Will the Craig fiasco hurt Mike Crapo?

I know I'm getting way ahead of the curve on elections, but I'm thinking today about Idaho's 2010 Senate race.

Will Mike Crapo's words — unconditionally in support of beleaguered colleague Larry Craig — come back to bite him?

Crapo has tied some of his own reputation to Craig, who has angered and alienated many Idahoans by trying to keep his disorderly conduct guilty plea secret, and then, once the news broke, reneging on his intent to resign.

Throughout, Crapo has stood by his senior colleague.

Consider this quote from Sept. 26, after Craig's legal team went to a Minnesota court to fight the senator's guilty plea: "Senator Craig has demonstrated outstanding leadership and tireless service to the state of Idaho for nearly three decades. Idahoans deserve to continue to benefit from Senator Craig’s experience and expertise."

Jim Risch's lesson from history

Say this for Lt. Gov. Jim Risch: He learns from history.

In December 2004, Butch Otter beat Risch to the punch by dictating the terms of the 2006 governor's race — announcing his candidacy even before then-Gov. Dirk Kempthorne had ruled out seeking a third term. Joining the race first, Otter quickly corraled some high-powered GOP support, leaving Risch on the outside.

Risch eventually decided against a run for governor — although it took him until November 2005 to finally make it official. Risch decided to seek re-election as lieutenant governor, even after Kempthorne left the Statehouse to serve as interior secretary, giving Risch a seven-month run as governor.

A mayor's race worth watching

Sorry, Boise.

You don't have the most interesting mayor's race around the Treasure Valley this year. Not even close.

I attended Monday's City Club forum between incumbent Mayor Dave Bieter and City Council member Jim Tibbs, the third time I've heard the candidates meet face to face. They're both certainly more rehearsed than they were in the summer, and I don't doubt that these two candidates are passionate about the future of their hometown.

Yet the race itself is devoid of passion. Four weeks until Election Day, and no fireworks on the horizon.

Bieter is offering up a pretty safe list of promises to Boise voters: A continued push for transit, preserving a view of the Foothills that is "unobstructed by bad air and bad development." Tibbs voices general disenchantment: He says he hasn't seen satisfactory progress during his two years on the council, and says Boise needs better relationships with other governments, more police officers on the street, and fewer vacant Downtown storefronts.

The Larry Craig legacy: What will it be?

I missed the latest episode of the Larry Craig reality show because of a more important prior commitment — I spent a long weekend touring college campuses with my high school senior.

These days, however, there's no getting away from the Craig story. Everywhere, it seems, are reminders of just how embarrassing this saga is for Craig and for his state. That's even the case at the campus of the University of Idaho, where a young Larry Craig once served as student body president.

On Friday morning — a day after a Minneapolis judge refused to rescind Craig's guilty plea on a disorderly conduct charge — Craig was the topic of conversation at Moscow's one and only Starbucks. One person quipped that Craig intends to say in the Senate no matter how many men's rooms he visits.

The guy who wants to impeach Larry Craig

Brad Bristol votes in every major election, but isn't involved with a political party and doesn't consider himself very politically active.

The 50-year-old Nampa resident hasn't always agreed with Sen. Larry Craig on the issues, and was disillusioned when Craig offered a defiant defense of comprehensive immigration reform at a Caldwell town meeting last summer. But the last straw was the way Craig responded to his arrest in a Minneapolis airport bathroom — and his refusal to follow up on his "intent" to resign.

So on Sunday night — as Craig's self-imposed resignation date came and went — Bristol went live with a quixotic online effort to impeach Idaho's senior senator.

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