Beck, Hartgen, others respond to proposed GOP rule change

After my post on the Idaho GOP proposed rule change, I kept an eye on the responses on social media. Here are a few that stood out.

Jared Larsen wrote this on my Facebook page: “I’ll be there (at the meeting). And if it gets out of the Rules Committee, I’ll be voting against it.”

Rep. Stephen Hartgen, on his Facebook page: “Here’s the resolution the TF GOP Central committee approved in May opposing a rule change which would allow only endorsed candidates to appear on the GOP primary ballot. We’ve submitted this resolution to the GOP for consideration this weekend at the summer meeting in McCall. As one of the drafters of this resolution, I do not think eliminating primaries as a way of candidate selection would be right for our state or party. The Idaho GOP has earned the continuing support of the people of the state through an open selection process of candidates, chosen by the people. The resolution opposes the rule which would eliminate this open process. “(Click on the link to read the resolution language.)

(By the way, many other Republican lawmakers have “liked” Hartgen’s posts against the proposal, including Jim Patrick, Jim Rice, Brandon Hixon, Shawn Keough and Darrel Bolz.)

Former Senate majority leader Rod Beck, who proposed the rule, responded to criticism on Hartgen’s Facebook page. “It’s interesting how this simple proposal has caused such a response. Some people are so intent on preserving their own position and are willing to do and say anything to hold onto power! At least the Idaho Republican Party is willing to consider all ideas presented. As opposed to the Idaho House of Representatives that would not allow an elected member to introduce an alternative plan. Simply amazing.”

Beck and Hartgen also had an exchange over the proposal in this thread.

Rep. Kelley Packer: “I, as a Republican, am in complete opposition to the proposed rule change. We should never limit the freedoms of others to choose what party they belong to and believe in, nor should we limit their right to run for office. Even if this rule passes, which I don’t believe it will, I don’t believe it would hold up under Idaho law.”

Times-News reporter Kimberlee Kruesi is heading to McCall to cover the meeting this weekend. Watch her Twitter feed, TNKruesi, for updates.

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Mike Crapo: Hippest Idahoan in DC

Sorry, Jim Risch. You’re going to have to up your cool factor if you want to catch up with Mike Crapo.

Crapo was recently featured on Buzzfeed for being one of a handful of US senators who use Vine, an iPhone application that produces and shares six-second videos. (Note: I don’t get it. Why bother with a six-second video? Does this admission make me less cool than Crapo?)

This isn’t Crapo’s only social media presence. He’s active on Instagram, where he (or a staff member) documents his travels and meetings with retro-looking photographs. He’s also a prolific tweeter and an active Facebook user.  (For real insights into Crapo’s work, follow Judd Deere, his digital media director and press secretary.)

Risch, Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson all have Twitter and Facebook pages, but I couldn’t find any of them on Instagram or Vine. They have some major catching up to do if they want to be as hip as Crapo.

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Proposed GOP rule would require party endorsement for candidates

UPDATE: Read the rules here: 2013 IDGOP State Central Committee Proposed Rules

The Idaho GOP is meeting this week in McCall. I read the proposed rule changes, and one caught my eye.

The change would force prospective Republican primary candidates to receive an endorsement of the state or county Republican party.

The proposal says candidates for constitutional offices (like the governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor), U.S. Senate, and Congress must get a certified letter of endorsement from the Idaho Republican Party governing body and chairman, legislative candidates must get a certified letter from the legislative district committee chairman, and county officials (like sheriffs and and commissioners) must get a certified letter of endorsement from the county chairman. (Those committee heads may endorse more than one candidate.)

All of those verified letters would be submitted to the Secretary of State for statewide or Congressional elections and the county clerk for county elections, and the Secretary of State and county clerks would only be allowed to publish names on the verified letters.

The implications of this are huge. Let’s say, hypothetically, the governing body of the Republican party disagrees with Gov. Otter. They could decline to endorse Otter for the primary, meaning Otter would have to run as an independent in the general election, or not run at all. If the governing body wasn’t a fan of Mike Simpson, they could decide to put only, say, Chick Heileson’s name on there. If state Sen. Shawn Keough’s central committee didn’t like her, they could decide not to endorse her, and her name wouldn’t be on the ballot. This filters down to county auditors and treasurers and assessors.

Boiled down, that means a small group of people could decide who is Republican enough to appear on the ballot with an R next to their names.

The proposal was submitted by Rod Beck.

Steve Millington, the Twin Falls County Republican Party Chairman, verified that the proposed rule is authentic. The Twin Falls County Republicans don’t agree with the proposal, and sent in a resolution opposing it, he said.

The Republicans will vote on the proposed rule change this weekend. Expect a show-down.

Here’s a copy-and-paste of the proposed rule change. UPDATE: The link to the full PDF is at the top of the post. The proposal is on page four.

Proposed Rule Change 2013 – P08
Proposed Rule Amendment to Article X
Submitted by Rod Beck, Region 4 Chair
Addition of a “Section 5” to ARTICLE X: INTEGRITY IN GOVERNMENT as states:
Section 5: Any Candidate seeking the Republican Nomination for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction & Controller shall first request an endorsement for such office from the Governing body of the Idaho Republican Party. The Chairman of the Idaho Republican party shall provide a certified letter to the Idaho Secretary of State no later than the filling deadline, as provided by law, of all candidates who properly requested and received the endorsement of the Idaho Republican Party. The Idaho Republican Party may provide an endorsement for multiple candidates for the same office. The Idaho Secretary of State shall only publish names of candidates on the Idaho Republican Primary Ballot that are contained on the certified letter from the Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party.
Section 6: Any Candidate seeking the Republican Nomination for United States Senate or the United States House of Representatives shall first request an endorsement for such office from the Governing body of the Idaho Republican Party.
The Chairman of the Idaho Republican party shall provide a certified letter to the Idaho Secretary of State no later than the filling deadline, as provided by law, of all candidates who properly requested and received the endorsement of the Idaho Republican Party. The Idaho Republican Party may provide an endorsement for multiple candidates for the same office.
Only Members of the Governing body that are registered to vote in the Congressional District applicable shall vote for the endorsement. The Idaho Secretary of State shall only publish names of candidates on the Idaho Republican Primary Ballot that are contained on the certified letter from the Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party.
Section 7: Any Candidate seeking the Republican Nomination for the Idaho legislature shall first request an endorsement for such office from the Governing body of the Idaho Republican Party. The Legislative District Chairman shall provide a certified letter to the Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party no later than 5 days prior to the filing deadline, as provided by law. The Chairman of the Idaho Republican party shall provide a certified letter to the Idaho Secretary of State no later than the final filling deadline, as provided by law, of all candidates in each legislative district who properly requested and received the endorsement of the Idaho Republican Party Legislative District Committee. The Idaho Republican Party Legislative District committee may provide an endorsement for multiple candidates for the same office.
Only Members of the Governing body that are registered to vote in the Legislative District applicable shall vote for the endorsement. The Idaho Secretary of State shall only publish names of candidates on the Idaho Republican Primary
Ballot that are contained on the certified letter from the Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party.
Section 8: Any Candidate seeking the Republican Nomination for County Commissioner, Clerk Auditor, Sherriff, Treasurer, Coroner & Assessor shall first request an endorsement for such office from the Governing body of the Idaho Republican Party in the County of the office the candidate is seeking. The Republican County Chairman of each County in Idaho shall provide a certified letter to the Clerk/ Auditor in that County no later than the filling deadline, as provided by law, of all candidates in the County who properly requested and received the endorsement of the County Republican Party Governing Body. The County Republican Party may provide an endorsement for multiple candidates for the same office. Only Members of the Republican County Governing body shall vote for the endorsement. The County Clerk/ Auditor shall only publish names of candidates on the Idaho Republican Primary Ballot that are contained on the certified letter from the Republican County Chairman of that County.

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Allen Derr dies at 85

Idaho lost a great man today.

Boise attorney and Idaho Press Club founding member Allen Derr died Monday. He was 85.

Derr was best known for his work on the landmark Reed vs Reed case in 1971. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on that case says decisions on who should administer estates can’t be based on sex. The ruling had big implications for the Fourteenth Amendment and for women’s rights. You can read the full ruling here, or a summary here. 

According to Derr’s biography on the Idaho Press Club website, Derr started practicing law full-time in Boise in 1960. He graduated with degrees in journalism and law from the University of Idaho and worked as a reporter and editor. In addition to his work with the Idaho Press Club, he originated and chaired the Public Information Committee for the Idaho State Bar in 1997. He also received the Professionalism Award from the Idaho State Bar in 2002; ACLU of Idaho Freedom Award in 2002, and the University of Idaho Alumni Association Hall of Fame Award in 2005.

More:

Allen Derr, lawyer who won landmark ruling in 1971, dies at 85: The Associated Press, via KTVB

Allen Derr’s biography on the Idaho Press Club website

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Labrador: Snippy and dismissive, immigration expert, or somewhere in between?

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador caught the National Review’s attention last week.

According to this June 6 post, Labrador and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, butted heads during a immigration debate hosted by the Republican Study Committee. The post mentions Labrador’s demeanor multiple times, saying he “sternly lectured” the 100 lawmakers in the room about a study Bachmann cited and was dismissive of Bachmann’s concerns.

The last paragraph is especially interesting:

“Beyond the important and interesting substance of the debate, several people in the room noted that the tenor of Labrador’s response to Bachmann was dismissive and at odds with the rest of the discussion which was very respectful. Labrador was described as “snippy” and someone “sick of hearing” all the criticisms about immigration reform. His spokesman said it was a “positive meeting” and that Labrador’s responses were “very fact-based.” (For context, make sure you read the whole post by Jonathan Strong.)

Two things come to mind here.

First, remember Labrador is an immigration lawyer, and he knows his stuff. His arguments on immigration aren’t merely sound bites — he’s dedicated his career to immigration. Agree with his approach or not, he knows nuances that the average American (lawmakers included) doesn’t understand.

But keep in mind that Labrador also dropped out of the immigration Group of Eight talks last week, citing philosophical differences on the approach to health care access in legislation the bipartisan group is crafting. 

Here’s what I’m interested in: How many people in DC and the national media are actually aware of (or care about) Labrador’s immigration expertise? If he’s getting a reputation as difficult to work with (regardless of whether it’s deserved), is his expertise going to matter? 

It’s something to keep an eye on as the immigration debate heats up. 

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politics, grandmothers and grief

My much-adored grandmother died yesterday. The world lost a classy, adventurous woman.

Her death came as a massive surprise, as she was one of the most healthy and spunky 81-year-olds I’ve ever met. I won’t get into the details of how she passed away here — honestly, I’m still in a bit of shock — but I’m grateful I got to see her the day before she died. She lived in Colorado, but was in Meridian for the week to come to my baby shower.

My mom always told me that both she and I inherited our obstinance from Grandma. I also think I got my love of politics from her. During my crazy college days when I went to DC and Spokane for protests, she told me she was proud of me while grilling me on my opinions to make sure I could back them up and defend them. We would chat after presidential debates, and we didn’t always agree, but they were great discussions.

At one point during the 2012 election season, my grandma confided in my mom she was afraid that after everything we’d discussed, I’d still vote for the candidate she didn’t like. Yesterday, after my mom and I were done speaking to the police and started the long drive home, it occurred to me that if there is an afterlife, grandma now knows I did, in fact, vote for that guy. (And so did my mom.)

I apologized out loud, then defended my choice — just like I would have done on the phone.

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LINE Commission 2.0

UPDATE: I’m kicking myself for not noticing this last night. There are no women on the second commission. Last time, there was only one woman: Sylvia Medina, president of North Wind.

 

ORIGINAL POST:

This tweet from @politicgame caught my eye tonight:

line2

Continue reading

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JFAC tour includes liquor store, shooting range

Sounds like a party to me.

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee is heading to north Idaho this week for its spring interim meeting. (StateImpact has more.) The agenda includes a stop at the state’s busiest liquor store and Farragut State Park’s shooting range, as well as North Idaho College, the Bonner County Detention Facility and other areas impacted by the state’s policy and budget decisions.

All kidding about morning trips to the liquor store aside, the interim committee meetings are actually wicked-interesting for policy and budget nerds. Last fall, I tagged along on the JFAC interim fall tour in Magic Valley and got to see first hand what sort of information lawmakers get on the trips, like an update on the state’s general fund and the budget issues they need to start thinking about before the next legislative session.

(Why the liquor store? State and local government entities – like counties and schools — receive money from liquor sales in Idaho.)

There is another benefit, too. Remember, a lot of these legislators rarely travel to the far-flung parts of our giant state. Each of those geographic areas is impacted differently by the budget, so for the joint committee’s 20 members, this offers a solid opportunity to see the real-life implications of those budgets they write in January and February.

Each year, JFAC has two interim committee meetings. The one I went to didn’t include a liquor store trip, but we did get to tour the Twin Falls Chobani factory before its grand opening. (I won’t tell you which of the two I’d prefer to visit.)

Side note: Sorry for the recent radio silence on my Twitter and blog. We just moved into our new house in Boise, and I’ve been Internet-less for several days. It was harrowing, but I survived, and I’m stronger for it.

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Sayonara, free parking lot. Hello, parking garage.

This is the last day to park at that awesome free visitors parking lot on Washington St. and 6th. 

Image

I’ll admit it. I’m a bit bummed this parking lot is going away. I walked to the state house most days during the legislative session, but when I needed to get there early, the parking lot was always there for me and other journalists. We had to get there by 7:40 most mornings to snag a spot — otherwise the pages and lobbyists would have beaten us to it. 

The former lot will be the new home of a Capitol Mall parking garage, which will provide 580 parking spaces for visitors and state employees. That’s great news for state employees whose parking spots are displaced for three months of the year during the legislative session. 

As for the rest of us freeloaders, I suppose we’ll have to get used to walking a few extra blocks.

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Wayne Hoffman is now a meme

hoffman

I suppose it was only a matter of time.

Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Wayne Hoffman is now a meme: Idaho Freedom Man.  (Don’t know what a meme is? Here’s a run-down from Wikipedia.)

The memes poke fun at Hoffman’s ideology, saying things like “Thinks he knows what’s best for Idahoans/Isn’t even from Idaho” and ” Claims he’s non-partisan/Can’t understand why people laugh.” There are a couple dozen pictures, and judging by the time stamps, someone did them in the middle of the night last night. One of them got a bit nasty and brought up his family. (C’mon now, guys.) Others give criticism on Idaho Reporter and issues on which the Freedom Foundation has (or hasn’t) commented.

I called Hoffman this morning to see what he thought. He had seen many of them, but shrugged them off.

“I don’t find a lot of value in personal attacks,” he said, adding it does nothing for political discourse.

This isn’t his first social network roasting, he pointed out. Apparently, there is also an Idaho Freedom from Wayne Hoffman Foundation on Facebook.  He’s even commented on at least one post.

Two thoughts here: What level of infamy do you have to achieve to reach meme status? Also, if I had a Facebook group dedicated to hating on me, I’m not sure I’d have the cojones to check it out and engage with my anti-fans. So for that, hats off to you, Mr. Hoffman.

 

UPDATE:

Wayne’s friends are getting in on it, too!

hoffman2

 

A Hoffman pal posted this on the Idaho Freedom from Wayne Hoffman page, Hoffman clicked like, and whoever runs the profile gave a shout-out to body building state senator Curt McKenzie. See, the Internet can bring everyone together! It’s a beautiful thing.

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