BOISE – Boise attorney Nels Mitchell launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate against Idaho Sen. Jim Risch on Tuesday, calling Risch an “out-of-touch” career politician and pledging, if elected, to serve just one six-year term. “Six years is a long time,” Mitchell said. “I will give the people of Idaho 110 percent for the next six years, and then I intend to return to private life.”
BOISE – It’s become something of an endorsement war lately among the GOP candidates for Idaho secretary of state, with Mitch Toryanski introducing Freda Cenarrusa, widow of longtime Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa, as his campaign chair; Evan Frasure touting endorsements from an array of lawmakers topped by Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis; and Lawerence Denney naming three honorary campaign chairmen.
BOISE – Former longtime Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus was looking pleased, despite the chilly weather, as he gathered with a crowd of about 80 last week to cheer the launch of Democratic candidate A.J. Balukoff’s gubernatorial campaign. “We’ve got a Senate race that’s going to be interesting, too,” Andrus said. “There are some discussions going on.”
BOISE – When the U.S. Senate voted 64-32 last week in favor of legislation to ban workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians, 10 Republicans joined 52 Democrats and two independents to support the bill, but Idaho’s two senators both voted against it. “Number one, this is a state’s rights issue,” Idaho Sen. Jim Risch said. “Number two, this bill made insufficient provisions for employers who have First Amendment constitutional protections to exercise their religious beliefs.”
The Inland Northwest’s congressional delegation remained split on who to blame for the federal government shutdown, set to enter its third day today. Republicans in the House of Representatives, including Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, of Spokane, and Raul Labrador, of Eagle, Idaho, are accusing the Democratic-controlled Senate of ignoring their demands to delay implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. Senate Democrats, including Washington Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, say House Republicans are holding the nation hostage over an ideological dispute that’s already been settled by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Both of Idaho’s U.S. senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, have scheduled “tele-town hall” meetings in the coming week. Risch’s will be on Monday, and Crapo’s on Wednesday, both starting at 6 p.m. Pacific time. Any Idahoan can participate but needs to sign up online in advance.
BOISE – Idaho Sen. Jim Risch says he believes the nation is better off doing nothing than launching a military strike against Syria in the wake of that country’s chemical weapons attack against its own citizens. “Nothing I say today should be taken as minimizing this attack that was done by the Assad regime on his own country,” Risch said at a Boise news conference Thursday. But, he said, “There are no good answers here. … My judgment is the risk of doing something is worse than the risk of doing nothing.”