No surprise here: Idaho's congressional delegation most conservative in U.S.

WASHINGTON -- National Journal came out with its annual rankings, and this one won't shock anyone: Idaho's congressional delegation is the most conservative in the nation. Republican Sen. Jim Risch makes the list of the top 10 most conservative Republicans in the U.S. Senate, coming in at No. 5.

Rep. Simpson presses EPA chief on phosphate issue

Rep. Mike Simpson, the top Republican on a key budget-writing subcommittee, says he has "forcefully communicated" to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson the concerns of Idaho cities about what he says are unreasonable clean water standards.

Simpson's press release on the subject is titled, "Simpson Grills EPA Administrator on Clean Water Act Regulations."

The press release, issued after a committee meeting Thursday, follows, in full:

Bieter's homework assignment to Boiseans: Fill out your Census form

Read the post at Editorial Page Editor Kevin Richert's commentary blog.

Crapo: Health care summit "discouraging"

WASHINGTON -- So what'd Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, think of President Barack Obama's bipartisan health care summit today?

Crapo's next telephone town hall to focus on health care and the deficit

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, will hold a statewide telephone town hall on March 10. The town hall -- which anyone can sign up for on his website -- will focus on the deficit and health care.

The town hall begins at 7 p.m. MT and 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday, March 10. Listeners will be given an opportunity to ask the senator questions, although the town call is limited to one hour.

Name game in Idaho Senate: Son of Senator to be Fibber McGee?

On Wednesday, Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, told his colleagues about the ultrasound revealing he and his wife's second child will be a boy.

He joked that his family hadn't settled on a name, but said some had been ruled out, including Bart, a jab at Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls.

On Thursday, McGee got razzed on the Senate floor about what to name his progeny.

Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Eagle, suggested Highway — McGee is the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and a champion of transportation spending.

Otter provides report card on 'efficiency' Web site

Details at Kevin Richert's Commentary blog.

Table stakes at the Idaho Legislature now include underwear

The Legislature's most outlandish quote machine, Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis, won laughs from an audience including about a dozen students Thursday with her use of strip poker as a metaphor for legislative strategy.

Kemp urges review of child safety

Idaho independent gubernatorial candidate Jana Kemp called for a comprehensive review of children under state supervision to determine how many of them are in homes where an adult has been convicted of seriously injuring a child.

Kemp said the death of Robert Manwill raised questions about how well the state protects children. While she applauded the work of Health and Welfare workers, she criticized Gov. Butch Otter.

Otter seeks compassion, wants to make people happy

Read Sharon Fisher's story about Otter's Wednesday meeting with reporters on her New West Politics blog.

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