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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Will The Real Conservative Please Stand Up, Move Right?

I ‘ve been outed.

I’m not really a conservative. Nor am I ethical.

If you don’t believe me, ask the old archconservative himself, Ron Rankin.

A recent editorial rankled the newest Kootenai County commissioner.

It lambasted the commissioners for their boneheaded attempt to blackmail the Panhandle Health District on behalf of polluter John Hern of Hern Ironworks. In part, it noted that Hern goes to church with Rankin and had contributed to the campaigns of Rankin ($100) and Commissioner Dick Compton (a total of $900).

Last week, His Rankiness fired off a letter to the editor in response. The powers that be at The Spokesman-Review wouldn’t run it because the paper has a policy against publishing unsupported personal attacks.

Rankin was invited to write another letter explaining what had upset him. He didn’t.

I got permission to publish the original letter in “Hot Potatoes.”

So, take it away, Rankin:

“The editorial ‘A little bit right, a whole lot wrong,’ signed by D.F. Oliveria on Feb. 2, was a little bit right but totally wrong in assumptions and conclusions. The editorial further demonstrates the downward slide in professionalism, both in reporting and editorializing, that readers of The Spokesman-Review have come to expect.

“My first reaction to the blatantly biased editorial was anger at having my veracity and integrity impugned. Being Sunday, however, and disposed to Christian charity, I soon reasoned that Oliveria, who at one time was considered to be morally and conservatively motivated, is writing only what he is allowed and directed to write.

“I suppose you can’t really blame Oliveria anymore for what appears over his name. The real shame of it is that I knew David Oliveria when he was an ethical and professional journalist, when you could believe what appeared under his name.

“This editorial is not the David Oliveria I knew.

“In my oath of office, I promised not only to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the constitution and laws of the state of Idaho but also to represent and be an advocate for all taxpayers of Kootenai County. I fully intend to keep that oath in its entirety.”

All this, on a Kootenai County letterhead, typed at taxpayer expense by a staffer in the Kootenai County commissioners office.


That’s not the Ron Rankin I knew.

, DataTimes MEMO: D.F. Oliveria’s “Hot Potatoes” runs Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can comment on the items by calling (800) 344-6718 or (208) 765-7125 or by sending e-mail to

D.F. Oliveria’s “Hot Potatoes” runs Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can comment on the items by calling (800) 344-6718 or (208) 765-7125 or by sending e-mail to

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