Wayne Hoffman: Voters will back lawmakers who resist 'Obamacare'

Idaho legislators appear to face a non-choice: adopt the tenets of the federal health care law, or have it imposed on them.

Armed with a survey suggesting widespread voter opposition to the law, a longtime critic says legislators should simply hold the line:

What happens upstream threatens the Boise River: Boise's river

Here's a draft of our Sunday editorial about the Mosquito Gold mining project above the Boise River.

Edward Lodge’s timing couldn’t have been better.

On Aug. 30, the federal judge put the brakes on exploratory drilling at a proposed copper and molybdenum mine about 15 miles northeast of Idaho City. The judge ordered the U.S. Forest Service to further analyze whether the drilling would affect groundwater quality.

Another convention, more disappointing deficit politics (UPDATED, 11:43 a.m.)

UPDATED, 11:43 a.m., with comments from Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho.

On Thursday night, I listened to President Barack Obama with one issue in mind: the federal debt.

I didn’t come away convinced.

Here’s the key quote from his speech to the Democratic National Convention, an appeal for a consensus-based deficit-cutting solution: “I’m still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission.”

Sounds encouraging, but the record isn’t as friendly to the president. Let’s review it one more time, because it’s important.

Downtown Boise public market: a founder's awkward ouster

A draft of our lead editorial for Friday:

Were it not for Karen Ellis, vendors wouldn’t even have a Capital City Public Market.

Ellis founded the Downtown market nearly 20 years ago. Ellis been the market’s only executive director, long working with little oversight from a board of directors. She has been a staff of one, presiding over a market that brings together some 180 vendors and thousands of Saturday morning Boise browsers.

Idaho politics: Risch says Ryan wasn't his first pick for veep

UPDATED, 12:55 p.m., to reflect that Risch considers Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida to be the three most important states in the presidential election.

Rep. Paul Ryan is a popular budget-writer in GOP circles. Based on the math of the Electoral College, Mitt Romney would have been better off looking elsewhere for a running mate.

That was the assessment offered by Sen. Jim Risch in a Statesman editorial board meeting Thursday. "(Ryan) was not my first choice for vice president."

Democrats' abortion platform: where Idaho candidates stand

On the eve of the Republican National Convention, I wrote about the GOP's "no-exceptions" platform opposing abortion. This plank is more stringent than the positions taken by Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Rep. Mike Simpson, abortion opponents who make exceptions for cases of rape or incest, or pregnancies threatening the life of the mother.

Idaho Senate leader: If GOP ditches 'big tent,' Romney loses

In a strong appeal for party unity, Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill said intraparty rifts could cost the GOP a shot at the White House.

And the Rexburg Republican also directed a broadside at some of the candidates who ran in the Idaho GOP's historic closed primary election in May.

Here's an excerpt:

A bear by any other name ... is just wrong

Sometimes, some topics are too fun to pass up. So it is with this one, a draft of a secondary editorial for Friday.

We dare you. Look at the face of Idaho’s most famous black bear cub, rescued from a wildfire near Salmon Aug. 26. Just try not to let out an “Awww.”

Now, we double dare you. Look into his eyes and see a Bernard.

You couldn’t do it either, could you?

Paging Brent Coles: N.Y. court mulls the art of the lap dance

Remember — before Brent Coles' time as Boise mayor ended in scandal, resignation and jail time — the city's crusade against nudity?

Attempts to write ordinances to ban nudity — including a rewrite of the ordinance to make an allowance for nudity of "serious artistic merit?"

Fast forward to the present, and Albany, N.Y., and a case before the New York Court of Appeals.

From the Associated Press:

Dysfunction and distrust: the Luna-IEA feud gets even uglier

The bitter relationship between Tom Luna and Idaho teachers just keeps deteriorating.

The latest feud centers on — naturally — a component of the state schools superintendent’s far-reaching and hotly contested Students Come First laws.

Under Luna’s merit pay plan, some 85 percent of Idaho teachers stand to receive some kind of bonus — on Nov. 15, and only if Idaho voters ratify the merit pay plan in a Nov. 6 referendum. Luna’s office says state law will not allow the state Education Department to hand out the $38.7 million any sooner.

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