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Rep. Hart tells court he’d pay $200 a month for 5 years to settle $600,000-plus debt

Outgoing Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart has filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan in federal court that proposes that he pay $200 a month for five years - a total of $12,000 - to get his entire debt of more than $600,000 discharged. The vast majority of that debt is back federal income taxes, penalties and interest owed to the Internal Revenue Service; it also includes more than $50,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest owed to the Idaho State Tax Commission, along with $22,000 in credit card debt.

"Debtor will pay to the trustee for a term, not exceeding 60 months, the sum of $200 monthly," the plan says. No other payments are proposed, though Hart does report that he anticipates income tax refunds over the next five years, and agrees to turn those over as well.

A Spokane bankruptcy attorney with expertise in Chapter 13 cases said it's "unlikely" that such a plan would be approved. "Generally, you don't get to discharge your tax debts," said David Gardner, an attorney with Winston and Cashatt. Gardner said the plan likely will draw objections from both the bankruptcy trustee and the creditors - including the IRS - when it comes up for a hearing in August. "For that amount of cash, I would expect the IRS to be very involved," he said. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

Hart: IRS Garnished Legislative Pay

When the state of Idaho made out its paychecks for tax-protesting state Rep. Phil Hart twice a month for the past seven years, the money didn’t go to Hart - it went straight to the IRS. That’s what Hart reported in documents filed this week in his bankruptcy case, in which he lists more than $600,000 in debt, most of it to the IRS and the Idaho State Tax Commission. In his supporting documents seeking a Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganization, Hart reported, “100 percent of Legislative pay garnished since 2005, $16,000 annually.” Bruce Newcomb, who was Idaho’s longest-serving House speaker, said he was troubled by the revelation. “Let’s put it this way: I find it very odd,” he said. “A person has a right to protest their taxes. But this has been one of the more extreme endeavors I’ve ever seen in my life’s experience”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.

Thoughts?

Hart bankruptcy filing shows IRS has been garnishing entire legislative salary

When the state of Idaho made out its paychecks for tax-protesting state Rep. Phil Hart twice a month for the past seven years, the money didn't go to Hart - it went straight to the IRS. That's what Hart reported in documents filed this week in his bankruptcy case, in which he lists more than $600,000 in debt, most of it to the IRS and the Idaho State Tax Commission. In his supporting documents seeking a Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganization, Hart reported, "100 percent of Legislative pay garnished since 2005, $16,000 annually."

Bruce Newcomb, who was Idaho's longest-serving House speaker, said he was troubled by the revelation. "Let's put it this way: I find it very odd," he said. "A person has a right to protest their taxes. But this has been one of the more extreme endeavors I've ever seen in my life's experience." Newcomb said he worries about the impact of the case on the institution of the House. "The general public is suspicious of politicians in general, and when something like this comes along, it only serves to confirm what some people think," he said. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
  

Idaho Supreme Court stands by ruling, won’t reconsider Rep. Hart’s tax appeal

The Idaho Supreme Court, without comment, has dismissed tax-protesting Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart's request to reconsider his state income tax appeal, in which he argued the court should have given more consideration to his legislative privilege argument. In a one-page ruling, the Supreme Court declared, "After due consideration, it is hereby ordered that Appellant's petition for rehearing be, and hereby is, denied."

Hart appealed an order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest, but filed his appeal months after the 91-day appeal period had expired. He argued that because an Idaho legislative session fell just after the appeal period, his status as a lawmaker should entitle him to more time to file. The Idaho Supreme Court strongly disagreed, writing in its unanimous decision in April, “In this instance, Hart is just a taxpayer, with no greater privilege than his constituents.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

Hart Asks High Court To Reconsider

Tax-protesting Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart is asking the Idaho Supreme Court to reconsider its dismissal of his state income tax appeal, saying the court should have given more consideration to his legislative privilege argument. Hart appealed an order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest, but filed his appeal months after the 91-day appeal period had expired. He argued that because an Idaho legislative session fell just after the appeal period, his status as a lawmaker should entitle him to more time to file. The Idaho Supreme Court strongly disagreed, writing in its unanimous decision in April, “In this instance, Hart is just a taxpayer, with no greater privilege than his constituents”/Betsy Z. Russell, SR. More here.

Thoughts?

Hart wants Idaho Supreme Court to reconsider his legislative immunity claim

Tax-protesting Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart is asking the Idaho Supreme Court to reconsider its dismissal of his state income tax appeal, saying the court should have given more consideration to his legislative privilege argument. Hart appealed an order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest, but filed his appeal months after the 91-day appeal period had expired. He argued that because an Idaho legislative session fell just after the appeal period, his status as a lawmaker should entitle him to more time to file.

The Idaho Supreme Court strongly disagreed, writing in its unanimous decision in April, “In this instance, Hart is just a taxpayer, with no greater privilege than his constituents.” Hart's bid for reconsideration argues that the framers of Idaho's Constitution "were intimately aware that their full attention, without any distraction of any nature, was required in order for them, and future legislators, to accomplish their work on behalf of the people." You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
  

Rep. Hart Files For Bankruptcy

Tax-protesting Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart, who lost his bid for a fifth term in the GOP primary two weeks ago, has filed for bankruptcy. In Hart’s petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he lists just three creditors: The IRS, the Idaho State Tax Commission, and Anderson & Krieger, a construction defect law firm in Sacramento, Calif. Hart also is facing a foreclosure lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department seeking to foreclose on his Athol home for more than $500,000 in back federal income taxes, penalties and interest, and a state order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest. Michael McFarland, Hart’s Coeur d’Alene attorney in the bankruptcy proceeding, said, “I’m really not in a position to discuss details”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. And: bankruptcy document here.

Thoughts?

Tax-protesting Rep. Hart files for bankruptcy

Tax-protesting Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart, who lost his bid for a fifth term in the GOP primary two weeks ago, has filed for bankruptcy. In Hart's petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he lists just three creditors: The IRS, the Idaho State Tax Commission, and Anderson & Krieger, a construction defect law firm in Sacramento, Calif.

Hart also is facing a foreclosure lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department seeking to foreclose on his Athol home for more than $500,000 in back federal income taxes, penalties and interest, and a state order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest. Michael McFarland, Hart's Coeur d'Alene attorney in the bankruptcy proceeding, said, "I'm really not in a position to discuss details."

Hart's filing doesn't list any debt amount, but that must be detailed in subsequent filings that the court has ordered him to make within 14 days; you can read our full story here at spokesman.com.
  

Primary election voters spurn tax-protesting lawmaker

Among the fallout from Tuesday's primary election:  Tax-protesting Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart's legislative career will end this year. Hart was defeated in a four-way GOP primary, edged out by Ed Morse, a longtime real estate appraiser from Hayden. Now Morse will face former longtime Kootenai County Clerk Dan English in November.

Despite high-dollar attempts by interest groups and even other lawmakers to target various legislative incumbents around the state for defeat, Hart and eastern Idaho Rep. Jim Marriott, R-Blackfoot, were the only legislative incumbents defeated by challengers in the primary. Both incumbent Kootenai County commissioners also held their seats. Meanwhile, Idaho's new closed primary drew record low turnout of just 23 percent of registered voters. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

Rep. Hart loses in GOP primary; Ed Morse to face Dan English in November

And now, well after midnight North Idaho time (and after 1 a.m. Boise time), Kootenai County has its final results, and they show an upset: Rep. Phil Hart has lost to challenger Ed Morse in the GOP primary. Hart had 1,746 votes, 31.2 percent, while Morse had 1,984 votes, 35.34 percent. Trailing were Ron Vieselmeyer with 1,116 votes, 19.94 percent, and Fritz Wiedenhoff, 751 votes, 13.42 percent. Morse will face former Kootenai County Clerk Dan English, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary, in November for the House District 2B seat.

Meanwhile, Sen. Steve Vick defeated former Sen. Mike Jorgenson in the primary, and Rep. Vito Barbieri defeated challenger Mark Fisher. In the race for the open House District 3A seat, Ron Mendive edged Jeff Tyler in the GOP primary, 50.14 percent to 49.86 percent - a difference of just nine votes. Rep. Frank Henderson defeated his primary challenger, 55.57 percent to 44.43 percent. And Luke Malek won the GOP primary for the House 4A seat, 65.5 percent to 34.5 percent for Jeff Ames.

Sali To Stump For Phil Hart

Former congressman Bill Sali's appearance in North Idaho on behalf of Rep. Phil Hart and District 3 challenger Ron Mendive is being advertised at the Coeur d'Alene Press Online.

Former Idaho Congressman Bill Sali, famous for introducing legislation in the U.S. House to suspend the law of gravity in a bid to highlight his opposition to the minimum wage, will pitch for tax-protesting Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, at a $25-a-head fundraiser in Coeur d'Alene this week, as Hart heads into a hard-fought four-way GOP primary next Tuesday in his bid for a fifth term in the Idaho House. The fundraiser, according to an ad placed on the Coeur d'Alene Press website by Hart's campaign and shown here, also will benefit GOP House candidate Ron Mendive of Coeur d'Alene, who faces fellow Republican Jeff Tyler of Post Falls on Tuesday for the open House seat formerly held by Bob Nonini/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Is Sali respected enough in Far Right circles to win support for Hart?


Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/05/08/krichert/idaho_politics_bill_sali_surfaces_will_stump_phil_hart#storylink=twt#storylink=cpy

Sali pitches for Hart at CdA fundraiser

Former Idaho Congressman Bill Sali, famous for introducing legislation in the U.S. House to suspend the law of gravity in a bid to highlight his opposition to the minimum wage, will pitch for tax-protesting Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, at a $25-a-head fundraiser in Coeur d'Alene this week, as Hart heads into a hard-fought four-way GOP primary next Tuesday in his bid for a fifth term in the Idaho House. The fundraiser, according to an ad placed on the Coeur d'Alene Press website by Hart's campaign and shown here, also will benefit GOP House candidate Ron Mendive of Coeur d'Alene, who faces fellow Republican Jeff Tyler of Post Falls on Tuesday for the open House seat formerly held by Bob Nonini.

Tyler is a founder of the Reagan Republicans and Pachyderm Club GOP groups, while Mendive is allied with the United Conservatives of North Idaho group, in an increasingly testy divide in Kootenai County's Republican party. That split has become so nasty that one side is attempting to hijack the other's name, Reagan Republicans, by filing legal documents, a move the RR's dubbed "identity theft." There's more info on that here and here.

Sali is no stranger to intra-party controversy himself. In 2006, then-GOP House Speaker Bruce Newcomb called Sali an "absolute idiot," and earlier, when now-Congressman Mike Simpson was speaker of the House and Sali was a member, Simpson threatened to throw Sali out of his 3rd-floor speaker's office window; Sali reported the threat to the House sergeant-at-arms. Sali served 16 years in the Idaho House and one term in the U.S. House before losing to a Democrat, Walt Minnick. This year, he hinted he might run for the state House again, but never filed.

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.
  

Hart Paid Kelso From Campaign Funds

Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart paid $1,000 in campaign funds in 2011 to Coeur d’Alene attorney Starr Kelso, who’s representing him in his ongoing fight against back state income taxes; Hart lost his tax appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court last week. But Hart said the payment was for helping him defend against a series of House ethics complaints. The fourth-term lawmaker faced ethics complaints over his tax fight and an illegal state timber harvest; Kelso represented Hart at two House Ethics Committee hearings in Boise in 2010 and submitted documents on his behalf. Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said, “There’s nothing prohibiting that.” Campaign funds can be used for anything “related to being a holder of public office,” he said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Also: Primary race heating up in Hart's House District 2

Thoughts?

Hart paid lawyer with campaign funds; state says nothing prohibits that

Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart paid $1,000 in campaign funds in 2011 to Coeur d'Alene attorney Starr Kelso, who's representing him in his ongoing fight against back state income taxes; Hart lost his tax appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court last week. But Hart said the payment was for helping him defend against a series of House ethics complaints.    The fourth-term lawmaker faced ethics complaints over his tax fight and an illegal state timber harvest; Kelso represented Hart at two House Ethics Committee hearings in Boise in 2010 and submitted documents on his behalf.

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said, “There's nothing prohibiting that.” Campaign funds can be used for anything “related to being a holder of public office,” he said. And while Idaho state law doesn't specifically mention the use of campaign funds for legal defense, Ysursa said, “We look to the feds for some guidance, and they have in the past indicated that legal defense fund use of campaign funds was OK.” There's a prominent precedent among Idaho politicians: Then-U.S. Sen. Larry Craig tapped his campaign funds for more than a quarter-million dollars after his arrest in a Minneapolis airport restroom sex sting in 2007, including $23,000 for an attorney to represent him in a Senate ethics investigation. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
  

Vieselmeyer: Voters Unhappy w/Hart

(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?

As May 15 primary approaches in Hart’s district, ‘whole lot of politics going on’ in North Idaho

Tax-protesting state Rep. Phil Hart may be the most controversial lawmaker in North Idaho, and his re-election bid for a fifth term in the state House has drawn a bevy of challengers in the May 15 GOP primary. It’s a far cry from the last election, in which Hart was unopposed both in the primary and on the general election ballot. But an unprecedented 20 percent of the vote went to a write-in challenger in the general election in 2010, after news broke about Hart’s court fights over back taxes and a 1996 timber theft case. He subsequently lost his seat on the House tax committee and gave up a vice chairmanship on the Transportation Committee to avoid House ethics sanctions.

Hart said this year’s campaign is keeping him busy. “I think there’s a lot more interest this year, just because people are paying more attention to politics,” said Hart; you can read my full profile of the race here at spokesman.com. 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.”

The district’s other two legislative seats are both held by close allies of Hart whom he recruited to run two years ago, Sen. Steve Vick and Rep. Vito Barbieri, both of Dalton Gardens. Both Vick and Barbieri face challenges in the Republican primary this year as well, and Democratic challengers are standing by to run against the GOP primary winners in November. That’s an anomaly for this district – no Democrat has even run for the Legislature from the district since 2002. Former Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, whom Vick defeated in the primary two years ago to win the seat, is running against Vick; and businessman Mark Fisher is challenging Barbieri.

Fisher echoed Hart about the interest he’s seeing locally in this year’s legislative primary election, which historically has drawn low turnout and little interest. “There’s a whole lot of politics going on up here,” he said.
I also have profiles of the contested primary races in District 3 and District 4 in today's paper.

Hart: Pledges to continue to fight, says he doesn’t owe the state any tax

Idaho Rep. Phil Hart tonight issued a defiant press release after the Idaho Supreme Court unanimously rejected his state income tax appeal, saying he plans to continue to fight. "It is but another phase of my quest for justice," Hart wrote in the release he posted on Facebook; you can click below to read it in full. He maintained, "I do not owe the State of Idaho any tax."

Idaho Court Rejects Hart Tax Appeal

A unanimous Idaho Supreme Court has rejected state Rep. Phil Hart's appeal of an order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest on grounds of legislative privilege; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com. In a seven-page opinion authored by Justice Jim Jones, the unanimous court held that the Idaho Constitution's legislative privilege clause from arrest or “civil process” during legislative sessions didn't protect Hart, or permit him to file his state tax appeal months later than anyone else would have been allowed to. “Hart's untenable argument flows from his misunderstanding of the word 'process,'” Jones wrote/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Thoughts?

Idaho Supreme Court unanimously rejects Rep. Hart’s income tax appeal

A unanimous Idaho Supreme Court has rejected state Rep. Phil Hart's appeal of an order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest on grounds of legislative privilege; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com. In a seven-page opinion authored by Justice Jim Jones, the unanimous court held that the Idaho Constitution's legislative privilege clause from arrest or “civil process” during legislative sessions didn't protect Hart, or permit him to file his state tax appeal months later than anyone else would have been allowed to.

"Hart's untenable argument flows from his misunderstanding of the word 'process,'” Jones wrote. “In this case, Hart was not obligated to do anything but pay his taxes.” The state didn't try to “compel Hart’s appearance before a tribunal,” the court wrote. “No court sought to hold Hart responsible for a new legal obligation. No sheriff or other agent of the State sought to arrest Hart or compel him to appear anywhere or take any other action. In other words, no one tried to hold Hart liable to civil process. Rather, Hart sought to avail himself of … appeals procedures, which he had until January 4, 2010 to do. He missed that deadline by almost three months.”

Wrote the court, “In this instance, Hart is just a taxpayer, with no greater privilege than his constituents.”

The court also dismissed Hart's argument that 4th District Judge John Mitchell abused his discretion by refusing to delay a motion hearing when Hart was in Boise participating in a legislative debate; he wasn't required to attend the hearing. The high court wrote, “Hart's argument on this issue is devoid of reasoned analysis or relevant authority.”

The court awarded attorney fees and costs to the state. “Hart's position here is groundless,” Jones wrote.

Hart's first court appeal in his state income tax case charged that Idaho's state income tax is unconstitutional; that argument wasn't considered, because the appeal was thrown out for being filed too late. Hart, a tax protester who stopped filing both federal and state income tax returns for three years in the 1990s, while he pressed an unsuccessful lawsuit charging the federal income tax was unconstitutional, had 91 days to appeal his order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest for tax years 1996 to 2004, but instead waited more than six months, saying an intervening legislative session entitled him to more time. Because it was too late, his appeal was rejected, a decision he's now unsuccessfully appealed five times.

Green Has Long Supported Phil Hart

I've been curious re: the relationship between state Rep. Phil Hart (pictured), R-Athol, and sheriff's candidate John Green for some time. It has been mentioned here that Green, an attorney for the past two decades, has represented Hart in some capacity over the years. Hart, of course, is embroiled in an income tax fight with both the IRS and Idaho Tax Commission, a fight that will end up in court the day before the general election and could cost him his home. Huckleberries Online has found a link that shows John O'Neill Green of Houston, Texas, was one of the Tax Attorneys who signed on to a full-page ad in the 2008 GOPrimary. The ad includes this statement: "t has been our pleasure to work with your State Representative, Phil Hart. Our relationship withPhil came about when we were exposed to his book Constitutional Income. That book tears away the veil of obscurity covering the 16thAmendment's true nature and scope, by placing the Income Tax Amendment in its proper historical contest — shredding decades of misinformation and misunderstanding. Phil illuminates a rich historical record that sets thefoundation for any serious discussion of federalincome tax law and policy." Full ad here.

Thoughts?

Hart Makes A Point At Tea Party Rally

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.

Thoughts?

Popkey: Democrat Can Win Hart Seat

Dan Popkey, the Idaho Statesman political writer and columnist, picks state Rep. Phil Hart's District 2 seat as one of six legislative seats in which Republicans are vulnerable to a Democratic upset this year. He writes: "Kootenai County’s District 2 is among the half-dozen most Republican strongholds in the state. But if tax scofflaw and timber thief Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, wins a four-way GOP primary, it’s game on. Democrat Dan English is a licensed professional counselor and popular former city councilman, school board member and county clerk, who was president of the Idaho Association of County Recorders and Clerks. English is the sort of common-sense Democrat who used to win in North Idaho and enough embarrassed Republicans might be willing to vote D to end the Hart farce. Former GOP Rep. Ron Vieselmeyer could give Hart trouble because of lingering name ID, but a four-way race always favors the incumbent. If party elders have any sense, they’ll be pressing for a further thinning of the GOP ranks. (Hayden City Councilwoman Jeri DeLange dropped out last week, citing the crowded field.) The other GOP hopefuls are real estate appraiser Ed Morse and firefighter Fritz Wiedenhoff. And: More here.

Question: Do you think Democrat Dan English can with the House District 2 seat from the Republicans?

Richert: A Wild Week For Rep. Hart

Even by his high standards, this was a crazy, newsy week for Rep. Phil Hart. It started at about 3:30 a.m. Monday, when Hart was asleep at a Latah County rest area. A masked man attacked a woman in the other car parked at the rest stop, shooting her in the abdomen with her own gun. The victim, Kayla Sedlacek, is expected to recover; police quickly determined Hart was not a suspect, and sent him on his way. Those travels took the tax-dodging (or, as he’d have you believe, tax-protesting) Hayden Republican back to Coeur d’Alene Monday, for an audience with a skeptical Idaho Supreme Court. Considering the case of the $53,000 Hart owes Idaho — in income taxes, interest and penalties — the justices grilled Hart and his attorney over their claim that the state Constitution protects a sitting lawmaker from civil action 10 days before, and during, a legislative session. Then came Tuesday/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: I'm not sure that I want Phil Hart to go away, via the ballot box. This guy is. Absolute. Gold. You can't make up the things he routinely does. Can you?


Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/04/06/krichert/idaho_politics_the_phil_hart_week_review#storylink=twt#storylink=cpy

Reasonables Reject Green For Sheriff

In the Kootenai County sheriff's race, the Reasonable Republicans said two men are qualified and would serve well: Keith Hutcheson and sheriff' Major Ben Wolfinger. Brad Corkill of the Reasonable Republicans had pointed words for a third candidate, John Green: "It was clear, though, that we could not support John Green.  He’s expressed some peculiar views advocating the arrest of federal law enforcement officers in the county, and his agenda contains ideas that would expand the role of county sheriff beyond what most law-abiding citizens would accept. Last but not least, Mr. Green has served as legal counsel for Phil Hart, which calls into question how he would interpret and enforce the law as sheriff.”

Thoughts?

Reasonable R’s Air Endorsements

The North Idaho Political Action Committee (AKA "Reasonable Republicans) made their endorsements moments ago, setting as its highest priority the defeat of Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol. You can read the list & reasons for endorsements here.The endorsements:

  • District #1:  Shawn Keough (Senate); Eric Anderson (Seat A);George Eskridge (Seat B)
  • District #2: Mark Fisher (Seat A); Ed Morse (Seat B)
  • District #3: Jeff Tyler (Seat A); Frank Henderson (Seat B)
  • District #4: Luke Malek (Seat A)
  • Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney: Barry McHugh
  • Kootenai County Commissioner District #1: Bruce Noble
  • Commissioner District #2: Dan Green

Thoughts?

Hart In Wrong Place At Wrong Time

In what officials are calling a coincidence, Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, was asleep in his car at the Latah County rest area where a woman suffered a gunshot wound. "He is not a suspect," Latah County Sheriff's Office Lt. Brannon Jordan said Wednesday.Deputies who responded to the 3:30 a.m. Monday shooting, found Hart asleep in his car when they searched the rest area parking lot and awakened him at gunpoint."They identified him, cleared him immediately, and sent him on his way," Jordan said. Kayla M. Sedlacek, 28, of Princeton, called 911 from the rest area's pay phone to report she had been shot once in the abdomen after being attacked in the restroom by a masked assailant/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Thoughts?

Hart Asleep In Car During Shooting

Idaho State lawmaker Phil Hart was questioned and released early Monday morning following a shooting at the Mineral Mountain Rest Area near milepost 370 on US 95. Representative Hart, according to Latah County Sheriff's Lt. Brannon Jordan, was asleep in his vehicle when deputies woke him up at gunpoint. Jordan says Hart's vehicle was parked "quite some distance" away from where the incident took place and Hart "did not know anything about it." Hart is not a suspect in the shooting of 28-year-old Kayla Sedlacek of Princeton, who told deputies she stopped at the rest area at about 3:30 Monday morning and was attacked by an unidentified male suspect/KXLY. More here.

DFO: I'm not making this up.

Federal judge dismisses Rep. Hart’s legislative immunity claim in federal tax case

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge today dismissed one of tax-protesting state Rep. Phil Hart's key defenses in the federal lawsuit seeking to foreclose on his Athol home: That he's protected by legislative immunity. "Defendant Hart can only raise a legislative immunity defense if it is available under federal law," the judge wrote. "He has not done so here." Hart was citing a provision from the Idaho Constitution.

Plus, Lodge wrote that legislative immunity under federal law covers only "legitimate legislative activity." He wrote, "The claims raised in this case are in regard to Defendant Hart's private actions in allegedly failing to pay his federal income taxes."

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss Hart's immunity defense; Lodge granted it. "Granting the motion in this case will avoid the expenditure of time and money that must arise from litigating spurious issues," the judge wrote, adding that Hart's immunity claim "clearly lacks merit under any set of facts that he might allege." You can read the judge's decision here, and our  full story here at spokesman.com, from reporter Tom Clouse.

Judge Clears Way For Hart Nov. 5 Trial

A U.S. District Court Judge has cleared the way for federal prosecutors to proceed with their case against Athol Republican Rep. Phil Hart for failing to pay income taxes. Justice Edward Lodge handed down three orders today, all in favor the U.S. Government and against Hart. The north Idaho lawmaker had argued that feds should have been barred for serving him with a notice of deficiency while the Idaho Legislature was in session. Additionally, Hart had sought to have tax assessments reduced and foreclosure stalled on a parcel of his property in Kootenai County. Lodge ordered that there be no more delays in the matter and presented Hart with a firm schedule/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here.

Question: Hart's trial date is the day before November's general election. How does that play in his chances at re-election?