Just when I figured I'd never have the pleasure of taking note of perennial loser Rex Rammell again, he does something so goofy it makes my day.
Rammell added to his chutzpah legend Thursday at the Bonneville County Courthouse in Idaho Falls. The former candidate for governor, U.S. Senate and the Legislature was in court to defend himself against the charge that he poached a cow elk in November. He was to appear before the jury alone, having canned his lawyer Wednesday.
Outside the courthouse, Rammell greeted potential jurors by handing them fliers from the Fully Informed Jury Association.
Now, the former elk rancher and veterinarian is under investigation by the Bonneville County sheriff for the felony crime of corruptly attempting to influence a juror, reports the Idaho Falls Post Register.
Rammell said he "just wanted the jurors to know what their rights are." In his view, and that the FIJA, that means ignoring a judge's instructions on the law.
"JUDGES MAY NOTE TELL YOU THIS, but when you sit on a jury, you have the right to vote according to your conscience and to judge the law that's being applied to the case," says the flier.
The rule of law says otherwise. Jurors are to determine the facts, but follow the law as instructed by a judge.
Rammell told the Post Register he didn't talk to the jury pool and that his handing out the material is protected by his right to free speech.
Bonneville County Sheriff's Sgt. Jeff Edwards said the sheriff's office will interview the jury pool to learn if Rammell spoke with them. During the voir dire questioning of 105 potential jurors, most raised their hands to acknowledge receiving the fliers.
Edwards told the Post Register that charging Rammell with tampering would mean clearing a high bar. "The piece of paper alone is not going to be criminal. Proving 'corruptly attempting' is probably going to be hard."
After an hour of questioning of the pool, Rammell asked 7th District Magistrate Stephen Clark to delay the trial, saying he wasn't feeling well. Clark apologized to jurors and said, "Hopefully, Mr. Rammell's health will improve."
Rammell's website from the 2010 campaign is still operating.
As a reminder, Rammell's past exploits have included:
* Letting his domesticated elk escape from his trophy hunting ranch, only to have Gov. Jim Risch order them killed. Rammell responded with a lawsuit and a failed run against Risch for U.S. Senate in 2008, when he got 5 percent of the vote.
* Saying he'd like to buy a hunting tag on President Obama, a statement, Rammell said, that brought him attention from the CIA. (Not the FBI or Secret Service, which investigates threats against the president).
* Alleging that Gov. Butch Otter wanted to "destroy" him for
challenging him in the 2010 governor's race. Otter never laid a hand on Rammell, but he did beat him by 47,000 votes in the GOP primary, a 55 percent to 26 percent margin.
* Organizing LDS-only meetings to discuss the "White Horse Prophecy" about saving the United States Constitution. The Church of Latter-day Saints distanced itself from Rammell and does not consider the prophecy as doctrine. Rammell subsequently opened the meetings to all faiths.
* Urging Idaho County citizens to organize a hunt to kill wolves, saying they'd be safe from intervention from local, state or federal authorities. The feds said otherwise. (Idaho County was the largest of the three counties Rammell carried against Otter; the others were Benewah and Bear Lake).
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