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Labrador: Obama Should Be Like Bill

Idaho 1st District GOP Rep. Raúl Labrador is urging President Barack Obama to emulate his fellow Democratic President Bill Clinton in striking a budget deal with Republicans. In a three-page letter Wednesday, Labrador hails Clinton's leadership and suggests Obama follow his example. “Today the political talking heads may still argue over whether the resulting economic boom should be credited to Bill Clinton or the Republican Congress; notwithstanding, what the majority of the Amercican people remember is that their work together resulted in a period of economic prosperity that continued until the end of his administration”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Labrador that President Obama should be more Clintonesque in dealing with congressional Republicans and the budget?

Politico: Labrador Could Lead Reform

Item: Politico: Labrador could be GOP’s ‘credible face for immigration reform’/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise

More Info: Politico yesterday took a look at Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador as a possible “credible face for broader immigration reform” for the GOP. Reporter Marin Cogan writes, “Wading into the tricky politics of immigration reform would seem to be a dead end for any Republican these days — let alone a conservative freshman from Idaho. But Rep. Raul Labrador, a Puerto Rican-born former immigration lawyer and overnight tea party darling, is doing just that.

Question: Would you be proud/dismayed if Congressman Labrador becomes the credible GOP face for immigration reform in this country?

Politico: Labrador could be GOP’s ‘credible face for immigration reform’

Politico yesterday took a look at Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador as a possible “credible face for broader immigration reform” for the GOP. Reporter Marin Cogan writes, “Wading into the tricky politics of immigration reform would seem to be a dead end for any Republican these days — let alone a conservative freshman from Idaho. But Rep. Raul Labrador, a Puerto Rican-born former immigration lawyer and overnight tea party darling, is doing just that — meeting with Republicans and conservative opinion-makers to try to build a 'conservative consensus' to the seemingly intractable problem that defied a national reform effort nearly four years ago and still roils the political landscape on a state level.” You can read the full article here.

Labrador Bill Targets Antiquities Act

Item: Babbitt urges Obama to stand up for public lands, criticizes bill by Idaho Rep. Labrador: Clinton’s former interior secretary says Republicans in the House have declared war on the environment/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Former Democratic Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt singled out a bill by Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador as he charged the new House majority with taking the “most radical course in our history” on the environment. Labrador’s bill would remove the power of the president to designate and protect public lands in Idaho under the Antiquities Act of 1906. Babbitt said a House attempt earlier this year to “gut” the Antiquities Act failed by only four votes.

Question: Do you support the right of the president to designate and protect public lands under the Antiquities Act of 1906?

Blast From Past — Out, Out, GOP

The Idaho Education Association is circulating a photo that shows supporters of Tom Luna/GOP candidates setting up signs and handing out hotdogs at Lake City High. The photo, I believe, was taken prior to the Timberwolves homecoming game in late October 2010. If so, here's another photo of that event that was published on Huckleberries Online the following Monday, Oct. 25, 2010: “Lake City High Principal Deanne Clifford tells Republican congressional candidate Raul Labrador and others on the GOP bus tour, including 1st Lady Lori Otter and Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde that they can't campaign on school grounds Friday evening before the football game with visiting Sandpoint.” 

IPT: Labrador Steady As She Goes

Idaho First Congressional District Rep. Raul Labrador has been in office a little more than 100 days, and up to this point he has been every bit the congressman he promised he would be. The former member of the Idaho Legislature has held true to the bedrock conservative principles he promised. And so far, he has done so firmly, while at the same time being thoughtful, deliberate and respectful. He has given credit to the opposition when it’s due. He has maintained the strong fiscally conservative approach he campaigned on without all the bombast and spectacle of the last Republican to hold the office, Bill Sali/Idaho Press-Tribune Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Who would you rather have sitting in the 1st Congressional District seat now — Raul Labrador or Bill Sali?

Hucks Poll: OK w/Way Bin Laden Shot

  • Thursday Poll: Hucks Nation has no problem that terrorist Osama bin Laden wasn't armed when shot by two Navy Seals earlier this week. 210 of 234 respondents (89.74%) said they don't care one iota that the terrorist was unarmed when gunned down. 15 of 234 (6.41%) are somewhat concerned. 8 of 234 (3.42%) are bothered that he was unarmed when killed. 1 was undecided.
  • Weekend Poll: Who would you prefer to be sitting in the 1st Congressional District seat at the moment — Raul Labrador or Bill Sali?

Labrador: Declare Victory, Get Out

Even before foreign policy heavyweights like Sen. Richard Lugar suggested accelerating U.S. withdrawal on Tuesday, Idaho's freshman 1st District Raul Labrador said the death of Osama bin Laden should hasten America's exit. “I do think this is a great time to declare victory in Afghanistan and to look for a way to get out of there,” Labrador told the Idaho Statesman on Monday. We are supposed to start withdrawing this fall, but hopefully we can do it even sooner than that. I think we had accomplished our mission even before (bin Laden's death). We had done certain things to slow down the growth of al-Qaeda, to stop what they were doing”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you care what happens to Afghanistan (if we followed Congressman Labrador's advice and declared victory and left)?

Labrador Backs Ryan’s Budget Plan

Rather than the evil effort to give more tax breaks to the wealthy while cutting services for the poor and elderly that opponents have portrayed it as, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, says the Republican budget proposal is actually an attempt to save the country from bankruptcy. The “Path to Prosperity” proposal, also referred to as the Ryan plan after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, would revamp the Medicare/Medicaid system and reduce federal spending by upwards of $4 trillion over the next decade. Speaking to about 100 people at a town hall meeting in Lewiston Tuesday evening, Labrador said the first thing people need to understand is the plan wouldn't affect Medicare benefits for anyone who's 55 or older/William L. Spence, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Photo: Lewiston Tribune)

Question: Do you support Congressman Paul Ryan's 'Path to Prosperity' proposal?

Obama Releases Live Birth Certificate

President Obama released his original birth certificate Wednesday, saying the controversy surrounding the issue had become a “sideshow.” Obama's birth certificate. “We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do,” said Obama. The surprise release follows recent and sustained remarks by businessman Donald Trump, among others, that raised doubts as to whether the president was born in the United States/CNN. More here.

Question: Are we quite finished with this silly issue?

Bubblehead Calls Out Labrador

The young Congressman from our district, Rep. Raul Labrador, ran on a very idealistic platform that essentially boiled down to “America was a much better place in the 19th century, and we should return to that” — basically, straight Tea Party doctrine. (My posts from the campaign are here, here, and here.) As the underdog, Rep. Labrador apparently felt he needed to tap into Tea Party anger to get the Republican nomination, so he was the only major candidate to fill out the Tea Party Boise questionnaire. This document asked the candidates to “commit” or “pledge” to do several things, many of which were clearly delusional. Among the things that Candidate Labrador pledged to do was to “Vote “NO” on any bill that has not been read and understood by you and published on the web for at least 7 days prior to the vote”/Bubblehead, The Stupid Shall Be Punished. More here.

Question: Does Labrador have some 'splainin' to do to Tea Party minions?

PM: Gonzaga Releases Manny Arop

“It feels really squishy and slimy,” said 2nd grader Tori Yonkers, as she held an octopus during class at Dalton Elementary in Galton Gardens earlier today. The hands on study was a result from a $500 Excel grant the teachers received to purchase the octopi, squid and other supplies. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Idaho congressmen split on spending cuts bill

When the spending cuts bill passed the House today, Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, issued a statement lauding its passage and noting that it includes his language to remove wolves from endangered species protections and defund the Department of Interior's Wild Lands initiative. “Congress has the constitutional responsibility to fund government operations, and choosing not to do so would have been a failure of leadership,” Simpson said in a statement. “It is important to recognize the sea change in public debate about spending has been taken up by Congress.  Just a year ago the conversation was about the government’s growing appetite for spending.  Today we passed a bill that cut more in spending than any other single bill in our nation’s history.  We still have a long way to go to address the deficit crisis facing our nation, but passage of H.R. 1473 is an important step in the right direction.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, voted against the bill. “I have been on the record supporting the delisting of wolves and defunding of the wild lands policy,” Labrador said in a statement. “I co-sponsored separate legislation designed to achieve both of those goals. There were some other aspects of this bill I agree with, but the level of spending cuts simply wasn’t high enough to garner my support.”

Click below for a full report from the Associated Press on today's House vote.

Simpson, Labrador Split Budget Vote

Also: Senate passes cuts 81-19, both Idaho senators vote no/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise

The House has passed a compromise budget plan to cut $37.8 billion in spending for 2010-11 — with Idaho's Republicans divided on the idea. Second District Rep. and House Appropriations Commiittee member Mike Simpson voted for the bill, which passed 260-167. First District Rep. Raul Labrador voted no. The plan contains two add-ons sought by Simpson: language to remove Idaho and Montana wolves from the endangered species list, and language banning the Bureau of Land Management from spending money on a “wild lands” policy that, according to critics, could open the door to additional federal wilderness/Kevin Richert, Statesman. More here.

Question: Are you happy with the compromise federal budget for 2010-11?

Labrador: ‘If being fiscally responsible is extreme and crazy, then I am’

Freshman Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador appeared on CNN's “Situation Room” program just now, in a panel along with three other tea party-backed freshman Republicans, Reps. Ann Marie Buerkle of New York, Tom Graves of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona. CNN said it picked “one from each corner of the country,” and was surprised to find the four split on tomorrow's budget-cuts vote: Two plan to vote in favor, one against, and Labrador is leaning against.

Labrador agreed with the others that the freshmen have made a difference, and helped bump up the level of cuts that now is being contemplated - though they want more. “When we started the debate, the initial offer was $31 billion in cuts. Some of us spoke up and said that it needed to be more,” he told the program. “So we actually got it to $61 billion in cuts. And now we're getting $38, $39 billion in cuts. We're going to vote against these things, but I think we would have had much less.”

At the close of the interview, the four were asked, “So are you crazy, or are you really the sanest people in America?” Labrador responded, “If being fiscally responsible is extreme and crazy, then I think I am.”

Labrador Meets Post Falls Soldier

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, (left) meets Spc. Matthew Hoefling (right), a Post Falls native, with B Company, 145th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Cavalry Brigade, Feb. 2 at Camp Victory in Baghdad. Labrador took time out of his schedule, assessing U.S. government spending in Iraq, to have dinner with Idaho Army National Guard Soldiers from his congressional district who are currently serving under United States Division Ð Center in Support of Operation New Dawn. http://www.dvidshub.net/news/66032/us-representative-visits-troops-baghdad. More here. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. April Davis, 116th Garrison Command, USD-C)

Raul Labrador’s Ritzy Meeting Flier

As you know, Congressman Raul Labrador is death on taxes and spending. Yet, as one Coeur d'Alene resident points out to Huckleberries Online, he used his franking privileges to send out an impressive flier inviting Coeur d'Alene area residents to his town hall in the Lake City Monday night.

Question: Does a ritzy flyer like the one mailed to Coeur d'Alene residents (above) undermine Congressman Labrador's message of fiscal conservatism?

Labrador cracks birther joke at CPAC

Freshman Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) brought birtherism to the stage at CPAC.

Speaking this morning, Labrador alluded to the fact that he was born in Puerto Rico.

That still makes him an American, though, he said.

“And I do have the birth certificate to prove it,” Labrador said, apparently making a reference to the belief, held by some conservatives, that President Obama was not born in the United States. More.

What do think about Labrador's joke at the Conservative Political Action Conference?

Labrador Makes Yahoo! Tea Party List

In this Nov. 3 file photo, Raul Labrador is show moments before he talked with supporters at the Republican Party Election Headquarters at a hotel in Boise. At the time, the outcome of his race against Democratic incumbent Walt Minnick for Idaho's 1st Congressional District was undecided. Now, Labrador is listed among the Top 5 Tea Party candidates of 2010 by Yahoo! News political blog, The Ticket. Story here. (AP Photo/Matt Cilley)

Question: Are you comfortable that new U.S. Rep.  Raul Labrador, R-Idaho,  is considered to be one of the top Tea Party representatives in Congress?

Labrador To ‘Meet The Press’ Already

Just four days after being sworn in, Idaho's 1st District GOP Rep. Raúl Labrador will appear on the signature Sunday talk show, “Meet the Press with David Gregory.” Labrador's office announced the booking late Thursday in a news release. By Friday morning, the Meet the Press website showed Labrador on Sunday's guest list. On the air since Postmaster General James Farley was the first guest in November 1947, Meet the Press is the longest-running show in U.S. TV history/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Why do you think “Meet the Press” wants to meet a freshman representative from Idaho's 1st Congressional District?

New Congress sworn in, including Idaho Rep. Labrador

Idaho's next Congress was sworn in today, including new Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador. New House speaker John Boehner, shown posing with Labrador and his family, administered the oath. Labrador issued this statement: “It is a true honor to be sworn to protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.  My Congressional offices are open and my staff and I will be dedicated to providing the best level of constituent services for the people of the First Congressional District.  I hope Idahoans will contact these offices, the People's offices, with their input on how America should be governed and with particular assistance they need from me.” Click below for contact information for Labrador's new congressional offices in Washington, D.C. and Idaho.

DM: Some CdA GOPers Still Hate Raul

I believe that there exists a small haven of GOP malcontents in Kootenai County (CdA) that has NEVER gotten over the fact that Raul Labrador won the Primary over a candidate supported by them. The long knives are not yet obvious, but the tips of the bayonets are showing. I received a couple blog comments recently (since removed) from some folks from that area — and it got me thinking. Raul's win in the GOP Primary was so devastating to many of the GOP stalwarts that it put them in a funk from which they just never exited. I look at those CdA GOP-ites who DID come forward to successfully propel Labrador's victory in 2010 and the list reads like a who's who from the Helen Chenoweth/Dennis Mansfield/Bill Sali races of 1994-2006. … Yet, there were those who sat on their hands…and who vigorously opposed (and oppose, still) Labrador because … because … Because he is Raul Labrador - and because he won/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: Is Dennis right? Do some Coeur d'Alene/Kootenai County GOPers still despise Rep-elect Raul Labrador?

Labrador hires on Minnick’s former constituent services director

GOP Congressman-elect Raul Labrador has hired outgoing Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick's constituent services director, Lisa Anderson, to be his constituent services director. “Essentially she'll be performing the same job that she was doing for Rep. Minnick,” said Phil Hardy, spokesman for Labrador. “I know that his intention from the beginning was to hire the very best people who were interested in serving the 1st Congressional District, and Lisa was one of those people. They spoke and she reiterated her desire to continue to perform in her position in that role. She's extremely dedicated, and she came out as the most qualified person who had applied for the job.”

Labrador had been openly complimentary of Minnick's constituent service record during the otherwise mostly testy campaign in which Labrador defeated Minnick in November. “He would always praise the job that Congressman Minnick and his team had done for constituent services,” Hardy said. “And he's going to continue providing the very best level of constituent services to the people of the 1st Congressional District, absolutely.”

Labrador announced the hire of Anderson, who will continue to serve in the Meridian office for the 1st District congressman, along with a slew of others late last week; they include Scott Carlton, former Lewiston regional director for then-Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage, who will take on a role similar to the one he had with Chenoweth-Hage; and a legislative assistant, Alex Etchen, who most recently worked in the same role for the National Rifle Association.

John Foster, former campaign manager and communications director for Minnick, praised Labrador's move to hire Anderson. “I used to say without joking she was the most important person in our office,” Foster said. “This is one of the more savvy things I've ever seen from a political office, so kudos to him for hiring her. She's aces. She's just really, really good. … I have to tip my hat - it's in the best interest of the constituents to keep her around.” You can click below to read Labrador's full announcement of his latest new staff hires.

Dennis: Labrador’s Learning Curve

This week Raul Labrador will raise his right hand and swear an oath to the United States of America. Upon the completion of that oath, the “-elect” will drop from “Congressman” and Raul Labrador will be hurled into a world the daily duties of of which he is currently unaware yet will become all too aware within a week's time. He'll experience the “voting bells” of Congress. The meeting halls of Congress. The personalities of the GOP Leadership and he will experience the reality that he is fully capable of being a successful US Congressman. That this is so, may not be a big “ah ha” to many people - for the man ran for the office telling us that this is so - but each of us knows that applying for a job is much different than the first few days on the job…or the first few weeks … or months/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: How do you prepare to begin a new job?

Boise firm to take over Labrador’s law practice

Here's a news item from the Associated Press:  BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Attorney T.J. Angstman says his Boise-based law firm will acquire U.S. Rep.-elect Raul Labrador's immigration practice in a deal expected to close this week. Labrador, an immigration attorney with offices in Boise and Nampa, beat Democratic U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick in the November election to represent Idaho's 1st Congressional District. The Idaho Business Review reports that the firm Angstman Johnson will purchase Labrador's practice, taking on all his cases and retaining his staff, in a transaction slated to close on Friday. Angstman Johnson will run Labrador's former firm as a separate entity called Accelerated Immigration; you can read the Idaho Business Review's full report here.

Roll Call: Minnick’s Done w/Politics

The Capitol Hill newspaper “Roll Call” reports today that Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick says he’s “gone for good” from elective politics. “I think I’m done with elective politics,” he told the newspaper.  “I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I think it’s time for somebody else.” The article examines the dismal elective record of Democrats in Idaho in the past three decades, and the Idaho party’s future prospects, perhaps with conservative, well-funded Democratic candidates like Minnick/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Will Raul Labrador break the string of one-and-done representatives from the 1st Congressional District?

Labrador committee assignments: Resources, Government Reform

Idaho Congressman-elect Raul Labrador has been assigned to the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for the 112th Congress, assignments he welcomed. “I ran for Congress to serve Idaho and to restore the people’s faith in government. These two influential committee assignments position me perfectly to accomplish these goals,” Labrador said. Click below for his full announcement.  

Labrador names legislative director

As Congressman-elect Raul Labrador continues to round out his new congressional staff, he announced today the hiring of Jason Bohrer, who most recently worked as legislative counsel for Sen. Jim Risch, as his legislative director. “I am delighted Jason has decided to join my staff,” Labrador said. “His knowledge and understanding of the issues critical to Idaho as will his experience working on the Hill will be valuable assets as we hit the ground running in January.” Bohrer also worked as a regional director of Sen. Larry Craig and as a policy director for the Idaho Republican Party. Click below to read Labrador’s full announcement.

Congressman-elect Labrador taps NRA lobbyist as chief of staff

Idaho Congressman-elect Raul Labrador has named his chief of staff: John Goodwin, who most recently worked as a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, Goodwin was communications director for Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois and press secretary for Rep. Rob Simmons of Connecticut. “John’s vast Capitol Hill experience will be an excellent resource to Idaho as I begin the people’s work in Congress,” Labrador said.

Labrador also announced two other staff hires: Phil Hardy, who served as communications director for Labrador’s campaign, will be the regional director for central and southwest Idaho; and Mike Cunnington, a Nampa native who was finance director for the campaign, will be Labrador’s scheduler and personal assistant in Washington, D.C. Earlier, Labrador announced the hire of Jake Ball, a former aide to Sen. Mike Crapo, as his district director. You can read Labrador’s latest announcement here.