Should the Legislature police online commentary?

This one's for you, "udapimp."

And "brt929" and "jono," "foreignoregonian" and "Meridian." And every other anonymous commenter who shows up at this blog to tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. Ever.

I'd love to know your names — partly because I'm curious, but mostly because I'm interested in where you're coming from. If I know who you are, and I know your professional and personal stake in politics, I can better put your criticism into perspective.

But I don't want the state of Idaho to force you to cough up your name.

Rep. Stephen Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, is drafting a bill to require bloggers to post under their real name, and require online commenters to do likewise. In essence, Hartgen wants online commentary to more closely resemble newspaper opinion pages, where letter writers are generally required to identify themselves.

Hartgen knows plenty about opinion pages; he's the former publisher of The Times-News in Twin Falls. (Full disclosure: I worked as The Times-News' city editor from 1996 to 2001. Hartgen gave me a great opportunity to advance my career and I learned a lot, and I'll always have respect for him).

I don't agree with him about this bill.

The free and often free-wheeling speech exercised at blogs and media Web sites such as gets pretty coarse. Having been on the receiving end a time or two, I know that well. But this doesn't rise to "there-oughta-be-a-law" status.

Far from it. In fact, it just isn't the Legislature's business. Considering the many challenges facing the newspaper industry, you can certainly debate the business wisdom of giving unnamed trolls free rein to call the local paper a typo-ridden rag with an error-prone and agenda-driven staff. Not exactly a glowing testimonial. But opening the doors to harsh criticism is a business decision — and one in keeping with the First Amendment.

No particular episode prompted Hartgen's bill, and he isn't sure he's ever been the target of criticism in the blogosphere. "Unless you read blogs all the time, you don't know for sure." Of course, once word got out of Hartgen's bill, he got a blast from, symbolically enough, an anonymous blog, the unequivocal notion. "This basically smacks of censorship of the internet, something that we don't do to the 'tubes here in America. I frankly don't understand why Hartgen is looking towards Cuba, Iran or China for guidance on how to manage the the Internet in Idaho."

At the root of it, Hartgen has a legitimate concern. He believes the anonymity of the Web cheapens the debate by allowing people to hurl insults that he describes, in one of his favorite quips, as "untouched by human brain." Hartgen never was a publisher afraid of a fight, so I think he is genuinely concerned about the coarsening of the dialogue.

So am I, and some of my Statesman colleagues are deeply troubled by anonymous commenters. They believe that in the chase for immediate feedback and site hits, we've traded away more than we've received. Again, that's a business decision.

Ultimately, I believe the marketplace of free expression will correct any problems. Call me an optimist, but I believe readers will grow to attach more credibility to writers who say who they are and make their points in a civil manner.

Let's allow the blogosphere to mature before we start trying to police it.

That's Special

Glad to know you are thinking of me Mr. Rickert.

Anonymity offers just as much to the public forum. There is much that can be said with anonymity that can't be said otherwise. It's especially true in politics, but it's also true in business, church, prison, and the neighborhood.

There are places now where it is actually encouraged and strived for the condition. Universities have media rooms set up for anonymous discussions projected onto a screen. This is the idea of brainstorming without limitations. If you don't know the person behind the idea, you can't be prejudiced by your existing opinions (of course this falters after awhile when an online persona creates the opinions).

Good discussion is presenting ideas, facts, and reasoning, regardless of the person's real name or online name. IF an editor, writer, or reader can do that, that's the goal, isn't it?

Additionally, it about private property rights and individual rights. At any time, The Statesman can change the playing rules and request "full disclosure". And they're already doing unwarranted censorship so what's the real issue?

"Someone's making fun of me and it might be my coworker!" Wann, wannn, wannnn...

Uda Pimp & Ida Ho

That's cold

Mr. Rickert? And after I was careful to doublecheck the spelling of your "name" ...

Kevin Richert
editorial page editor


Ooops, sorry my bust.

(just trying to fit in The Statesman's writers).

Online Commentary-Legislation

We must be in Idaho when any kind of REGULATION is a baaaaaaaaaad thing. Kevin Richert states that he'd like to know your professional stake in politics to better put your criticisms into perspective. Yet even Kevin Richert is against any Legislative effort that would require the anonymous bloggers to have the courage of their convictions by requiring them to be ID'd. What's so special about the Internet anyway, when any snail mail, or emails to the editor absolutely require full identity of the writer to be considered for print newspapers? Could it be that those here that would prefer secrecy have no real personal knowledge of the pros and cons of issues, and therefor can only repeat the malicious lies that they read on paid liesites, and hear from their friends regarding political candidates, as well as all other important issues? Are you the same folks who forward those blog site lies to any and all who you have an email address for? Are you mindlessly following the requests of your favorite institutions to write letters to the editor about issues that you have little or no knowledge of? Could it be that you never read a legitimate newspaper such as the Idaho Statesman as a source for your factual breaking news? Lastly, are you totally incapable of any critical thought processes, and can only follow? Hmmmmmmmmm?

I don't know how many sites I've seen where this is either not

all that beneficial or they go to full moderation.

BTW, I'm also one of the first to phone in site problems and police spam and such. Love me or hate me, I'm here working on it and so are you.

You got my IP, you know who I am. I am not "Deep Throat" but I will remain foreignoregonian, Danke!


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

Hartgen's bill

I just now registered so I guess that makes me an official blogger? I prefer Letters to the Editor...there is something about seeing your opinion in print, not being afraid to express it and signing your name to it that gives it a modicum of credence. Bloggers on the other hand for the most part are merely venting their vitriolic and sometimes vile drivel, expecting readers to be swayed to their position? People who hide behind anonymity are incapable of rational debate.

Hey..If they want they can demand this/still a First Amendment.

And they have ALL our IP ADDRESSES. We can be excised (there's one of those 'brainy' words) and Gilligan says we can be banned too. That is their prerogative (not brainy, Bobby Brown knows it even).

Blogging is vitriol. How else does it work? I've seen the direct opposite. So if you want to make polite comments about November's sunspot count and propagation statistics vs. some gay ham farce getting flack on the unmoderated group aboandoned on Usenet to start the new moderated group (and occasionally spills into others because it's phony I'm certain), I wish you luck. I don't even know if it's still there. Maybe the "Big 8" panel finally closed the old one. How many angry CB jokes can one troll think of?

By the way, we call what we see, and Kevin asked. That's neutral brainy.

Free your mind. Nobody will pay a million dollar ransom for it anyhow.


clearly by the fact that you "just now registered" you don't know what you're talking about. Bloggers are people who have a blog, not ones who fly-by comment. As such they typically have an online presence, and most I know take their blog cred very seriously. Moreover they are accessable and therefor accountable. I suspect if you used your real name it would be just as meaningless to me as vivi. But the fair exchange of ideas contemplated by the first amendment was never dependent on using your given name when supplying those ideas.I remember somebody saying once about being judged by the content of their character. But its ightily hypocritical of you, vivi, to state an absolute that others who use a pseudonym are incapable of rational debate.

What's in YOUR blog?


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

Joe the Plumber Jr

Am I paranoid because the first thing I thought of that after everyone who contributes to a blog registers their correct name and background some State Flunky will be looking into the records of anyone who dares criticise a politician or State program to see if the writer is open to retribution in some way. From the tone and insults of some writers I can understand why they would want a user name instead of their own name. It probanly would put a more civil tone in writings for some but if you believe tirades against goverment policy would not be retaliated against by political hacks that would be breath taking. Why else would a politician be concerned about comments made on the web unless they had felt the barbs and the barbs were correct.



They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.


Good point and good example.
Then the next thing would be to publish the person's SSN (oooh, does that ring a bell?).

By the way, Kevin you're wrong that I've never agreed with you.


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

Anyhoo, this cat can't pass stuff like that. There are TREATIES.


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

This proposal is unenforcable

Who's going to verify that I am who I tell a website I am? Where's the onus? On the website or on the poster? What about people posting from out of state? What are the First Amendment implications? This bill is going nowhere.

It helps if lawmaker USE the Web and not hire cats to run a site

Unless he wants to hire the CHINESE...


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

Agreed. How would they enforce this?

How does the law know which people are from Idaho and which ones aren't? On which sites will the law apply?

Kevin, is there text of this proposed legislation available anywhere?

No bill yet

I'll forward the original piece to you, it was from an editorial in the Idaho State Journal.

People can check out excerpts of it here.

US Courts say No, Can't Do That...

For example, read Doe v, Inc

"A component of the First Amendment is the right to speak with anonymity" -- 140 F. Supp. 2d at 1092


True MV, but there are many Idaho legislators who don't bother to consider the legal precedence. They just write their bill anyway and then it has to be dealt with in the court system.

And as Unequivicalnotion writes in the linked post, taxpayers will be paying Hartgen's salary. We (his constituents in his district) expect him to be spending his time on wise and productive efforts instead of krap like this.

Q: Who's the driving force behind The Boise Picayune?

A: The Boise Picayune is the Brain Child of Michael Murphy, who endeavors to live up to the highest ideals of the Fourth Estate.

A 19 Year Resident of Boise, Mr. Murphy was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.

Mr. Murphy is the Single Father of an awesome young man, erstwhile Bull Moose Candidate for Mayor of Boise, Community Activist, Provocateur and Working Stiff.

He had led a predictable life up until 117,000+ Volts from a Transmission Tower energized him on 18 July 1989 while working as a Foreman for PSE&G in New Jersey, nearly killing him.

After this near death experience, Mr. Murphy traveled across Europe, Canada, and the United States extensively, working in a variety of vocations including Wildlands Firefighter, Commercial Diver, Medic, Utility Arborist, Merchant Seaman, Private Security, Bartender and Documentary Photographer.

It was during this period that he happened upon Boise, Idaho.

Mr. Murphy has received Commendations from the Los Angeles Police Department for Lifesaving, the Boise Police Department for apprehending an escaped felon, and is an Honorably Discharged Veteran of the United States Navy.

While working for the Idaho State Republican Party in the Mid 90's, he got into hot water with his bosses for producing one issue of the firmly tongue-in-cheek “Pachyderm Picayune - An Unofficial Newsletter of the Idaho State Republican Party”.

"I'm egomaniacal enough to believe that I'll have a million chances to make a million bucks; but I've only got one chance to be a good dad" -Michael Murphy

Did you have a bad day, Kevin?

This "jono" sharing another another opinion only because you "fingered me" in your post today. First of all, the Statesman has my registered profile information ... so there is nothing to hide. If you want to see it ... go get it.

Like you, I do have the right to express an opinion and I do so online, in print, and in public. I do take exception to liberal publications (and those that work for them) that consistently present shallow, not well-researched articles, and grandiose opinions and editorials that lack substance. I have also consistently expressed my opinion that the Statesman is famous for its drive-by reporting that seldom presents fact, both sides of the story, or is free from a reporter's bias. Boise and the Treasure Valley deserve much more than what we read every day.

I work for state government and this forum allows me the only opportunity I have to openly express how I feel elected and appointed state officials spend my money (yeah, I do pay for more than my fair share). My rights, like yours, are protected under the 1st Amendment, so what is the beef? I have my reasons for anonymity -- if I printed my name ... how long do you think it would take government as my employer to retaliate?

There are a number of things I think are worth commenting on: 1) a community newspaper should know and reflect the views and values of its readership; 2) readers have the right to express opposing opinions as long as the comments adhere to the topic; and, 3) government (and the media) need to be consistent, accountable, and responsible to all citizens as the Idaho Statesman does not speak for all of us.

People have the right (regardless of any proposed legislation that is contrary to the Constitution which would undoubtedly be settled in the courts) to have an opposing opinion. I will continue to do so and if you want me to sign my name ... as one who does not always agree with you ... post it in your blog and you can start the new Statesman Censorship List, similar very much, I am sure to the McCarthy Blacklists of the 50s.

This is one of the reasons why the Statesman loses readers and subscribers: many of us do not agree with the majority of the positions you take. It is that fundamental and that is the way it is.

How would you deal with....

libelous statements? Frankly, I enjoy the anonymity because I don't want the crazys coming to my house or harassing me. I also don't want those in a position of power to retaliate against me at my place of employment. On the other hand, how do we deal with libel and other problematic speech? Perhaps the answer is that the Web is "self-regulating."

You deal with the perception of libel in a court.

It too is free speech until proven injurious. That too is in there.

You cannot have checks without balances and I don't mean businesses.


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

But if the identity is Unknown....

how can the defamer be brought before the court?

Glad you brought that up

because true anonymity is a myth. You have an ip address and there are legal means which are quite liberal to ascertain a person's identity online. I wish more people would operate with this in mind.

Myth if your system isn't capable of reliably finding it...

On since 1995 and nothing strikes me as new.


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

Manure Valley strikes again

There's a reason Lee Enterprises booted this bilious butthead from his leadership perch at the Twin Falls Times-News. Hartgen will fit right into the imperial Idaho legislature.

Wonder how long this will take to make it to the national news scene?

Like we need more of the clown fashion shows.


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

If mtomlin were here

there would be no name calling either. Like the national debt., it's all virtual. I guess the election's over & no more $ from GOP campaign contributors to pay the professional writers.

It's a good thing we stopped the spread of communism in Vietnam through the sacrifice of almost 60k Americans who died in front of weapons bought from communist countries. Did we ever quit paying for that war? NOT! I wonder why & how Russia went broke? I don't suppose because we left Vietnam & backed the taliban in Afghanistan in war against Russia? We made $ selling weapons Americans are have been dying in front of in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Who is going broke now while communist countries back bin Laden/terrorist through the sale of weapons? How are those communist countries making a comeback? Free trade while driving up the price of oil? Did those oil executives fly United, does Bush? Full financial by all our represnetatives would tell US taxpayers all wee afraid to hear. Can't fix it if you refuse to hear the truth.

The Sunday Statesman makes clear the progress we never made in the reconstruction of Iraq for the $50 billion Bush claimed the entire war would cost US! Eight years of lies, $600 billion later will cost US taxpayers the next 100 years leaving no child behind! You better learn it fast, you better learn it young, cause someday never comes.

Wonder how our infrastructure ever got $2 trillion behind with this representation? Isn't it amazing our representatives have US trillions in debt & they talk down to the big three about $25 billion. Poor management, who, why, what, where, when, how? $100,000 in tar & feathers in DC would have saved $700 billion on top of trillions.

Our representatives won't be happy until every individual American taxpayer is making $8 an hour, every union busted, & the American people still go for the line about campaign finance being necessary. Representatives claim job creation in exchange for campaign contributions then hand out tax cuts to contributors which individuals taxpayers absorb after representatives promote free trade, send millions of jobs out of country, & illegal immigrtaion putting millions more Americans who used to do those jobs, out of work? Then taxpayers pay to bail them out? Insult after injury?

Here's the kicker, now stimulus to create jobs building an infrastruture millions of Americans could have been employed building had our representatives not been handing out tax cuts in return for campaign finance. That's right the tax cuts our crooked as a dog's hind leg representatives handed out in exchange for campaign contributions could have been paying American taxpayers to upgrade our infrastructure. No poor management there!

Everything our representatives say is contradicting & lies, both parties, & it's written through cantributors $. Maybe Blagojevich or Madoff could explain it better. @@@#!!&&***#@!@@!!! taxpayers, can't they work more hours, harder for less, with no health care, & still pay all the taxes! Representation 101.

Madoff? Any realation to Abramoff? Get Mad as h-ll & tell them to -----off & we might not be in this mess.

Oh well, I'm still leaving out my name & address.

Will that do instead of a name & address? The American people don't have the b-lls or brain they were born with so you can bet we'll be going through this financial crisis again just like we are now after the banking scandals of the eighties. Oh wait, mtomlin says that was years ago, like playing football in third grade, no connection.

As we live & breath our representatives & campaign contributors making bank on this crime are already working on the next scam we'll be paying for in a few years & we still haven't paid down the last one or this one.

But you never liked the guy!


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

Employers are watching.

Thanks Kevin, interesting topic and comments. I would like to add a bit of info that I read yesterday in (excuse the source, I was at a beauty parlor waiting for my wife) Reader's Digest. The story (with pretty good back up data) stated that employers are now checking out possible new hires online. They google your name and find out where you go and what websites you belong to. They had story after story about those folks on Myspace and Facebook who leave pictures and not so positive comments about themselves and others. The employer then determine that the person does not fit the company profile and don't hire them. The basic message of the article is "be careful of where you go and what you say on the internet - Big Employer - is watching." So...if this bill ever were to pass (and I agree with those who felt it would die, but then again this is Idaho)those who left theie name could face job loss or non-hires because of their comments.

Thanks again Kevin and I do enjoy the Statesman. Cre

I could care less about MySpace and how OLD was the RD copy?

They save 'em for YEARS because people will read them over People magazine and women's titles.


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.


Here is an example -

Since I don't even bother anymore, the point's wasted on me.


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

Is Your Claim Accurate, Mr. Richert?

Mr. Richert, you wrote that "Rep. Stephen Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, is drafting a bill to require bloggers to post under their real name, and require online commenters to do likewise." Did you make any effort to contact Mr. Hartgen to verify that he is, in fact, "drafting" a bill?

I read the article written by William L. Spence of the Lewiston Tribune, which was the source of information for the anonymous editorial published by the Idaho State Journal, which spawned the opinion piece by the anonymous blogger at the Unequivocal Notion, which in turn spawned the post by Dave Oliveria at Huckleberries Online, the editorial by Vicki Holbrook at the Idaho Press-Tribune, and your post.

Mr. Spence wrote that, “Hartgen, who was recently elected to the Idaho Legislature, said he’s considering introducing a bill that would require people to use their true names when posting online.” That sentence, with a slight variation in wording, was (without proper attribution) reproduced in the Idaho State Journal editorial. But in Mr. Spence’s original article, that sentence was preceded by the following statement by Mr. Hartgen: “I would encourage blog managers to think about (the media’s) public service role. We can control what goes on our pages. People shouldn’t be able to use our pages to defame, attack and slander each other. That’s easy to fix, but we defend it. The media has become the vehicle that allows this ugliness to occur. That doesn’t serve the citizenry.”

These important and reasonable concerns, which were actually directed by Mr. Hartgen at the media, were not included in the editorial by the Idaho State Journal. If they had been included, the editorial would have provided an accurate context for Mr. Hartgen’s motivations for possibly introducing legislation. But instead of providing the proper context, several professional journalists throughout the state, with the help of readers who had been inadequately informed, conflated Mr. Hartgen’s original message into an inaccurate claim that he intended to deny citizens the right to free speech.

Ironically, the response by the Idaho blogosphere to the concerns expressed by Mr. Hartgen to Mr. Spence have done much to prove his point. Dave Oliveria at Huckleberries Online characterized Mr. Hartgen’s “consideration of introducing legislation” as a “loony notion.” Some of the commenters responding to Mr. Oliveria’s post took this characterization the inevitable step forward by characterizing Mr. Hartgen as “ignorant,” “a hater of the constitution,” “a hater of America,” “not a real journalist” and a “thin-skinned politician.” A Statesman commenter refers to Mr. Hartgen as a “bilious butthead.” All of these defamatory comments, directed at Mr. Hartgen personally, remain on the web because editors are fearful of supposedly infringing on their readers’ “right to free speech” by removing them.

I don’t know Mr. Hartgen, but you do. Wouldn’t it be easy for you to pick up the phone and ask for clarification from him? You could ask whether he was seriously considering introducing such a bill; whether he intended the bill to be advisory or statutory; and if statutory, how he intended to enforce it. That might have produced a story with factual details worth debating. But it probably would not have produced the number of page hits and comments that you’ve received.

If you’ve succeeded at anything, Mr. Richert, you’ve succeeded in reinforcing many of Mr. Hartgen’s concerns. But the question remains, what will you and your colleagues do about it?

All he did was throw a hypothetical hypothetical @ dartboard.

It's his job. I'm not sure you read the article well.

First of all, he's teasing the likes of myself and others who are the most vocal here.

Secondly, it has been a question of mine since before Pluck as to how the editors were managing to justify Voices, given corporate requirements for the new Pluck-driven Idaho Statesman site. Either there isn't enough time and money to convert this, they want to segregate certain elements from the main pages (impossible now) or the editors have had to use a lot of elbow grease to keep HQ from 86ing this.

D) All of the above?

I want to point something out to all of you. I used to comment on the San Jose Mercury News' site and they are a damned sight worse off than this place. You haven't seen spam here, I can assure you. Even with their new platform the shoe spam etc takes over anything that moves if not reported quickly.


Be thankful for this. We are highly progressive.


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

As a matter of fact ...

I interviewed Hartgen for about 40 minutes Thursday. I'd read William Spence's article, which piqued my interest but left me with a lot of questions about the mechanics of and motivation for the bill.

Kevin Richert
editorial page editor

Mr. Richert: What Were Mr. Hartgen's Answers to Your Questions?

Thanks, Mr. Richert, for clarifying that you had "interviewed Hartgen for about 40 minutes Thursday" because you had read William Spence's article and it left you "with a lot of questions about the mechanics of and motivation for the bill." It seems strange to me that you didn't reveal that fact in your original post, but never mind.

But you can still shed some much-needed light on this discussion by sharing the questions you asked of Mr. Hartgen regarding the mechanics and motivation for the bill, and his answers. And as I asked originally, did he actually confirm that he was "drafting" a bill?

To answer enough of your original question...

I'm coming from my living room, 600 ft from Interstate 84 in Ontario, Oregon. Lock those coordinates into your K(evin) R(ichert)-11 spy bird and tell me if my bicycle is still there?

Bingo! Watch football and later!


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

Sure this has spam

What else would you call this seen over and over and over.....

"We Are NOT ALONE...

They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though."

Go look in your user settings here and find the signature part.

This is about the fiftieth and last time I'm going to explain this. If you're too dumb to figure it out, flag yourself. You've not only been here for at least a YEAR, I also assume you aren't on life support.

IT'S THE STATEMAN'S SIGNATURE FILE FEATURE!!!! Matbe you've seen Political Junkie's or Freearth's or...hey they are quite common. Maybe you are a bit foolish.

From now on I flag without an explanation on the subject. You were first.


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

Mr. Popular

Wow! 38 posts already KR.


I was thinking of how this online stuff compares to other 'places' in our freedom of speech world.

For one, I can stand on the sidewalk of the Capital Building with a sign that says "anything I want" and no one knows my name, background or personal stake in my message. And if my message is worthy of a newspaper's photo journalist picture or if I'm good at publicity stunts, I can get my message printed or videod for the news. With I'm really good, it might even make national news. ALL with complete anonymity.

But maybe Hartgen would like to make a law against that too.


F.O. Kindly to post your real intentions in your repeated spam posts. Is it to just annoy and piss off the Statesman? Because I don't see any evidence of them being annoyed. so why don't you cut it out and go do something useful. You seem to have plenty of time on your hands and you're taking up space on the planet doing nothing that contributes in a positive way to the health and well-being of all humans. Here are some ideas, you selfish moron

-read to veterans
-clean cages at the Humane Sosciety
-volunteer to read to kids
-volunteer at a hospice
-put together care packages for servicemen and women
-and so many more opportunities to


I did. I flagged your post and didn't swear with punctuation.

PS We don't have that stuff to do.

PPS You are twitting. I didn't invent your garbage problems.

Please resume reading English novels.

How are things at Fort Hall? It's a nice town, I know, been there.

Who wants to sling mud next? I got game.


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

You know you're a jerk

You're in jerk-hell, right? in your own head, huh?

Listen Dude, it's Christmas...give us all a PO Box # & address and we'll send you some $$$ so's you can buy some better meds, and maybe, get a bus-ticket for a vacation. Because, real critical thinking skills are still at a premium in Idaho, and your posts act to intimidate and demean those of us who'd actually like to leave this place a better world, if only by the caliber of our discussions.

Oh hush. If I'm a jerk, I'm the best jerk I can be. SO? NEXT.


They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.

PS Why am I giving you a Christmas card then? (GO SEE!)


Who made the rules?

* If it isn't there? Do our representatives, most republican, who were taking a beating on the blog, & still in control, don't have anything better to do with their time while we can't afford to repair roads? Maybe we need a better class of representatives?

I have to believe our state representatives, including Otter have taken more than a little spare change in campaign finance $. They start small, city county, & move up tp state, & once proven comfortable in the pocket of contributors they move to DC.

Who was paying that professional writer to come on the blog before the election? Just another example of who they work for & DON'T work for?

Otter's people at the Idaho Tax Commission let the corporations who hire accountants heavy into tax knowledge off without paying all those taxes we could use to build a road with Otter's name on it. If the road doesn't get funding who has Otter to blame but himself?

Who writes tax law? Accountants hired by corporations heavy into tax knowledge? Who judges? Lawyers paid by corporations, later appointed by Presidents who through executive privilege are above the law, then hand out pardons?

Why do We the People allow this obviously failed government, in the pocket of corporate un-America & agri-corruption to continue the greatest scam of all time?

Madoff's scam was nothing compared to the $700 billion bailout which our representatives passed like Bush's war, no way out, without question, or answers. The American people are being taken by their representatives & wouldn't do anything about it even if they had the guts to admit it. Maybe admitting it is why they won't do anything about it, proving democracy is a mockery.

Enjoy poverty while your representatives of millionaire status get by with the greatest scam the world has ever seen.
Your former state representatives will enjoy their new found wealth in DC.