Latest from The Spokesman-Review
By the way, tax-protesting Idaho State Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, takes his appeal of his state income taxes to the Idaho Supreme Court today; the arguments start at 11:10 a.m. Pacific time in the old courthouse in Coeur d'Alene, second floor, Judge Luster's courtroom. S-R reporter Tom Clouse is there and we'll have a full report.
Republican Jeri DeLange (pictured) announced today that she is withdrawing her candidacy in the primary for State Representative, District 2, Seat B, due to the high number of candidates who filed for this position. DeLange believes that it’s more important to step aside to allow a greater opportunity for the incumbent to be defeated because it’s inappropriate for an elected official and lawmaker to demand a special standard that is not equal to the same other citizens are bound to by state, federal, and local laws. She encourages voters to make their voices heard at the ballot box in May. “For change to occur, action must happen. We are each responsible for our greatest freedom and privilege at the ballot box.”
Question: Should anyone else withdraw from race?
Apparently, state Rep. Phil Hart has been busy writing opinion pieces this past week, defending his stands with the Internal Revenue Service and the Idaho Tax Commission. Below, in this thread, you will find his comments re: my use of the description “tax-dodging” to describe him in a recent Sunday Huckleberries column. Now, in a commentary on his re-election Web site, Hart conjures the images of Lewis & Clark to defend his taking of timber from public land to build his Athol home. You can read “Media controversy about logs & Phil Hart” here.
State Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, sent this response to HucksOnline moments ago re: a Parting Shot item that appeared in my Sunday column March 4: “When a friend handed me a recent copy of David Oliveria's Sunday Spokesman-Review column, it became clear what Thomas Jefferson meant over 200 years ago, when he said, “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” In that column Oliveria referred to me as an “artful tax dodger.” One must assume he gets this term from the Charles Dickens story “Oliver Twist.” I had a difficult time making any connection between that story and my circumstances. But there is one similarity, in that, the Dickens' novel is a fictional story and what Oliveria wrote about me was also fiction. The following are a few non-fictional facts, none of which Oliveria cares to report.” More here. (SR file photo of Phil Hart at Ron Paul rally in Spokane Feb. 21)
Ten House Republicans have voted against a non-binding memorial backing improved cooperation with Canada on trade and security, but HJM 13 passed the House, 56-10, and now moves to the Senate. The memorial, co-sponsored by Reps. George Eskridge, R-Dover, and Max Black, R-Boise, and Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, recognizes that the U.S. and Canada are each other's largest single export market, and calls for Congress and the federal administration to work together to carry out the “Beyond the Border Action Plan” released in December 2011, pursuant to an initiative announced a year earlier by the president of the United States and the prime minister of Canada/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Hart & Barbieri can waste the Legislature's time with “sound money” and nullification bills; yet, they oppose a memorial supporting trade with Canada? Seriously?
A group calling itself MIDDLE (Moderate Idahoans Discussing Diverse Legislative Efforts) says there's too much BILE (Bad Idaho Legislative Effects) in the Idaho Legislature. Carrie Scheid, former head of the Idaho Falls Arts Council, says she knows that legislators are prone to preen and posture. But this year seems particularly bad when 65,000 unemployed Idahoans, and public schools and Medicaid programs have absorbed three years of budget cuts. In a Post Register article, Scheid said she couldn't believe that legislators wasted two days debating Rep. Phil Hart's bill that would designate gold and silver as a form of currency in Idaho. As another waste of time, she cited Sen. Jeff Siddoway's bill that would allow the use of live bait and employ helicopters to kill wolves. You can read the entire article here.Q
Question: Which bill would you consider the worst in the 2012 Idaho Legislature?
Hayden City Council Member Jeri DeLange announced that she is running for District 2, House Seat B in the Legislature held by Phil Hart. DeLange said she decided to enter the race because she strongly believes that lawmakers should not attempt to place themselves above the law. “Hart is entitled to his own views, but it's inappropriate for an elected official and lawmaker to demand a special standard that is not equal to the same other citizens are bound to by state, federal, and local laws,” she said in a press release. DeLange believes change is needed. “It's important to elect a representative who is respected and can work well with other legislators throughout the state to best represent the interests of North Idaho and its constituents,” she said/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Which of the four non-incumbents has the best chance to beat Hart in the House District 2B GOPrimary?
The House has voted 64-4 in favor of HB 650, Rep. Ken Andrus' animal cruelty bill; the measure now moves to a Senate committee. The only “no” votes came from Reps. Barrett, Barbieri, Hart and Harwood. In his closing debate, Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, said, “I don't care if we're the only state that doesn't have animal cruelty for a felony if we're right. But I think there is some concern about … treatment of animals. … I think this is a reasonable approach.” He said, “I don't guarantee you that this will stop initiatives”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
- House debate on animal cruelty bill: 'Navigating the rocks and the shoals'
- Senate passes anti-union bill 26-8
- House on animal cruelty bill: 'Working dogs more valuable than man on ranch'
- Senate passes oil/gas bill 24-10
- House kills online course provider transparency bill
- House takes up HB 650, animal cruelty bill
- Senate debating oil/gas bill
Question: Are you amazed that two of the four votes against the animal cruelty bill came from Reps. Phil Hart & Vito Barbieri in the same North Idaho House District?
- Monday Poll: Hucks Nation believes the five-way race for the House District 2B GOP primary favors controversial incumbent Phil Hart. 43 of 113 respondents (38.05%) say Rep. Phil Hart will win the primary despite considerable baggage. 37 of 113 respondents (32.74%) says challenger Ed Morse will win. 14 of 113 (12.39%) say former legislator Ron Vieselmeyer will win, while 11 (9.73%) say Hayden Councilwoman Jeri DeLange will win and 8 (7.08%) favor Wiedenhoff.
- Today's Question: Do you think Richard Mack actually will speak at the Kootenai County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner?
Ron Vieselmeyer, a current North Idaho College trustee and a former legislator, called to ask if I'd posted that he entered the House District 2B race to help state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, get re-elected. Ron said he'd been told second or third hand that I had. I assured him that I hadn't, although I did consider it strange that he jumped into a five-candidate race and that Hart would probably survive the GOPrimary as a result. Vieselmeyer responded that he entered the race because he thought Hart wasn't going to run for re-election. Both men filed Friday, I believe. I wished Ron hadn't gotten involved in the race because he will pull votes from others. Ditto for Jeri DeLange and Fritz Wiedenhoff. I wanted Ed Morse to take Hart on, mano a mano — so there would be no winning with a plurality of 35 percent or so. Morse would beat Hart straight up. Hart's Far Right troops are passionate. He has his cut of the vote locked in. Meanwhile, Vieselmeyer, DeLange and Wiedenhoff will be tripping all over themselves and Morse trying to get traction to beat the Artful Tax Dodger. Vieselmeyer is one of the most honest men I know. He's to be believed when he says he's not on Hart's team. However, his candidacy will help Hart by further splitting the vote. Isn't the purpose here to make Phil Hart a former Idaho legislator? — DFO
Question: Who would you like to see drop out of the House District 2B race?
In Idaho’s upcoming elections, North Idaho’s most-Republican legislative district will have a Democratic challenger vying for every seat. No Democrat has even run for the Legislature in the district since 2002, when there was just one candidate, who lost; the last one elected was in 1994. But this year, there’s a high-profile Democrat running, former Kootenai County Clerk Dan English, who for many years was the only Democratic elected official in Kootenai County. English is running against tax-protesting Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, and he’s not the only one. Hart, who filed Friday to seek a fifth term in the state House, also faces four challengers in the GOP primary: Longtime local real estate appraiser and Hayden businessman Ed Morse; Hayden City Councilwoman Jeri DeLange; former lawmaker Ron Vieselmeyer; and Fritz Wiedenhoff of Rathdrum. The district, which is the new District 2 for the upcoming elections but was District 3 for the past 10 years, includes Hayden, Hayden Lake, the Rathdrum Prairie, Spirit Lake and Athol/Betsy Russell, SR. More here. (Jesse Tinsley SR photo: Rep. Phil Hart, R-Idaho, talks to someone at Ron Paul rally in Spokane Feb. 21)
Democrat Dan English, former Kootenai County clerk, announces his candidacy for House District 2B seat in front of the Idaho Tax Commission office Thursday. (Special photo for Huckleberries)
As predicted by HucksOnline (as a result of campaign literature being circulated at the Idaho GOP presidential caucus at Lakeland High Tuesday), controversial state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, has filed for re-election, with the secretary of state's office. Also, Fritz Widenhoff has followed through with his statement to the Pachyderm Club this morning and filed for Hart's House District 2B seat. That means four Republicans are in the race for the seat: Hart, Widenhoff, Hayden Councilwoman Jeri DeLange, and Ed Morse. Democrat Dan English filed for the seat Thursday, announcing his candidacy in front of the Idaho Tax Commission office, to underscore Hart's problems with the IRS and Tax Commission.
Question: How do you see this race playing out?
Kootenai County Republicans continue to be the Political Gang That Can't Shoot Straight. They're about to botch a golden opportunity to send Artful Tax Dodger Phil Hart of Athol packing during the GOPrimary election in May by flooding the field with challengers. Yeah, yeah, I know that local party poohbahs can't tell candidates not to run. And, given the ideological makeup of the badly split local party, I wouldn't want them to do so. But someone should take the contendahs for Hart's throne aside — and let them know that the crowded field benefits the controversial incumbent. Give the nature of his starry-eyed, passionate disciples, Hart would be hard to beat in a one-on-one race. The candidacies of Ed Morse, Councilwoman Jeri DeLange, and possibly Fritz Wiedenhoff make this a three-on-one race, splitting the remaining vote. I've often wondered why challengers for elected positions don't realize that the goal for the overall good is to beat a controversial incumbent like Hart, not personal ambition. I predict Hart will win a four-way race, despite his mountain of baggage. Help us, Obi Wan Dan English, you're our only hope — DFO.
Question: Why don't challengers realize that a crowded field tends to benefit the incumbent?
Breaking! Fritz E. Wiedenhoff of Rathdrum told the Pachyderm Club this AM that he's filing for Phil Hart's House District 2B seat instead of Steve Vick's Senate seat b/c Mike Jorgenson wants to run against Vick.
The race for state Rep. Phil Hart's House District 2B seat just got curiouser as Hayden City Councilwoman Jeri DeLange (pictured) has filed. That means three people now running for the spot: Hart, DeLange and Ed Morse — as well as Democrat Dan English. Nothing else has changed in the race for spots now held by Hart, Vito Barbieri and Steve Vick (although, Huckleberries hears that former state senator Mike Jorgenson should file to challenge Vick for his old seat).
Question: Will Jeri's filing split the vote with Ed Morse, improving Hart's chances to survive the GOPrimary?
The U.S. Justice Department wants a federal judge to toss out Idaho Rep. Phil Hart’s arguments that his status as a state legislator should bar IRS claims against him for back taxes. Federal authorities are seeking to foreclose on Hart’s Athol, Idaho log home for $550,000 in back federal income taxes, penalties and interest. In fighting the move, Hart claimed that because a notice of deficiency was sent to him while the Legislature was in session, the whole case should be tossed out. His Kentucky lawyer, Charles McFarland, argued in court documents that Hart’s immune from being served any such notices during a legislative session, to “prevent interference with the state legislative process.” Wrote McFarland, “This has been a fundamental principle since the foundation of country and even the law of nations”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.
DFO: P'haps the feds are angry that they didn't get a robo-call about tonight's DVD unveiling at Templins?
Question: But, but, but don't they know he's Phil Hart & he's written a book about “Constitutional Money”?
Apparently, Rep. Phil Hart is doing robo-calls to promote that DVD presentation at Templin's tonight. Got this from someone on Hart's robo-call list: “I received a ‘robo call’ on my cell phone last night with a message telling me that Phil Hart was doing a presentation tonight at Templins Resort in Post Falls, to introduce his new DVD, “Constitutional Income.” I thought you might be interested in sending a reporter. The doors open at 6:00 p.m. in the Redhead Room (main banquet room) and the presentation begins at 7:00 p.m.” Robo-call?
Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey writes about Dan English, the former Kootenai County clerk who's filed as a Democrat to run for the seat now held by Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol. Popkey says English has “an impressive resume for a challenger,” though he's running in a district where no Democrat has even run for the Legislature since 2002, and then there was just one candidate, who lost. The last one elected was in 1994. Republican businessman Ed Morse of Hayden also is running; if Hart, a tax protester who's currently appealing more than $53,000 in back state income taxes and facing a possible home foreclosure over back federal income taxes, files for re-election, he'd face Morse in the GOP primary/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here (Bay Views photo of Dan English)
Question: How's that for a photo op?
Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, is presenting his “sound money” bill, HB 578, to the House State Affairs Committee this morning; he said it was written by Edwin Vieira Jr., a lawyer and author from Virginia. Hart told the committee that a dollar originaly “was equal to 371 grains of silver,” but was “decoupled” from gold and silver in 1933. “We are concerned about the future and about where we are going with our monetary system,” Hart said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. And: here.
- House State Affairs OKs youth concussin bill 15-3, and here
- JFAC adopts Millennium Fund committee's recommendation for tobacco funds
- JFAC continues setting tight budgets
- Popkey: Longtime moderate Republicans fleeing Idaho House
Question: Do you support Phil Hart's “sound money” bill?
Democrat and former Kootenai County clerk Dan English is running for the Idaho House seat now held by Phil Hart. English acknowledges that people are allowed to hold any political views they want, and in Hart's case, have tax protesting views. “But I don't think someone should be free to run term after term unchallenged when their belief and practices about our tax laws are so far out of line with ordinary, hard-working taxpayers who play by the rules, who pay their fair share, and expect everyone else to do the same,” English said in his announcement speech Wednesday. “I can't imagine wanting to even give the appearance that I was somehow using the fact of being an elected office holder as a shield to avoid, or in any manner delay, the responsibilities and timelines that every other ordinary taxpayer must abide by.” Republican Ed Morse has already filed a declaration of candidacy for the Seat B position in Legislative District 2. Hart might not run for re-election/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: What is the best strategy for Dan English in trying to win this seat?
… That controversial Constitutionalist-turned-Republican Phil Hart is planning to run for re-election. Or at least that's how a Berry Picker interpreted circulation of Hart campaign literature by supporters at the Lakeland High GOP caucus site last night. Hart still hasn't filed his candidacy papers with the Idaho Secretary of State's office for new House District 2B seat. Republican Ed Morse and Democrat Dan English have filed for the seat. Also last night, Hart supporters were handing out flyers promoting a screening of a DVD of Hart's book, “Constitutional Income.” The flyer said the event will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at Templin's Red Lion. Doors will open at 6.
Reagan Repub (with disclaimer that he's working for Fisher): Rep. Barbieri (pictured) has been closely allied with Hart and although he does not face the problems Hart faces, he has focused on a similar very narrow agenda like Hart. Niche issues like nulification, silver coinage, raw milk and hiring new attorneys for the Legislature does not resonate with a voter losing his or her job or business. Fisher has a much broader perspective and more impactful issues. Again I put my money on Fisher for better connecting with the average voter. Remember Ron Paul, even with the protest vote against McCain, was weak in 2008 in this district. Barbieri has endorsed Paul and shares a similar priority of issues. I am curious how the race will be impacted by Rep. Hart running or not running. Rep. Barbieri may be hurt by his alliance to Hart but Hart’s loyal followers will also help Vito in the precincts if Phil runs again. It may be a wash.
Question: Will Mark Fisher beat Vito Barbieri in House District 2A GOPrimary?
Former Kootenai County Clerk, Dan English, will make a formal announcement about his candidacy for Legislative District 2, Position B, the seat currently held by Representative Phil Hart. He will make his brief announcement remarks Wednesday, March 7st at 10:30 a.m. He will make them outside 1910 NW Blvd. in Coeur d’Alene, in front of the State Tax Commission Office. English, 60, is a native of Kootenai County and has a lifetime record of service to his community. He is the founder and former Executive Director of two local non-profits, North Idaho Youth for Christ and Anchor House-Idaho Youth Ranch. He currently is the resident Manager of Twin Lakes Friends Camp and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. In the past he has held positions as a city councilman, a sheriff’s detective, and a school board member among others. More here.
Question: Can Dan English beat Phil Hart?
The House State Affairs Committee voted this morning to introduce a new version of Rep. Phil Hart's gold and silver currency bill, which declares that Idahoans may use gold and silver coins at face value as “legal tender” and “as an alternative to the Federal Reserve Notes that currently circulate as our only currency,” and also bans any tax on ownership of the gold and silver coins. It's a new version of HB 430, which Hart earlier introduced as a personal bill; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com. Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, (pictured) voted against introducing the new bill. “To me, it looks like nothing more than a tax avoidance,” Anderson said. “I don't buy the argument”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
- AG Wasden: Liquor privatization initiative may be illegal
- Senate tax panel unanimously OKs Henderson's bill for aircraft tax break
- House passes bill 'to rein in urban renewal a little bit'
- House OKs bill that closes Sunshine Law loophole for recall elections
- House OKs $5 POST fee increase w/no debate
- Emergency bill would eliminate tax on free sips of wine at tasting events
- Internet sales tax bill introduced on 12-6 vote of Rev & Tax
- Lakes commissions funded again, but worker pay boost rejected
- Wolf-kill bill for ranchers debated, vote delayed until Wednesday
Question: What do you think of Anderson's remark about Hart's legislation?
House District 3 Reps. Phil Hart (far left) and Vito Barbieri (far right) were on hand to welcome Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul to Spokane Friday night.
Presidential candidate Ron Paul took the hardest shot at President Obama of any of the three Republicans who campaigned in Idaho this week, accusing Obama of assassinating a 16-year-old U.S. citizen last fall. Paul said the Obama administration’s change in national policy in 2011 to allow the killing of American citizens accused of terrorist acts amounted to an attack on its own citizens. The administration fired missiles from drones in Yemen and killed three citizens, including Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a Denver native and the son of al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki. “Just because someone seems to be a bad person is no justification,” Paul told his audience at CenturyLink Arena in Boise. “The worse a person is, the more important it is they get justice so we get justice”/Rocky Barker, Statesman. More here.
Question: So which presidential candidate made the biggest impact in his Idaho visit — Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, or Ron Paul?
For the second presidential election in a row, State Representative Phil Hart has endorsed 12- term Texas Congressman Ron Paul for president. According to Rep. Hart, “Ron Paul is the only candidate who understands our economic problems. He is also the only frontrunner candidate who is not propped up by those who have caused our economic demise.” With regard to Dr. Paul’s foreign policy, Rep. Hart said, “Those Americans who understand our foreign policy the best, our active military men and women, support Ron Paul overwhelmingly. America needs a paradigm shift, and Ron Paul is the only candidate for President who can deliver on that”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Any surprises here?
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?
Not only is Idaho State Rep. Phil Hart not in jail for tax evasion (yet), he’s still introducing legislation in Boise. Hart’s latest endeavor is House Bill 430, which “recognizes the liberty of Idahoans to conductbusiness in gold and silver coin uninhibited at their own discretion as a right never delegated by the People of Idaho to any governmental institution.” Yep, Phil wants the good people of Idaho to be able to use gold and silver coins instead of paper money. Not only that, Phil wants the use of these coins to be free of any taxation. OK, look, we all know this bill isn’t going to go anywhere, even in this land of rabid Libertarians and militia members/Sean Riley, iSightonline via Potato Understanding. More here.
Rep. Phil Hart (R– Athol) wants gold and silver coin to be an alternative to paper money, formally known as Federal Reserve Notes. Hart, who is currently being sued by the federal government for unpaid taxes, wants gold and silver currency exempt from tax. He’s titled the bill the ‘Idaho Constitutional Money Act of 2012′/Emilie Ritter Saunders, StateImpact. Hart's Statement here.
- Where fringe ideas like this come from/Kevin Richert, Statesman
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?
Idaho could save $200,000 a year by no longer using certified mail to send two types of deficiency notices to delinquent taxpayers, and instead using first-class mail. The reason: 35 percent of certified mail is returned, simply because folks don't bother to pick it up. Today, Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, urged the House to support HB 362, legislation from the state Tax Commission to try first-class mail instead for a year, to see how it works; the Tax Commission would report back to lawmakers after a year on the results/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.