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Campaign Notes

Thursday's developments on the presidential campaign trail: Kiss of Death? Massachusetts Gov. William Weld has backed so many losing candidates in his career that people joke his endorsement is the kiss of death. But that hasn't stopped Weld from prognosticating, and his latest prediction is that Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole will pick retired Gen. Colin Powell to be his vice-presidential running mate. "Well, I think Colin Powell, but my predicting ability in the presidential arena has not been very pronounced in past races," the governor said. "So, I think that and 80 cents will buy you a cup of coffee."

English-Only School Praised

GOP presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan smiles Thursday as he answers questions from second-graders at an English-only elementary school in Santa Ana, Calif. Photo by Associated Press

Idaho Democrats Gear Up For Counterattack In 1996

Idaho Democrats, who suffered their worst electoral defeat in two generations in 1994, are trying to put together a 1996 candidate slate that will let them recover at least some of the ground lost in the state Legislature. When the polls closed two years ago, the Democrats were left with only one statewide office - controller - no federal officers and just eight state Senate and 13 state House seats.

Dole Won’t Push Senate On Gun Vote

Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole declined Thursday to join House GOP leaders in a stampede toward repealing the ban on assault weapons. House Republicans set off a furor with their sudden move for a floor vote today on only two days' notice, using emergency rules procedures and without holding hearings.

Buchanan May Bolt Gop

With the Republican nomination now out of his reach, Pat Buchanan's advisers are encouraging him to make an independent run for the White House, top aides said Thursday. One aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said four of Buchanan's top advisers, including his campaign manager and sister, Bay, are "four-square behind the idea."

Could Politics Sink Any Lower?

It is Wednesday, Sept. 25, 1996, the night of the first Taco Bell Presidential Debate. The candidates are at their podiums on stage at Washington University in St. Louis. The moderator, Ricki Lake, shakes hands with President Clinton and Bob Dole and gets the show rolling. Lake: Wow! This is exciting. The topic for this evening is "He's Trying to Steal My Job!" Now, according to the draw, Senator Dole ...

Boise Democrat To Challenge Crapo

Boise home builder John Seidl says he plans to run as a Democrat against Republican Congressman Michael Crapo. Seidl, an unknown in Idaho politics, said he has lived in Idaho three years. He plans to make a formal campaign announcement and hire a campaign manager by the first week of April.

Sen. Crow Says He’ll Run Again

Sen. Gordon Crow, R-Hayden, announced Thursday that he will seek re-election to his District 3 seat. Crow said he wants to see North Idaho issues highlighted in a Legislature dominated by southeastern Idaho issues. He credited himself, and Sen. Clyde Boatright, R-Rathdrum, for accomplishing that during the last two sessions.

Nader Could Be A Danger To Clinton

Say what you like about Ralph Nader, he is an American authentic: iconoclastic, fearless, media-savvy, often wrongheaded, but - as the man responsible for safety devices like air bags - a public citizen who has saved thousands of lives. Come November, the original consumer activist could possibly be saving Bob Dole in California. Next Tuesday Nader will be chosen candidate for president on the Green Party's line, lending the power of name recognition to this agglomeration of environmentalists, vegetarians and consumerists.

Senator Has Challenger

Renegade conservative state Sen. Stan Hawkins, whose testy relationship with the rest of the Republican Party has seen him back efforts to oust less conservative GOP incumbents, is now getting a taste of his own medicine. Rep. Lynn Loosli, an equally conservative Ashton rancher, has announced his intention to challenge Hawkins' re-election bid in the May 28 Republican primary election.

Dole, Buchanan To Visit Washington

Fresh from his nomination-clinching success in the Midwest, Sen. Bob Dole will stump in Washington state this weekend. His never-say-die challenger, Pat Buchanan, also has a tentative date with backers here, just hours before the state primary polls open Tuesday. Lance Henderson, former executive director of the state GOP and now Dole's state campaign manager, said Dole will fly from Orange County, Calif., to Boeing Field. A campaign rally, free and open to the public, will be held at the airport or in Bellevue, probably at 5:30 p.m., he said. Elizabeth Dole will be campaigning in Yakima earlier in the day and will join her husband in Seattle. The Doles will spend the night in Seattle and fly out the next day - on a Boeing 727, Henderson noted - for Kansas. Buchanan tentatively plans to stump in Washington as an add-on to California. Vancouver, Seattle and Spokane all have been listed as possible venues, but details still were sketchy Wednesday.

Idaho Law Helped Sink Bond Levy Super-Majority Rule, Vocal Opposition Made Win Tough In Lakeland Election

Idaho law and an outspoken opposition contributed to the failure of Tuesday's bond levy in Lakeland School District. Schools Superintendent Bob Jones and board member Don Soltman said Wednesday that tax concerns were a factor, too. While the two-part bond levy failed to win a super-majority (two-thirds of the vote) as Idaho law requires, both issues won a majority of the votes cast in the well-attended election. Jones and school officials in other districts said the failure of the bond issue was another example of the difficulty in meeting the super-majority requirement. "Again, it shows the unfairness of the Idaho school funding system," said Dave Teater, Coeur d'Alene schools' assistant superintendent. "My feeling is the minority controls the majority," said Richard Harris, superintendent of the Post Falls School District. Harris and Coeur d'Alene school officials are hoping the Lakeland bond election isn't any indication of the voter mood in their districts. Both have construction levy elections coming up. In the unofficial results, the $9.3 million bond levy to build a new junior high and improve other facilities in Lakeland received 2,284 votes, or about 55 percent. The additional $650,000 bond levy for a hot lunch program only received 54 percent of the vote, or 2,244 votes. The school board is meeting today to recount the votes from the polling place at John Brown Elementary because of a suspected tallying mistake, officials said. "It's clear these ladies (volunteers) did nothing unethical," said Ron Schmidt, assistant superintendent. "It's plain they just had a long day and the hour was late." Although an adjustment is expected in the final results, it is not expected to change the outcome of the election, which drew about 800 more voters than the district's last bond election in 1993. This time, Lakeland bond supporters were hampered by an aggressive campaign against the bond issue led by local developer Larry Clark. Clark's goal was to defeat the bond and force the school district to return with a less expensive proposal. Soltman said it was the first time Lakeland has had organized opposition to a bond levy. "I don't think Mr. Clark's opposition was necessarily the determining factor," Jones said. "The underlying concerns were present before he ever got involved in the thing. He may have brought a focus to them." Officials in Lakeland's neighboring school districts were hoping the bond would pass for Lakeland's sake and their own. "It would have helped if they had started by passing theirs and the momentum carried into ours," said Doug Creswell, superintendent of Coeur d'Alene schools. Coeur d'Alene School District has a $10 million special plant facilities levy election scheduled for May 21. That type of levy only needs 55 percent of the vote for approval. Next Tuesday, Post Falls School District has a two-part bond levy election for a new $15 million high school. Harris doesn't think the demise of Lakeland's bond issue will necessarily effect the Post Falls levy. "People have pretty much made up their minds on how they're going vote," he said. "This is the second time around for ours. We addressed some concerns that were raised in '94, so that might make a difference." The next step for Lakeland is unclear. The school board may discuss the election and future options at its April meeting. In the short term, school officials have to come up with temporary solutions for a growing student population. "The fall of '97 is thought to be a very critical trigger point in terms of excessive over-crowding," Jones said. "We were hoping to have those facilities in place."

Lakeland Bond Issues Falling Short Funds Would Help District Keep Pace With Growth

Lakeland School District, proud of its fiscally conservative reputation, appeared Tuesday night to be narrowly losing a $9.3 million bond issue aimed at keeping pace with growth. With a third of the ballots counted, the levy to build a junior high school, add classrooms and remodel facilities was drawing a 62 percent "yes" vote - shy of the supermajority needed for passage.

Perot Won’t Say No To Race

Ross Perot said Tuesday he would run for president again and "give it everything I have" if members of his new Reform Party want him as their candidate. His comments came as aides worked to put Perot's name on the November ballot in Texas, Florida, and as many as a dozen more states.

Lakeland Voters Get School Issues

Lakeland School District voters will head to the polls today to determine the fate of proposed bond issues totaling nearly $10 million. The school district says schools are becoming crowded. Critics of the bonds are asking that costs be pared down by at least $2 million. The polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m. at district elementary schools, the Bayview Community Center, and the Twin Lakes and Hauser Lake fire stations.

Dole Gains On Clinton In Latest Voter Poll

President Clinton's lead over his likely November election opponent, Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., has been cut in half in the past week to 9 percentage points, the latest ABC News/ Washington Post poll shows. Clinton led Dole 52 percent to 43 percent among registered voters in the poll, taken after last week's Super Tuesday primaries and released Monday, compared with his 56 percent to 39 percent lead a week earlier.

Dole Tests Arguments On Future Battleground

Bob Dole was poised Monday for a romp in the primaries of the industrial Midwest, a region sure to be a major battleground in this fall's race against President Clinton. With his nomination as the Republican presidential candidate all but wrapped up, the Kansas senator spent much of the last week touring the four Midwest states that go to the polls today, testing themes for the general election.