Latest from The Spokesman-Review
GOP Precinct Committeeman Duane Rasmussen sent the following email to Huckleberries re: the Liberty Caucus that is planning an Expo in Coeur d'Alene:
As a member of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee I was not invited to the program, which, according to some accounts, was purported to be appealing to members of the Republican Central Committee. Although I am not surprised. I have spoken to other members of Central Committee who were also not invited. This is a Phil Hart organization. Also, to my knowledge the so called Republican Liberty Caucus made no announcement of their event at any Central Committee meeting. Another observation. I did not see any of the Republican Liberty Caucus people at Brad Little's breakfast yesterday even though his event filled the venue. There is clearly a split in the Party."
Item: Liberty Expo this weekend: Event designed to attract Republican precinct committeemen/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press
More here: The Republican Liberty Caucus of Idaho is launching a series of three "Liberty Expos" across the state and the first one is set for Coeur d'Alene this weekend. The expos are designed to attract Republican precinct committeemen and other elected officials, but the general public is also welcome to attend, said Jason Robinson, treasurer for the RLCID. "We really aren't interested in random attendees. Sure, they will help with ticket sales," he said. "But our goal is to motivate, encourage and educate central committee members." The expos are also designed to raise funds that the Liberty Caucus will use to help their candidates get elected during the primary election season next spring.
Question: Isn't "Liberty Caucus" code words for the most conservative of partisans who call themselves Republicans?
Item: Republican committee: No vetting: Only two members stood in favor of resolution/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: Committeeman Bjorn Handeen (pictured) proposed the resolution to establish an endorsement event to endorse candidates for the 2014 election cycle - but only after it was determined that the candidate would abide by the platform. He read a statement from a prepared text that essentially chastised what he called the "Stockholm Syndrome Republicans" who sit on the central committee. "In my six-year engagement with this party, I have noticed there are two types of party activist," he read. "There are those, and I count myself one of them, who see that our country is in rapid decline, and so we are doing our best to organize somewhat of a defense. "But there is another, more common sort of party activist, and you will never catch them doing something useful - unless it is for a liberal news blog, I guess.
Question: So are Bjorn Handeen and Carol Goodman the only true Republicans in Kootenai County?
(Local Republican) Party image was also a concern when Bjorn Handeen (pictured) proposed a resolution to assert the Natural Rights of Contracts and to call on the city of Coeur d'Alene to repeal its anti-discrimination ordinance. He said the resolution was not about gay rights, but rather the freedom for any two parties to willingly enter into a contract or do business with one another. The anti-discrimination ordinance as passed by the city, he said, uses the law to force citizens to do business with someone they might not otherwise choose to do business with. "We don't want to reject gays," Handeen said. "We want to protect their right to do business with whoever they want." Committeeman Duane Rasmussen said he was in favor of the intent of the resolution, but he felt the way it was written would make the committee look "goofy." "This natural rights stuff is going to make us a laughing stock. If not in the public's eyes, it will in the eyes of the legal community," he said. After a lengthy debate and few parliamentary maneuvers to amend the language the resolution passed on nearly a split vote/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Izzit just me — or did the local GOP back into this one by asserting some Natural Right of Contracts rather than direct opposition to the city's new antidiscrimination law?
Several Republican state legislators representing Kootenai County districts could receive a public reprimand next week from members of their own political party. When the county's Republican central committee meets on Tuesday, its elected precinct committeemen will consider a resolution that would formally censure Rep. Frank Henderson, Rep. Luke Malek (pictured), Rep. Ed Morse and Sen. John Goedde, because they voted, during the last legislative session, in favor of the creation of a state insurance exchange. "I'm confused as to why they would censure those of us who advocated for and voted for state control," Malek, of Coeur d'Alene, said Friday to The Press. "If you didn't, you were advocating for a federal exchange, which would be far more harmful to Idaho." … The Idaho House of Representatives passed the bill to create the exchange in March, by a vote of 41 to 29/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo)
Question: Izzit just me or does this censure attempt, coming months after the end of the 2013 Legislature, seem silly to you, too? What is the end game of those behind this attempt?
At its meeting Tuesday night (agenda here), the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee will consider a resolution to censure four Kootenai County legislators who voted for the controversial state health exchange, favored by Gov. Butch Otter in response to Obamacare. Here's the resolution that will be considered:
Whereas, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC) voted overwhelmingly against the establishment of a State Insurance Exchange; and Whereas, several of our elected officials ignored the will of the majority of the KCRCC, and those who attended the KCRCC hosted legislative hall meetings, and voted in favor of the Exchange; therefore Resolved, the KCRCC formally censures Representative Frank Henderson, Representative Luke Malke, Representative Ed Morse, and Senator John Goedde.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Kootenai County Administrative Building, 451 Government Way, Coeur d'Alene.
Question: Am I the only one who considers this action extreme?
At its meeting Tuesday night (agenda here), the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee will consider a resolution asking the Coeur d'Alene City Council to repeal the recent passage of the controversial antidiscrimination ordinance that extends human rights protections to gays. Here's the resolution that will be considered:
Whereas, there exists no natural right to make a contract with an unwilling private person, no matter what that person's motivation for refusing that contract; and, whereas, the right to make contracts is therefore always a right to enter into binding agreements such as employment or rental contracts only with willing second parties; and, whereas, a municipal anti-discrimination ordinance confers the right to make contracts with unwilling parties and to "enforce" those contracts in court; therefore, resolved, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee considers the City of Coeur d'Alene's recently adopted anti-discrimination ordinance to be a violation of the people's natural right to make free contracts, and resolved, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee recommends that the Coeur d'Alene City Council secure the natural freedoms of its citizens by repealing said ordinance.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Kootenai County Administrative Building, 451 Government Way, Coeur d'Alene.
On his Brent Regan Trustee Facebook wall, Trustee Regan says the Coeur d'Alene School Board is diverse and doesn't display a partisan balance. In part, he says:
The ONLY way you can claim the current Board is not diverse is if you put on partisan goggles that filter out everything but political affiliations. You must have a partisan perspective in order to claim there is a POTENTIAL for partisan behavior. But where is the evidence? Where is the proof that this Board has made ANY decision that advances one political party over the other? Where is this imagined party bias? You can read the rest of the post here.
Question: Why would/wouldn't you describe the Coeur d'Alene School Board as diverse? Can you point to any party bias in the board's dealing over the last 12 months?
Local Republicans had the opportunity for celebration and soul-searching in equal measure at the annual Lincoln Day dinner Friday night. Party leaders and members alike gathered at the Bonner County Fairgrounds to socialize and get a sense of where the party is at and where it is headed. Speaking was Idaho Republican Party Chairman Barry Peterson, who traveled from Boise to Sandpoint for the occasion. Inspired by the conservative ideals expressed by Barry Goldwater during the 1964 presidential campaign, Peterson said he felt the GOP was the party that best advocated personal liberty and a reverence for God. “It makes my heart hurt that we have turned aside from the deity that gave us the opportunity to pursue liberty,” he said. He also encouraged attendees to maintain their efforts in promoting the conservative agenda and North Idaho values/Cameron Rassmusson, Bonner County Daily Bee. More here.
As predictable as Al Gore blaming a Hurricane Sandy on global warming, the Republican establishment is blaming the party's losses in the last election on conservatives. And that is nonsense. A quick examination of the last three general elections disproves the theory that Republican moderation is the path to the party's resurgence. In 2008 and 2012, the GOP establishment had their man at the top of the ticket. John McCain and Mitt Romney were precisely the sorts of candidates that the establishment told us that we needed to win. Both were moderate. Both had a reputation for "reaching across the aisle." Ronald Reagan's Commerce secretary, Malcolm Baldridge, once characterized such men as the type who, if Democrats introduced legislation mandating that Washington, D.C., be burned to the ground, would offer a compromise that would phase it in over three years. Not only did they lose, but both pulled down the party in both houses of Congress/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you agree with Michael Costello that Republicans can gain nationally only if they embrace true conservatism?
In an op-ed column Saturday, John Webster, my conservative boss for many years on the Spokesman-Review editorial page, explains why he is no longer a Republican:
I used to be a Republican. Voted for them. Wrote nice things about them and their policies. When I was a kid, I even doorbelled for them. Never again. Three years ago, something in me snapped. Deregulated banks had trashed our economy. Health insurance companies paid fat bonuses to their executives while seizing any excuse to deny ordinary people the coverage they needed. Our first African-American president struggled to repair the economy and restore banking regulations. He embraced a health care policy Republicans had favored. He wound down his predecessor’s debt-funded wars. At every turn, Republicans fought him, filibustered, demagogued. Plainly, the GOP intended to deny our president any achievement, regardless of the harm this could and did inflict. More here.
This punching bag depicting President Barack Obama was on display at the Republican tent Wednesday at the Delaware County Fair in Muncie, Ind. The punching bag will not be displayed any longer after members of the public, including some there for Democrat Night at the fair and at least one Republican, raised concerns with Republicans manning the GOP tent. (AP Photo/The Star Press, Keith Roysdon)
Question: Funny or tasteless?
Controversial Bryan Fischer, pictured in 2007 AP file photo, who has taken his conservative bully pulpit national from Idaho, is featured in a not-flattering New Yorker article by Jane Mayer, "Bully Pulpit: An evangelist talk-show host's campaign to control the Republican Party." It begins with Fischer's successful campaign to oust gay Richard Grenell from his short-lived role as the national-security advisor for GOPresidential nominee Mitt Romney. Writes Mayer: "The resulting controversy helped make gay rights one of the defining social issues of the 2012 campaign." NPR also focused a story on Fischer in a piece called: "Radio's Bryan Fischer tries pushing Romney right." Fischer is also the target of a blog post by Josh Glasstetter's RightWingWatch: "Bryan Fischer in the New Yorker: "Extreme, Rigid and product of a broken home." All of which indicates that Fischer is making a transition from the Gem State to a growing fish in national conservative circles.
An important sideshow to the race for House speaker is the contest for the No. 2 post, held by Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, who may have a challenge from the No. 4 House GOP leader, Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts of Donnelly. I was in Sun Valley Monday for the annual meeting of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry. A morning session with the IACI board featured all eight GOP leaders from House and Senate, along with House Minority Leader John Rusche of Lewiston and Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Stennett of Ketchum. The seating arrangement was telling. Three-term Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, sat with Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, six seats away from his challenger, House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you care you leads the House and the Senate in the 2013 Idaho Legislature?
Harry Truman famously said, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” I’ll offer the Johnson Corollary to Truman’s great one liner: “in politics, it is almost always your friends who cause you trouble.” Most every politician I have known has a very good idea from which direction the partisan opposition will attack. It’s the onslaught from friends that is harder to anticipate and even more difficult to combat. From Idaho to Indiana today, the Republican Party is in full revolt against itself and the soldiers in this war of the friends – faintly moderate Republicans battling really, really conservative Republicans – are in full battle gear. The most recent purge of the “moderates” claimed its latest victim yesterday when 36-year Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar lost by 20 points in a GOP primary. Lugar, 80-years old, and portrayed as a squishy bipartisan moderate, was retired by the same type of voter who will next week take the Idaho GOP in an ever more rightward direction/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.
Question: Can the Tea Party survive without moderate Republican votes?
A former Arizona sheriff whose speaking appearance today in North Idaho has created a rift among local Republicans called on Spokane County politicians Friday to make protecting the Constitution their No. 1 priority. Richard Mack disputed claims that he’s a darling of the militia movement in his speech at the Spokane County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner. Mack, who frequently speaks at national tea party events and is an outspoken critic of gun control, said he’s never advocated violence against federal officials. “My message across this country has been one of hope – that we can take our country back in a peaceful manner,” Mack told the packed crowd, which included many Spokane County GOP officials. “Where we take America back is county by county and sheriff by sheriff”/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.
Question: Put on your prognosticating hat and predict what will happen at the Kootenai County Lincoln Day Dinner tonight, featuring speaker Richard Mack.
For weeks, President Obama, Democratic activists and their friends in the media have relentlessly pushed the idea Republicans have launched a "War on Women." After weeks of this carefully orchestrated campaign, the consensus among administration officials and Beltway insiders is clear: Women are outraged by Republican policies, the GOP has done enormous damage to its brand among women and the Democrats are going to reap the benefits at election time.If you're David Axelrod or Debbie Wasserman Schultz, it's a great story. But is it true? The Washington Post has no doubt. A few days ago, they ran a story titled "Recent debate over contraception comes as GOP loses gains among women." And the story is filled with quotes and anecdotes about how knuckle-dragging Republicans have badly damaged themselves by daring to stand up to the latest Obamacare mandate. But what are the facts? What does the polling actually say?/Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington. More here.
Question: Do you believe Republicans have launched a "War on Women"?
A former Arizona sheriff revered by the militia movement for his outspoken criticism of gun control and government tyranny is returning to the Inland Northwest for meetings with local GOP groups, triggering a rift among some Republicans.
Richard Mack, who now lives in Texas and is running for U.S. Congress, is a self-described conservative constitutionalist with ties to various political parties and movements. He served as sheriff of rural Graham County, Arizona as a Democrat, ran unsuccessfully for governor of Utah as a Libertarian and now is trying to unseat a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives in the GOP’s upcoming Texas primary.
Tim Herzog says he has the broad experience necessary to fill the District 1 seat for Kootenai County commissioner. The Post Falls Realtor who filed for candidacy last week said his history as a business owner, lobbyist and member of various community groups sets him apart from the seat's several other candidates. "Besides the experience that comes with my age, I have wisdom," the 64-year-old said. Herzog ran for the same seat four years ago, and lost the primary to Todd Tondee/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
- Also running for the Commissioner District 1 seat are Gerald Arno, Marc Eberlein, Bruce Noble, Steven Peter Benner, and Greg Wells.
- Complete list of candidates for Kootenai County commissioner, sheriff, and prosecutor here.
Question: Who is incumbent Tondee's biggest competitor in this race?
A group of north Idaho political and business leaders agreed unanimously Wednesday that Idaho should avoid creating a state health insurance exchange and should instead wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the Obamacare lawsuit of which Idaho is a plaintiff. The leaders unanimously backed a resolution that says, in part, that "it is not in the best interest of the state for any state official to participate in planning or establishing health insurance exchanges as provided for in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" and that Congress should "defund planning grants to the states for the establishment of PPACA health insurance exchanges by the states." The resolution is signed by members of the major political groups in north Idaho including Tea Party, Pachyderm clubs, Reagan Republicans, United Conservatives of North Idaho, North Idaho Political Action Committee, Kootenai County Republicans and Kootenai County Republican Women/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
Question: Do you agree with the North Idaho Republican groups re: the health care exchange?
Herman Cain told aides today he is assessing whether the latest allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior against him “create too much of a cloud” for his Republican presidential candidacy to go forward. Acknowledging the “firestorm” arising from an accusation of infidelity, Cain only committed to keeping his campaign schedule for the next several days, in a conference call with his senior staff. “If a decision is made, different than to plow ahead, you all will be the first to know,” he said, according to a transcript of the call made by the National Review, which listened to the conversation/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: Ginger White, posing for this photo near Dunwoody, Ga., said Monday she and Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair)
Question: Why would Ginger White come forward now to apparently blow the whistle on Cain?
Pam Stout's first brush with fame came in the spring of 2010 when, after appearing in a New York Times story about the rise of the Tea Party, David Letterman invited her on his show to explain the movement. "I know nothing about the Tea Party," he said at the outset of the interview. Stout went on to explain — in a calm, mild manner, to the dismay of some liberals — that she and fellow activists were out to combat wasteful spending. To do that in her hometown of Sandpoint, she said, "We're trying locally to take over the Republican party." She added, "In Sandpoint, it's not so much of an issue — it's fairly conservative"/Cally Carswell, High Country News. More here. (SR file photo)
Question: Is Kootenai County as susceptible to Tea Party control as Bonner County?
All that fireworks-watching, flag-waving and potato salad-eating this weekend could in fact lead to a vote for the Republican party for your child. And the stats from Harvard back up the claim. When children were exposed at a young age to the Americana fanfare associated with the Fourth of July, they were more likely to vote Republican and make campaign contributions to the party. Harvard researchers David Yanagizawa-Drott and Andreas Madestam found that kids who attended one rain-free July 4th celebration before the age of 18 were four percent more likely to vote Republican before the age of 40. And whether or not they went to the polls, young Independence Day revelers were more likely to identify with the right wing by 2 percent/Nick Carbone. Time. More here. H/T: Christa Hazel (Stebbijo/Stebbijo's Place photo)
Question: Do these findings make you more/less likely to take your children to Fourth of July parades?
The Christian Science Monitor has a nice roundup on how the 2012 group of Republicans feel about climate change. Basically, they were against it, before they said they don't believe it exists.
Former US Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R) of New York, a strong supporter of the environment, says he has "never been so disappointed in all my life in the pretenders to the throne from my party."
"Not one of them is being forthright in dealing with climate science," he told the Associated Press recently. "They are either trying to finesse it, or change previous positions to accommodate the far right. They are denying something that is as plain as the nose on your face."
To liberal critics, the answer is obvious: The influence of climate change denialists financially supported by the billionaire Koch brothers (David and Charles) and others tied to the oil industry.
This is some nasty news. Senate Republicans introduced legislation to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency - which was established 40 years ago by President Richard Nixon to give Americans clean air and water.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). The plan is to merge the EPA, which enforces environmental laws, with the Department of Energy. They manages nuclear energy and energy research. Why one department?
Burr introduced a bill that would consolidate the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency into a single, new agency called the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). The bill would provide cost savings by combining duplicative functions while improving the administration of energy and environmental policies by ensuring a coordinated approach.
Burr's bill has 15 cosponsors. All, coincidentally, are global warming deniers: Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ariz.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), David Vitter (R-La.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah).
Cue Alanis Morissette because this is more ironic than having 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife. (I tried.) But House Republicans are forming a coalition to talk about energy priorities. They're calling it the House Energy Action Team, or HEAT. Zing!
The coalition is calling for more oil drilling and expaning coal energy so the name makes sense.
“With the price of gasoline increasing daily, and the prospect of $5 gasoline looming ahead, it is time for Congress to put an end to the Obama Administration’s anti-energy, job-destroying policies that are inflicting further economic pain,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA). “House Republicans are taking action this week to reverse these Obama Administration policies and pass legislation to expand American energy production, create new American jobs and lower energy prices."
However energy analysts say expanding domestic oil drilling would have little effect on the price of gas.
Good evening, Netizens…
If the Obama administration had chosen to ignore the potential massacre of the rebels in Libya, Republicans would right now be having a field day, condemning him for weakness and moral cowardice. The deafening howls of outrage from the Republicans would make the evening news ring like a gong.
Now on the other hand, if the president were a Republican and had organized the international coalition that stopped Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in their tracks, Republicans would right now be cheering him in the streets, and unquestionably attempting to wire him/her up for a certain reelection a year and one half from now.
Instead, Republicans in Congress are biting at Barack Obama’s Libyan efforts at every turn. They seem more interested in defeating Obama now than they are defeating Gaddaffi's forces.
The national news, it seems, is all who and what you believe. Of course, your results may differ.
OLYMPIA — Republican leaders say they may offer an alternative to House Democrats' supplemental budget, which is itself an alternative to Gov. Chris Gregoire's proposal.
At a noon press conference, House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt of Chehalis said Republicans have enough differences with the Democratic plan announced Tuesday they may offer a "striker" — that is, a substitute proposal — when the spending plan for the next 5 months reaches the House floor.
"We're floating up a test balloon to see if anybody (from the Democratic side) comes along," DeBolt said.
Republicans are particularly opposed to transfers, a term for using money in separate funds for general operating fund expenses. If they can't swap their plan for the Democrats' budget, they say they won't support any spending plan that move money around or relies on what Gregoire acknowledged was an accounting gimmick, delaying a payment to schools due on June 30, the last day of this biennium, until July 1, so it would show up in the next biennium.
"We're very clear about not doing any transfers," Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt said. Republicans believe the delayed payment would create a hole at the end of the 2011-13 budget cycle that would lead to a call for higher taxes at a time when the supermajority requirement could be more easily amended.
This is an interesting depiction of the presidential vote for Democrats and Republicans over the last 90 years compiled by David Sparks of Duke University.
Anyone want to suggest a sound track to go along with it?