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Eye On Boise archive for July 2010

MONDAY, JULY 19, 2010

Parties tangle, accusations fly 18 

The political war of words between the state's top party leaders continues today, with Norm Semanko, Idaho Republican Party chairman, issuing a statement sharply critical of Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Keith Roark's guest opinion last week, which was entitled, "You Have Been Invited to Leave…

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IACI: Beware politicians who tout small biz 

The Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry, the influential lobby group that represents the state's largest businesses, sent out a guest editorial last week warning Idahoans to beware of "candidates of every political persuasion" who call for promoting small businesses. "In reality, the real cynical…

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The immigration issue... 

A white paper from Boise State University's public policy center, which analyzed the results of immigration questions in the most recent statewide BSU Public Policy Surveys in 2006 and 2007, found strong concern among Idahoans about illegal immigration: 54 percent said undocumented immigrants reduce the…

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FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010

Court tosses out Syringa lawsuit 

The Syringa Networks lawsuit against the state Department of Administration over the award of the multimillion-dollar Idaho Education Network contract to Qwest has been dismissed, as 4th District Judge Patrick Owen granted the state's motion for a summary judgment. "It does appear that Syringa was…

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Allred sets 'town hall' meetings

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Keith Allred has scheduled a series of "town hall" meetings starting Monday in Sandpoint, where he'll answer questions from the public in a format similar to that of the Boise City Club, where volunteers collect written questions from the audience and a…

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The latest campaign finance news in 1st CD

Here's a link to my full story at on the news from the latest campaign finance reports in the 1st District congressional race, in which incumbent Congressman Walt Minnick has a million-dollar cash advantage over his Republican challenger, Raul Labrador. Labrador's reaction? "I've been…

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Idaho Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol (Courtesy photo)

Rep. Hart's tax woes add up to $700K 

Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart’s tax problems appear to be worse than previously disclosed. When federal tax liens filed against Hart's various business entities are combined with the hundreds of thousands in liens the IRS has filed against him personally in his ongoing fight over…

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Minnick has $1M cash edge over Labrador 

Republican congressional challenger Raul Labrador has just filed his campaign finance report, showing he raised $101,616 from May 6 to June 30, spent $78,246, and has $68,789 on hand for his campaign. Incumbent Congressman Walt Minnick raised $291,966 during the same period, spent $93,778, and…

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Rabid bat attacks fisherman near Hailey

A fisherman on a tributary of the Wood River west of Hailey encountered an aggressive bat last weekend, and is now being treated for rabies after the bat tested positive for the fatal viral illness. It's the second rabid bat of the season identified in…

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Boise Police ban texting while driving

The police department of the largest city in the state is banning texting while driving for its officers on patrol, an interesting move after the Idaho Legislature this year failed to pass such a ban for all Idaho drivers, even with an exemption in it…

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Hart denies ethics charges 

Idaho Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, denied the ethics charges against him Wednesday in a formal response to a special House Ethics Committee, and decried the complaint against him for citing "news accounts" and "perceptions." "I have no hesitancy in accounting for, and defending, all of…

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Hart: 'Tell that story I will' 

Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, has filed his response to a House Ethics Committee's charges against him; click here to read his response. In an email with his response, Hart wrote, "I want you to know that this part of the process of governance does not…

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A fundraiser March 19 for Vernon Baker of St. Maries raised $16,000 to help with his medical expenses.  This file photo from 3/1/05.   Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review (Jesse Tinsley)

Honoring Vernon Baker, World War II hero

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today offered this tribute on the passing of Idaho Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Vernon Baker of St. Maries: “Mr. Vernon Baker, an Idahoan, received the Congressional Medal of Honor 50 years after his honorable service in World War II. He…

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Bunker mine villain now top Tory official

S-R reporter Becky Kramer has a fascinating story today about how the man accused of stripping millions of dollars from health insurance funds for retirees of the Bunker Hill Mine and Smelter in North idaho in the early 1990s has resurfaced as the treasurer of…

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Smeed undergoing cancer treatment

Here's a news item from The Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A libertarian activist who once called Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter "obscenely handsome" is being treated for cancer at a Houston clinic. Ralph Smeed, from Caldwell, is tolerating his medication, according to an e-mail…

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Kemp: 'What's missing is action'

Independent gubernatorial candidate Jana Kemp had this response this morning to Gov. Butch Otter's comments yesterday about the state budget at fiscal year-end:"While the Governor and Legislature did a good job focusing on realistic revenue numbers and budgeting accordingly, what’s missing is the action toward…

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TUESDAY, JULY 13, 2010

Alcohol poisoning kills UI student

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — Moscow police say a University of Idaho senior died of respiratory arrest, apparently due to alcohol poisoning after a night of drinking to celebrate his 21st birthday. Emergency personnel responded to a report…

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Gov. Butch Otter discusses Idaho's budget situation at the fiscal year-end, at a press conference in his office on July 13. At center is Lt. Gov. Brad Little, and at right, Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell. (AP Photo / The Idaho Statesman, Shawn Raecke)

Idaho wraps up tough budget year

Here's a link to my full story at on how Idaho closed the books on a tough budget year today. Overall, revenue for the fiscal year that ended June 30 was $86.5 million below the state's official forecast, at $2.26 billion - lower even…

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Allred response: Otter missing the point 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Keith Allred has issued a response to Gov. Butch Otter's press conference today on the state budget, saying "Otter's still missing the point." Allred said he agreed that the Legislature was right to hold the line on spending in the 2010 fiscal…

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Gov. Butch Otter, joined by several lawmakers and Lt. Gov. Brad Little, announces year-end budget numbers for the state of Idaho. (Betsy Russell)

Guv: Budget decisions were prudent 

Gov. Butch Otter, joined by several lawmakers including the vice-chairs of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, called a press conference in his office today to announce year-end budget numbers that he said showed he and the Legislature acted responsibly in their budgeting decisions this year. "The…

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North Idaho lawmakers on loyalty oath 

Three North Idaho lawmakers who joined Gov. Butch Otter for a press conference today on state revenues also expressed concerns about the GOP platform loyalty oath, as did the governor. Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, said, "I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of Idaho…

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