Idaho politics: Shakeup in the state Democratic Party (UPDATED, 2:55 p.m.)

UPDATED, 2:55 p.m., with further comment from Democratic Party chairman Keith Roark.

Boise Democrat and former state legislator Jim Hansen will be out as his party's executive director by year's end.

Party chairman Keith Roark announced the move in an e-mail to the Democrats' central committee members. Here it is, in full:

Following the meeting today of the Executive Committee of the Idaho Democratic Party I am announcing to the full Central Committee that the term of our current executive director, Jim Hansen, will expire December 31, 2010 and his appointment to that position will not be extended. I am forming a search committee and the process of hiring a new executive director will begin immediately. Jim has agreed to continue serving as executive director while the search process is being carried out.

Jim Hansen’s outstanding record of service to the people of Idaho and the Idaho Democratic Party is well known. He has served as a state legislator, a community organizer and as executive director of the IDP while also giving tirelessly to his church and Rotary International. We are grateful for the time and effort he has put forth during the past two and one half years and wish him well in all future endeavors.

Hansen declined comment this afternoon. Here's what Roark had to say:

"There is no 'scapegoating' involved. Jim Hansen is in no way to blame for the results of this past election. The IDP has little or nothing to do or say about the individual campaigns of our candidates and Jim is no more responsible for a losing campaign than he is for a winning campaign. Obviously, the IDP must take on the challenges ahead with new ideas, new approaches and some new faces. This move has nothing to do with what is now behind us and everything to do with what lies ahead."

The shakeup comes after Idaho Democrats were routed in the Nov. 2 elections. The Democrats lost all races for statewide office and five seats in the Idaho House of Representatives. The party's highest ranking elected official, 1st Congressional District Rep. Walt Minnick, lost to Republican challenger Raul Labrador.

More reading: Here's a link to Spokane Spokesman-Review columnist and blogger D.F. Oliveria, who broke the news earlier this afternoon at his Huckleberries Online site.

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Idaho Democratic Party is

Idaho Democratic Party is simply a useless political entity......not one ounce of political influence in Idaho at any level of governance.

IDP and its fake democratic candidate are nothing more than the Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotters. They made the GOP mafia much stronger by playing weak.....

Hansen & Roark both must resign and accept responsibly for the Democratic Party’s demise in Idaho under there allowing that archaic old white dude(a republican)named Minnick to tarnish what little dignity the party had left.

They both willfully compromised the brand and its values, while failing to accept and include two of the fastest growing democratic voter groups in Idaho, young adults & Hispanic voters.

Roark is just as much to blame as Hansen and should resign immediately......

....IDP needs serious rebuilding with new intermountian west democratic values and leadership committee that recognizes those who came before, but understand its time to move on and purge the old school democratic elitists that control the party....

How unfortunate for you, that Idaho collectivist is an oxymoron


Idaho has voted and doesnt want YOUR kind


Might as well not vote then, eh?

Are you really such a proponent of one-party rule? You might do better to set up a residency in China.

Just NOT the "commy" party thats all...........


I hate "commies" too...

me and Merle Haggard are getting kinda old for this though.

Hey, thank you for hollering about the good old-fashioned enemy for a change.


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Sacrificial Lamb

Just a sacrificial lamb. Somebody had to pay.

Get it right...

Idaho "Democrat" party.

get it right

there is know longer the democrat party, they are no longer relavent--its the progressive commy

change of leadership

Mr. Roark doesn't go deep enough to resolve some of the problems the democrats have. He needs to insist that Representative Rusche be held responsible for the loss of 5 seats in the house. His lack of leadership is a large part of the problem. Time for him to go as well.

Hopelessly out of touch

What does the IDP actually DO? Nobody I know can answer this question. Hansen is a nice, honorable guy with absolutely no talent for his job. Roark's statement that he is not responsible for the results of this election is typical ignorance of the organization. The ONLY thing that counts is results. Roark and Hansen, along with other people, are directly responsible for the trouncing, and that they can't see that is precisely the problem.

Hold on there sugar pop

If you're gonna confess, right out of the chute, to the depth of your own ignorance on the function of party headquarters, then might I suggest you spend some quality time down there to see what the hardworking volunteers do on a daily basis before you go popping off. And then you might have something worth while to complain about. Or at least, you'd be in a better position to offer up some suggestions. But willy nilly terminations is no way to address the problem of winning campaigns, particularly if you have no replacement in mind.