On an Idaho health exchange, the path forward remains clear

Here's a draft of our Tuesday editorial.

Butch Otter has a new deadline — Dec. 14 — but the basic decision confronting the governor is unchanged.

Otter can decide that Idaho will construct its own health insurance exchange — an online marketplace where upwards of 300,000 uninsured Idahoans could shop for coverage.

Now, Idaho has a chance to craft education reform worthy of our kids

A draft of our Sunday editorial.

Call it Students Come First, the “Luna Laws” or Propositions 1, 2 and 3. Regardless of title, Tom Luna’s K-12 overhaul gave education reform a bad name.

Unveiled suddenly and unilaterally, Luna’s one-shot restructuring plan drew visceral opposition from many of the very people who were tasked with making it work: Idaho’s teachers. This was a big reason why the Luna plan was unpopular from its introduction in January 2011 — and a big reason why Idaho voters rejected these three laws so resoundingly on Tuesday.

The two 'Great States of Ada'

Many politicos love to scoff at the “Great State of Ada,” a left-leaning hotbed that just doesn’t see the world as the rest of Idaho does.

It’s a durable zinger, but a misleading one. Once again, on Tuesday, the residents of the two “Great States of Ada” dutifully cast their votes.

Garden City voters have spoken on the Greenbelt. Really.

Here's a draft of our second editorial for Friday.

Elections generally have a way of settling public policy debates by lending a voice to the voter.

Things aren’t always so simple. And definitely not in Garden City, where the long dispute over a 1 1/2-mile walking path took one more abrupt turn.

Voters rejected Initiative A, which would have required the city to open the city’s Nature Path to cycling. But these same voters also said yes to Initiative B, which would allow cycling on all city Greenbelt paths unless voters specifically approve a ban via referendum.

Paying Idaho's teachers: a big bit of unfinished Students Come First business

Here's a draft of Friday's lead editorial:

When it came to passing Students Come First, state Superintendent Tom Luna’s far-reaching and hastily assembled K-12 overhaul, Idaho’s powers that be certainly figured out how to move quickly.

Now, they need to move quickly again — and get $39 million of merit pay into the hands of the teachers who earned it.

Idaho GOP mum on propositions vote; Luna says Idahoans have 'expressed concerns'

UPDATED, 11:59 a.m., with comments from Otter.

Here are the morning-after reactions from Tuesday's Idaho elections — headlined, of course, by the defeats of Propositions 1, 2 and 3.

On Props 1, 2 and 3, Idaho Republicans misread Idaho

UPDATED, 12:55 p.m., to reflect that Melaleuca was not among Education Voters of Idaho's donors.

By most metrics, Tuesday was a business-as-usual Republican election night in Idaho.

Mitt Romney, an adopted favorite son, ran up 64.5 percent of the vote, up from John McCain’s 61.5 percent four years earlier.

Reps. Raul Labrador (63 percent) and Mike Simpson (65.1 percent) were handily re-elected to Congress.

The legislative races were a wash. When the 2013 session convenes, the GOP will again control 57 of 70 House seats and 28 of 35 Senate seats.

The Facebook nastygram of the day. Or maybe the week.

Here's all the backstory you need to know.

Keith Roark, a Hailey attorney, is former chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party.

John Foster and Kate Haas are former staffers to Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick. Foster, a former Democratic Party executive director, was Minnick's campaign manager. Foster and Haas worked on the campaign to uphold Propositions 1, 2 and 3.

There is no love lost between Roark and Foster and Haas.

But you didn't need me to tell you that. Just look at Roark's Facebook update from this morning.

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