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‘Fire Pelosi’ Bus Rolls Into Caldwell

Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party Norm Semanko leads the GOP candidates off the “Fire Pelosi” bus as U.S. representative candidate Raul Labrador follows behind Saturday morning at the Canyon County Republican headquarters in Caldwell, Idaho. (AP Photo/The Idaho Press-Tribune, Mike Vogt)

Question: How well does the “Fire Pelosi” bus gimmick work in Idaho?

AM: Semanko, Labrador, & ‘Fire Pelosi’

The “Fire Pelosi” bus turns the corner in front of the Canyon County Republican Party headquarters Saturday, October 9, 2010 at the Canyon County Republican headquarters in Caldwell. More here. (AP Photo/The Idaho Press-Tribune, Mike Vogt)

Labrador Brings Ruby Ridge Into Race

Rep. Walt Minnick’s latest TV ad is sparking a new round of controversy. Republican challenger Raul Labrador fired back this morning with a scathing news release attacking Minnick’s messenger: retired U.S. Marshal Mike Johnson. The release centers on Johnson’s role as marshal during the 1992 Ruby Ridge standoff, and quotes two retired deputy marshals who question Johnson’s judgment and ethics. “(Johnson) became one of the biggest embarrassments to this agency as well as to the other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. He exercised questionable, if not poor judgment during Ruby Ridge as well as in other events during his tour,” said retired deputy marshal Jack Cluff/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

  • Cutline: In this September 1992 AP/Statesman file photo, White supremacist Randy Weaver, right, is led from the Federal Building in Boise by U.S. Marshal  Mike  Johnson.

Question: Is it fair criticism for the Labrador camp to bring the specter of Ruby Ridge into the 1st Congressional District campaign?

SR Endorses Walt Minnick

In the Year of the Tea Party, U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick represents the type of middle-course pragmatist who is supposed to be road kill in November. Plus, he’s a Democrat in Idaho. So why is he doing so well in his race for re-election? For starters, he is running on a conservative fiscal record at a time when the debt and deficit have become increasingly menacing. And when we say “conservative,” we mean the type who wants to balance budgets, not cling to blinkered notions of never raising taxes. Minnick represents the type of old-school fiscal sanity that can steer the nation out of a mess/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Agree? Disagree?

Poll: Minnick Leads Labrador 37-31%

GOP congressional hopeful Raul Labrador released his own poll today showing Minnick leading him 37 percent to 31 percent, with 6 percent each for independent Dave Olson and Libertarian Mike Washburn and 21 percent undecided or favoring none of the candidates. The poll was conducted by Moore Information, which also did Labrador’s July 15 poll that showed Minnick leading Labrador by 10 points, 37-28 percent, with 26 percent undecided. “The momentum is with us,” said Labrador, who said he was “delighted” with his latest poll results; you can read more about it here/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Question: Do you think these numbers are legit, that Labrador has closed to within 6 points?

‘Fire Pelosi’ Tour Backs Labrador

The ‘Fire Pelosi’ bus tour will be in Caldwell this Saturday, September 9, 2010 in support of Raul Labrador’s campaign to take the First District Congressional seat from Walt Minnick.  The national GOP tour bus is meant to boost GOP congressional candidates by focusing on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Labrador will attend the Caldwell event that will run from 10:30 am to 12:00 noon at the Canyon County GOP Headquarters at 117 South 9th Street in Caldwell/Stan McKee, Ada County Elections 2010 examiner. More here.

  • Cutline: Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele talks with supporters during a rally in Stockton, Calif., Wednesday. Steele visited California’s Central Valley as part of the RNC’s national ” Fire  Pelosi”  bus  tour. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Question: How much do you think the ‘Fire Pelosi’ bus tour will help Raul Labrador?

Labrador Balks On 14th Amendment

GOP congressional nominee Raul Labrador (pictured) is “not taking a position” on whether the U.S. Constitution should no longer grant native-born children of illegal immigrants citizenship, his campaign said Thursday morning. Wednesday’s blog said Labrador’s position was “unknown.” “Raul is not in favor of repealing the 14th amendment but feels there are other options to look at within it for refinement,” said campaign spokesman Phil Hardy in an e-mail this morning. “Therefore the not taking a position.” Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick said he opposed ending citizenship rights for the native born, which are guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. It was the only question on the 12-item survey on which the two candidates disagreed. Both were rated by the group as “true reformers”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you support the 14th amendment, which gives citizenship rights to native born people?

Did Sheriff Joe Endorse Labrador?

Republican Raul Labrador with Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio at the Women in Red banquet Monday night. (Courtesy photo for Huckleberries Online)

Huckleberries has been told by 2 sources who talked with Sheriff Joe Arpaio at the Republican Women’s breakfast Tuesday morning that the sheriff’s endorsement of Republican Raul Labrador was less than enthusiastic. Seems he was surprised when someone presented him with the Spokesman-Review that included the story headlined: “Arizona lawman endorses Labrador.” After viewing the article, Arpaio said “Did I endorse this guy?” According to my sources, Arpaio then commented that he didn’t expect Labrador to win. On his Web site, Labrador touted the endorsement and the quote from Arpaio: “Congress needs a conservative Republican who understands immigration law; Raul Labrador will help America solve the problem of illegal immigration.” So, which is it? Did Arpaio endorse Labrador or not? Here’s the exact exchange between Arpaio and SReporter Alison Boggs from press conference:

Q: I notice Mr. Labrador’s here. Are you making an endorsement in the First Congressional District race?
A: I gotta endorse him. Look who’s running against him. The guy that I worked with when he was at the White House, I had big battles with Minnick. I didn’t know it was the same guy, then I find out it is the same guy, under Nixon.
(Sheriff Joe worked for 25 years at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency before becoming sheriff in Maricopa County.)
Q: So are you going to be doing that tonight?
A: Doing what?
Q: An official endorsement.
A: I support him. I’m doing it here, I guess. I don’t know what I’m doing. But yeah, he’s a good guy. Nice wife. It’s always the spouse you gotta look at, never mind who’s running. That’s why I get re-elected. I’ve got a nice wife.

Question: Sounds like an endorsement to me albeit not a ringing one. What do you think?

CQ: Will Minnick Switch To GOP?

The prospect of Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick, the least loyal Democrat in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s stable, switching parties has been raised by Republicans in a story in CQ’s Roll Call. “Democratic Reps. Dan Boren (Okla.), Walt Minnick (Idaho) and Heath Shuler (N.C.) are all on the Republicans’ target list. Reps. Mike McIntyre (N.C.) and Gene Taylor (Miss.) are also considered potential gets,” write Anna Palmer and Steven T. Dennis. The Roll Call story, published late Monday, doesn’t include a reply from the 1st District freshman who faces GOP state Rep. Raul Labrador in the Nov. 2 election. But his campaign manager, John Foster, said the former Republican who worked in the Nixon White House won’t return to the GOP fold/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Should Congressman Walt Minnick switch parties?

Labrador Fires Back On Immigration

A day after Rep. Walt Minnick issued a guest opinion defending his TV ad on immigration — and released another TV ad blasting his Republican opponent’s work as an immigration lawyer — Raul Labrador fired back. Labrador issued a guest opinion today, accusing the incumbent of dodging the immigration issue. “It is surprising my opponent, Democrat Walt Minnick, continues to intentionally distort my record on illegal immigration and profession as an attorney while at the same time avoids explaining his own position on illegal immigration,” said Labrador/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Has Minnick succeeded in keeping the ball in Labrador’s court on the immigration issue? Or has Labrador adequately returned serve?

Minnick: Labrador Can’t Change Facts

Facts are stubborn things. We may wish they are not true. We may find them distasteful. We may even be told that the facts themselves are not as they seem. But facts they are, and no amount of political spin or media misreporting can change the facts. Such is the case with Raul Labrador. Advertisements about my opponent in the Nov. 2 election have stirred up some controversy, including on these editorial pages (Opinion, “Get back to the message, please,” Sept. 24). Some in the media and liberal blogs don’t like the straightforward, tough look at Raul’s own record and background, the two things he specifically points to as his main qualifications for office/Congressman Walt Minnick, Moscow-Pullman Daily News op-ed article. More here.

Question: Do you think Raul Labrador is trying to have it both ways, as Minnick contends?

AM: Sheriff Joe Endorses Labrador

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio talks with Raul Labrador, Republican candidate for Congress, at the Coeur d’Alene Resort on Monday. At a press conference prior to the annual Women in Red banquet, sponsored by the Kootenai County Republican Women’s Federation, Arpaio endorsed Labrador’s candidacy for Idaho’s 1st Congressional District. Story on Arpaio speech at banquet here. (SR Photo: Kathy Plonka)

P.S.: Minnick Launches New Ad

Rep. Walt Minnick has launched another TV ad criticizing Raul Labrador on the immigration issue. And this time, the Democratic incumbent solicits help from a Republican, who does the narration on Minnick’s behalf/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you like this immigration attack ad by Walt Minnick better than the first one? Less than the first? About the same?

Sheriff Arpaio Endorses Raul Labrador

A Berry Picker sends along this photo from Buck Knives, where controversial Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arapaio, right, talks with Kellie Palm of the Kootenai County Republican Women Federation and Chuck Buck Sr. of Buck Knives. Arpaio will be the guess speaker at the Republican Women’s annual Women In Red event at the Coeur d’Alene Resort tonight.

At a press conference that ended a few moments ago at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsed Raul Labrador’s candidacy for Congress. Labrador was in attendance with his wife, Rebecca. At one point, Arpaio was asked if he was endorsing Labrador. And he said simply that he liked the Republican legislator and that he was. As you may recall, there was quite a brouhaha among Republican women when Labrador sought one-on-one face time with Arpaio before tonight’s Women in Red event.

 Question: Why was Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s endorsement so important to Raul Labrador?

Minnick Jabs Again On Immigration

Rep. Walt Minnick isn’t backing off of his criticism of Republican opponent Raul Labrador’s work in immigration law. In a guest opinion, the 1st District Democratic incumbent defends his controversial TV ad criticizing Labrador, and adds a new wrinkle: Minnick says Labrador sold his clients immigration documents that they could have received through the government. “Raul’s business website sold immigration documents that could be obtained for free from the U.S. government, taking advantage of those who did not know better,” Minnick writes in his guest opinion/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Obviously, Minnick realizes that opponent Raul Labrador is vulnerable on the immigration issue, unless I’m misreading the situation. What do you think?

Labrador, Spanish Broadcaster Mix It Up

First District GOP nominee Raul Labrador told an incredulous Jorge Ramos that 11 million illegal immigrants should return to their home countries and apply for readmission. Labrador appeared Sunday on Univision’s “Al Punto” (“To the Point”), the network’s equivalent of “Meet the Press” and other Sunday public affairs programs. Univision is the No. 5 TV network in the U.S. and reaches 95 percent of the 48 million Hispanics in the country. “Al Punto” draws an average of 948,000 viewers and draws more adults aged 18 to 49 than “Fox News Sunday”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Is illegal immigration an issue for you in the 1st Congressional District race?

George: Aide Lied About Minnick Grade

In a Coeur d’Alene Press op-ed piece, local Democratic leader Thom George writes: “On Sept. 28, 2010, the Coeur d’Alene Press printed an opinion piece by Jeff Ward in which he complained about “a lot of untruths, half truths, and bald-faced lies” that are told during a political campaign. And then mere sentences later he told a “bald-faced lie” about Congressman Walt Minnick’s NRA rating, knowingly and falsely claiming the Congressman had a rating of D+ instead of the factual rating of B+. According to a report on the Idaho Reporter website, NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said Minnick voted with the NRA 100 percent of the time in the U.S. House and scored well on its questionnaire for candidates. Jeff, there you go again.” More here.

Question: At this point, when Congressman Walt Minnick’s grade from the NRA should be well known to all, is there any excuse for Republicans to purposely misrepresent it?

Raul Labrador On Immigration Reform

Question: What do you think of Republican Raul Labrador’s position on immigration reform?

HBO Poll: Puerto Rico Event Troubling

  • Thursday Poll: 54 of 102 (52.94%) voted that they are bothered that a fund-raiser was held in Puerto Rico for Republican Raul Labrador Thursday night. 40 of 102 (39.22%) say they weren’t bothered by the Puerto Rico fund-raiser. 8 respondents were undecided.
  • Weekend Poll: Which regional incumbent is most vulnerable in his/her re-election bid — Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna, Congressman Walt Minnick, or Gov. Butch Otter?

Inlander Views Minnick-Labrador Race

Minnick, in one television ad, says that he is “right for Idaho” without ever mentioning that he’s a Democrat. Just this week, Minnick is quoted in Congressional Quarterly saying he would not necessarily vote for Pelosi as speaker should the Democrats retain control of the House. “It’s pragmatic politics. It’s something that is sorely missing and sorely needed in our state government and our federal government,” says Thom George, chair of the Kootenai County Democrats. “In the Idaho Democratic Party, we have come to realize we live in a conservative state and what flies in the rest of the nation does not fly in Idaho”/Kevin Taylor, Inlander. More here.

Question: Do you think most Idaho Democrats have gotten the message that Thom George is selling about Walt Minnick in this Inlander article by Kevin Taylor — that “what flies in the rest of the nation does not fly in Idaho”?

Labrador To Attend Puerto Rico Event

Labrador will attend a fundraiser hosted by Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno at 6 tonight in Miramar. Among the other dignitaries is Labrador’s half-brother, Eric Labrador, who served in the Cabinet of a former governor. Labrador, a native of Puerto Rico, says Fortuno is among the most conservative governors in the U.S. “The governor invited me to come,” Labrador told the Statesman. “The Republican Party of Puerto Rico is putting this together.” The event is at the Excelsior Tower, with contributions set at $500 per person or $2,000 per political action committee/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: As I mentioned here a couple of days ago, some local Republican women are bothered that Raul Labrador will be in Puerto Rico tonight for a fund-raiser. Are you?

Tea Party Boise Endorses Labrador

Tea Party Boise has set two 2-hour town halls with 1st District Republican nominee Raul Labrador and not invited incumbent Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick. “We’ve made our choice and we want people to have a chance to ask him some tough questions,” said Brendan Smythe, president of the group. “We made the decision based on principles.” Tea Party Boise endorsed Labrador over then-favorite Vaughn Ward in the May GOP primary. Had Ward won, Smythe said the group’s general election endorsement may have gone to Minnick. “We’ve been reaching out to him and I have a good relationship with his staff”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: Are you surprised that Tea Party Boise supported Labrador?

USA Today Feats Renegade Labrador

First District nominee Raul Labrador is among “a handful of U.S. House candidates (who) are poised to reshape the Republican Party — and its agenda,” according to a USA Today story published Monday. Labrador, a two-term state representative from Eagle, provides the first quote in the story, telling the national newspaper, “People rejected the Republicans because they weren’t sticking to their principles. This new young crop of congressmen is going to make a difference”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Which 1st Congressional District candidate is more of a maverick — Democrat Walt Minnick or Republican Raul Labrador?

EOB: Labrador plans fundraiser in Puerto Rico

Idaho GOP congressional hopeful Raul Labrador plans to travel to his native Puerto Rico next week to raise money for his campaign against Democratic U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick, the AP reports, with a $500-per-person reception next Thursday. More here at Eye on Boise

Thoughts?

Ward: Idaho Press Helps Minnick

Jeff Ward (pictured), the North Idaho Field Director for the Idaho Republican Party’s 2010 campaign said that, “a lot of untruths, half-truths and bald-faced lies are spread during a campaign”; and that while Republican could not get away with “weaving fairy tales” due to the efforts of the press, the Democrats could.  That was the inference of a press release from Ward over the weekend.  “Democrats have been freely able to manipulate the Idaho press in so many ways this year,” said Ward in the release; “especially when it comes to media darlings; Walter Clifford Minnick and his spinmeister general John Foster”/Stan McKie, Examiner.com. More here.

Question: Is the Idaho press easily manipulated by Democrats, as Jeff Ward alleges?

Minnick Leads By Only 3% In NIdaho

Meanwhile, the poll showed Idaho’s U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick with a 10-point lead over his GOP challenger, Raul Labrador, throughout the 1st Congressional District. But in North Idaho, the numbers change to a statistical dead heat: 43 percent for Minnick and 40 percent for Labrador. That’s within the poll’s margin of error. Political scientist David Adler, director of the University of Idaho’s James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy, said the north-south difference reflects a stronger tea party movement in the north along with “a great deal of anti-Obama sentiment.” That shows up in both the congressional race and the governor’s race, he noted, with Otter’s edge growing in the north/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are you surprised the Tea Party movement is stronger in North Idaho than elsewhere in the state?

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?

NRA Won’t Endorse In 1st CD Race

Two years after the NRA endorsed GOP Rep. Bill Sali and gave his challenger, Democrat Walt Minnick, a “D+,” the powerful gun-rights group says now-Rep. Minnick has cleaned up his act and jumped two full grades. “Very simply, he has been a solid vote on gun issues and he’s been supportive of 2nd Amendment issues since he’s been elected,” said Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA’s director of public affairs. The GOP nominee, state Rep. Raul Labrador, earned an “A,” but the NRA is staying neutral in the race, said Arulanandam/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

DFO: I watched (via Spokane TV newscast) that close encounter between the Reagan Republicans & local Demo chief Thom George on the NW Blvd corner Friday night. The funniest part of this tempest in a teapot that Thom had a concealed weapons permit & was packing.]

Question: Is the National Rifle Association wise to stay out of this gun-rights flap between Congressman Walt Minnick & challenger Raul Labrador?

Liberal Daily Kos Calls Minnick A Bigot

In the Daily Kos, the main blogger blasts Congressman Walt Minnick’s controversial, new ad re: challenger Raul Labrador’s role as an immigration lawyers. Kos states: “I expect Republicans to be bigoted assholes. It’s particularly heinous when Democrats do it.” Kos continues: “Minnick is up 20 in the polls, while his opponent is broke and has zero institutional support (he’s a teabagger who beat the establishment’s choice). It’s a done race, yet Minnick decides to be a bigot anyway by attacking his opponent’s work as an immigration lawyer.” You can read the rest of his post and view the video for yourself by following this link here.

Question: Will the attack by the Daily Kos hurt Minnick?

Bloggy: D’s Should Vote For Labrador

RE: Liberal Daily Kos calls Minnick a bigot over immigration ad

Mr. Bloggy: I mean, at what point is Walt gonna sign onto the Tea Party Bill of Rights and hustle up some photo ops with Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann? Here, let me make it simple for the ones who don’t get it, when you oppose, legislatively, the key initiatives of your president and party drawn from the core principles, when you show zero inclination of belief that government can make life better for the unfortunate, weak, and disadvantaged, has a role in economic recovery, and the Constitution is not just a speedbump on the Bible Bus highway, then you are not a Democrat. You are something else. A republican.

Question: Do Idaho Democrats march to the beat of the Daily Kos?