State Senator no-so-Noble: Ethicalifragilisticexpialidipstick

Let's see what we can deduce about Idaho state senator Jack Noble of Kuna.

He's Mormon, probably a bishop in his church, he's anti-gay rights, against saving the Ada County courthouse, wants to be able to sell liquor from his convenience store located next to a school and alledgedly lied about the reason why to his fellow state Senators.

Um, whoa... let's back up a sec on those last two items.

Kuna Sen. Jack Noble authored a change in state law that could directly benefit him — allowing liquor sales at his convenience store across the street from an elementary school. And he failed to disclose the potential conflict to colleagues, even when they asked repeatedly about the origin of the bill.

Senate President Pro Tem Bob Geddes said Thursday he would appoint a Senate Ethics Committee — only the second in 15 years — to investigate whether Noble violated Idaho's Ethics in Government Act. That law compels lawmakers to disclose conflicts of interest when any official action "would be to the private pecuniary benefit of the person or a member of the person's household ..."

Violation of the law is a civil offense, with a maximum fine of $500. The ethics process could result in a dismissal of the charges, a reprimand, censure, or Noble's expulsion from the Senate. At the very least, an ethics review brings dishonor to the 35-member Senate.

Noble, 43, is a two-term Republican senator, farmer and father of eight. He and his wife own Jacksmart in Melba.

Melba lost its contract liquor store in September because the vendor was behind on payments to the Idaho State Liquor Dispensary. Jacksmart could not get the Melba contract because the store is immediately across the street from Melba Elementary School.

Current law requires a liquor store to be 300 feet from a school. Noble's bill would redefine how the distance is measured, putting his convenience store far enough away from the school to sell spirits, according to Liquor Dispensary Superintendent Dyke Nally.

Dan Popkey at the Idaho Statesman has all the details.

The ethics committee will probably make Noble sweat a little, but I'll be surprised if they do more than slap him on the wrist -- if that. The committee members had better keep a fire extinguisher nearby during the hearings; from reading Popkey's story, it sounds entirely plausible that, under questioning, Senator Noble's pants may burst into flames.

Maybe you think it unlikely that an LDS state senator with eight kids would knowingly push a bill that would push sales of booze, financially benefit him and then intentionally obfuscate his reasons for said bill?

Buddy, you obviously don't know Jack.

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actually, I disagree -- plus news about the courthouse

I wrote a letter to Jack a couple of weeks ago about the courthouse and I received a reply from him this week -- the day before Popkey's story broke -- saying my letter had changed his mind and in the future he'd vote for it.

As far as what the ethics committee will do, keep in mind that Noble pissed off the Governor big-time last year by overturning the Qwest giveaway, so there may be some payback happening. Plus my understanding is that Jack is having some personal troubles as well.

Even if the ethics committee doesn't do much, I wouldn't hold out much hope that he runs or wins again next term, even if he doesn't resign.

Conflict of Interest, again!

This state's representatives are a bunch of greedy bastards that have no ethical or moral reason for holding office. They are only there to benefit themselves, NOT you.

Believing what an elected official in this state writes to you in a letter is about as good as drinking George Bush flavored Kool-Aid.

I've written so many letters and received so many useless responses, I give up. The politicians in this state are more corrupt than those in Washington DC.