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Eye On Boise archive for April 2008


Sali money woes boost Democratic hopes

Idaho Democrats believe the 2008 election is the party’s best shot to finally regain a congressional seat — a hope bolstered by recent fundraising reports that show freshman GOP Congressman Bill Sali owes more money than what he has in the bank, reports Erica Curless.…

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Sali wants new consulate delayed

Idaho Rep. Bill Sali sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice today asking Rice to delay the opening of a Mexican consulate in Boise. Sali expressed concern that a consulate could aid illegal aliens, saying it could help them get ID cards that…

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Prosecutors: Close the courtroom

Federal prosecutors filed their response today to a motion filed by the media to keep court proceedings in the Joseph Duncan case open to the public. In it, the prosecutors argued that the courtroom should be closed during any testimony from young victim Shasta Groene…

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MONDAY, APRIL 28, 2008

FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2008

Another sign of spring

Idahoans have to remove their studded snow tires before May 1 – that’s Thursday. Some of our neighboring states, however, required studded tires to be removed a month ago. In Utah, Oregon and Washington, studded tires had to be off by March 31st. Nevada matches…

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Planting a tree for Arbor Day

At Idaho’s official state ceremony for Arbor Day today, a group of 4th, 5th and 6th graders from Taft Elementary School in Boise read poems they wrote about trees, state Controller Donna Jones signed a giant check to represent the $26.9 million in forest receipts…

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Lobby firm townhouse hosting Risch fundraiser

Among Lt. Gov. Jim Risch’s campaign meetings in Washington, D.C. today for his U.S. Senate campaign is a luncheon fundraiser hosted by two D.C. lobbyists, Jeffrey Kimbell and Rick Murphy. The event, from 12-1:30, costs $1,500 for a PAC or $1,000 for an individual, according…

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Craig: ‘I am every bit as effective’

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig says he’s just as effective a senator now as he was before an airport restroom sex sting scandal prompted a storm of national criticism, an almost-resignation and the loss of his senior committee positions. “There probably was a short period of…

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MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2008

A glimpse into Duncan's 'ideology'

In court filings today arguing various points about killer Joseph Duncan’s request to act as his own attorney in his death penalty hearing, defense attorneys made a passing reference to “his decision to decline to put on any mitigating evidence.” This decision, not yet detailed…

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Should Duncan represent himself?

Prosecutors have filed arguments saying there’s no legal reason why killer Joseph Duncan shouldn’t be able to serve as his own attorney in his death sentence hearings, but defense attorneys are raising a number of concerns. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge said he’ll decide this…

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FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2008

All about the case

I was interviewed by NPR’s Don Wimberly yesterday on Boise State Radio, in a conversation all about the Duncan case, including the media’s court filing to maintain public access to the proceedings. You can listen here online.

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Denial could lead to automatic reversal

Federal prosecutors aren’t objecting to Duncan’s request to serve as his own attorney. Deputy U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson told the court that when Duncan pleaded guilty on Dec. 7 to all 10 counts in the federal indictment against him, he made a statement “that was…

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Judge orders mental evaluation of Duncan

Joseph Duncan must undergo a mental evaluation before U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge will agree to let him act as his own attorney, the judge decided this morning. Lodge told the convicted killer and child molester that having observed his conduct in court several times,…

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Transportation board cuts programs

Faced with a giant shortfall for road maintenance, the Idaho Transportation Board voted today to cut three programs starting in 2011, shifting their funding to pavement preservation. Gone will be the enhancement program, which funds bike paths, visitor centers and historic kiosks; the congestion program,…

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Slow going so far in Duncan jury selection

The going has been slow so far this morning. Eight of the 30 prospective jurors called in today in the Duncan death penalty proceedings were dismissed right off, based on their responses to jury questionnaires. Then, the attorneys began individual questioning of the 22 remaining,…

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Duncan chose the prison garb

Here’s an odd note: The reason Joseph Duncan was wearing prison-issue yellow scrubs in court today was because he wanted to. The convicted killer’s attorneys wanted him to dress in civilian clothes for today’s court proceedings, but Duncan refused. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge confirmed…

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And another - this time the other way

The government challenged another prospective juror who said she was opposed to the death penalty and wrote in her jury questionnaire repeatedly, “I don’t think we have the right to put anyone to death.” Duncan defense attorney Judy Clarke questioned the juror at length, however,…

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Big challenges in jury selection for Duncan

At least initially, it’s proving difficult to find jurors to sit for the death penalty proceedings for Joseph Duncan. First, six potential jurors, four men and two women, were brought in and excused right off. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge said, “Counsel stipulates and the…

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Media, organizations call for open hearings

The public should be able to “observe all matters’’ considered by a U.S. District Court jury that will decide if confessed killer Joseph Duncan should face the federal death penalty, 16 media and open-government organizations argued in a legal brief filed in federal court today.…

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More Idaho inmates shipped out of state

Idaho’s state prisons have shipped another 120 inmates off to an out-of-state private prison, in this case the North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre, Okla. They join another 120 Idaho prisoners who were sent to the Oklahoma lockup in September. It’s owned and operated by…

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MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2008

Duncan case turns Boise Centre into courthouse

Hundreds of potential jurors started lining up outside Boise’s convention center as early as 7:30 this morning, in a line that snaked through the city’s central Grove plaza, to start the process of deciding whether Joseph Duncan should die. The 327-person jury pool is the…

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'Unavoidable' GOP lawsuit filed against state

The Idaho Republican Party has filed suit in federal court against GOP Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, challenging the state’s current open primary election system. The complaint, filed late Friday, asks the court for an injunction against the state and Ysursa, “compelling implementation of a…

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FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2008

It's the political news of the day

Here’s a link to my full story in today’s Spokesman-Review about Larry Grant ceding the Democratic nomination for Congress to Walt Minnick – allowing a more focused campaign by Democrats to take out freshman GOP Rep. Bill Sali. And here’s a link to the Congressional…

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