affairs Committee early in the session, but because Lake had to attend another meeting during the hearing, committee members couldn’t get answers to their questions and held the measure at the call of the panel chair. That call never came and will not come this year. House State Affairs Committee chair Tom Loertescher, R-Iona, told IdahoReporter.com last week that he placed a hold on the bill at Denney’s request. When approached about the issue, Denney said that he feels it’s completely improper for lawmakers to decide issues relating to their own salary and benefits/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Thought?

Denney: House Won’t ‘Add The Words’

Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney, right, speaks to reporters at the Idaho Press Club on Tuesday; at left is Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill. (SR photo: Betsy Russell)

During today's Idaho Press Club Headliner luncheon, House Speaker Lawerence Denney was asked about the prospect of the “Add The Words” legislation coming up in the House; the Senate State Affairs Committee earlier refused, along party lines, to hold grant the bill a hearing. It would expand Idaho's Human Rights Act to bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Denney said, “I have not seen a bill, and I don't think that there is any change in support on the House side”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What's the best/worst action taken by the Legislature or a committee today?

Hi-Noon: Little Ethics Reform In 2012

House Speaker Lawerence Denney told the Idaho Press Club today, “I think we're at the point where we're ruling out the independent ethics commission.” A bipartisan House-Senate working group couldn't reach agreement, and there were separation of powers issues with the question of whether a commission could oversee both the legislative and executive branches, Denney said. However, both Denney and Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill said they still expect some moves toward ethics reforms in this year's legislative session, including, at the very least rules changes in both houses adjusting how ethics committees work and requiring annual ethics training for lawmakers/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that early ethics push by Legislature apparently has fizzled out?

Boss Denney Continues Lockdown

On Jan. 19, House Speaker Lawerence Denney (pictured) ordered the doors to House members' basement office areas locked down and open by card access only. “Anyone without a House State ID badge will not be allowed into those spaces until the security guard has cleared it with the Representative or staff member they wish to see,” Denney directed in an email. The lockdown continues today; asked about it, Denney said, “They are going to remain locked at least until we're done with the Occupy bill, and then we will go to caucus and see if our caucus wants to reopen that. There are some, I'm sure, that like that locked down”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you think Occupy Boise presents a legitimate threat to Idaho lawmakers? Or is House Speaker Denney using the controversy to further distance legislators from the general public?

Press: Extremists Swaying Idaho GOP

Denney (left) and Semanko (right) got caught up in trying to out-conservative their own conservative party. We have seen this attitude play out too often right here in Kootenai County, and inevitably, it serves neither the citizens at large nor the Republican Party itself. This Constitutionalist/Libertarian wing of the party represents a political splinter group so contrary to the basics of good government that the county's Reagan Republicans have distanced themselves from their alleged party mates. … We're hopeful that the Republican Party will find leaders more in tune with this great state's ideals, and we offer a sincere suggestion for those who argue that the party isn't conservative enough: Declare yourself a Constitutionalist, a Libertarian or even an anarchist, but stop masquerading as something you're not/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: What do you make of Mike's point that the Constitutionalists/Libertarians/militia, etc., embedded in the local Republican Party should be honest enough to quit masquerading as something they're not?

Trib Jeers Treasurer Ron Crane

Jeers … to Idaho state Treasurer Ron Crane. Crane spends lavishly. He's above the rules. He's entitled to live better than the taxpayers who cover his $93,756 salary. If he hasn't crossed ethical boundaries, he's getting awfully close. Yet voters trust this man to fly to New York City and handle hundreds of million of dollars? Here's what a legislative audit of Crane's affairs reports: Crane expects the taxpayer to buy his gas when he commutes between his Nampa home and Boise. No problem, says Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor. After auditors referred the case to Taylor, he concluded state travel policies - which bar state employees from charging taxpayers for commuting costs — don't apply to elected officials. That's only an interpretation. Even if Crane's behavior is legal, fleecing the taxpayers at the gas pump isn't right, nor is it common/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. Complete Cheers & Jeers column here.

Question: Will recent controversies involving state Treasurer Ron Crane cause you to support another candidate when/if he runs for re-election?

Trib: Gang Couldn’t Shoot Straight

Here's what you don't know about last week's Idaho Supreme Court rejection of the GOP insurgency against the citizen redistricting commission. The insurgents couldn't shoot straight. Which is rather funny when you consider how many times they've said that about Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.Their latest challenge to Wasden followed the Supreme Court nixing the commission's original plan to realign Idaho's population growth to its 35 legislative districts, sending the panel back to work on a new mock-up. House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, and Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko tried to fire their appointees, former state Reps. Dolores Crow, R-Nampa, and Randy Hansen, R-Twin Falls.After Denney and Semanko lost, the six-member panel went back to work and adopted a new plan. But the court didn't say Denney and Semanko were wrong. It tossed the case because the attorney representing the speaker and the chairman dropped the ball/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Whose opinion would you trust move on a legal issue involving the Idaho Legislature — attorney general Lawrence Wasden of House Speaker Lawerence Denney?

Denney Ap-Hollow-gizes To Caucus

A subdued House Speaker Lawerence Denney said after a 45-minute closed GOP caucus today that he apologized to the caucus for his handling of the attempted ouster of GOP redistricting Commissioner Dolores Crow. “Most of the comments were very, very supportive,” Denney said. He said he gave “kind of a statement as to what happened and what went on,” lasting two to three minutes, then took questions from caucus members. Then, he said, “We talked about two or three other things that kinda came up in the course of that”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Can Denney unilaterally declare as over the botched attempt by Stormin Norman Semanko and him to dump Dolores Crow & Randy Hansen from redistricting commission?

Ysursa Thanks Redistricters For Work

Idaho's bipartisan citizen redistricting commission has submitted its new legislative district plan, approved on a unanimous 6-0 vote, to Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa (pictured). Ysursa, joining the confab by phone from a meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State, told the commissioners, “I sure want to thank you for all the work you've done.” He quoted Commissioner Sheila Olsen about a “triumph of civility,” and said in his view, that's what occurred in the commission. “We can get going for that May primary,” Ysursa said. “Obviously there could be lawsuits, but I think you've done a commendable job of it. Thank you all for your service”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Lawerence Denney plans to apologize to his caucus for his boorish behavior toward 2 appointed Republican redistricters and Norm Semanko doesn't plan to seek re-election to his office as Idaho GOP chairman. Do you think the redistricters have won the day and this plan will survive?

Denney To Ap-hollow-gize For Misstep

Rep. Lawerence Denney plans to gather his 57-member Republican caucus this week to make amends for his botched attempt at firing Dolores Crow, a woman he calls “an institution.” “I’ll probably just apologize if I made any of them uncomfortable and explain kind of what I did and why,” the House speaker told me Thursday. “That’s probably about it.” The Midvale Republican’s misstep is by no means the first in a six-year reign. The blowback has been more intense because it included revered former Gov. Phil Batt, who said Denney sullied the redistricting process by introducing rank partisanship to a reformed system approved by voters in 1994. But there’s a far greater force at play than a publicity snafu over trying to force Crow from the redistricting commission. Lawerence Denney is playing King Lear. Instead of three daughters he can’t figure out, he has three ambitious men who aspire to the throne and don’t want to wait until 2014 to be crowned/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Has Lawerence Denney overstayed his time as House Speaker?

Semanko To Quit, Defends Move

Idaho Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko has sent out a guest opinion defending his attempt to try to fire GOP redistricting commissioner Randy Hansen, touting the party's Idaho electoral successes and announcing that he won't seek another term as party chairman. Semanko wrote that the “secret to our success” was that “the grassroots of our Party was motivated and energized to recruit candidates and support them because they were included, and we weren't shy about standing up for our core, conservative Republican principles.” He wrote, “As I conclude my four year tenure as Chairman and hand the reins over to someone else at the Republican State Convention in Twin Falls this summer, this will be my proudest accomplishment"/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Interesting point Semanko makes re: persons from Hansen's Twin Falls area being among those calling for his ouster. And that Twin Falls filed suit against the redistricting plan. What do you think?

IFF: Lockout Worse Than Occupiers

The recent decision by legislative leaders to lock the doors leading to House member office space is troubling and contrary to the vision of openness embodied by our state’s founders and by the designers of the Capitol as it existed in1919. Legislators used to roam and mingle with the citizenry. They had to. By architectural design, the only exit from the House and Senate chambers, prior the renovation and expansion, was through the Rotunda. Now, legislators can remain tucked away behind closed doors all day every day, never having to interact with the public. They can take the back stairs or elevator to their offices in the basement level and re-emerge in a committee hearing room without ever using the common areas where the real people hang out/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: I agree with Wayne Hoffman that the lockout ordered by House Speaker Lawerence Denney is more bothersome than Occupy Boise encampment. How about you?

Brent Hill Gets Lewiston Trib Jeers

JEERS … to Idaho Senate President Brent Hill, R-Rexburg. Hill is the epitome of transparency and ethical political behavior. Yet he so mishandled the Sen. John McGee fiasco that in comparison, Boss Denney's mild rebuke of tax scofflaw Phil Hart last year looks like a public flogging. And Hart was only guilty of hypocrisy - refusing to pay his own taxes while serving on the House Revenue and Taxation Committee.McGee, R-Caldwell, on the other hand, committed a crime - one that could have killed somebody/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. Marty's Cheers & Jeers column here.

Question: Do you agree with Marty Trillhaase that Brent Hill's protection of Sen. John McGee is worse than Lawerence Denney's protection of Phil Hart last year?

Trib: Idaho GOP Lords Waste Your $$$

Boss Denney, left, and Stormin' Norman launched their lawsuit after the Idaho Supreme Court tossed out the six-member panel's unanimously adopted redistricting plan. Crow and Hansen, claimed Denney and Semanko, were too easy on the Democrats. To preclude a repeat, Denney wanted to appoint former Rep. Bob Forrey, R-Nampa. Semanko had named Angela Cross of Post Falls. Wednesday, the Idaho Supreme Court dumped that petition in the trash can, agreeing with Attorney General Lawrence Wasden that Crow and Hansen can't be fired. But the GOP and Troupis have no reason not to try again. When their suits against the state fail, they lose nothing.If they win, they can collect attorney fees — from you. Isn't that cute?/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you prefer Boss Denney & Stormin' Norman? Or Boss Denney & Sultan Semanko?

Old Redistricting Team Ready To Start

In a big table in a small room on the first floor of the Capitol stand six paper tents with the names of six redistricting commissioners: Republicans Dolores Crow, Randy Hansen and Sheila Olsen, and Democrats Ron Bietelspacher, Shauneen Grange and Elmer Martinez. The names have been reprinted since Oct. 18, when the commission agreed on plans for congressional and legislative districts. But legislative staff made no accommodation for the efforts of House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, and Idaho Republican Chairman Norm Semanko to fire Crow and Hansen, a move rebuffed by the Idaho Supreme Court late Wednesday. Did they even print name tents for the prospective replacements, Bob Forrey of Nampa and Angela Cross of Post Falls? "No, we didn't," said Jeff Youtz, director of the Legislative Services Office/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Which redistricting team would you rather have on the job now — the one with Dolores Crow & Randy Hansen or the one with Denney/Semanko new picks Bob Forrey & Angela Cross?


Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/01/26/idahopolitics/with_no_preparation_pretenders_idahos_redistricting_commssion_pr#storylink=cpy

Denney, Semanko Issue Statement

House Speaker Lawerence Denney, left, and Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko are shown during a North Idaho tour they took in May 2009 with Gov. Butch Otter.

Following is a joint Statement from Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko regarding the adverse Idaho Supreme Court’s decision on their redistricting lawsuit: “Unfortunately, the Idaho Supreme Court was unable to reach the merits of the case yesterday, opting instead to dismiss it on procedural grounds. As a result, the Court did not decide whether the Redistricting Commissioners can, in fact, be replaced. We are hopeful that the Court will have the opportunity to address the issue in the near future and are continuing to evaluate our legal options as we review the decision. In the meantime, the Commission will reconvene today with a cloud of uncertainty continuing to hang over it with regard to the ultimate legality of any new plan that it may adopt. That is the unfortunate reality of yesterday’s ruling.”

Question: Will the Idaho Republican Party be hurt/helped if it continues to try to replace redistricters Dolores Crow and Randy Hansen?

Semanko, Denney Lose Suit, But …

Angela Cross of Post Falls was in high spirits at a September 2009 Tea Party rally at the Greyhound Track in Post Falls. But she probably isn't as happy today. The Idaho Supreme Court ruled moments ago against a lawsuit by House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko to make her one of two replacements on the Idaho Redistricting Commission. The two GOP leaders tried to "fire" Republican redistricters Dolores Crow and Randy Hansen for not being partisan in drawing their boundaries. Betsy Russell's story here.

The Idaho Supreme Court has issued an order denying the petition from House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko asking the court to order Secretary of State Ben Ysursa to declare two vacancies on the state's citizen redistricting commission; you can read the order here. The court essentially ruled that Denney and Semanko hadn't come up with sufficient legal reasons why the court should take that action; this means their challenge is dead, and the citizen redistricting commission is good to go as-is; it's scheduled to meet tomorrow morning at 9/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Supreme Court decision on petition by Norm Semanko & Lawerence Denney?

Batt Blasts Denney, Semanko Suit

If Republican leaders try to hijack the redistricting process, they run the risk of compromising years of "remarkable success" at the polls. That's the assessment from one of the architects of the GOP's success — Phil Batt, a former governor, lieutenant governor, legislator and state Republican chairman. Batt submitted a guest opinion today, criticizing House Speaker Lawerence Denney and GOP Chairman Norm Semanko for trying to fire redistricting commissioners Dolores Crow and Randy Hansen. Writes Batt: "Our party leaders want to sully the reapportionment process for more political gain. I guess they want 100 percent Republicans of their own variety (Dolores and I probably don’t qualify)/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo of Phil Batt)

DFO: And you wonder why I continue to consider Phil Batt the most effective governor of my 30 years in North Idaho? I finally figured out what kind of Republican I am. I am a Phil Batt Republican — one who respects fair play and common sense over the hardline zealotry of those now in charge of the Idaho GOP.

Question: Is former Gov. Phil Batt right? Will continued heavy-handedness by Norm Semanko and GOP leaders undercut the Idaho Republican Party?


Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/01/25/krichert/batt_attempts_sully_redistricting_will_threaten_idaho_gop_domina#storylink=twt#storylink=cpy

MT: Denney, Semanko & Flat Earthers

In targeting Idaho's independent redistricting commission for decapitation, Idaho Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko and House Speaker Lawerence Denney are all in. They're ignoring history. They're disenfranchising voters. They're wading deeply into illogical waters. And they've partnered with the legal equivalent of the Flat Earth Society. Where would they get the notion that they might pull it off? From the highest court in the state. Last week, the Idaho Supreme Court voted 4-1 to strike down the citizen commission's plan for realigning Idaho's population growth with its 35 legislative districts. That redistricting plan was a remarkable feat, accomplished quickly and unanimously by the commission's three Republican and three Democratic members/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Should the redistricting process be taken out of the hands of the Idaho Legislature altogether?

Idaho GOP Sues Over Redistricters

Update: House Speaker Lawerence Denney has appointed Bob Forrey of Nampa and State Chairman Norm Semanko has appointed Angela Cross of Post Falls.

The Republican Party is suing the secretary of state over redistricting in the Idaho Supreme Court, contending the party's chairman and the speaker of the House of Representatives have the power to fire their appointees and name new members to the panel. Republican Chairman Norm Semanko (right) and House Speaker Lawerence Denney (left) want to remove redistricting commissioners Randy Hansen, a former Twin Falls legislator, and Dolores Crow, a former House member from Nampa. But the Idaho attorney general says Semanko and Denney don't have the power to remove them, even though they appointed Hansen and Crow to the panel/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Would Kootenai County/North Idaho benefit from having a redistricter from Post Falls (if the Idaho GOP is permitted to replace current commissioners)?

Idaho Dems Rip Redistricting ‘Bullies’

The Idaho Democratic Party issued a statement this afternoon decrying the latest move by Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko (pictured) and GOP House Speaker Lawerence Denney to attempt to fire their two appointees to the state's bipartisan citizen redistricting commission. “Make no mistake, this is a Republican against Republican fight and a clear example of the unacceptable culture in the GOP-controlled Statehouse. That culture is one of ongoing bullying and arrogance as GOP leaders seek to purge moderate, reasonable lawmakers from their ranks,” the Dems' statement said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Boss Denney Limits Public Access

The renovated Idaho Capitol opened more than two years ago with secluded office space for lawmakers. Now that seclusion is limiting public access to House lawmakers. Last week, House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, ordered that all access points to House lawmakers’ offices be secured and locked to the general public. Meetings with House lawmakers must now be scheduled and visitors are required to check in with security before entering the office areas. This is a break of process from the prior two sessions in the Capitol building. For the past two years, visitors could come and go as they pleased in order to meet with lawmakers/Idaho Reporter staff. More here.

Question: Is it starting to sound as though Denney is a control freak?

Denny, Semanko Dump Redistricters

The Idaho Republican Party announced today that State Chairman Norm Semanko and Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney have removed Randy Hansen and Dolores Crow from the Idaho Redistricting Commission effective immediately. The names of the two new commissioners will be released Tuesday morning. The Redistricting Commission will convene on Thursday, January 26th at 9am at the Idaho Capitol/Idaho GOP news release.

Question: What do you think of this move in light of an opinion last week that the redistricters can't be removed from their appointed position?