Submitted by Kevin Richert on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 10:21am
Through the May primaries, I'll be blogging about our endorsement process to give readers more context and backstory. Here's a closer look at the Canyon County prosecutor's race.
The conventional election wisdom goes like this: The more challengers there are in a race, the more that favors the incumbent.
The challengers split the vote for a fresh face, allowing the incumbent to skate through.
That theory will get a stern test in May 27's GOP primary for Canyon County prosecutor.
Incumbent Dave Young has negatives, and that's an understatement. If he has prominent political allies in Canyon County, I haven't found any.
Submitted by Kevin Richert on Tue, 04/29/2008 - 4:34pm
When you're the governor, you can make news even by trying to manage news.
So it is with Gov. Butch Otter, who has created a bit of a blog stir today with his "media contact protocol."
In an e-mail to state agencies — first reported, and quoted in full, at the Spokane Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell at her Eye on Boise blog — Otter spokesman Mark Warbis reminds agencies he wants "complete and timely" reports on any media inquiries to state agencies. He also wants to review agency press releases that outline "a policy change or anything that might be controversial at all."
Submitted by Kevin Richert on Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:46am, updated on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 6:37am
As any knucklehead, nitwit, ultraconservative fascist or ultraliberal brownshirt can tell you, life gets a little bit ugly out on the comment queue.
Why, I've been called things that would make my mother blush. Assuming Mom didn't write 'em. In the anonymous world of online comments, you can't ever be sure.
Over at the Idaho Business Review, Steve Ahrens wrote an outstanding piece on blogging and online etiquette. Click here to check it out.
The short take: play fair, tell the truth, use your name.
Submitted by Kevin Richert on Mon, 04/28/2008 - 8:51am, updated on Tue, 04/29/2008 - 1:08pm
CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this blog, I wrote that a local-option tax amendment came before the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee, of which Sen. Shirley McKague is a member. It did not. It came before the Senate State Affairs Committee.
Sen. Shirley McKague began our District 20 endorsement interview last week by reciting an opening statement. Here it is, word for word.
I am not here to seek your endorsement, for you have not endorsed me in the past and my views overall have not changed. I stand for limited government and lower taxes and I continue to be opposed to all the big-government solutions and taxing schemes.
Submitted by Kevin Richert on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 8:24am
A programming note: During the May endorsement season, I'm going to use my blog to provide backstory and context behind our picks, in hopes of encouraging some discussion. If you have feedback, post it here.
Stan Bastian and Chuck Winder are pretty much mirror images on the transportation issues that are crucial to West Ada County.
So when our editorial board narrowed down our choices in this hotly contested state Senate race, we spent some time talking about who would be most effective.
Not a black-and-white call. We were well aware that, as Dan Popkey reported a few weeks back, Winder is running on the counsel of Gov. Butch Otter. This suggests the incumbent Bastian doesn't have a whole lot of juice with the governor's office.
Submitted by Kevin Richert on Thu, 04/24/2008 - 1:20pm, updated on Thu, 04/24/2008 - 1:36pm
See if you can spot the gaffe in this blog post from Idaho Values Alliance executive director Bryan Fischer, spotted by one of my eagle-eyed newsroom colleagues.
Hint 1: You'll need to scroll down.
Hint 2: If there is karma, I am basically begging to get someone's name wrong really soon ...
"If a man is known by the company he keeps, Sen. Obama has more trouble. One of his newest fundraisers, who has a dedicated page on Obama’s official website, was formerly the chairman of an Islamic charity that was closed by the US government in February 2006 for fundraising on behalf of the terrorist group Hamas.
Submitted by Kevin Richert on Thu, 04/24/2008 - 8:50am
A programming note: As we head into May endorsement season, I'm going to use my blog to provide backstory and context behind our picks, in hopes of encouraging some discussion. If you have feedback, post it here.
I had never met Christ Troupis before last week, when he sat down before our editorial board. I never him only through his clients: The Boise attorney has taken up some controversial causes, such as the Republican Party lawsuit to close primaries and the Keep the Commandments Coalition's fight with Boise City Hall.
In his interview with our editorial board, he didn't come across as an ideologue — but instead as somebody who has put a lot of thought into the issues and isn't afraid to take some contrarian views.
Submitted by Kevin Richert on Wed, 04/23/2008 - 9:16am
Got a last-minute cancellation Tuesday from Rep. Robert Schaefer, R-Nampa. The 24-year lawmaker faxed us a letter saying he would not meet with the Statesman editorial board as part of our endorsement process.
Here's his letter, verbatim:
I am currently elected by the people of Nampa, District 12, Seat A, to represent them in the Legislature.
A local newspaper, the Statesman, has asked me to interview with them, seeking their support in anticipation of the approaching primary election.
In light of recent uncharitable, and indeed, un-Christian attacks this paper has released upon Sen. Larry Craig, I have chosen not to visit with their interviewers. Although I have read most, if not all, of the latest attacks, I remain unpersuaded of the truth of these articles.
Submitted by Kevin Richert on Tue, 04/22/2008 - 3:04pm
This didn't take long.
Democratic Senate candidate Larry LaRocco said Republican Lt. Gov. Jim Risch is long on rhetoric and short on ideas for America's energy problems.
In a press release today, LaRocco cites my Monday blog post about Risch's desire to work on energy issues if elected to the Senate. Seven months before a November election, Risch is already lobbying Senate Republicans for a seat on the Senate's energy committee.
Says LaRocco: "Our country needs a good plan. But Risch’s website is mum on the topic, offering a few pithy sound-bites instead of real ideas.
Submitted by Kevin Richert on Tue, 04/22/2008 - 10:49am
Today is the day of decision in Pennsylvania, as Democrats vote in their party's pivotal presidential primary.
So let's set aside that "other" guy on Idaho's primary ballot, Texas prison inmate Keith Russell Judd, who bought his way onto the ballot. Sure, I've got tons of questions about him: For starters, would Judd uphold Americans' Second Amendment rights to carry a shiv?
Today, the focus on Clinton on Obama. Who will win? How decisively does Clinton need to win in order to keep her campaign alive? Or is the campaign over anyway? And does the protracted Democratic race help John McCain?