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Huckleberries Online

‘11 Legislature Spreads Misery Around

I've been thinking about the groups that the Idaho Legislature has offended this year by walking in lock step behind Gov. Butch Otter, Superintendent Tom Luna, and Far Right ideologues. They've ticked off teachers and public education supporters enough to prompt a possible referendum petition in response to Luna's education reform that takes money for teachers salaries to put a computer-in-every-freshman backpack. They've angered AARP with their end-of-life 'conscience' bill that allows a physician rather than a dying patient make the call on health care. They miffed the poor and disabled by slashing the state Medicaid budget (while increasing dollars for the prison system). The Idaho House amazed a lot of parents with college students by passing the guns-on-campus bill. Fiscal conservatives have to wonder about unconstitutional attempts to pass health care nullification, which will only cost the state money fighting a fruitless cause. The dominant right wing of the Idaho Republican Party thumbed its collective nose at Independents by pushing successfully for closed primaries. Which will mean that the flood of ever-more-conservative politicians will crowd out moderate Republican legislators. The Coeur d'Alene Tribe is upset that the Legislature refused to force Benewah County to embrace cross deputizaiton. All that remains now is to see whether voters remember the steady drumbeat of over-the-top 2011 legislative at the polls in 2012 -- DFO.

Question: Which 2011 bill has angered you most?

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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