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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye on Boise: Low turnouts fuel incumbent losses in primary

BOISE – Widely varying turnout around the state meant that of the six legislative incumbents defeated in the May 20 primary, two were turned out of office by just tiny slices of the electorates in their districts. The lowest-turnout races that dumped incumbents were in North Idaho. Longtime Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, the Senate Education Committee chairman, was defeated by activist Mary Souza with just 3,440 people casting ballots, or 15 percent of registered voters. Freshman Rep. Ed Morse, R-Hayden, was beaten by Eric Redman with 4,736 people voting, or 18.5 percent of the registered voters in the district.

Idaho wage garnishment bill doesn’t reach Senate floor

BOISE – Legislation to remove Idaho lawmakers’ special exemption from having their wages garnished has fallen victim to hostilities between the House and Senate. A Senate committee chairman refused to schedule a hearing on the bill until a House committee heard his own bill addressing occupational cancer among firefighters.

Building design review bill dies in Idaho Senate

BOISE – Controversial legislation to trim Idaho cities’ power to regulate building design has died a quiet death in a Senate committee after passing the House in late February. The bill won’t receive a hearing in the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee, Chairman Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, said Friday.

Idaho House passes bill to make design review requirements voluntary

BOISE – Idaho cities would have less power to regulate building design under a bill passed by the Idaho House. “We need jobs and economic development in this state much more than we need the planning police mandating their vision of beauty,” Rep. Ed Morse, a Hayden Republican, said during debate on the bill Monday.

Idaho lawmaker wants businesses, not cities, in charge of commercial design

BOISE – City design review rules would all become voluntary under legislation being pushed by a North Idaho lawmaker, and developers in Idaho couldn’t be told to make structural changes in proposed buildings for aesthetic reasons. “We’ve got to allow participants in a market to act like a market, to reflect choice,” Rep. Ed Morse, R-Hayden, told the House Local Government Committee on Tuesday. His comments followed more than two hours of testimony both for and against the bill, with cities, local planning officials and architects opposing the bill, and business interests including the Idaho Retailers Association backing it.

Idaho lawmakers could lose wage garnishment protection

BOISE – Idaho lawmakers would lose a long-standing protection from wage garnishment if legislation introduced Thursday becomes law. Lawmakers and other elected officials are exempt from having their wages garnished for court judgments in Idaho, according to Rep. Ed Morse, R-Hayden, who introduced legislation to remove the exemption.

North Idaho lawmaker seeks to curb LIDs

New North Idaho Rep. Ed Morse, R-Hayden, introduced his first bill this morning, aimed at making it harder to form local improvement districts, and easier for landowners to object to them.

Balance, compromise are topics in Idaho’s District 2

The ballot looks very different in North Idaho’s most Republican legislative district this fall, now that tax-protesting four-term state Rep. Phil Hart is out and an array of new candidates are jostling for attention. Democrats are challenging Republicans for all three of District 2’s seats this fall – the first time a Democrat has appeared on the ballot there since 2002. The last time one won was in 1994.

North Idaho candidates file campaign finance paperwork

BOISE – In the hard-fought GOP primary races in North Idaho’s Legislative District 2, campaign finance reports show that challengers have outraised two of the three incumbents, including tax-protesting Rep. Phil Hart. Hart has raised $6,738 for his campaign, while challenger Ed Morse has raised more than twice as much – $16,479 – and challenger Fritz Wiedenhoff has raised $7,748. That GOP primary also includes Ron Vieselmeyer, who trails with $3,791. Hart also reported a $31,827 outstanding debt to himself.

Three Idaho Republicans challenging Hart in race

Tax-protesting state Rep. Phil Hart may be the most controversial lawmaker in North Idaho, and his re-election bid for a fifth term in the state House has drawn a bevy of challengers in the May 15 GOP primary. It’s a far cry from the last election, in which Hart was unopposed both in the primary and on the general election ballot. But an unprecedented 20 percent of the vote went to a write-in challenger in the general election in 2010, after news broke about Hart’s court fights over back taxes and a 1996 timber theft case. He subsequently lost his seat on the House tax committee and gave up a vice chairmanship on the Transportation Committee to avoid House ethics sanctions.