So what is Nancy Merrill thinking?

The big political question of the week goes like this: “What the heck’s Nancy Merrill thinking?”

Or, put in more scholarly terms, “Can a write-in candidate — even one who, as former Eagle mayor, has built-in name ID -- actually unseat a powerful member of the Legislature with a two-week campaign blitz?”

Odds and time are against Merrill, and on the side of Ada County’s most influential, albeit polarizing lawmaker, House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star.

Merrill’s on-again, off-again campaign kicked back into gear last weekend, 16 days before the May 27 primary. Voters are already casting absentee ballots – which list Moyle running alone in the GOP primary. Once voters figure out that Merrill is running, she has to educate voters about how to write in a candidate.

She has to create what advertisers would call top-of-mind awareness. She has to convince voters to have it in their heads to support her, since they will get no visual prompt when they look at a ballot.

Yet in a Statesman editorial board meeting Wednesday, she sounded serious. “It is a novel idea. It is an uphill battle. It’s not impossible.”

So again, what’s she thinking?

She’s expecting she’ll have campaign dollars, which can always be an equalizing force in elections. Merrill is convinced she will have $50,000 to $60,000 to run a race – although on Wednesday, she couldn’t say how much cash she had on hand. Merrill says she will not take political action committee money, but she has some high-powered backers, such as BoDo developer Mark Rivers and George Iliff, former board chairman of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Merrill’s surprise run may have given her a fund-raising jump on Moyle, who gave some of his campaign dollars to fellow Republicans facing contested elections. But it won’t take much effort for a member of leadership to raise campaign dollars in short order. Moyle wouldn't go into details Thursday, but said he will get some contributions from a few surprising sources. “I’ll pick up a bunch of money in the next few days.”

The pre-primary campaign finance reports – due Tuesday – should make for interesting reading.

Merrill is also banking on having the issues on her side — even though some of her former Eagle constituents have knocked City Hall around for its approach to rapid growth and its efforts to purchase Eagle Water Co. Watch for her to try to paint Moyle as a powerful one-man roadblock on local-option taxes, conservation easements and the Valley's new community college. "Right now, that power is being obstructionist in our district."

Meanwhile, watch for Moyle to run as a results-oriented incumbent who rescued the Connecting Idaho highway program, pushed for expansion of Idaho 16, forged a compromise on an air-quality bill and made more progress than anyone in state history on resolving the local-option fight. "You should know all the stuff I've done for District 14," a peeved Moyle told the editorial board Thursday. "I shouldn't have to sell."

Moyle isn't just irked at Merrill's last-minute challenge. He hasn't been thrilled with Statesman coverage that he believes has given the write-in race free publicity.

Sorry, but I'm not buying. This isn't just a run-of-the-mill write-in. This race pits a well-known former mayor against a legislative heavyweight. This race shines a bright light on the growth issues facing District 14 and the rest of the Valley. Covering this race — and making an endorsement, as we will next week — is an easy call.

never

Never vote for a politician who openly admits that he/she is annoyed with being challenged. That job is not his birthright.

I believe she is thinking about iced tea about now...

lemon and sweetener I'd have no clue. It's geting warmer!

The fur bearing animal

The fur bearing animal farmer should be afraid, his career record as an obstructionist rural ideology, the fear of growth and taxes found in rural politics has without a doubt hurt our Treasure Valley communities and our economics, he willfully acted to deter proper growth management and disallowed the public to vote on how taxes were to be spent.

Gee, brainiac, just vote against her then!

All you have to do is...

NOT WRITE HER NAME ON A BALLOT!

You never knew not being able to write could be a VIRTUE

HA HA HA HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAA AIEEEEE

C'mon, not Rocket Science, dude!

Beautiful

Now put down the talking points and tell us what you really think.

I'm Not Paid To Think!

Pay for thoughts of your own!

;-p LOL

At least we are spared...

the misery of seeing Moyle campaign signs pollute our fair city (at least for now). Mr. Moyle's failure to realize that he represents an urban area is sufficient campaign news.

She'd like a DQ Dilly Bar and a chicken sandwich right now...

and DQ won't open for a few more hours...

So THIS is 'lite' beer? Ewwwwwwwww.

"I can't believe Desparate Housewives! What was that about"?

"If I had done better in algebra, my TV mast would be guyed OK"

Gee, Burt Reynolds used to be sexy!

How do I get to the Garrity exit before I die of old age?

You don't suppose Barbara Walters is making this up?

I'm doing 75 and getting crap done today if not falling behind!

Why is some Oregonian putting thoughts in my mind?

"When is this all over"?

merrills "in", then "out" for herself or developers

One has to wonder why a candidate---so obviously favored by the Statesman because she favors "progress" in the field of taxing and taxing, to gain more government services---can't decide whether to commit to serve the citizens of the district. Long before filing time, "progressives" who would bring local taxes to cities without voter approval were hailing Merrill's taking on Mike Moyle, active leader in the House and active protector of private property interests. She said she would run. Then she said no. Then she said "okay, if you insist on writing in my name, I'll let you". Then, suddenly she has a huge amount of money to run a district campaign---not surprisingly that money comes from developers who see private profit, not public good. Note that the BoDo developer is not supporting Merrill for his interest in Eagle---but his and other developers' interest in removing from the House one of the great champions of preventing uncontrolled local option taxes. Moyle believes in and works for protecting the property interests of individual citizens who aren't making big profits off growth and development---citizens who are being drowned by gas prices, grocery prices, property taxes for increased government services. And, now, local taxes without ultimate voter approval?
Do the Statesman and Merrill really expect the voters to believe that the cities shares of the sales tax, the property tax, the income tax, and every other state imposed tax are not enough to provide the services the voters want? And, shouldn't it be the voters---the people---who decide what services they need and want to pay for? Not the politicians and developers?

"Why does Billy Batson have to yell SHAZAM"?

"Who am I, and what do I mean to this universe"?

No, wait...that was Sartre's last thought probably.

Let's not make her Euripedes or Voltaire.

I know it's not about being out of beer,

"MY GOD! What if nobody knows how to write my name"?

What if nobody knows how to write at all?

"Well GEE, that sucked"...

Nobody even left their living room.

"I'd better find a job"!

You can always candle eggs.