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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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National group recruited Simpson challenger via website

BOISE – The Club for Growth, a national group that funneled money to bankroll one-term 1st District Idaho Rep. Bill Sali’s run for Congress in 2006, announced last week that it is not only endorsing 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson’s GOP primary challenger, Bryan Smith of Idaho Falls – it also recruited him to run for the seat. The Washington, D.C.-based group sent out a timeline “showing how the Club for Growth PAC, for the first time in history, used the Internet to solicit a viable primary challenger to an incumbent member of Congress.” The organization said it launched a website, www.PrimaryMy Congressman.com, in late February; tallied up submissions over the next month and a half and noticed “dozens of recommendations” for Smith as a challenger for Simpson; contacted Smith on April 12 at his law office to ask if he was interested in running; and interviewed him May 6 at the Club for Growth offices in D.C. Smith announced his candidacy June 27.

Eye on Boise: Total Idaho crime down, but violence up

BOISE – Idaho’s crime rate dropped 1.5 percent in 2012, according to the new Crime in Idaho report, continuing a five-year decline, but the number of violent crimes – murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault – increased 5.2 percent. That was partly due to a 3.2 percent increase in aggravated assaults, which made up 77.4 percent of violent crimes. Idaho’s population increased 0.8 percent in 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures.

Eye on Boise: Crapo, Risch oppose immigration bill

BOISE – Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch both voted against the landmark immigration reform bill that passed the U.S. Senate last week. “The triggers in this bill with regard to border security are not strong enough,” Crapo said.

Rep. Raul Labrador to still work toward immigration reform

MERIDIAN, Idaho – Idaho’s U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador pledged Monday to keep working on immigration reform, despite having walked away last week from a bipartisan group working to write a House bill. “I promise you, this does not delay the process,” he told a dozen members of the Coalition for Immigrant Rights of Idaho who stood chanting in the foyer of his office for nearly 40 minutes before Labrador emerged from a conference call. Labrador then talked with the group, answering questions in both Spanish and English for the next 45 minutes, in a conversation that was sometimes friendly but occasionally heated.

Labrador pledges to continue immigration reform push

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador pledged Monday to keep working on immigration reform, despite having walked away last week from a bipartisan group of eight members working to craft a House bill.

Book review: Carlson talks Idaho politics in ‘Medimont Reflections’

Chris Carlson can say pretty much anything he wants, and he does, in his new memoir on Idaho politics, “Medimont Reflections.” After a 40-year career as a reporter, press secretary, political operative and public relations man, Carlson was told eight years ago that he had just six months to live, due to his cancer diagnosis; he already suffered from Parkinson’s disease. Instead, he’s defied the odds, and continues to share his curmudgeonly observations of Idaho from his perch in Medimont, in southern Kootenai County. In Carlson’s second book – his first was “Cecil Andrus, Idaho’s Greatest Governor” – he tells stories, profiles Idaho characters, and airs his views in no uncertain terms on everything from Idaho elections to dam-breaching to religion.

Eye on Boise: Fewer DUI arrests made over long weekend in Idaho this year

BOISE – The Idaho State Police reported 31 DUI arrests statewide over last weekend’s Memorial Day holiday, from Friday night through early Tuesday morning. ISP also reported 23 crashes, including one fatality and five causing injuries. There were also 35 drug-related arrests, 28 of those misdemeanors and seven felonies. The stats are for ISP only and don’t include incidents handled by local law enforcement agencies. So how does that compare to last year?

GOP activists’ grip broken on CdA board

Candidates backed by a group of Republican activists were defeated Tuesday night in unusually lively races for the nonpartisan Coeur d’Alene School Board and Kootenai Hospital District board. In a shakeup on the school board, challengers knocked off incumbents Brent Regan and Ann Seddon, both of whom were backed by the conservative Kootenai County Reagan Republicans.