A postscript on the Simpson-Labrador feud: Just how much do these guys dislike one another?

My story Sunday about the tiff between Idaho's two Republican congressmen has prompted a number of questions to me about why Rep. Mike Simpson went nuclear on his junior colleague, Rep. Raul Labrador.

In short, I'd say that Simpson is ticked at Labrador for two reasons: attacking his good friend, Speaker John Boehner, and, in Simpson's view, undermining an institution that he loves, for all its flaws.

1358194218 A postscript on the Simpson-Labrador feud: Just how much do these guys dislike one another? Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Labrador mulling race for Idaho governor, but insists he's not decided

Republican Rep. Raul Labrador says he's waiting to measure the prospects of reforming immigration law in Congress before determining whether to shift gears and run for governor in 2014. GOP Gov. Butch Otter has said he is running for a third term, but has made no formal announcement.

"Right now, my number one priority is doing something about immigration," Labrador told me Friday. "And it will help me -- seeing how things are in Washington. Whether we can get something done or not is going to be instrumental in helping me make my decision. It's going to be one of the keys.

Speaker Bedke on when it's OK to run a stop sign and winning Idaho management of federal lands

House Speaker Scott Bedke is supporting his predecessor's interest in exploring an Idaho version of the Utah Transfer of Public Lands Act, which seeks to shift management of millions of acres of federal lands to the states.

Former Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, is planning informational hearings in the House Resources Committee, which he now chairs. Whether Denney presses for adoption of a bill is still up in the air, Denney told me this week.

1358004876 Speaker Bedke on when it's OK to run a stop sign and winning Idaho management of federal lands Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Begging Otter's forgiveness, Idaho Commerce Director Sayer speaks of sore spot: neglected roads

The biggest disappointment of Gov. Butch Otter's six years in office is likely his inability to convince lawmakers to raise new revenue for roads and bridges.

Rebuffed by the Legislature in 2008 and 2009, he appointed a Task Force on Modernizing Transportation Funding in 2009. Fifteen months later, the group agreed state and local highway funding was short by $543 million annually -- made up of $262 million in operation, preservation and restoration; and $281 million in capacity and safety enhancement.

1357859031 Begging Otter's forgiveness, Idaho Commerce Director Sayer speaks of sore spot: neglected roads Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

This time, a happy ending for the overlooked Idaho Rep. Eric Anderson

Two years ago when Rep. Eric Anderson lost his vice chairmanship of the House State Affairs Committee, Speaker Lawerence Denney called it an oversight. Denney said Anderson would have to live with the loss of power for two years.

An old legislative dog tries learning new tricks: the return of Jim Clark

Fourteen-year veteran Rep. Jim Clark is darkening the halls of the Capitol this week, in his new job as a lobbyist.

Clark, one of the funniest lawmakers ever, represented Kootenai County from 1996-2010 and spent two years as chairman of Ways & Means and four years as chairman of Judiciary. He also spent a decade on the Revenue & Taxation Committee, where I spotted him with his lobbyist's green name tag Wednesday morning.

"This is my third day on the job, so I know everything," Clark said, showing off his J.C. & Associates.

Otter shows 'absence of leadership' on health exchange, says Tea Party Boise

Tea Party Boise says its not too late to stop Gov. Otter's proposal to implement a state-run health insurance exchange under President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

The group is rallying Monday at 1 p.m. at the Capitol and using its January newsletter to promote the event.

Tea Party Boise lauds Labrador's vote against last week's 'fiscal cliff' deal

In its January newsletter, Tea Party Boise says Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, "is the only one who not only Talks the Talk but Walks the Walk."

Labrador opposed the deal that lowered income tax rates for all taxpayers excepting individual income over $400,000 and couples over $450,000. The rest of the Idaho's all-GOP delegation -- Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Rep. Mike Simpson -- supported the compromise. Labrador said no deal was better than the deal, which ultimately passed the House despite most Republicans voting no.

New House tax committee chair: Otter's local-option gambit took my breath away

The Legislature's new gatekeeper on taxes says he had no warning when Gov. Butch Otter proposed authorizing local-option taxes in his State of the State speech Monday.

"There was kind of a big pause when the governor mentioned that in his talk," said House Revenue & Taxation Committee Chairman Gary Collins, R-Nampa. "At least my breath -- my breathing -- changed a little bit. That was a big surprise to me. I think it was to a lot of different people. I guess that will just be part of the conversation."

Liberal groups offer counter State of State: Otter is 'largely out of touch with the realities facing Idahoans'

United Vision for Idaho and United Action for Idaho issued a statement Tuesday afternoon in response to Gov. Butch Otter's State of the State and Budget Address on Monday.

The groups, which include labor, human rights and activists of various stripes, say Otter favors business over ordinary workers and belittles the contributions of the public sector.

The full statement follows:

1357683399 Liberal groups offer counter State of State: Otter is 'largely out of touch with the realities facing Idahoans' Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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