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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Commercials show different sides of Risch

BOISE – Two new political commercials are airing across Idaho in the race for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Larry Craig. Both come from GOP candidate Jim Risch, but the two have sharply differing tones. The first touts Risch’s prosecutorial experience as an asset in the national financial crisis, while the second launches a direct attack on Risch’s Democratic rival, former Idaho congressman Larry LaRocco.

East Coasters have trouble with their I’s

For a brief and shining moment, Idaho was running with the big-dog states – California, Florida, New York and Texas. And the Wall Street Journal was just as surprised as everyone else. In an article re: the number of millionaires in each state, WSJ listed Idaho as the No. 5 state in the union. In fact, the respected national newspaper made an issue of it with this line: “In fifth place was Idaho. That’s right Idaho.” The first four places were taken by the four states mentioned above. respectively. Of course, Idaho’s surprising placement was highlighted at Huckleberries Online. It was like the darkest of dark horses emerging from the pack to capture an Olympic medal. After all, Idaho tries to stay ahead of Mississippi on most lists of this sort. Alas, our glory was short-lived. Seems WSJ meant Illinois, not Idaho. Those East Coast types tend to mix up Idaho with other “I” states. Usually, it’s Iowa. WSJ changed the story after a coupla commenters from Illinois questioned Idaho’s ranking. Berry Picker Idawa was all over the miscue. I couldn’t tell for sure from the IRS tables where Idaho ranks. Idawa has us pegged around 43rd or so with 5,000 millionaires. All I know for sure is that I’m not one of them. Where’s Risch?

GOP warming to blogs

First, Congressman Bill Sali. Now, Lt. Gov. Jim Risch. Slowly, Repub candidates are warming up to the blogosphere. Last week, Sali launched his blog with little fanfare. On Friday, Risch told Huckleberries Online that he plans to start his own, sometime around Labor Day, and continue it if/when he’s elected to the U.S. Senate. As you probably know, Idaho’s Demo bloggers have razzed Risch for his lack of knowledge and use of the blogosphere. They enjoy pointing out that Risch’s opponent, Demo Larry LaRocco, has live-blogged a dozen times or so already. At 43rd State Blues, blogger Serephin went further by YouTubing a video clip of Risch to include a dunce hat and a Munchkin voice. In a 90-minute interview Friday, Risch revealed that he plans to start blogging, too. Also, he said, he reads three blogs in the state – Betsy Russell’s Eye On Boise, Opinion Editor Kevin Richert’s one at the Idaho Statesman, and Huckleberries Online. In fact, Vicky Risch, who sat in on the interview, said she checks through Huckleberries in the morning to alert her husband to important posts. The lieutenant governor appreciates her help, too. When asked how important he considers the former first lady’s counsel and companionship, Risch said “the last line in the MasterCard commercial summed it up best: priceless.” Risch fires salvo

Idaho Senate candidates file finance reports

BOISE – Candidates vying to replace Idaho Sen. Larry Craig are gearing up for a fight, with one bringing on two dozen campaign workers and another piling up a million-dollar war chest. A third candidate, independent Rex Rammell, who’s put in more than $250,000 of his own money and focused on piloting an advertising-emblazoned “Conservative Express” RV up and down the state, said, “I want to win – and it takes money.”

Risch will use contested ad again

BOISE – Idaho Lt. Gov. Jim Risch is standing by a controversial TV ad he aired in his successful primary race for a U.S. Senate seat and says he’ll run it again in the general election campaign. “The ad said I delivered the largest tax cut in the history of the state of Idaho. I said it then, I mean it now, and you’re going to hear it again in the election,” Risch declared.

LaRocco, Rammell plan 10 debates

BOISE – Two candidates for the Senate seat now held by Larry Craig say they’ll hold a series of 10 debates across the state in October, starting in North Idaho – regardless of whether front-runner and GOP nominee Jim Risch participates. Democrat Larry LaRocco, a former two-term 1st District congressman, and independent Rex Rammell, a former elk rancher and veterinarian, called on Risch, Idaho’s lieutenant governor, to join the debates.