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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Self-fending governors pick up slack, the phone

BOISE – One of my favorite Idaho reporting anecdotes is about the time I called then-Gov. Phil Batt’s press secretary, Amy Kleiner, and a voice that clearly wasn’t Amy’s answered, saying, “Amy Kleiner’s office.” It was Gov. Batt. Well, it just happened again. I put in a call to Mark Warbis, communications director for Gov. Butch Otter, and a voice that didn’t sound like Mark’s answered, “Hello.”

Clock ticks in Idaho’s race for governor

BOISE – Idaho has a half dozen lesser-known candidates out stumping for governor, but no word yet from the two major parties – including that of Gov. Butch Otter – on who will top their tickets. On Tuesday, the Idaho Democratic Party launched a candidate recruitment committee for the 2010 elections, which party Chairman Keith Roark said will look most closely at the governor’s race.

Major parties mum in Idaho governor’s race

BOISE – Idaho has a half dozen lesser-known candidates out stumping for governor, but no word yet from the two major parties – including that of incumbent Gov. Butch Otter – on who will top their tickets.

Idaho Dems launch candidate hunt

The Idaho Democratic Party is launching a "special candidate recruitment committee for the 2010 elections," at a time when, with the 2010 primary 10 months away, the party has had no major candidate step forward to challenge sitting GOP Gov. Butch Otter. State party Chairman...

Governor’s office attracts some of the usual suspects

BOISE – Although neither the incumbent governor, Butch Otter, nor a major Democratic challenger has yet announced, the 2010 Idaho governor’s race is shaping up with a plethora of candidates. Among those who’ve filed initial paperwork so far:

Best ideas for region homegrown, Otter says

BOISE – In his keynote speech this past week at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region’s big annual conference in Boise, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter had some sharp words for the federal governments of both Idaho and Canada. Otter told the group the best answers come from groups like PNWER, which brings together state and provincial officials from the U.S. and Canada to address regional issues. Ideas that bubble up from communities around the region, he said, “are going to be a whole lot better than either you get out of Ottawa or we get out of Washington in the United States.” That drew a burst of applause. “I’m gonna look for answers from you,” he said. “… All we need is for the rest of those folks to get the hell out of the way.”

Otter, Obama score low in Idaho favorability poll

BOISE - Idahoans are much more favorable in their views of all four members of their congressional delegation than they are unfavorable, according to a new Idaho poll, but they’re less enthusiastic about Gov. Butch Otter. Idaho pollster Greg Smith‘s survey was conducted June 15-18 and queried 400 randomly selected Idahoans 18 or older. It found little unfavorable sentiment about U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Reps. Walt Minnick and Mike Simpson. Otter, on the other hand, while also ranked favorably by nearly half of Idahoans, was viewed unfavorably by 35 percent.

Rammell eyes governor’s office

BOISE – Rex Rammell, now a Republican candidate for governor of Idaho, has changed the colorful graphics on his giant “Conservative Express” campaign RV twice in the past month and a half. First he changed “Time for a new kind of Senator” to “Time for a new kind of Congressman,” when the former independent candidate for U.S. Senate decided to take on U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson next year in the GOP primary.

Crapo’s a committee kind of guy

BOISE – For the third straight session of Congress, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo has been appointed to head the Senate Republicans’ Committee on Committees. Now, that might not sound like much – a committee on committees? But it’s the panel that decides which committees GOP senators are assigned to. And this time around, longtime Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, who commanded several key committee posts, is stepping down, and freshman GOP Sen. Jim Risch is taking his place. Risch’s committee assignments will be key to the new senator’s ability to accomplish things for his home state.

Minnick says he’ll focus on goals over partisanship

BOISE – As Idaho’s newest congressman-elect prepares to head for Washington, D.C., he’s expecting help from national Democrats who’ll want to cement their party’s hold on his seat – but he’s also talking to lots of Republicans. “Over my lifetime I’ve been a Republican, an independent and a Democrat, and I’m really not very partisan, never have been very partisan,” said Walt Minnick, who in January will become the first Democrat to represent Idaho in Congress in 14 years. “People thought I could be more effective than Bill Sali, and I think that was a perception you’d find among Republicans as well as Democrats.”