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Charges against former lawmaker dropped

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: COUER D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — A misdemeanor battery charged against a former northern Idaho lawmaker has been dismissed. The Coeur d'Alene Press reports (http://bit.ly/1037wqm ) the case against former Republican state Sen. Mike Jorgenson was dismissed late last week ahead of a trial scheduled to start this week. City of Coeur d'Alene chief criminal deputy attorney Wes Somerton says his review of witness statements, a 911 audio recording and security video raised doubt about whether an unlawful battery occurred. The 64-year-old Jorgenson was arrested in February at his Hayden restaurant, The Copa, after an apparent scuffle with an employee. The employee says Jorgenson grabbed him and threw him to the ground during a dispute about money. Jorgenson's attorney says Jorgenson was leading the employee out of the restaurant by the "scruff of the neck" when their legs got tangled and they fell to the ground.

Former Sen. Jorgenson arrested for battery after scuffle with employee

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: HAYDEN, Idaho (AP) — A former northern Idaho Republican lawmaker was arrested after an apparent scuffle at his restaurant in which an employee says he was the victim of a physical encounter. The Coeur d'Alene Press (http://tinyurl.com/a6x38uz ) reports former Sen. Mike Jorgenson was arrested Tuesday afternoon at his restaurant, The Copa, in Hayden, for investigation of misdemeanor battery.That's after an employee, 41-year-old Benjamin Chavez, says Jorgenson grabbed him and threw him to the ground during a dispute about money. One witness, a bartender at the restaurant, told police that he pulled Jorgenson from Chavez during the altercation. Jorgenson had a different version of what happened. He couldn't be reached for comment on Wednesday, but told deputies Chavez fell down when Jorgenson grabbed his jacket and told him to get out of the restaurant.

3 OK w/GOP Pledge, Sen. Vick Not

Former Idaho Sen. Mike Jorgenson, pictured, who’s running again for the Senate seat he lost two years ago to an ally of tax-protesting Rep. Phil Hart, has signed and sent to all District 2 GOP candidates a “Republican Principle Pledge” pledging to “obey the law, honor Idaho courts and pay my taxes.” “I hope they all sign it,” said Jorgenson, a Republican from Hayden Lake, who said he was prompted by Hart’s continuing tax and legal fights. “Quite frankly, people are so disillusioned with the antics of Phil Hart and the embarrassment that it’s caused the county, the state, the party, that I thought it a good thing to make it a commitment to the constituents that the candidates would not have any part of that behavior,” Jorgenson said. The pledge, in full, says the candidate promises “to the citizens of Kootenai County to be honest, have integrity, obey the law, honor Idaho courts and pay my taxes”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Sen. Steve Vick calls Jorgenson's Republican Principle Pledge "grandstanding." But 2 other Legislative District 2 candidates are happy to sign it. What do you think?

District 2 GOP candidates challenged to sign tax-paying pledge

Former Idaho Sen. Mike Jorgenson, who's running again for the Senate seat he lost two years ago to an ally of tax-protesting Rep. Phil Hart, has signed and sent to all District 2 GOP candidates a "Republican Principle Pledge" pledging to "obey the law, honor Idaho courts and pay my taxes." “I hope they all sign it,” said Jorgenson, a Republican from Hayden Lake, who said he was prompted by Hart's continuing tax and legal fights. “Quite frankly, people are so disillusioned with the antics of Phil Hart and the embarrassment that it's caused the county, the state, the party, that I thought it a good thing to make it a commitment to the constituents that the candidates would not have any part of that behavior.”
 
The pledge, in full, says the candidate promises “to the citizens of Kootenai County to be honest, have integrity, obey the law, honor Idaho courts and pay my taxes.” Fritz Wiedenhoff of Rathdrum, who's among three Republicans challenging Hart in the May 15 primary, said, “I think it's great, I think it's fantastic. I think it encompasses everything we are and we should be, and I'm planning on signing it.” Ed Morse, also a Hart GOP challenger, said he, too, plans to sign the pledge. “I think it may highlight some differences between some of the candidates,” he said. “I pay my taxes, I believe that all public office holders should not only perform lawfully but they should uphold the public trust.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
  

Jorgenson Signs GOP Principle Pledge

Republican Mike Jorgenson, pictured, today signed the “Republican Principle Pledge," an integrity pledge to the people of Legislative District 2. He has called upon his fellow candidates to join as co-sponsors. The petition calls for a return to the basic Republican values Idahoans had previously come to expect from their northern Idaho candidates for the Legislature before the election of tax scofflaw Phil Hart. “I believe the Republican Party stands for integrity, honesty, trust and respect in the rule of law. Every Idahoan knows it is his own personal responsibility to carry his own water and we Republicans value the Code of the West. Phil Hart can no longer pretend to uphold this public trust and therefore no longer deserves the right to represent the people of District 2.” Tuesday, Mike Jorgenson will mail a copy of the pledge to all the Republican candidates in District 2/Jorgenson campaign news release.

Question: Should Legislative District 2 candidates sign the "Principle Pledge"?

3 D2 Wannabes To Run As Coalition

Via Facebook, former state senator Mike Jorgenson announces today: "I'm happy to announce that Mark Fisher and Ed Morse are joining me in a coalition of independent, intelligent conservatives running in the Republican primary. Hit 'like' if you think we need better ideas coming out of Boise."

Question: How will the decision by Jorgenson, Fisher and Morse help/hurt them in the three Legislative District 2 races?

Letter: Rasmussen ‘Nefariously’ Snipes

Since the primary, Mr. Jorgenson has acted like a wounded bull. Mr. Rasmussen is much more subtle, but far more destructive with his nefarious sniping on blogs. Mr. Roetter lost his central committeeman’s seat, but retained his role on the exec. board as the State Committeeman by decreeing how conservative he was. His relationship with the “old guard” is well known/Scott Loheed, letter to Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: “Nefarious sniping on blogs”? I didn’t realize Duane Rasmussen was doing that. And I’m the blogmaster here. Have any of you seen Jorgenson, Rasmussen, or Roetter “nefariously sniping” in the blogosphere?

Hart Case Fractures Local Republicans

Item: Republicans: Party has fracture: Members say Hart tax case has divided them/Nick Rotunno, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: As Rep. Phil Hart wrestles the IRS over tax discrepancies, the Kootenai County Republican Party has fractured, according to four party members who spoke to The Press on Monday. “What you’ve got is a group of wackos that have taken over the party,” Sen. Mike Jorgenson said. “And they are supporting Phil Hart’s agenda.”

Question: What will be the ultimate outcome to this local party fracture? A healing like the one that occurred in the early 1990s when then party Chairman Phil Batt coaxed Ron Rankin & Co. back into the Republican tent? Or full scale war that will destroy it?

Jorgenson Condemns Minnick Attack Ad

I have had several disagreements with Raul Labrador over the past four years with respect to legislation in the Idaho Legislature.  Many of my comments towards him have reflected the passion of which I hold for fighting the terrible scourge of illegal immigration in our nation and in the great state of Idaho.  I openly supported his challenger in the primary.  While I have not spoken with Rep. Labrador in many months, if he were elected to Congress I would probably still disagree with some elements of how he would fight illegal immigration.   I would certainly hope he considers some of my positions on the subject. However, none of the passion I have reserved for my disagreement with Rep. Labrador can compare with how appalled and disappointed I was when I viewed the attack ad that Walt Minnick released yesterday against him/State Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake. More here.

Question: Do you think Minnick wishes he could get a do-over on this one?

Jorgenson, Blocks ‘Discontinued’

Dunno why the individual selling these blocks used a campaign sign belonging to state Sen. Mike Jorgenson to prop up his advertisement: “Discontinued block $1 each.” But it amused a Berry Picker who provided Hucks Online with the photo. After all, Jorgenson also was “discontinued” in the GOP primary in May when relative newcomer Steve Vick upset his bid for re-election. You can find the discontinued pile of blocks about a block north of Hayden City Hall on Government Way.

Judge: English Followed Procedure

Item: Judge dismisses Jorgenson’s suit against clerk English: Luster rules official was following correct procedure/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: First District Judge John Luster said that English didn’t break protocol by classifying former Montana representative and Jorgenson’s District 3 primary opponent Steve Vick as a registered Kootenai County voter leading up to the May primary election. Whether Vick was eligible to run for the Senate seat could be another question for the Secretary of State’s Office, Luster said, but English acted properly upholding Vick’s Kootenai County voter registration.

Question: I’m not surprised by this ruling. Are you?

ICB: Why Did Mike Jorgenson Lose?

“I must admit I am not up on Hayden Lake politics as well as I would like to be,” begins Idaho Conservative Blogger in a post Thursday. “I was however surprised when Sen Mike Jorgenson lost his primary race a few weeks ago. I met Jorgenson at Austin Hill’s Take Back America Town Hall on KIDO and listened to his views on Arizona’s new Immigration law and what he thought Idaho should do. For awhile Jorgenson seemed to be the flavor of the week.  I also read Phil Hart’s reaction to Jorgenson’s stance. I felt Hart made good points and that a good compromise between the two looked promising. But I did notice what seemed to be friction. Do I think this was Jorgenson’s problem getting re elected? I wasn’t sure so I hit the research and here is what I found, you decided for yourself.” More here.

Question: ICB wonders what beat state Sen. Mike Jorgenson in the May primaries — politics or HIS politics. ICB offers some clues re: what he thinks it was. How about you? Why did Jorgenson lose to ultraconservative Steve Vick?

Vick, Barbieri To Join Hart In District 3

Steve Vick had little trouble dumping multi-term state Sen. Mike Jorgenson in the District 3 race, after Jorgenson fought to keep him off the ballot over a procedural matter. In the other contested Republican primary in District 3, Vito Barbieri bested a four-person field, defeating GOP stalwart Duane Rasmussen and Hayden Councilwoman Geri DeLange. Vick and Barbieri will join state Rep. Phil Hart to form the new District 3 legislative delegation.

Question: What was Mike Jorgenson’s undoing?

North Idaho Senators Raise Big $$$

The 5 North Idaho incumbent state senators have raised tens of thousands of dollars in their bids to capture the GOP nomination and win re-election:

  • Shawn Keough/District 1 has raised $30,121 total, spent $5242, and has $24,879, in her primary race with Steve Tanner, who reports raising or spending anything. Keough report.
  • Joyce Broadsword/District 2 has raised $25,620 (report here) in her 3-way race w/Dennis Englehardt, who has raised $11,367 (report here) and James Stivers, who has raised $3,766 (report here)
  • Mike Jorgenson/District 3 has loaned himself most of the $25,661 he has for his campaign (report here) with Steve Vick, who has raised a total of $7,596 (report here).
  • John Goedde/District 4 has $12,098 (report here) in his 3-way race w/Independent Jeremy Boggess, who has raised $376 (report here), and Constitutionalist Raymond I. Writz, who has raised $210 (report here).
  • Jim Hammond/District 5 has raised $43,945 total (report here) in his 3-way GOPrimary race against John Green, who has raised $1,500 (report here), and Jack Schroeder, who has raised anything but has spent $2,958 (report here).

Jorgenson Has Big Fund Edge On Vick

Incumbent Mike Jorgenson has more than a 3-to-1 funding edge on challenger Steve Vick in their Senate District 3 Republican primary race. Finance disclosure statements obtained from the Secretary of State’s website shows Jorgenson has raised $25,661 in contributions and loans and spent $22,852 prior to the 7-day pre-election period, for a balance of $2809. Jorgenson has a balance of $16,019 in loans he has made to his campaign. Vick has raised a total of $7596 in cash and loans and spent $4111, for a balance of $3485. He has loaned $3000 to his campaign. Top contributors to the two campaigns are below in drop-down box:

Tribe: Jorgenson Immigration Plan Nuts

Marc Stewart, spokesman of the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe: “Every tribe in Idaho would strongly oppose any such legislation.”

Jorgenson To Push Arizona Reform

A northern Idaho lawmaker says he’ll push Arizona-style immigration reform if voters return him to the state Legislature. Sen. Mike Jorgenson, a Hayden Lake Republican, still must survive his May 25 GOP primary, where he faces Steve Vick. There’s no Democratic foe for November’s general election. Jorgenson, who has tried unsuccessfully to enact a law to punish Idaho employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens, vowed to push “an exact duplicate of the Arizona law” in the 2011 Legislature. Arizona’s new law requires police to ask for citizenship documents from those suspected of committing a crime, if officers had reasonable cause to believe the suspect was an illegal alien. Jorgenson says following suit in Idaho would “force Congress to get off their kiesters.” At least nine states are considering Arizona-style laws/Associated Press.

Question: Will Jorgenson’s push for Arizona-style immigration reform help him in his GOPrimary fight against Steve Vick? Or hurt him?

Jorgenson Sues County Over Vick

Item: Senator sues Kootenai County: Jorgenson alleges clerk acted improperly on opponent’s vote status/Tom Hasslinger

More Info: Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, filed suit against county clerk Dan English last week, alleging that English acted improperly by not declaring Steven Vick - a candidate for Jorgenson’s District 3 Senate seat - ineligible to vote in Kootenai County. Jorgenson earlier filed a complaint with the Secretary of State’s office contending that Vick shouldn’t be allowed to run for the seat because of the registration mix up.

Question: What do you make of Sen. Mike Jorgenson’s allegations against County Clerk Dan English and lawsuit against Kootenai County?

Jorgenson Wants Immigration Reform

It’s an Arizona law that one Idaho senator wants to copy. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law the nation’s toughest legislation against illegal immigration Friday, a measure that supporters said would take handcuffs off police but which opponents said could violate people’s civil rights. Among the bill’s proponents is Sen. Mike Jorgenson, who has worked with the bill’s sponsor, Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce, on immigration legislation for Idaho. The Hayden Lake Republican has unsuccessfully pitched local immigration legislation but said Arizona’s law could create enough momentum to push those proposals through next year/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: Why hasn’t a conservative state with an overwhelmingly Republican Legislature not embraces Jorgenson’s attempt to rein in illegal immigration?

HBO Poll: Vick Clobbers Jorgenson

  • Wednesday Poll: 90 of 125 respondents (72%) said they’d rather see challenger Steve Vick when the GOPrimary for the Senate District 5 seat than incumbent Sen. Mike Jorgenson. 35 of 125 (28%) preferred Jorgenson. Jorgenson is disputing Vick’s qualification as a North Idaho voter in trying to keep his opponent off the ballot.
  • Today’s Question: Which event today is more important to you — Earth Day or NFL Draft Day?

HBO Poll: ‘Coach Pete’ Pay Too High

  • Tuesday Poll: 81 of 138 respondents (59%) said that the pay of $8M over 5 years for Boise State football coach Chris Petersen is too high in these tight economic times. 81 of 138 (38%) said it was a proper amount for someone w/Petersen’s record.
  • Jorgenson-Vick Poll: 75 of 104 respondents (72%) said state Sen. Mike Jorgenson is either being a baby (51, 49%) or boosting challenger Steve Vick’s profile (24, 23%) by fighting to keep him off the ballot. 24 of 104 respondents (23%) said Jorgenson is just following the law (12, 12%) or they wouldn’t vote for Vick because he’s supported by legislators Phil Hart and Jim Clark.
  • Volunteer Poll: 68 of 96 respondents (71%) said they spend more than 54 hours (the average amount in Idaho) doing volunteer work. 19 of 96 (20%) said they spend less than 54 hours volunteering. And 9 of 54 (9%) said they don’t volunteer at all.
  • Today’s Question: Who do you support to win the GOPrimary nomination in the Senate District 3 race — Mike Jorgenson or Steve Vick?

Hart, Clark Back Vick Over Jorgenson

(Steve) Vick told Eye on Boise he was recruited to run against Jorgenson by the two state representatives from Jorgenson’s District 3: Reps. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, and Phil Hart, R-Athol. “They just felt like their district there would be better represented by somebody else than Sen. Jorgenson,” said Vick, a former four-term Montana state representative/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Jorgenson’s Try To Block Vick Fails

A North Idaho senator’s initial attempt to get his primary challenger tossed off the ballot has failed, but Sen. Mike Jorgenson says he’s not giving up. Jorgenson, R-Hayden, last week filed a complaint with the Idaho Secretary of State’s office saying that his GOP challenger, Steven Vick of Dalton Gardens, isn’t qualified for the ballot because of a 2006 voter-registration glitch. Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said today that Vick meets registration requirements to run; Jorgenson now plans to take his complaint to court. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com. Vick told Eye on Boise he was recruited to run against Jorgenson by the two state representatives from Jorgenson’s District 3: Reps. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, and Phil Hart, R-Athol/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Did Mike Jorgenson hurt himself by making an issue of Steve Vick’s eligibility — and providing Vick w/a lot of ink and pixels that he wouldn’t have had otherwise? And/or: What do you make of Vick’s statement that Jim Clark and Phil Hart recruited him to run against Jorgenson?

Jorgenson Files Complaint Against Foe

Item: Senator questions opponent’s eligibility: Jorgenson files complaint with secretary of state/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: An Idaho senator filed a complaint with the Secretary of State’s office this week contending that his opponent isn’t qualified to run. Although the complaint was quickly contradicted, Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, insists that an oversight has occurred and Steven Vick shouldn’t be allowed to continue as a candidate for the District 3 seat. … Jorgenson filed an official complaint with Secretary of State Ben Ysursa on Tuesday stating that Vick, his Republican challenger in the May 25 primary, isn’t a registered voter in Idaho.

Question: What do you make of Jorgenson’s complaint?