Two films with Idaho political connections to be honored at Emmy Awards

Frederick Wiseman, the internationally acclaimed documentarian who made a movie about the Idaho Legislature, will receive the National Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Wiseman has produced, directed and edited 38 films, including "State Legislature," which chronicled the 2004 Idaho Legislature. The 3-1/2-hour film has no narration or subtitles, but features citizens, staff, lawmakers and reporters and their interactions.

Wiseman will collect his award during the News and Documentary Emmy Awards on September 27 in New York.

Vaughn Ward says his wife didn't get a sweetheart loan from Countrywide

Former Idaho congressional candidate Vaughn Ward said Wednesday that his wife was not among 153 Fannie Mae employees who reportedly received favorable loans from Countrywide Financial.

Politico reported Tuesday on a congressional investigation that shows executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got cut-rate loans from Countrywide Financial in an effort to win favor with people in power.

Nampa Democratic candidate calls for creation of state-owned bank

Melissa Sue Robinson, the challenger to GOP Rep. Gary Collins of Nampa, says Idaho needs a state-owned bank to give low-interest loans to small business and startup companies that create at least 10 jobs. She calls for the bank to begin operations in January.

Robinson says the nation's only state-owned bank, the Bank of North Dakota, earned a record profit last year.

Gov. Batt pulling out his licorice stick to honor Dunkley Music's 60th

Former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt will play his clarinet at Dunkley Music's 60th birthday party in Boise next week.

"I'll be playing some melodies like 'Cry Me a River' and 'Misty' and stuff like that," Batt said Tuesday. "I'll focus on old standard love songs."

The Republican has been frequenting Dunkley's for roughly 50 of its 60 years. "It's been my music store," Batt said. "When Dunkley's was born, I was 23 and I could play the 'Clarinet Polka.' But not any more."

Idaho AG Wasden wins award for courage from colleagues

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden won the "Profile in Courage in Public Service Award" from the Conference of Western Attorneys General. The presentation was made Monday at the group's annual meeting in Santa Fe, N.M.

The award, made four times since 2000, recognizes an attorney general who has acted with courage and integrity to uphold the office of the attorney general, above and beyond the high standards always expected of its occupants, according to a news release from the group.

Washington state lawmaker weighs in on behalf of Idaho Rep. Hart

Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, is defending Idaho Rep. Phil Hart's claim of legislative immunity from civil process.

"Not only are Rep. Hart’s accusers in error, but the entire situation substantiates the very reason legislative immunity was written into the constitution in the first place…to prevent political persecution," writes Shea on the Sovereign Idaho blog.

Idaho Conservative Blogger says push for 17th amendment repeal bad for GOP

One of Idaho's most active and connected bloggers says the Idaho Republican Party's endorsement of the repeal of direct election of U.S. senators is untimely and unwise.

In a posting Monday night, the anonymous blogger who often interviews top Republicans surveyed the history of the issue and included comments from Idaho elected officials. The posting concluded with this:

Allred begins town hall meetings Monday in Sandpoint; in Boise Thursday

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Keith Allred begins a four-city town hall tour at 6:30 tonight at Sandpoint Community Center. He will appear Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre in Boise.

Allred faces Republican Gov. Butch Otter in the Nov. 2 election. Allred is a first-time candidate; Otter has held statewide or congressional office without interruption since 1987.

Iraq Veterans for Congress soliciting funds for TV spot

Idahoans who backed Bronze Star recipient Vaughn Ward for Congress may be interested in a fundraising effort to air an ad supporting 19 other Iraq War vets running in 2010.

Iraq Veterans for Congress has produced a 60-second spot featuring 19 candidates in 16 states and is soliciting funds online to air the ad on television. The faces of the candidates -- 18 running for the U.S. House, one for U.S. Senate and one for lieutenant governor -- scroll across the screen during the ad.

Kempthorne to testify Tuesday on Interior's role in oil spill

Idaho's Dirk Kempthorne, President Bush's second secretary of the Interior, will join his predecessor and successor at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the role of the department in the Gulf spill.

Kempthorne resigned as Idaho's governor in May 2006, seven months before his second term as governor ended to become Interior secretary. He served until President Obama took office in January 2009.

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