The idea of conservativism is utopian and attractive: we all get rich, nobody pays taxes, and everybody is responsible for themselves. But then you see unemployment or underfunded schools or lack of health care and you hear from the GOP "cut taxes, reduce spending" and it doesn't make a damn bit of sense."
This tweet just cam in from Idaho Statesman editor Vickie Gowler:
Surprising decision: State School Supt. Tom Luna will not run for re-election. Look for more details at http://t.co/3M7szDw22c later today.
— Vicki Gowler (@vgowler) January 27, 2014
This opens the door even wider for a certain, exceptional Democratic candidate.
— KTVB.COM (@KTVB) January 27, 2014
Luna made the surprise announcement Monday at the Statehouse.
"You will not see my name on any ballot in Idaho this year," Luna told reporters.
The top schools chief said things became too political and it was best to step aside. He still has 11 months left on the job.
REPORT from Boise State Public Radio:
Luna says he's talked with former Republican state Sen. Melinda Smyser, wife of a prominent Capitol lobbyist, about running if he doesn't.
But he said he's not yet ready to endorse anybody.
Republicans already in the race are Grangeville teacher John Eynon and American Falls principal Randy Jensen.
The lone Democratic candidate so far is Jana Jones, beaten by Luna in 2006.
And for a good laugh, check out this early a.m. tweet from conservative "Watchdog"Dustin Hurst:
— KBSX 91.5 (@KBSX915) January 27, 2014
Tom Luna: w/o campaigning, I'll have more time to solidify support for gov. Task force for education recommendations
— Christina E. Lords (@IFPost_Lords) January 27, 2014
10:57 AM PT: "State schools chief Luna won't run for re-election" from the Idaho Statesman -
Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/...
The First Democrat Ever: A letter from Jana Jones - Candidiate for Idaho Superintendent of Public InstructionSubmitted by MeAndG on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 9:22am.
|Dear 43sb Reader,
Two weeks ago I announced my candidacy for Idaho’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. I have been humbled by the outpouring of support I have received and energized by the enthusiasm Idahoans are expressing for restoring hope and optimism in their public schools and trust back in the Office of State Superintendent.
And I know Idaho voters are energized too.Give this clip a listen—it’s from a conservative talk radio show in Idaho Falls.
The host, Neal Larson, starts a poll at the 1:17:00 mark pitting me against Tom Luna. I won that poll. In fact, I’m the first Democrat to ever do so in this history of the show.
But that energy alone won’t be enough to put me over the top. I know this is going to be a hard race and I’ll need your help along the way.
Will you help bycontributing to the campaign online? Your contribution of $25, $50, $250, or whatever you can afford will allow
me to deliver my positive vision for Idaho’s public schools and show Tom Luna that it’s time to end Idaho’s free fall to the bottom, put our education system back on track, and get it moving forward again.
My favorite quote from the radio poll was from a Republican who said, “Jones. And I’ll even campaign for her.”
I think there are a lot more folks like that out there, but I’ll need your help to reach them. Please take a minute tovisit my website and help me send Tom Luna packing.
WHO IS JANA JONES?
Jana Jones has spent her entire career as an educational leader Idahoans can trust to stand up for children and their families.
A fourth generation Idahoan and the first of Wayne and Janice Hammond’s 5 children, Jana was a born into the values that make Idaho great: honesty, hard work, and independence. She grew up in Bonneville County and attended Idaho Falls School District 91, where she would eventually teach after graduating from Skyline High School and earning her bachelor’s degree in Special Education at Utah State University. read more »
Submitted by MeAndG on Mon, 01/20/2014 - 2:05pm.
Nels Mitchell came out strong in his campaign to become Idaho’s next United States Senator. At least, two important factors favor Mr. Mitchell: 1) James Risch has done virtually nothing in the past five years to help Idaho and 2) Mitchell is a tremendously well-qualified, hard-working, articulate person who will put Idaho families and businesses first.
Mitchell (Check out his Nels Mitchell for United States Senate website and like him on Facebook) made his announcement Monday before a crowd of supporters gathered at the Boise Train Depot. Since then, he has traveled to Twin Falls and sent out two press releases blasting Risch for his very bad case of Potomac Fever.
Here’s some coverage of Mitchell’s announcement in the Idaho Statesman:
Posted on January 14, 2014 by Dan Popkey
And Randy Stapilus recently wrote:
Nels Mitchell is a Westerner through and through. He was born in Seattle and raised in Idaho. His parents moved to Boise in 1968. Nels and his two brothers attended read more »
Submitted by MeAndG on Mon, 01/20/2014 - 1:48pm.
There is even free parking!
To begin, “The Abolitionists.” will show at 6:30 p.m. on Jan 22 in Boise State University's Student Union Bishop Barnwell Room. The “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” Film Series presents the story of abolitionist allies Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimké. The film will be followed by a facilitated discussion. FREE. Part of the MLK Living Legacy Celebration.
“Slavery by Another Name” will be in the same room, same time on January 23. The PBS documentary film is based on the book by Douglas Blackmon.
And on January 29, “Freedom Riders” will show.
All movies will be shown at 6:30 PM in the Barnwell Room, SUB. FREE. Parking is also FREE. In the Boise State University garage, use Coupon Code: 20149778
Each screening will feature a facilitated discussion at the conclusion of the screening being led by a faculty and/or community member familiar with the content of the film.
The series is shared on behalf of the “Bridging Cultures” initiative of the National Endowments of Humanities via the Gilder-Lehman Institute.
Submitted by MeAndG on Fri, 01/17/2014 - 7:35pm.
The Idaho Democratic Party is honored to welcome United States Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) as the Keynote Speaker of their flagship event, the Frank & Bethine Church Gala.
Tom Udall is the current senior Senator of New Mexico. Tom began serving as United States Senator in 2009, after two decades of public service as U.S. Representative and New Mexico’s State Attorney General.
Throughout his career, Tom has been a strong advocate for the hardworking families, for a clean energy economy and the environment, for affordable and accessible health care, and for our nation’s veterans. He has also been a leader in the fight for campaign finance reform and for making government more accountable to the American people, not the special interests.
Tom earned his undergraduate degree at Prescott College and obtained a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Cambridge University in 1975. He graduated from the University of New Mexico Law School in 1977. Tom then served as a Law Clerk to Chief Justice Oliver Seth of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and became a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s criminal division. As Chief Counsel to the New Mexico Department of Health and Environment, he also fought for stronger environmental and health protections.
Idaho Democratic Party's Frank & Bethine Church Gala~ 20th Anniversary!
Friday, March 14, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM (PDT) CLICK HERE TO ORDER TICKETS
These experiences helped Tom realize he could personally make a difference through elected office. In 1990, Tom was elected New Mexico Attorney General. He made fighting DWI and domestic violence a priority. Working with the Legislature on both sides of the aisle, he pushed for tougher laws against offenders. Tom also fought to protect consumers, especially senior citizens, from rampant telemarketing and other forms of fraud. Additionally, he made ethics a trademark issue, increasing transparency in government and prosecuting corrupt politicians, even members of his own party. In 1994, Tom was elected to a second term as Attorney General.
In 1998, Tom was elected to represent the 3rd Congressional District of New Mexico in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the House, he wrote and passed legislation to establish a national renewable electricity standard, which would spur the creation of good jobs, reinvigorate our economy, and reduce global warming emissions.
As a new member of the powerful Appropriations Committee, Tom has a voice in federal funding for departments, agencies and other programs. Like Idaho, New Mexico has a large federal presence with its labs, military bases, agriculture and public lands, and he understand the importance of the programs that support those industries. Tom is committed to working for a balanced fiscal policy that will address our nation’s debt and invest in long-term economic growth.
In his role on EPW, Tom continues his important work on energy and environmental issues. On the Indian Affairs Committee, he carries on his longtime mission of helping shape the unique matters concerning Native Americans, including economic development, trust responsibilities, land management, Indian education and health programs. Through the Rules Committee, Tom has consistently pushed for filibuster and campaign finance reform.
Born to Stewart and Lee Udall in Tucson, Arizona, on May 18, 1948, Tom comes from a family known for its commitment to public service and fighting for western values. Tom has many family members that have served as in Congress, as judges, in legislatures and mayors all over the West. His father served in Congress and as the Secretary of the Interior and his cousin, Mark Udall is currently the U.S. Senator for Colorado. His father and his uncle, Mo Udall, both served in Congress with Senator Frank Church.
Tom is married to Jill Cooper and they have one grown daughter. In his spare time he enjoys tennis, fly-fishing, mountain climbing and staying involved in his community.
The 2014 Frank & Bethine Church Gala marks the 20th Anniversary of the event. The Gala kicks off the election season and a weekend full of workshops, other events and camaraderie of Idaho Democrats.
Reposted by permission of the Idaho Democratic Party
Submitted by MeAndG on Thu, 01/09/2014 - 10:51am.
UNFORTUNATE ONE LINERS:
"Read my lips: no new taxes." - George H.W. Bush (1988)
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman." - Bill Clinton (1998)
"My fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. - George W. Bush (05/01/2003)"
"I am not a bully." - Chris Christie (2014)
Here is a selection of fun thoughts on New Jersey's Republican Governor, drawn from the Twitterverse:
Submitted by MeAndG on Thu, 01/09/2014 - 10:14am.
Idaho Democratic lawmakers made a powerful argument for Idaho families in their annual Address to Idaho. They also noted that Gov. Otter was long on talk and short on action that helps Idaho families.
The governor failed to acknowledge that our status as 50th in wages for household incomes and average income hurts Idaho families. Rather the governor continued his legacy of giving handouts to wealth, well-connected organizations and donors at the expense of the rest of us.
Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett and House Minority Leader John Rusche called to end to 20 years of GOP policies that have devastated Idaho families:
“Hard working Idaho families are struggling with an unfairly high cost of living. In many cases, the jobs available are part-time, low wage jobs without benefits. We are dismayed that Idaho is now 50th in the nation for wages. Our public schools, which open the doors of success to so many young people, are suffering from years of legislative neglect resulting in rising local property taxes that hurt working families, businesses and the elderly.”
“Idaho’s public schools have seen deep cuts. The Majority claims that these cuts were unfortunate results
of a national recession. We strongly disagree. These cuts were choices. Intentional and deliberate.”
The entire Address to Idaho that Idaho Democratic Leaders gave Tuesday is printed below:
Address to Idaho from Idaho Democratic Leaders
Welcome and thank you for coming.
We are honored to once again be here in the Idaho Capitol doing the work of “We the People.”
We would like to take a moment and thank our veterans and active military members for their service to our country. We would also like to take a moment and remember Bowe Bergdahl who remains a prisoner of war. We offer our prayers for his health and his return home to his family.
We also want to note that we believe that Idaho could do better in recognizing the debt that we owe our veterans for serving their country. Our veterans struggle to find employment, adequate health care and the mental health services they need. Idaho Democratic lawmakers pledge to support veterans and their families through our work in the Legislature and in our communities.
As we begin this session, we want to take a moment to remind you of the work we are building on from last year. For the first time in a long time, we found Republican colleagues who were willing to put partisan politics aside and cooperate to find the best solutions for Idaho families. It is our hope that we can have the same spirit of cooperation this year.
Given that some in the Majority party will have opposition in the Primary election, some predict a “legislature lite”, where many of the major issues and decisions will either be deferred or even buried in the rush to get out of town.
We believe it is our responsibility to put the people’s priorities first. We believe that decades of one-party rule have resulted in a system that is rigged against regular Idaho families.
Hard working Idaho families are struggling with an unfairly high cost of living. In many cases, the jobs available are part-time, low wage jobs without benefits. We are dismayed that Idaho is now 50th in the nation for wages. Our public schools, which open the doors of success to so many young people, are suffering from years of legislative neglect resulting in rising local property taxes that hurt working families, businesses and the elderly.
Every decision Idaho Democrats make this session will be guided by whether we believe that Idaho’s families and small businesses will benefit. We will work hard to ensure that our freedoms are protected, that opportunities are created and that we are passing a strong legacy onto our children. We want Idaho to be a place where our children can choose to live and work and raise a family. read more »
Submitted by MeAndG on Tue, 01/07/2014 - 4:18pm.
Courtesy, Idaho Democratic Party
Last year was a great year for Idaho Democrats. We know that 2014 will be even better.
As a party, we spent the past year working hard and training activists for the 2014 elections. Our new Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Kenck lived up to his promise to be an active chairman traveling thousands of miles to meet with county activists. We offered a number of trainings and were gratified to see the energy.
The past year kicked off with a powerful legislative session where Idaho Democrats played pivotal roles in saving counties from losing crucial funding for their roads, safety services and schools to another reckless proposed tax giveaway from Gov. Otter to his corporate benefactors. Otter’s priority remained to continue decades of GOP economic policies that harm Idaho’s families and communities.
Indeed, Idaho Democrats did as much as possible, working to block the most disastrous results of an imbalanced political system after two decades of ironclad GOP control. Still, Idaho’s GOP majority was unfazed by our new status as the state with with highest percentage of minimum wage jobs–Otter was using that status to lure more low-paying companies to the state!
The IDP let Idaho know that we are vibrant with a statewide summer tour of our new caucuses and by hosting statewide education rallies in the fall. We had an incredible turnout for a campaign worker training in November, which showed that our pool of talent in this state is deep. Those were just a few of the activities sponsored and promoted by the IDP.
We may have been running full speed in 2013, but we’re just going to grab another gear and go faster in 2014.
Idaho Democrats have incredible candidates, with more planning to announce their runs in within the next month or so.
A governor’s candidate, A.J. Balukoff, had Gov. Otter playing defense when Balukoff’s candidacy was still a rumor. Anyone else notice how Otter suddenly switched his seven year priority of tax cuts for his corporate cronies to an election-year conversion professing love for edcuation? We have other great candidates
Stay tuned to this website and the IDP Facebook page for updates on our Idaho Democratic candidates and the work of Idaho Democratic legislators.
The issues are on our side. The momentum is with us. Every Idaho Democrat can be part of the 2014 victories by reminding people that it was 20 years of GOP rule that gave us an economy where families struggle, where public education is slashed. Our priorities are Idaho priorities.
Happy New Year, Idaho! Together, we will make Idaho’s future brighter for our communities, our businesses, our families, and our children. read more »
Submitted by MeAndG on Sat, 12/28/2013 - 2:42pm.
"Can't District 10 find someone better ...?" - College of Idaho Political Science Professor Jasper LiCalzi.
On Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012: "Caldwell Republican nominee for District 10 state representative Brandon Hixon said the five misdemeanors he received by age 21 were youthful indiscretions that don’t represent who he is today," the Idaho Press Tribune reported. "Hixon, who turns 31 Oct. 26, also has 15 infractions, mostly for traffic violations, between 1998 and 2009, according to court records."
However, arch-conservative Kent Marmon reported from his Facebook page today:
"This REALLY comes as no surprise to me... I've said, for a long time, that Brandon Hixon was an extremely bad choice made by Idaho District 10 voters."
He went on to say that "the Boise Guardian just provides proof and confirms my thoughts."
The Idaho Legislature will be in town shortly with elected representatives deciding how and where to spend all the tax money and other revenue collected by the state. One of those 'spenders' will be Brandon Hixon, State Representative for Caldwell’s District 10. Based on public records, Rep. Hixon has an apparent history of stiffing creditors. Seems the good voters of Canyon County are plagued with deadbeat politicos eager to spend their public money while unable to manage their personal finances.
Caldwell GUARDIAN editor Paul Alldredge broke the story and noted, “A quick check of today’s Press Tribune Legal Notices on the right hand side of the page gave the details of this latest financial difficulty of Rep. Hixon who is now more than $10,000 behind in his mortgage and late fees to Wells Fargo Bank.”
"Ironically, a guy with bad debt is seldom hired in law ENFORCEMENT because the theory is he would be susceptible to accepting cash from strangers," Marmon continued. "We all know that would never happen with a law MAKER."
The Idaho Press Tribune had it right in its endorsement of Hixon's Democratic opponent, Travis Manning:
Submitted by MeAndG on Thu, 12/26/2013 - 1:19pm.
I was disappointed to see the Press-Tribune editorial board on Sept. 18 question my motives for making a motion to save the Caldwell School district $10,000 per year by withdrawing our membership from the Idaho School Board Association.
Turning the editorial in to a partisan issue by using politically charged phrases such as “Skyving is one of the more liberal members of the school board and has run as a Democrat against John McGee,” the IPT claimed that I made my decision on a “rash” and “emotional” basis because I was known to oppose the parts of the defeated “Luna Laws” that the ISBA had helped usher back in using lobbyists paid for with tax dollars.
Had the editorial board members actually attended the school board meetings in question, they would have heard my complete statements. Yes, I was opposed to the “Luna Laws,” as were the majority of voters, and yes, the ISBA’s use of taxpayer dollars to nullify the will of the people did offend me.
They also would’ve heard me say that this action had: “awakened me to take a close look at what we are paying the ISBA and what we are getting in return” and that when I found we were paying $10,000 per year for services that we already receive through two law firms that we employ, I believed we could use that money for something that would actually benefit the kids.
As a trustee, I don’t see saving the Caldwell school district $10,000 as a “liberal” or “conservative” issue; I see it as common sense.
To further the irony, the reason the IPT gave for not endorsing my candidacy when I ran for state senate was that I opposed the state of Idaho borrowing $900 million and paying a whopping $50 million per year in interest for road construction. The IPT did not agree with me that we should “pay as we go” so as not to burden Idaho taxpayers with this huge debt and interest payments.
Being fiscally conservative seems too “liberal” a concept for them to accept.
And in true tag-team form, local educator Bob Solomon hopped in the ring today:
For more information see facebook.com/ILikeLeif and be sure to support and vote for this terrific candidate for District 10!
"Working hard to lock down the baby vote!" - Leif Skyving
Submitted by MeAndG on Thu, 09/05/2013 - 10:56am.
Drop Us A Note...
ID Political Links
Weblogs via the Gem State
Pacific Northwest and Western states blogs
Big Dog Blogs
Blogumbo -- with roux the color of a white boy with soul