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For Labrador, tea party means ‘not beholden to special interest groups’

Musing about what his “tea party” identification means, Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador said today, “I always used to joke around that I was tea party before tea party was cool.” But he noted that he never joined the Tea Party Caucus in the U.S. House. “I think any time you try to formalize a movement like that, you actually take away some of its legitimacy,” he told reporters. “The tea party is kind of an amorphous group that has a bunch of different definitions.”

He said in his view, “It’s about being somebody who’s not necessarily beholden to the special interest groups. That’s why I sometimes identify with the tea party, sometimes identify with the libertarian side, I sometimes identify with the so-called conservatives. … What you have is a bunch of people … that are frustrated with business as usual.” He defined that business-as-usual as, “In order to talk to a politician, have a politician pay attention to you, you actually have to just donate money to their campaign.”

Longtime Idaho political observer Jim Weatherby called Labrador’s definition “pretty broad and amorphous – it would apply to a lot of populist groups.” But he noted, “There certainly is a lot of populism within the tea party movement.”

Dave: Fed Up With Tea Party Of ‘No’

On his Facebook wall, Dave Chamberlain writes of the Tea Party: “I love that the Teaparty are now against common core because there will be data based on a Number that each student. This number will be used through the school years to do aggregate studies on what works and what doesn't. The conspiracists shout out on the internet and other mediums that this is an intrusion into their lives….. ummm if you are on facebook you are tracked by a number. If you are using your credit cards you are tracked by a number. If you buy on line you are tracked by a number. All to help put in front of you things you might want to buy. Oh and by the way, if you have ever given money to the Teaparty.. umm your information IS tracked so that they can hit you up for money. More below.

Question: Would you consider the Tea Party still alive and well in Kootenai County?

Damiano: IRS Killed Local Tea Party

Phil Damiano, with his wife, Leslie, speaks to the Women Republicans at today's monthly meeting about how the IRS intemidated them into dissolving the local Tea Party organization.  Leslie Damiano is the President of the Women Republicans in Coeur d'Alene.  Many of the members of the Women Republicans helped with Tea Party events in Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls areas. United States Senator Crapo is using the paper work the Damianos received from the IRS requestion information to assistant him in interrogating witnesses in Washington D.C.  On of the requests the IRS made was to have the password to their web site so it could investigate them further. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Thoughts?

Damianos Part Of Senate Probe IRS

As part of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s investigation into alleged Internal Revenue Service (IRS) harassment of Tea Party and other conservative organizations, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has submitted documents and testimony from a Coeur d’Alene-area couple.  Crapo will meet Friday with Phil and Leslie Damiano, of Hayden Lake, who submitted the documents, during a special meeting of the Panhandle Pachyderm Club in Post Falls.  The meeting at Templin’s Red Lion Inn is free and open to the public. The Damianos submitted copies of letters written to their Tea Party Patriots of North Idaho group from the IRS.  The group had applied for 503 (c) (4) status with the IRS on the recommendation of their CPA who stated that the group clearly fit into the description of the status. The letters asked seriously invasive questions about the group, speakers and donors/News Release, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo's office. More here.

Question: Now is the IRS scandal starting to hit closer to home?

Priorities, Priorities

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Crapo: IRS Targeting Just Happened?

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, asks: U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew: “Are you or is the IRS taking the position that somehow this coalition of audits that focused on people from these political perspectives just happened accidently?”

The man who led the Internal Revenue Service when it was giving extra scrutiny to tea party and other conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status told Congress on Tuesday that he knew little about what was happening while he was still commissioner. Douglas Shulman, who vacated his position last November when his five-year term expired, told the Senate Finance Committee he didn’t learn all the facts until he read last week’s report by a Treasury inspector general confirming the targeting strategy. In his first public remarks since the story broke, Shulman said: “I agree this is an issue that when someone spotted it, they should have brought it up the chain. And they didn’t. I don’t know why”/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Do you think this targeting of Tea Party groups just happened?

Auditing Fear

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Regan Pushes Whittle Event

I'm trying my darndest to figure out what political party Trustee Brent Regan belongs to. The Regan Republicans and United Conservatives of North Idaho are fond of him. Which means he's on the right edge of the local Republican scale. If he's a Republican. Libertarian Wayne Hoffman has added him to his Idaho Freedom Foundation board of directors. He's spoken at local Tea Party functions. Now, he's involved, with Tea Party Patriots of North Idaho and the Sandpoint Tea Party in bringing “Virtual President” Bill Whittle to Coeur d'Alene (at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Coeur d'Alene Inn). In an email promoting the event circulated by Regan and Pam Stout of the Sandpoint Tea Party, Regan writes: “We wanted to give the area conservative leaders the first opportunity to reserve tables.” No where in the email is the word “Republican” mentioned. So is Tea Party and Republican Party synonymous in Kootenai County and North Idaho? You can see flyer for Whittle event here.

Thoughts?

Tea Party Admits Pushing Robo-Calls

Rep. Wendy Horman, R-Idaho Falls, and six other lawmakers are seeking an inquiry into possible violations of the Idaho Telephone Solicitation Act by opponents Gov. Butch Otter’s health insurance exchange bill. Horman said she received about 120 computer generated calls on her unlisted cell phone and office phone that that failed to include legally required disclosures, including the identity of the person for whom the call is made. The purpose of the message and contact information for the caller also are required. The calls were made Saturday and Tuesday, Horman said. Tea Party Boise President Chad Inman told me Tuesday the calls were made on behalf of Gem State Tea Party, an umbrella group uniting 13 Idaho Tea Party groups/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Would you like to see the Idaho AG take action on this request?

Gem State Tea Party Backs Props 1-3

The new group that consolidates Tea Party branches across Idaho, urges “yes” votes on the three 2011 education laws authored by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna. “FACTS and LOVE of Idaho's kids caused us to endorse Yes Yes Yes to keep Education Modernization Laws!” says the group in an email announcing a special edition newsletter. The newsletter reprints content provided by the Idaho Freedom Foundation, including an editorial by Executive Director Wayne Hoffman. Also includes a dissent from Bob Compton, a veterinarian, who questions the laptop mandate and says “Luna is encouraging implementation of a federal/UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) program for our students that will move Idaho's education system even further away from local control”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)

Thoughts?


Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/10/16/idahopolitics/gem_state_tea_party_endorses_props_1_2_3?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IdahoStatesmanIdahoPolitics+%28IdahoStatesman.com+Idaho+Politics%29#wgt=rss#storylink=cpy

Tea Party Still Active In Idaho

The surprise story of the 2010 midterm elections was the Tea Party, both in Idaho and across the nation. If was as if the silent majority that former President Richard Nixon referenced awoke from a long winter’s nap and made its collective voice heard on Election Day. But the party in Idaho has been less seen and not very vocal since. However, don’t be fooled, say some Idaho Tea Party folks. The surprise star of the 2010 election cycle is “just getting warmed up” and is growing “larger and stronger.” Tea Party Boise is the largest such organization in Idaho and claims a membership of “about 3,500 people.” And its noted skill at getting out the vote on election day 2010 popped up again on the day of the Supreme Court decision on President Barack Obama’s health care plan/Parrish Miller, Idaho Reporter. More here. (Idaho Reporter photo of Tea Party Boise protesting Obamacare decision)

Question: Is the Tea Party movement in Idaho as strong today as it was two years ago?

Tea Party Influence Faces Idaho Test

The upcoming Idaho Republican Party convention, which kicks off Thursday and runs through Saturday, will show whether Idaho's tea-party tide will rise further or if it's on the ebb in this election year, writess AP reporter John Miller. Miller reports that at the party's 2008 Sandpoint convention, as well as the 2010 edition in Idaho Falls, mainstream Republicans rolled their eyes as libertarians added planks to the party platform — the GOP's guiding document — urging the Federal Reserve's abolition, the gold standard's resurrection, support for “nullifying” federal laws and abandoning popular elections of U.S. senators. Yet tea party candidates were repudiated in May's GOP primary, with several high-profile challenges to mainstream GOP incumbents falling far short/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Will the Tea Party emerge stronger/as strong/weaker from Idaho Republican Party convention?

Johnson: GOP’s Ever Rightward March

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?

GOP Surveys Another Purity Test?

Now that the Idaho Republican Party is requiring candidates to pledge their support to the state party's platform or outline where they disagree, the candidate surveys are taking on new significance as primary elections approach, reports AP reporter John Miller, and they've divided the state's dominant political party. Jonathan Parker, executive director of the state GOP, told Miller the review “gives people the opportunity to find out where the candidates stand.” But critics such as Priest Lake Republican Rep. Eric Anderson, pictured, say it's an unnecessary “purity test.” “It's silly,” Anderson said. He added, “There's always going to be things in life you disagree with.” The platform includes planks such as calling for the repeal of the 17th Amendment, which let voters, rather than state legislatures, elect U.S. senators; returning to the gold standard; abolishing the state's redistricting commission and handing that task back to the state Legislature; and calling for state nullification of federal laws/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Would you return this survey if you were running for election as a Republican candidate?

Tea Party Now 3 Years Old In Montana

Three years ago, Eric Olsen was a petroleum engineer hungry for employment and fed up with the skyrocketing national debt, newly elected U.S. President Barack Obama and a seemingly lost Republican Party. So, he struck out for the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn with a picket sign and an American flag. It was April 15, Tax Day. He was joined by several dozen other locals who like Olsen were too angry at pork barrel spending by GOP lawmakers to call themselves Republicans, too tired of yelling at the pundits on Fox News to stay at home and yell at the television anymore. The people on the courthouse lawn that day carried signs protesting just about everything from immigration to deficit spending to something called the left-wing socialist agenda. A man in the front of the pack held up the book “God’s Politics; Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.” Several of the placards held up read “Taxed Enough Already,” or TEA for short. This was the beginning of the (Billings) Tea Party/Tom Lutey, Billings Gazette. More here. (AP file photo: Sarah Palin addresses Tea Party rally at Reno, Nev., in October 2010)

Question: How has the Tea Party reshaped the Republican Party?

RecallCDA Targets Tea Party Crowd

Looks like RecallCDA will be using its Tea Party connections to collect signatures tonight at the Greyhound Track. Someone pseudonymed William Wallace posted this in a comment thread: “RecallCDA will be collecting signatures at the Conservative Candidate Forum, April 11th, Greyhound Park, Post Falls. Doors open at 5:00. Stop by, sign the petition and meet the candidates that will be on the May 15th primary ballot.”

Thoughts?

Montana Tea Party Right Filing As D’s

Jan Wisniewski believes the Democrats these days tend to lean toward socialism. In his mind, some of their ideas might even be considered Marxist. And so the chairman of the Ravalli County planning board – who most would have sworn in the past to be a staunch Republican – is on this year’s ballot as Democrat in both a county and a state race. “I am. I am a Democrat,” Wisniewski said in an interview last week. “It says so right there on the ballot. We want to get some balance in things and do some compromising with these hard-line leftists.” Wisniewski’s candidacy, and that of seven others running for the seldom-contested position of Democratic precinct captain, has members of the Ravalli County Democratic Central Committee crying foul/Perry Baucus, Ravalli Republic. More here.

Question: What do you think of the tactic being employed by the Tea Party Right in Ravalli County, Mont.?

Tea Party, Patriots To Discuss Militia

Classified ad in this week's Nickel's Worth: “Tea Party and Patriot meeting, Monday, March 5th, 6:30 p.m., Blanchard Community Center. Discussion will include Republican caucus, candidate forum, caribou update, Idaho Lightfoot Militia and Obamacare.”

Question: Can anyone interpret this? Has North Idaho Tea Party and Patriot types thrown in with Idaho Lightfoot Militia? Or do they want to discussion combining forces? Or what?

County GOP Disinvites Mack To Speak

Richard Mack will not be speaking at this year's Lincoln Day Dinner. After nearly two hours of often acrimonious debate, a nearly evenly divided Kootenai County Republican Central Committee voted Tuesday in favor of rescinding the party's invitation to Mack, a Tea Party activist and former Arizona sheriff, to be the keynote speaker at their March 24 dinner and fundraiser. The roll call vote of 31-30 was taken after the party chair, Tina Jacobson (pictured), defended the procedure followed to select Mack and chided a group of elected precinct committee members for signing a letter opposing Mack's selection and giving the letter to members of the media. “We've had discussions in this room about airing our laundry in the press,” Jacobson said. She said going to the newspapers with party business hurts the organization and shows divisiveness. “And the Democrats are passing the popcorn,” Jacobson said/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Did Kootenai County Republicans help/hurt themselves by disinviting controversial Richard Mack to speak at their Lincoln Day Dinner March 24?

Letter Applauds Mack Appearance

In a letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press (re: GOP faction opposes Richard Mack speech), Thomas Robinson, GOPrecinct 2 Committeeman from Spirit Lake writes: “Of the Central Committee members who signed the letter, one has been to one meeting since the last primary, one attended two, and five more have missed five to 15 meetings. If they would get involved, perhaps they would know more. That would require some effort on their part, but they think they should be the VIP boss, and the VIP doesn’t work. Since they aren’t the VIP, they would rather sulk and complain. On one of my shifts at the county fair, one of your complainers showed up. He sat in the back of the booth the whole shift, talking on his phone. Did no work. Haven’t noticed a lot of them participating at the three parades I was in, either.” More here. (Wikipedia photo of Richard Mack)

Question: Would you want to hear controversial ex-Arizona sheriff Richard Mack speak?

OOST: GOP Picks Birth Sympathizer?

OutofStaterTater: If I’m late to the party on this topic, I apologize, but I thought this was totally sweet: the keynote for the Kootenai County Lincoln Day this year is Sheriff Richard Mack, who regularly speaks to, and works with…wait for it…The John Birch Society. Ok, so that’s not totally sweet. Actually, it’s an embarassment. Yes folks, the John Birch Society - the group that accused Eisenhower of being a communist operative. The group that thought Reagan was a liberal and a sellout to the left. ?!? The group that regularly peddles paranoid conspiracy theories and thinly-veiled anti-Semitism. And Sheriff Mack apparently thinks that’s all ok. So does the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, apparently. Yow.

Question: Are there any official John Birch Society groups meeting in the Inland Northwest?

Tea Party Activist Keynotes GOP Event

Former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack (pictured), a Tea Party activist, will be the guest speaker of the 2012 Lincoln Dinner & Fundraiser staged by the Kootenai County Republican Party at the Coeur d'Alene Resort at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 24. A news release just received by HucksOnline describes Mack as “a powerful, experience speaker, a strong advocate of states' rights and individual freedoms.” He will discuss “the County Sheriff Project, the Oath of Office, citizens' personal freedoms and the importance of the office of Sheriff to defend those freedoms.” General admission to the event if $50 per person. You can read more here.

Question: What is the “County Sheriff Project”?

Tea Party Didn’t Bump MLK This Year

For the past two years, the traditional Martin Luther King Jr./Idaho Human Rights Day human rights rally on the steps of the state Capitol has had to be moved, because the Idaho Freedom Foundation scooted in early and reserved the steps for a Tea Party rally. That didn't happen this year. Asked why not, Freedom Foundation head Wayne Hoffman said, “I think the Tea Party group has gone from doing rallies to doing a lot more public policy-type work,” including getting involved with legislation/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. (AP file photo: Roger Warrick, 71, from Boise, waves his flag on the state capitol steps in downtown Boise  during a Tea Party Boise tax day rally on April 15, 2010)

Question: Has the Tea Party been effective in Idaho?

Tea Party Queen Seeks Bonner Seat

The Republican nomination for the regional legislative seats will be hard-won this year. Conservative activists Pam Stout and Danielle Ahrens have announced their intention to pursue the GOP nomination for seats currently held by Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, and Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint. “Neither one of us is a slick Boise politician,” Ahrens said. “We know what it’s like to balance a checkbook.” After her inclusion in a New York Times feature story and an appearance on “Late Night With David Letterman” in 2010,  Pam Stout became something of a national Tea Party icon. Her county job heading the Bonner County Property Rights Council further bolstered her conservative credentials. Now Stout aims to take her views to Boise as a District 1 representative/Cameron Rasmussen, Bonner County Bee. More here. (SR file photo: Pam Stout, shown during a tea party rally in 2009, now heads the Bonner County Property Rights Council)

Question: Do you think either Shawn Keough or George Eskridge are a “slick Boise politician”?

Poll: More Like Tea Party Than OWS

The Occupy Wall Street movement is not wearing well with voters across the country. Only 33% now say that they are supportive of its goals, compared to 45% who say they oppose them. That represents an 11 point shift in the wrong direction for the movement's support compared to a month ago when 35% of voters said they supported it and 36% were opposed. Most notably independents have gone from supporting Occupy Wall Street's goals 39/34, to opposing them 34/42. Voters don't care for the Tea Party either, with 42% saying they support its goals to 45% opposed.  But asked whether they have a higher opinion of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street movement the Tea Party wins out 43-37, representing a flip from last month when Occupy Wall Street won out 40-37 on that question/Public Policy Polling. More here. (AP photo: Occupy Wall Street protester is arrested near The New York Stock Exchange in New York today)

Question: Are you surprised that Tea Party is now better liked than Occupy movement?

Column: Flirting w/Extremism Again

Political life in Bonner County is a curious, and sometimes dysfunctional process. Like permissive yet negligent parents, residents mostly ignore whatever their government is getting up to until they just can’t ignore it anymore, at which time they tend to come down hard on the miscreants. That may—or may not—be what’s happening now, as a suggestion to remove tax funding for some popular programs has served to spotlight other actions that are also causing some dismay, as residents are asking “What is this Property Rights Council, and why does the local tea party seem to be running it?”/Trish Gannon, River Journal. More here. (Pam Stout of the Property Rights Council)

Question: Do you support the purpose of the Bonner County Property Rights Council?

Richert: Simpson Takes Political Risk

Rep. Mike Simpson is taking the fight to the tea party wing of his Republican Party — and, potentially, taking the fight to his opponents in 2012. Simpson is helping to mobilize a bipartisan group in the House that would be willing to strike a big deal on deficit reduction. This deal could, and most likely would, include new taxes. Fiscally speaking, Simpson and his allies are on the mark. It may take a “grand bargain,” a deficit reduction plan in the $4 trillion ballpark, to take a real bite out of the deficit and head off any future downgrades in the U.S. credit rating. And it is impossible to get to that $4 trillion range without spending cuts and revenues. Politically speaking, though, this is a bold and risky move/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Is there any way to solve reduce our deficits without raising taxes somewhat?

Hucks Poll: Tea Party Or Occupy?

  • Wednesday Poll: 121 of 182 respondents (66.48%) said they wouldn't frequent a business that obviously supported an opposing political party or candidate. Only 51 of 182 respondents (28.02%) said they would. 10 (5.49%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Which movement are you more sympathetic with — Occupy Wall Street of Tea Party?