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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: CdA council race eerily familiar for English

Dan English is experiencing the ultimate “what goes around comes around” moment. Six years ago at this time, as Kootenai County clerk, Dan was about to circulate instructions to local towns about the approaching city elections. Among the races that fall was the one between Coeur d’Alene incumbent Mike Kennedy and challenger Jim Brannon, then the executive director of Habitat for Humanity. The Kennedy-Brannon race was going to be contested for months after the vote count, as a result of a legal action filed by Brannon and settled by the Idaho Supreme Court. On election night, Kennedy won by five votes. When the dust settled many months later, Kennedy was still declared the winner – by three votes. Now, fast forward to today. English is the executive director of Habitat for Humanity and seeking a Coeur d’Alene council seat held by an incumbent. And Brannon? He’s now the county clerk whose office will count votes in the Coeur d’Alene election in November. English has two wishes at this point: to win the three-way election for Councilman Steve Adams’ seat. And to win by way more than five votes.

Sweet deal

In this day of corporate naming rights, you can’t find a sweeter deal than the one purchased by the late William H. Kibbie, according to Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune. Kibbie? He’s the Utah building contractor who bought naming rights for a mere 4 percent of overall construction costs for the University of Idaho’s Kibbie Dome – or $300,000 of the $7.8 million: “Since 1975,” editorializes Trillhaase, “the name of the late Utah construction executive – he died in a 1988 automobile accident – has been affixed to the UI’s covered stadium.” How good was Kibbie’s deal? Consider, says Trillhaase, the naming rights for the Seattle Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field goes for $4 million to $5 million per year. There is a difference, of course, between the Seattle Seahawks and the Idaho Vandals. The Seahawks win.


Bumpersnicker: “We hug trees, and we talk dirty to them, too” – on a gray van parked at Fifth Street and Harrison Avenue in Coeur d’Alene … Poll: A plurality of my Huckleberries blog ( readers say those Facebook photos of state Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, proudly holding a Confederate flag at Priest River Timber Days this summer will help her politically – not hurt her – in the uberconservative 1st House District (Bonner-Boundary counties) of North Idaho … For those keeping score at home, 65 percent of my blog readers say five Whitworth soccer players shouldn’t be punished for appearing in “blackface” in that notorious Facebook photo. About half of those said the controversy engulfing the five who were mimicking The Jackson 5 was overblown. The other half said the quintet has been punished enough … Who said the 15 minutes of fame are up for “everyone’s favorite racially ambiguous person” – TMZ’s description not Huckleberries’ – Rachel Dolezal? In an exclusive last week, Dolezal told TMZ that – drum roll, please – she’s pregnant. She’s in her second trimester, expecting a boy. Tongue firmly cheeked, TMZ adds: “The ethnicity is TBD,” adding: “We kid.”

Parting shot

Toby Schindelbeck, the tea party refugee from Chico, California, will try again to win elected office in Coeur d’Alene. Schindelbeck will try to unseat longtime Councilman Ron Edinger in the fall election. Last year, Schindelbeck tried and failed to defeat Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, the only moderate in the nine-member Kootenai County legislative delegation. Huckleberries suspects the uphill race against Edinger in the city election is a move to get Schindelbeck’s name in front of Coeur d’Alene residents prior to a rematch against Malek in the GOPrimaries next spring.

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