Latest from The Spokesman-Review
House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, who was among those attending former House Speaker Lawerence Denney’s statehouse campaign kickoff today for his bid for Idaho secretary of state, said he’s backing Denney in his run. “It’s my understanding that (current GOP Secretary of State Ben) Ysursa wasn’t going to run before we started,” Moyle said. “I’m with Denney.”
“I think that Ben got sideways with the party on some issues,” he said, but added, “I like the fact that Ben speaks his mind and he does what’s right.”
Asked about another recently announced statewide candidate – Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, who’s exploring a primary challenge to Gov. Butch Otter – Moyle said he’s not on board with that one. “I wouldn’t support Fulcher, no,” he said. “Gov. Otter has said he’s running again. Gov. Otter has done a good job. Ben has said he’s not running again, or implied that. I’m with Butch.”
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?
When current House Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly, leaves the House and instead becomes a state tax commissioner on Monday, he'll leave behind what's shaping up to be a battle for leadership in the House GOP caucus. Late yesterday, Roberts acknowledged that he had planned to run against current House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, for the No. 2 position in House leadership, up from his current No. 4 post; Moyle worked unsuccessfully to defeat Roberts in the May GOP primary.
"I know that it's a fluid situation, and there's been a lot of phone calls made even today about who's going to run for what," Roberts told Eye on Boise. "I have great confidence the House majority caucus will elect individuals to leadership that they can trust." Asked what he meant by the "trust" comment, Roberts said, "You can take it at face value."
House Speaker Lawerence Denney, who funneled leadership PAC funds into a series of interconnected PACS that then tried to defeat several GOP incumbents in the primary, including Roberts, is facing a likely challenge from the majority's No. 3 leader, Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley. "I'm going to leave that alone," Roberts said. "The new caucus members that'll be elected in November, I'll let them make that decision." He said, "There's four elective leadership jobs that come up every two years. I'm sure there will be some people that will run that have not run before, and I think there'll be some people that will run that have run before. A lot of things will happen and change between now and the first week in December." That's when the Legislature will convene its organizational session and the new leaders will be chosen.
An important sideshow to the race for House speaker is the contest for the No. 2 post, held by Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, who may have a challenge from the No. 4 House GOP leader, Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts of Donnelly. I was in Sun Valley Monday for the annual meeting of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry. A morning session with the IACI board featured all eight GOP leaders from House and Senate, along with House Minority Leader John Rusche of Lewiston and Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Stennett of Ketchum. The seating arrangement was telling. Three-term Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, sat with Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, six seats away from his challenger, House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you care you leads the House and the Senate in the 2013 Idaho Legislature?
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?
Good morning and welcome to the 2012 Marie Antoinette awards. This year's grand prize winners: Idaho Gov. C. L. (Butch) Otter and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star. And while Antoinette may or may not have famously looked down upon the starving masses of French citizens and declared: "Let them eat cake," it is certainly more artful than the two-word retort Otter and Moyle may have in store for Idaho's neediest, its injured and its broken: Too bad. Too bad the state went broke a year ago and had to hack away at Medicaid services for Idaho's most vulnerable adults. To save $35 million in state dollars, Idaho had to sacrifice another $60 million in matching federal dollars. Too bad that meant less support for developmentally disabled adults struggling to live and work independently. Too bad the state would devote less effort to helping the mentally ill maintain their equilibrium and their safety. Too bad it meant no preventive dental care, vision or audiology services/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you think Butch Otter intentionally low-balled revenue estimates last year as part of an agenda to slash state Medicaid funding?
Idaho legislators can certainly come up with more than their share of home-grown and ill-conceived ideas. The last thing they need to do is import ideas from — egads! — California. Nevertheless, a group of lawmakers wants to bring a little bit of California into Idaho tax law. They are pushing a constitutional amendment that would require any future tax and fee increases to receive two-thirds support from the Legislature. The co-sponsors include a list of Treasure Valley Republicans: House Majority Leader Mike Moyle of Star (pictured); Rep. Marv Hagedorn of Meridian; Rep. Steven Thayn of Emmett; and Rep. Robert Schaefer of Nampa. (Resident House non-taxpayer Phil Hart of Hayden is on board, but what else would you expect?) The Two-Thirds Gang argues that these amendments, on the books in California and 15 other states, “help keep spending down and protect taxpayers from additional financial burdens”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Should tax increases in Idaho require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature for passage?
Relying on the Environmental Working Group's data base, IdahoReporter.Com found Lt. Gov. Brad Little and 18 lawmakers accepted $4.3 million in farm subsidies in the years between 1995 and 2009. Among these are some of the most conservative, anti-government, pro-free market acolytes you'll find anywhere. For instance, House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star. In 15 years, he accepted $163,502. Says Moyle, the money is there. He might as well take it. "If they're not giving it to me, they're going to give it to my neighbor," Moyle said. Just a second there. While it is true there's a line of farmers waiting for limited conservation program dollars, a small portion of Moyle's federal check - $3,500 — comes from that account. The rest comes from commodity subsidies. That's an entitlement. If Moyle says no, nobody else collects. It goes unspent/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Is there a bit of hypocrisy going on here among Idaho legislators who love to spout against the federal government on other occasions?