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Eye On Boise

THURSDAY, AUG. 25, 2005

He felt the bumps

It seems a little odd that President Bush acknowledged two mayors during his speech in Nampa this week – Nampa Mayor Tom Dale and Boise Mayor David Bieter – but he only criticized Dale, who happens to be the Republican (Bieter is a former Democratic…

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WEDNESDAY, AUG. 24, 2005

Reactions to the Prez

Here are two different reactions to the president’s speech in Nampa, one from a Republican congressional candidate, the other from a Democratic state legislator:Former state Sen. Sheila Sorensen, R-Boise, who is among a half-dozen Republicans seeking the 1st District congressional seat, said, “The President was…

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TUESDAY, AUG. 23, 2005

Everything he said under the trees

The White House has posted a complete transcript on the Internet of President Bush’s 12-minute press conference this morning at Tamarack Resort, in which he talked about how glad he is to be in Idaho and about his speech on the war on terror tomorrow,…

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'Desperately seeking friendly ground'

Idaho’s Democratic Party is accusing President Bush of “desperately seeking friendly ground” in his current visit to Idaho, what with his approval ratings down and concern over the nation’s war deaths in Iraq getting widespread attention, sparked by grieving mom and protester Cindy Sheehan.The president…

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President is 'hanging loose'

President Bush told reporters, “I’m kind of hanging loose, as they say,” before he took off this afternoon on a mountain bike ride around a loop at Tamarack Resort. The very-fit Bush reportedly outstripped Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, who couldn’t always keep up. Then, around…

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MONDAY, AUG. 22, 2005

Said in Salt Lake

President Bush’s speech today in Salt Lake City sounded themes we’re likely to hear again on Wednesday when he speaks on the war on terror at the Idaho Center in Nampa. Here’s an AP account of his remarks this morning at the Veterans of Foreign…

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Getting into the act

What with President Bush in Idaho, folks of all political stripes are getting into the act – from a “Potatoes for Peace” performance at an anti-war rally planned for Tuesday evening across from the state capitol, to an announcement from Trout Unlimited that the president…

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SATURDAY, AUG. 20, 2005

He knows how to bring 'em in here

Carl Wilgus, Idaho's tourism chief at the state Dept. of Commerce & Labor, has been named state tourism director of the year by the Travel Industry Association of America - surprising no one. Idaho's tourism growth recently picked up to pre-Sept. 11 levels, and tourism…

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TUESDAY, AUG. 16, 2005

No giggling in the gaggle

Following are excerpts from the transcript of today’s White House “press gaggle,” which apparently is when a gaggle of press types gather around a White House spokesperson for a few announcements and a little Q & A, or at least I’m guessing that’s what it…

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They're not sayin'

The IRS, through a press spokeswoman in Seattle, declined to comment on whether the agency received Idaho Demo Chair Richard Stallings’ letter requesting an inquiry into campaign spending practices in Idaho like Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s, or to give any response. The reason? They don’t comment…

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MONDAY, AUG. 15, 2005

Could it be taxable?

Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Richard Stallings has written a formal letter to the IRS asking whether, if a public official spends campaign money for personal expenses, that money becomes taxable income.Attached to his Aug. 12 letter were copies of Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s latest campaign finance…

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THURSDAY, AUG. 11, 2005

Bogert to head EPA region

L. Michael Bogert, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s top lawyer for five years who also made an unsuccessful run for Idaho Attorney General, has been named the new administrator of the EPA’s Region 10, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.Bogert will take over from acting regional…

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Presidential visit

About the oddest thing about President George W. Bush’s plans to visit Idaho later this month is that he hasn’t come sooner. Never, once, has this two-term Republican president visited the state with an all-Republican congressional delegation that’s given him more than two-thirds of its…

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TUESDAY, AUG. 9, 2005

Slush funds 'the norm'

You can see Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s latest campaign finance report for yourself here; the governor, who is not running for re-election, has drawn criticism for using his campaign account, in part, for lunches out, flowers, candy, travel and gifts. But University of Virginia political scientist…

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SUNDAY, AUG. 7, 2005

Major change in Boise media scene

Wow, I only left town for a week – to enjoy my vacation windsurfing in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge – and when I returned, the Boise news media world had been shaken to its core. The big news: The sale of the Idaho Statesman…

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How Idaho will decide

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne has announced the process for picking the design for Idaho’s state quarter: Anyone in the state is invited to send in their suggestions by email to or by snail-mail to Idaho Quarter, Idaho Commission on the Arts, P.O. Box 83720, Boise,…

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MONDAY, JULY 25, 2005

Idaho on a quarter

If you could capture the essence of Idaho in a design not much bigger than a thumbnail, how would you do it? It’s no idle question – the time is drawing near for Idaho to start designing its official state quarter, which will be issued…

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Smylie's on the stump

Rep. Steve Smylie, R-Boise, a schoolteacher and four-term state representative, has formed an exploratory committee to look into a possible run for state superintendent of schools. “I’ve formed a committee, had a poll done, raised a few thousand dollars,” Smylie said. “I’m months away from…

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TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2005

Marley may run

State Superintendent of Schools Marilyn Howard won’t say whether she’ll run for re-election for a third term – there’s a while yet ‘til the 2006 election – but rumor has it that she won’t. Howard is currently the only Democrat holding statewide elected office in…

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FRIDAY, JULY 15, 2005


Oxley leaving AP for D's

Veteran reporter Chuck Oxley of the Associated Press is leaving AP to become the new communications director for the Idaho Democratic Party. His hire is one of several the Democrats are making with money being handed out by the national Democratic Party at the urging…

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Governor remembers answering to Strong

If it seems like Gov. Dirk Kempthorne is particularly receptive to the counsel of Deputy Attorney General and natural resources specialist Clive Strong, perhaps it’s because when the two began their acquaintance, Strong was the authority figure. Kempthorne, who was noting lots of University of…

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MONDAY, JULY 11, 2005

Al's backyard means 'upper echelon'

According to a press release from 1st District congressional candidate Norm Semanko, an upcoming campaign kickoff barbecue in GOP fundraiser Al Henderson’s backyard is a sign that Semanko is an “upper echelon politician.”“The campaign kickoff bar-b-que hosted by Henderson is considered a premier event in…

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The campaigning is on

Longtime Kootenai County Clerk Dan English, a Democrat, was a little surprised to get a phone message at his Twin Lakes home reminding him about the 4th of July parade in Coeur d’Alene – courtesy of former state Sen. Sheila Sorensen, who’s running for the…

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They're on their way

The legislative interim committee on property tax relief is coming to a location near you – for 12 public hearings around the state in the next two months. First stop will be Sandpoint on July 27 at 1 p.m., followed by Coeur d’Alene the same…

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.