faustus37's blog

Never Challenge an Idaho Democrat

While this state is governed by mob rule, a liberal, progressive or even a true libertarian from here is no one to be messed with. We've already seen it all and then some. You have nothing.

Evidently I need 75 words, or something. So much for a pithy statement. So, um, Butch Otter sucks. Jim Risch sucks too. Tell me how he's been more effective there than the night shift janitor.

Thank you. This has been a public service.

I should post here more. Has it really been 2.5 years? Damn ...

Tea Party in Idaho? Meh ...

Recently this map was published by the fine folks at PBS:

For the uninitiated, the three dark green Idaho counties are:

-Camas, population under 1,000, therefore by this map's definition a grand total of two identified members makes it dark green.

-Teton, population 9,000, and one of three Idaho counties Obama actually WON.

-Power, population 7,500, but otherwise no real rebuttal there.  read more »

Sali's Crack Staff Strikes Again

I'm surprised no one has written about this yet.

Evidently Bill Sali's campaign has yet to file their quarterly FEC report. They're now over a week late on that (it was due 15 July). According to Sali's spokesman Wayne Hoffman, this is due to "technical glitches."

As treasurer for Debbie Holmes' campaign in the 2nd CD - which is subject to the exact same reporting requirements as Sali's camp - I find that explaination quite dubious.  read more »

Debbie Holmes needs your help!

I'm in the midst of filing Debbie's first FEC report. We raised $200 $100 in the first quarter. While that's not too bad considering we only filed with the FEC on 24 March, we have a long way to go.  read more »

2nd CD: Debbie Holmes on the issues

BOISE, Idaho - Debbie Holmes, a Democratic candidate for United States House of Representatives in the Idaho 2nd Congressional District, issued the following position stances today.


I work very hard trying to help people into or out of housing in a very difficult market. The problems I see as I meet with my clients (who are usually struggling, sometimes losing their homes) have convinced me that we must make changes in how this country is run. I believe the deregulation of the big business and banking has led to the current distress we are in. By deregulating the financial sector we have allowed crooks to take their profits while destroying our economy. The greed of many banks, speculators, real estate agents, builders, etc. has created the inflation in housing prices. Loans were made that never should have been made. People signed documents they didn't understand. As a real estate agent, I work very hard to try to get people out of these situations.  read more »

At least it's not boring ...

Pro-Life (née Marvin Richardson) is a colorful candidate, but these guys may be even more, um, original.  read more »

One day to go

There's some interesting filings coming out:

Rand Lewis, who recently bowed out of the 1st CD race and endorsed Larry Grant, has filed to run for state senate in north Idaho's District 2 against Joyce Broadsword. Lewis' entry is a nice surprise, as is the state senate candidacy of Dan Romero in Canyon County's District 13. I personally encouraged both to run.  read more »

More election filings

According to the most recent Secretary of State filings, Rex Rammell has filed to run for Senate as an independent, which means he'll skip the primaries and appear on the general election ballot. Rammell, a (apparently former) Republican, has a well-known axe to grind with Jim Risch. This is great news for the Larry LaRocco camp.  read more »

2nd CD: We have a candidate!

Debbie Holmes announced her intention to run for Congress against Mike Simpson in the 2nd CD at Ahavath Beth Israel synagogue in Boise. A brief platform says, "Debbie Holmes for Congress...A Democrat for Idaho District #2. Mortgage relief for the people, not the banks...Education instead of incarceration....Bill of rights is not negotiable...Healthcare for all....Support our troops, not defense contractors."

You can check out the campaign at her Facebook group (Facebook login required).  read more »

Startin for Governor E-Mail Group

I'm attempting to consolidate supporter e-mails in one place, so I can consequently limit bold-faced campaigning to one place. No doubt that would be easier on everyone. I know some of you are already on this list, so I'll only post this once.

The plan is to dump the Yahoo group with something less intrusive once campaign finances warrant it. In the meantime, you can also sign up by going to my web site: http://www.lanestartin.org/

So, without further ado ...

lane@lanestartin.org has invited you to join startin2010  read more »

Phoning it In

In case you haven't heard, the Idaho Democratic Party wants to forego real speeches from our candidates at the upcoming Frank Church Banquet in favor of Youtube-style videos. Cost to you: $75, rubber chicken included.

Former Twin Falls resident Julie Fanselow is up in arms, and I don't blame her.

I went to banquets featuring speeches from Cecil Andrus, J. D. Williams, Richard Stallings, Larry LaRocco and Larry EchoHawk: all elected officials at the time. They were fine.

That's FIVE. And they're complaining about four, three of which are there to nail Bill Sali?


I'm having a hard time justifying $75 to go as it is, and I have a free place in Boise to stay. I'm having a harder time justifying it now. If I may be so bold, Kos isn't that interesting.

Go sign Julie's petition to stop the madness. Don't donate; just enter your information, click "Sign Petition" and be done with it.

This is the kind of stupidity that makes us a minority. I can hear the ghost of Frank Gooding laughing now ...

Precedent Can Be Overcome, If ...

I'm considering a run for Governor of Idaho in 2010. I'm doing this knowing full well there are several precedents against me.

Idaho hasn't elected a Democratic governor since 1990, and hasn't elected a Democrat over a Republican incumbent since 1970 (Cecil Andrus in both cases).

The last Idaho governor under the age of 40 was elected in 1900 (Frank W. Hunt). I'll be 37 on election day 2010.

The last Idaho governor who was elected without holding prior elective office was John T. Morrison in 1902.

There has never been an Idaho governor from Twin Falls County, even though Twin Falls is one of the state's more populous counties.

There has never been an Idaho State University alumnus/alumna elected Idaho governor.

That said, a main reason I'm running is that there simply aren't enough high-profile Democrats to even contest all the constitutional statewide offices, much less get elected to them. There's Larry LaRocco, Larry Grant, Walt Minnick, maybe Wendy Jaquet, maybe Clint Stennett. That's it. Someone else (actually, several someones) has to step up to the plate. That's what I'm doing.  read more »

It's the Organization, Stupid

I was going to put this in a reply to a previous thread, but I'm making it its own entry. It's important.

New Idaho Democratic Party chair Keith Roark put the screws to Curtis Bowers earlier today. I'd hardly call these comments soft-spoken, as Roark has recently been accused of being in this space.

Apparently the Republican strategy is to close the primaries, which in turn allows them to nominate more people like Bowers and Steven Thayn, because they assume the Democrats won't contest these seats with viable candidates, which is exactly what's happened in the past, particularly outside Boise. If that happens, their plan works and things will get a lot worse for the political health of this state.  read more »

Richardson Out, Startin Endorses Obama

Over the past few months I've had the honor of serving as Idaho state grassroots coordinator for Gov. Bill Richardson's run for president, so it is with a bit of sadness that I note the end of his campaign. I think Gov. Richardson could have been very competitive in the Idaho caucus. I wish him all the best.

Of the remaining candidates, I believe Sen. Barack Obama now represents the best choice for America, the West, and Idaho. Today I offer my support and endorsement to Sen. Obama's campaign. I encourage Idaho Democrats who haven't already done so to rally around him and attend the 5 February caucus on his behalf. There's now nothing standing in the way of a particularly decisive victory for Obama in the Idaho caucus. Let's deliver it to him.

W. Lane Startin

Barack Obama national web site

Idaho for Obama

A Quick Thought on Chairs

I was somewhat surprised by Richard Stallings' resignation. Holidays and real life got in the way, so I wasn't paying my normal attention to state politics. I wish Richard and his family all the best.

May I suggest someone with a demonstrated acumen for in-your-face politics to succeed him? For example, I'd nominate Larry Grant if he wasn't already busy running for Congress.

Closed Primary Case Thrown Out

No doubt much to the chagrin of Rod Beck and other true believers out to save the state from evil (e.g. anyone who disagrees), yesterday federal judge Mikel H. Williams threw out the lawsuit demanding a closed Republican primary. This ensures Idaho's voter registration policy will remain strictly nonpartisan, for now anyway. The rationale behind the decision is essentially that 71 GOP hotheads can't speak for the party in an official capacity just because they want to.

The next step might be to push closed primaries through the Legislature. Given the unpopularity of the closed primary concept outside the Bill Sali Zone - especially among our state's large faction of die-hard independents - and the fact this is all about the Idaho Republicans, that could make for some smashing political theater. We'll just have to wait and see.  read more »


Not too long ago, a guy from suburban Chicago named Denny Hastert was Speaker of the House and second in line to the presidency. But, that was then. Hastert turned in his resignation and as of Monday he'll be a private citizen again. All the best to him.

Meanwhile, a once-powerful senator named Trent Lott also said he's quitting. He'll be back in Mississippi by the end of the year. All the best to him as well.

That said, any decent political wonk will tell you the most competitive seats tend to be the open seats. Check this out:

In the House, no less than 16 Republicans have already announced they are not seeking re-election, including Barbara Cubin, who holds the Wyoming at-large seat once inhabited by a certain Richard Bruce Cheney. Two others are open due to deaths, while two more will be open due to resignations (Hastert's in Illinois, and Bobby Jindal's seat in Louisiana, as the latter was elected governor). Meanwhile, only five Democrats are moving on, and three of them are running for Senate in their respective states.  read more »

Larry Grant Is Not A Wuss

It hasn't been a real good month for Larry Grant. First, Cecil Andrus openly snubbed him by touring the 1st CD with primary opponent Walt Minnick. Then New West revisited allegations reported in a June Dan Popkey article which accused Grant of basically blowing the '06 race. Grant responded, albeit with mixed reviews, including some mixed comments of my own.

But here's where it gets interesting. In addition to his original New West op-ed Grant came back to personally respond to these criticisms, at New West and right here at 43SB.

I stand by my comments that Grant should let '06 go and move on (so should everyone else, incidentally). Even so, it occurs to me this guy has some serious cajones coming into the blogosphere and slugging it out like this, even challenging d2 to run in the 2nd CD like he did. I don't see ANYONE else doing this, not even the relatively tech savvy Larry LaRocco. Can you imagine someone like Mike Crapo or Butch Otter jumping into the fray like this?

If nothing else, Idaho needs aggressive Democrats, and lots of them. Larry Grant earned a ton of points in my book over the past few days.

Otter: Still Running After All These Years

If you haven't checked out IdaBlue lately, you really should. Alan over there has made some very good points on water policy and Butch Otter recently.

Earlier this week, undoubtedly as a direct result of the Thayn domestic violence fracas, Otter's office set domestic violence policy. As Alan observed, "I'd like to see Gov. Otter issue a policy with real teeth."

Well, exactly.

Such has been Otter's M.O. since he took office. Talk a good game, say the right things, but when it comes down to brass tacks offer nothing of substance. Whether the issue is water, transportation infrastructure, taxation, that nasty commute from Star to Boise, or this, the common thread is all talk, no action. Otter seems to have forgotten that there's a difference between being a libertarian and being a statist. Thus far, he's demonstrated he's clearly the latter.  read more »

Can You Seal Coat a Spine?

I've heard stories of a guy in the Idaho Legislature in the early 70s who was known for wearing a bright yellow jacket and voting "Hell no!" on legislation. I'm told he's governor now, but sometimes I wonder if he's the same guy.

When discussing transportation funding back in July Butch Otter said, "Folks, I'm sorry, but we've got to have it (higher taxes)."

But now that the legislative session looms, Otter is backpedaling. He told a meeting of the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho on Wednesday he wants more efficiency and accountability from the Idaho Transportation Department first.  read more »

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