Using letters to the editor to stick it to The Man

I can't bring myself to publish this letter to the editor.

But I can't resist sharing the highlights, with all names removed.

Our writer had apparently abandoned all hope of getting named Employee of the Month. "(My boss) is the worst person I have ever worked for ... verbally abusive and disrespectful to employees and even worse (to customers)."

The kicker states the somewhat obvious: "I may lose my job after this but that's OK because despite my family situation I can no longer take the emotional or verbal abuse."

Bad career move? Gee, you think?

Give the writer a little credi

Whew. That was a close call

If ID Quicktakes contines to come to you tax-free for the next seven years, you can thank Rep. Bill Sali.

Uh, among others.

The Sali press office put out a press release hailing the passage of a bill to ban Internet taxes for the next seven years. Sali was among 402 House members who voted for the seven-year ban, which passed without a no vote.

Whew, that was a cliffhanger.

"A tax on the Internet would deal a devastating blow to a growing segment of our economy. Virtually every company and every consumer doing business on the Internet would be hurt by an Internet tax,” the 1st District Republican said. “Congress hasn’t gotten much right so far this year, but this vote is something Americans can definitely applaud. But we must not give up on a permanent ban, which would go a long way toward stimulating additional growth, investment and innovation in e-commerce.”

Endorsements: So how do we grade candidates?

A commenter (pen name, udapimp) raised a good question at style="text-decoration:underline;">one of my recent posts. If candidate endorsement decisions are indeed based on the issues, what issues do we use to make our choices?

It's a good time to dig into this. The city elections are a week away, we're rolling out our 2007 endorsements, and wrapping up our candidate interviews this afternoon.

A few yardstick issues that kept coming up in our candidate interviews (and where our paper stands):

The unfiltered Alan Shealy strikes again?

While endorsing Boise City Council incumbent Alan Shealy Friday, our editorial board noted Shealy’s troubling tendency to talk without a filter.

Apparently, the unfiltered Shealy was at it again last week.

At its Oct. 23 meeting, the City Council discussed whether City Hall needs more hired spokespersons to pitch stories. Here’s an account from City Hall watchdog Dave Frazier’s style="text-decoration:underline;">Boise Guardian web site.

“Shealy even advocated contacting the Statesman and telling them what the council wants said because, ‘people read the paper.’ The Daily Paper has been co-opted before, let’s hope the new management listens to the debate and makes up their own mind.

Foolish or dishonest? Wow. Some choice.

And now, in the name-your-poison spin zone of Larry Craig, it boils down to this.

He's either foolish or dishonest.

Here's what we now know, style="text-decoration:underline;">from today's story. Craig spokesman Dan Whiting says Craig hired criminal defense attorney Billy Martin in February, because the senator says was considering filing a harassment suit against the Statesman.

Craig was arrested on a criminal charge on June 11. Craig has insisted all along that he never consulted with an attorney after his Minneapolis airport arrest, or before signing a guilty plea on Aug. 1 — the plea Martin has gone to court to try to overturn.

An endorsement season question

I'm spending part of Thursday morning speaking to Boise State University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. My lofty topic: "Reporting, Filtering or Shaping: The Role of the Media and Public Opinion."

That has me thinking about how our paper arrives at candidate endorsements — which we are rolling out, in advance of the Nov. 6 city elections.

We try to base our decisions on straightforward measures: the incumbents' voting record; the candidates' positions on issues we consider high priorities; the candidates' resumes and life experience. We try to keep personalities (and, in partisan elections, political affiliation) out of the equation.

Ripped from the headlines (again)?

Has the Larry Craig storyline worked its way into another network drama?

On Tuesday night's episode of the new CBS series "Cane," a senator was forced to resign in the aftermath of a sex scandal. Sound vaguely familiar?

I guess this a big deal because Sen. Barnes (who, like Craig is a conservative with three decades of public service and a seat on the Senate's energy committee) was a big supporter of an ethanol plan supported by "Cane's" central character, sugar mogul Alex Vega, played by Jimmy Smits.

The hat tip for this one stays in the Richert household: my wife Chris, a "Cane" fan. I guess she has her wish now. I'll have to tune in next week to see what becomes of Jimmy Smits' sugar empire — and to find out if Sen. Barnes actually resigns.

Stop the presses: Craig and Co. does something, and it just looks bad

The cynical view of politics holds that a political action committee or well-heeled donor kicks into a congressional campaign if hopes of having a friendly-voting ally on Capitol Hill.

So I wonder if any of Sen. Larry Craig's donors are feeling a twinge of buyer's remorse, with style="text-decoration:underline;">the news that Craig has spent $23,000 in campaign money on his legal defense.

The law may give federal officials considerable leeway to apply campaign dollars to legal bills. The question is whether Craig's appeal of a disorderly conduct guilty plea — stemming from his arrest in a Minneapolis airport restroom — is connected to Craig's Senate job.

Set those DVRs ...

Is there no limit to the awkward moments the Larry Craig story provides us all?

From Randy Stapilus' style="text-decoration:underline;">Ridenbaugh Press blog comes this nugget: The Craig restroom arrest will provide a plotline for the Nov. 13 episode of ABC's "Boston Legal."

Once again, Hollywood proves itself out of touch with mainstream middle America. Where do these writers dream up this stuff, anyway?

The good news for ABC: Last week's Craig-Matt Lauer primetime interview on NBC was such a huge ratings flop that some viewers may actually be unfamiliar with the bathroom sex sting storyline.

Pssst, there's an election on ...

You probably can't tell by reading our Opinion page or driving along the streets, but we have city elections in 15 days.

It's election season in the Treasure Valley. Wake me when it starts.

I don't think I've seen less voter interest in a local election in my 6 1/2 years in Boise — or in my 22 years in Idaho communities.

I'm not sure why.

The mayor's office is up for grabs in five of Ada County's six cities.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter faces Jim Tibbs, the longtime police officer Bieter passed over for police chief, and the closest thing Bieter has to a foil on the City Council.

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