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Saturday, June 6, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Business Group’s Brainstorm Certainly Qualifies As All Wet

By D.F. Oliveria Opinion Writer

I’d like to think Concerned Businesses of North Idaho is being naive rather than sneaky in backing a radical proposal to change Kootenai County government.

Early on, the organization dedicated itself to removing fat from local budgets. Since then, Concerned Businesses has used its political muscle and money to elect Republican sympathizers to all but one legislative post in Districts 2 through 4 and gain control of the commissioners office. Now, it’s backing a flawed plan that would give commissioners the power to appoint such key officials as the county sheriff, prosecutor and assessor.

The business group may be operating under the notion that such an arrangement would streamline county government. And it would, too - while removing the checks and balances that prevent too much power from being concentrated in the hands of a few.

Under this plan, it wouldn’t take much for a special-interest group to win control of a three- or five-member board of commissioners and, therefore, of county government.

I hope I’m just being paranoid here.

Chenoweth, ACLU play footsie

Politics indeed make strange bedfellows. Case in point: U.S. Rep. “Give’em-Helen” Chenoweth and the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho linking arms to fight the Lautenberg amendment. The measure outlaws gun ownership by anyone who ever has been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. Said an ACLU news release: “It was inappropriate and a violation of the rights of individual citizens to impose a limitation on gun ownership retroactively for offenses that may have occurred years before.” Curiously, Republican Chenoweth mentioned the ACLU in her release. But not vice versa. Then the ACLU of Idaho carefully noted: “This statement does not necessarily reflect the position of the national ACLU.” Do you suppose the Idaho ACLUers finally are getting in step with their state? … Nah.

Death wish exposes Idaho insincerity

The state of Idaho has done racist Faron Lovelace a disservice by not killing him. Lovelace, as you may recall, was willing to plead guilty to murdering Jeremy Scott in exchange for a quick trip to the gallows. But Idahoans don’t take capital punishment very seriously. Only one killer has been executed since the Idaho death penalty was reinstituted in 1976. So, Lovelace now figures that he’ll fight the rap if he’s going to end up cooling his heels for decades on death row anyway. Seems Lovelace has more sense than the system that finally snagged him.

, 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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