Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Fog 29° Fog
News >  Idaho

As least management team misspent our dough in style

Dave Oliveria The Spokesman-Review

You may know that military contractor Brent Wilkes is referred to as “co-conspirator No. 1” by the feds investigating the bribery scandal involving former Repub congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham, of California. But did you know that Wilkes lived high on taxpayer-funded retreats in Coeur d’Alene and Hawaii? In an article (linked to from Huckleberries Online), the San Diego Union-Tribune said Wilkes would take his management team to posh places like The Coeur d’Alene Resort, where he rented the $2,500-a-night Hagadone suite, with its indoor swimming pool and outdoor Jacuzzi, and spent thousands of dollars for group meals at Beverly’s. The Union-Tribune provides more: “For recreation, they would fish, Jet-Ski or play at the resort’s exclusive golf course, famed for its 14th hole on a man-made floating island in Lake Coeur d’Alene.” About once a year, Wilkes and his execs would visit their two favorite retreat sites on the public dime: Idaho in the spring and summer, Hawaii in the fall and winter. Your tax dollars at work.

Choosy beggars

Whoever said “beggars can’t be choosers” never met those two bums with signs who were working the cars backed up on the ramp at Interstate 90 and Highway 95 on Wednesday. Seems a Coeur d’Alene car dealer (who asked to remain nameless) offered them $10 and, egad, jobs. In fact, Mr. Dealer beckoned his manager by cell phone to give the pair job interviews. One wasn’t suitable. The other balked when he learned the application process included a background check. The beggar wanted to be paid under the table because a felony warrant had been issued for his arrest. Also, he griped he didn’t want the job if his buddy couldn’t have one, too. And he was reluctant to leave his street corner because he rakes in about $300 a day begging. Tax-free. In other words, Mr. Dealer got a bum’s rush.

Sandpoint connections

When we last saw attorney Edgar Steele, of Sagle, he and his client, late racist Richard Butler, had lost a $6.3 million civil ruling that bankrupted Butler’s Aryan Nations. Now, Steele is representing Prussian Blue, 13-year-old twins Lynx and Lamb Gaede from Bakersfield, Calif., who tour the nation singing white power songs. Seems Steele and Prussian Blue appeared on CNBC host Donny Deutsch’s talk show last Monday. Marianne Love wrote about the show in her Slight Detour blog: “During the hour, Edgar beamed about his youthful hate singers and his own assertion that Hitler’s Jewish annihilation was much overrated.” Later, the name of white supremacist Richard Masker came up, along with his ties to Sandpoint – as a supervisor of the city’s water system who was fired after a flap involving car payments. Marianne and her hubby, Bill, theorize that Sandpoint has a lot of ties to stories of national interest and beyond. Think: Mark Fuhrman, now of Sandpoint, and the O.J. Simpson trial. “Extreme Makeover.” Sandpoint grad Cindy Wooden, who covered Pope John Paul II’s death as a Vatican reporter. Most times, Marianne’s thrilled to make the connection. This time? She was glad Steele was introduced as being “from Spokane, Wash.”

Going, going …

A word for those holding out hope that basketball All-American Adam Morrison will skip the NBA to play his senior year at Gonzaga – don’t bother. During the second half of the 99-95 loss to Washington on Dec. 4, Bob Condotta/Seattle Times reports, Morrison and Dawg star Brandon Roy began gabbing around the key before some free throws. Morrison (according to Roy): “Hey Roy, you know, I’m going to see you in June.” To make his point further, Morrison said, “Yeah, at the draft.” Then, Condotta reports, the two stars complimented each other’s game. Later, Morrison, through a Gonzaga spokesman, told the Times scribe that he didn’t mean to involve himself in draft talk. Guess that cat’s been out of the bag for some time.


Huckleberries Online readers were asked to name their “Favorite Zag Who Is Not Adam Morrison” – and the consensus choice was hard-nosed rebounder David Pendergraft … Poet’s Corner: “Before another breath was drawn/A blast of flame and they were gone,/So very far from home to die,/They rest forever Semper Fi” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“For Ten Marines Killed in Fallujah”) … “Things You Shouldn’t Say Over A Police Scanner” Dept.: “Been advised not to dispatch any small, cheerleader-sized firefighters to this call because the patient weighs over 350 pounds” – Kootenai County dispatcher, 2 p.m. Dec. 3 (with laughter in the background) … You heard that CdA council wannabe Steven Foxx is a shirt-tail relative of old baseball slugger Jimmy Foxx. But did you know Susie Snedaker, another wannabe, also has a famous distant relative: Erin Brockovich? Peter Pattee, who stepped off the boat in 1640, is their common ancestor.

Parting shot

For Those Keeping Score At Home, it’s Person Field, not Person’s Field, no matter what the city of Coeur d’Alene Web site sez.

None other than Parks Director Doug Eastwood told Huckleberries that the 6-acre park on 15th was named after Eugene Person, a CdA High School track coach of 1930s vintage.

If you insist on calling it Persons or Person’s, then the city should change the park next to City Hall to McEuen’s Field.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.