Blue-shifting the Gem State, one blog entry at a time.

Breaking: Idaho Supt. of Instruction Tom Luna will NOT seek re-election

This tweet just cam in from Idaho Statesman editor Vickie Gowler:

This opens the door even wider for a certain, exceptional Democratic candidate.


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:

10:57 AM PT: "State schools chief Luna won't run for re-election" from the Idaho Statesman -
Read more here:


The First Democrat Ever: A letter from Jana Jones - Candidiate for Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction

View it in your browser.

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 listenit’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 by contributing 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 to visit my website and help me send Tom Luna packing.





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 »

Idaho U.S. Senate Candidate Nels Mitchell Charges Onto The Field

Nells Mitchell

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:
Nels Mitchell vows to beat ‘career politician’ Idaho Sen. Risch

Posted on January 14, 2014 by Dan Popkey

Democrat Nels Mitchell blamed Republican Sen. Jim Risch for Idaho’s low-wage economy and said that after 37 years in elected office he puts perks ahead of the interests of Idaho.

“I run to replace a career politician with a citizen legislator,” said Mitchell, a first-time candidate who announced his campaign at the Boise Depot Tuesday. “I run to help restore the vision of our founding fathers. Jim Risch has lost touch with the concept of public service, and, more importantly, with the people of Idaho. It is time for him to retire.”

Mitchell, 60, said he would serve a single six-year term if elected. “I will be beholden to no one but the people of Idaho,” he said.

Mitchell faulted Risch for Idaho’s ranking highest in the country for the proportion of minimum-wage workers and ranking 50th in income. “Someone has not been minding the store and that someone is Jim Risch,” he said.

And Randy Stapilus recently wrote:

An echo came in May 2013 when (Risch) told the Idaho Statesman, “You know, I really enjoy this job. I really like this job. Governor will wear you down. You can’t do that job permanently. This you can do ad infinitum.” An accompanying news article described him as “remarkably passive about the failure of Congress to deal with the country’s problems,” and “to hear him wax eloquent about life in the Senate makes one wonder if he risks being branded as a dilettante.”

Repeated news articles about his and his staff’s regular trips abroad (he is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, so in his personal case there’s actually some call for them) and some talk that he’s not been spending a lot of time in Idaho or with his base, could be a basis for reviving some of those old critiques, on a larger scale.

Mitchell has a cool demeanor (though he’s been a federal litigator, which suggests something about what’s beneath that) and the positioning of an outsider, and he’s offered a promise to serve but one term. What appeal may that have?

There are politicians who develop a teflon surface, and those who don’t. The second kind can survive too. But put the wrong set of circumstances together, and surprises can happen.

Who is Nels Mitchell?

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 »

Boise State Offers “CREATED EQUAL: America's Civil Rights Struggle” Film Series

There is even free parking!

It is not easy to raise a family and find accessible activities that are culturally enriching here in the nations lowest-wage state. That is why I was delighted to find out that some great civil rights films and discussions, for people on any budget, are coming to Boise, Idaho!

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.

American Experience: The Abolitionists. Radicals. Agitators. Troublemakers. Liberators. Called many names, the abolitionists tore the nation apart in order to create a more perfect union. Men and women, black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthy-these passionate anti-slavery activists fought body and soul in the most important civil rights crusade in American history. What began as a pacifist movement fueled by persuasion and prayer became a fiery and furious struggle that forever changed the nation. Bringing to life the intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimk+ª, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown, The Abolitionists takes place during some of the most violent and contentious decades in American history. It reveals how the movement shaped history by exposing the fatal flaw of a republic founded on liberty for some and bondage for others. In the face of personal risks-beatings, imprisonment, even death-abolitionists held fast to their cause, laying the civil rights groundwork for the future and raising weighty constitutional and moral questions that are still with us today. Directed by Rob Rapley, The Abolitionists interweaves drama with traditional documentary storytelling, and stars Richard Brooks, Neal Huff, Jeanine Serralles, Kate Lyn Sheil, and T. Ryder Smith, vividly bringing to life the epic struggles of the men and women who ended slavery.

“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.

Slavery By Another Name challenges one of America s most cherished assumptions the belief that slavery in the US ended with Abraham Lincoln s Emancipation Proclamation by telling the harrowing story of how in the South, a new system of involuntary servitude took its place with shocking force.

And on January 29, “Freedom Riders” will show.

From May until December 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives many endured savage beatings and imprisonment for simply traveling together on buses as they journeyed through the Deep South. Determined to test and challenge segregated travel facilities, the Freedom Riders were greeted with mob violence and bitter racism, sorely testing their belief in non-violent activism. From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, Freedom Riders features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters; the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the rides firsthand. Based on Raymond Arsenault s acclaimed book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, the two-hour documentary comes to PBS in May 2011, marking the 50th anniversary of the historic Rides.

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.

US Senator Tom Udall will be Keynote Speaker at Frank and Bethine Church Gala

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.
Tom serves on five committees in the United State Senate: Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works (EPW), Indian Affairs, and Rules and Administration.

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.
On the Foreign Relations Committee, Tom is charged with congressional oversight of U.S. operations and programs beyond our borders, aiming to keep America safe, promote democracy and foster international development and conservation. He opposed the Iraq War from the start and has been a leading proponent for an accelerated transition in the Afghanistan War to an Afghan-led effort.

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

Chris Christie Tweets Light up Twitter (as he throws staffers under the bus like bird seed)


"I am not a crook" - Richard Nixon (1973)
"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:

Idaho Dem Leaders: Otter State of State Leaves Out Idaho Families

Courtesy: Idaho Democratic Party

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 »

A Good Year Then, A Great Year Now

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
as well, such as Rep. Shirley Ringo, who will give a Idahoans a choice between a self-promoting Tea Party Congressman versus someone who actually cares about working families.

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 »

Caldwell Republican District 10 State Rep. Brandon Hixon in Trouble ... Again!

"Can't District 10 find someone better ...?" - College of Idaho Political Science Professor Jasper LiCalzi.

Hixon: Not ready for public office

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.

The CALDWELL GUARDIAN reports the lawmaker’s name showed up in legal ads published in the Idaho Press Tribune. No doubt Hixon will explain the run of bad luck to legacy media when they call. On page page C12 of Friday’s Idaho Press Tribune a legal ad claims Brandon Hixon of 919 North Plateau Drive, Caldwell has not made his house payment of $1,625.80 since July.


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."

He continued:

With a recent history among members of rape, indecent exposure/sexual harassment, fudging travel expenses, and a non-resident senator, failure to pay $10,000 to the bank is really small change for the Idaho Legislature.

Oh, I can hear the excuses now... and he'll probably get away with them just as he did his arrest record. I am happy to say that I didn't vote for him the first time or any other time. The writing was on the wall.

The Idaho Press Tribune had it right in its endorsement of Hixon's Democratic opponent, Travis Manning:

Republican Brandon Hixon has been a good party worker, even leading the charge for the county GOP caucus.

But in a period where elected officials have disgraced the Grand Old Party — particularly in Caldwell where then-Sen. John McGee twice brought shame to the Legislature, and a long and expensive legal battle (on the taxpayers’ dime) involving former Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak, voters may be more inclined to vote for candidates with untarnished records.

When answering this pre-election question: What standard should elected officials be held to, Hixon said this: “Much higher standard than average, with the understanding that even elected officials are imperfect humans.” ... Many people have a few mistakes that could haunt them if running for office, but only one candidate – 31-year-old Brandon Hixon – has five misdemeanors, 15 infractions and three civil actions for financial failings. Hixon says his court history is not a reflection of what will happen in the future. But let’s face it, his standard of expectations is low. That’s not the way to start a political career.

Read more: Canyon County Democrat Travis Manning Endorsed by Idaho Press Tribune and Idaho Statesman.  read more »

Idaho Democratic Update

Wishing You a Joyful Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year!

A New State Senator: Janie Ward-Engelking

District 18 Democratic leaders sent three names to the governor for him to choose from to fill the state Senate seat left vacant by former Sen. Branden Durst. Ward-Engelking got the nod. Now her House seat is vacant. Interested applicants can follow this link and apply by Dec. 24: Click Here To Apply.

Sen. Buckner-Webb Elected Women in Government State Director

Congratulations to Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb for being elected to a leadership position in an organization that includes more than 1,700 women legislators. Read more.

IDP Chair Larry Kenck: Don't Let ID GOP Stop Christmas

Idaho's public lands mean many things to many people. One great memory in the Idaho woods for the IDP Chair is the annual Christmas tree hunt. Our GOP leaders are threatening these kinds of traditions in an underhanded move to sell off our public lands. Read more.

Two Newspapers Jeer Crapo and Risch

U.S. Senators Risch and Crapo voted in the minority this week to reject a budget deal and damage our nation's and our state's economies. Thankfully, we have independent newspapers in this state who are letting people know. Read more.

GOP Rep. Who Admitted Attacking a Woman Quits

Better late than never. GOP Rep. Mark Patterson resigned this week. His supporters--U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, former House Speaker Lawerence Denney and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle--have stayed silent.

Facebook Photo of the Week: Why We Are Idaho Democrats

Simply. We work to make the future brighter for our children. View photo.


Visit The Idaho Democratic Party Event Calendar Here



What Does Idaho GOP Say about (Rapist?) Patterson?

"Mark Patterson is an attempted rapist and a Republican Idaho State Representative who has represented District 15 in the B seat since 2012."


Courtesy: Idaho Democratic Party

The Lewiston Tribune opined that Idaho Dems have not used the revelation of Rep. Mark Patterson’s despicable criminal victory to our benefit. We believe that’s a pretty narrow view of how political parties should attempt to elevate their own.

Our candidates are outstanding, honest public servants. They don’t need to be compared to the worst that the Idaho GOP has to offer. We’d rather see them compared to the best the Idaho GOP has–that’s when our candidates really shine.

But, make no mistake, Patterson is absolutely wrong for Idaho. And, Idaho’s GOP have failed us again by refusing to condemn this man’s thin excuses for hiding the past. The Idaho GOP leaders who endorsed Patterson–U.S. Rep. Labrador, Rep. Lawerence Denney and Rep. Mike Moyle–have made a profound statement with their silence.

Here’s IDP Chairman Larry Kenck’s response to the Lewiston Tribune:

Turnabout: Larry Kenck - Idaho Democrats’ vital signs just fine

Twenty years of GOP control have left Idaho children with fewer opportunities. Idaho leads the nation in percentage of minimum-wage jobs. We trail the nation for what we invest in our children’s education. State cuts to schools have forced rural schools to cut school days and doubled the school districts that run override levies (41 up to 89) to meet basic needs.

The Idaho Democratic Party is dedicated to bringing balance back to Idaho and ending 20 years of failed GOP policies. We work to create a brighter, more prosperous future for Idaho families and small businesses.

In 2014, our candidates will be experienced leaders in business, in their churches, in volunteer organizations. They will be public servants dedicated to putting Idaho families ahead of personal ambition.

As a party, Idaho Democrats are strong and we are getting stronger.

So, Marty Trillhaase writes that we missed an opportunity to jump into the fray regarding Republican Rep. Mark Patterson, who was twice charged with rape – pleading guilty to assault with intent to commit rape in one case, prevailing at trial in the other.

First, kudos to the press for giving Patterson the attention he deserves. Clearly, this Republican leader has a disgusting history. Idahoans now are asking: Why does the Idaho Republican Party support the likes of Rep. Mark Patterson?

Second, we agree with Trillhaase that this man should resign.

Third, we respect the ability of Idahoans to make the right decision. They now have the information they need regarding Rep. Patterson to vote him out.

We disagree with Trillhaase’s suggestion that we “should be all over Patterson and his party.”

True, Patterson is a reminder of the 2012 resignation of former Republican Sen. John McGee, who “disturbed the peace” with a female staffer in the Senate. Patterson reminds us of Republican Sen. Chuck Winder’s suggestion that women don’t know if they’ve been raped or not.

Indeed, Patterson prompts a discussion of other areas of women’s issues. We ask again why Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter pays women in his cabinet far less than men. Or we ask again why Republican Sen. Monty Pearce told a qualified woman seeking appointment to the Fish and Game commission to apply for the nursing board instead.

We reject the notion, however, that one party’s miscreants should be used to elevate another party’s candidates. Our candidates stand apart as excellent people when they are in crowds of excellent people. Idaho Democrats do not have to stand next to Patterson to stand out.

We also know that many of our Republican friends and neighbors feel just as disgusted and betrayed as we do. We are willing to give Republican leaders – who are well-positioned to pressure Patterson to resign – the time they need to come to the right and righteous decision.

As time goes by and Patterson remains in office, it is not the Idaho Democratic Party that has failed Idaho. It will be Republican leaders, failing once again, on a basic question of ethics, integrity and values. They will have failed as they have failed our schools and families and our economy.

Let us be clear. Rep. Mark Patterson should resign. Now, what does the Idaho Republican Party have to say about it?


Kenck is chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party.

RELATED READING: Stapilus: Who Is Mark Patterson?

This isn’t a matter of tracking down every last detail about a relatively junior member of the Idaho House. I raise all this here because you likely cannot find a similar gap in the record for any other Idaho legislator, current or recent, or even not so recent. It’s a gap unlike anything I can recall in four decades of watching the coming and goings of elected officials.

Who is this guy?

I'm Sorry I Killed this Blog

Wow. Two in a row were too much, huh?

Well, fuck that shit. I'm a Freedom Fighter! Watch me run!

An Imagined Conversation Between Senator Ted Cruz, Lucifer, and Adolf Hitler

Cruz: You gonna eat all them Mastodon fetuses, Hitler?
Hitler: Ja ja ja.
Cruz: Well, it's not fair.
Lucifer: Hell isn't fair, k?
Hitler: (laughs and throws a Mastodon fetus skull he's picked clean right at Cruz.
Cruz: Knock it off Hitler!
Lucifer: You all act like children. When lunch is over I still expect the sulfur pits cleaned.
Cruz: I'm unafraid of hard work.
Hitler: (stands and dances a Hitler jig) Ja!
Cruz: Fuck hell. So stupid.
Lucifer: That's the attitude! Git'r Dun!
Hitler: Gitten Der Done!
Cruz: Jesus H. Christ on a Single Payer System!

(all of hell grows instantly silent)
Lucifer: (sobs) That was uncalled for! (storms off his big leathery wings drooping in despair)
Hitler: (Points at Cruz) Fucktarden!
Cruz: Poor people don't need affordable care they need to go to hell!

The End

 read more »

Hippie Girl Wisdom

What does the hippie girl with the guitar have to sing to Idaho?

Please, man, be groovy
Love each other like in a movie
like "Love, Actually" because that's Serephin's fave
he told me that when we were glowsticking at a groovy rave

I'm really down with that. Be in the flow, Idaho. We are so into you.

Truth in Madvertising

Dear 'Muricans --

We, the Republican Congressmen and Senators of these here United States of Wealthy America, have shit the governmental bed. We will continue to shit the bed until you give us everything we demand, even if we're not certain what that is. Besides giving in to our outrageous whims, we also demand you allow us to save face by not acknowledging that we have, in point of fact, shit the bed like a pack of over-stuffed baboons with explosive diarrhea. We look forward to your total capitulation. Please excuse us now as we feel the need to gather some of this shit from our bed and fling it at the walls. Never fear -- there's more where that came from.


Your Motherfucking Insane GOP.

Addendum: Look, there are reasonable Republicans out there but, sadly, not enough to make a difference, and the ones who do exist in Congress are too afraid of their insane base to take the GOP back (see Simpson, Mike). So until the Teabagger whackjobs are locked back into their padded cells, I can only hope President Obama and Congressional Democrats stand their ground and refuse to give in to their lunatic hostage demands.

Signing up on the Idaho Insurance Marketplace: Big Success!

From a letter we received from Kevin Lish, an insurance agent from Pocatello who signed himself up for the Affordable Care Act on Your Health Idaho's website (

Affordable Care Act Experience

Saturday (10-12-2013) I was able to get on the Marketplace for Idaho. The website was easy to navigate and I was able to enroll in a new Gold Plan effective January 1, 2014.

My current coverage, which I will cancel December 31, 2013, was $385.00 a month with a $5,000.00 deductible, 80/20 coinsurance with a out of pocket of $10,000.00 which was in addition to my $5,000.00 deductible.

Being self-employed, I did qualify for a subsidy and my new Gold Plan has a $1,000.00 deductible, then 85/15 coinsurance with a new annual out of pocket of $6,350.00.

The great part is, my new monthly premium beginning in January 2014 will be $164.08 a month for my new Affordable Care Act health insurance plan."

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why the GOP political machine is melting down like a Hershey bar in a microwave oven. People who, previously, could never get or keep insurance will now be able to do so, and it's become more affordable. Booyah!

Boehner Blues

there once was a speaker named Boehner
who kept his tan dark using the Xerox toner
he smoked, he screamed and he sobbed
when Obama grabbed his balls and lobbed
now even the Koch bros can't give him a boehner.

Flush Twice

Here we are, a collective dynamo of a freedom and compassion loving nation, thrumming not with throaty, synced up horsepower and quick shifting velocity but with a horrifying noise, like cats in flames leaping off collapsing nuclear plant cooling towers.

A small sect of extremists have held a jagged chunk of dirty broken glass to our throats and hissed


No, that's not what they are hissing


Don't talk uppity to us, boy. We don't do shit for your kind. We'll shut this town down for talkin' to us like that.

I'm going to set my controls for the center of the sun and go to the core and base issue behind this nightmare.

Extreme right wing tea partying white men do not cotton to an intelligent black man who is, by virtue of his elected status, one up on them.

It is visceral and it is grounded. They are willing to put on suits of flames and leap into pools of gasoline holding their political futures in little paper baskets soaked in kerosene. Extremism in the defense of stupidity and hate is no virtue. It is a vice.

The gasping vestiges of an ideology long ago left in a wastebasket by folks who like their country clean of trash, is making one last lunge at us.

It ain't about socialized medicine. It ain't about slowing the growth of government. It ain't about abortion or granny facing a death panel.

It's about white wing politicians and their shambling microcephalic base wanting to take that Kenyan liar communist down a notch or two. Don't believe any of the other narratives and dialogues.

Obama knows this too. No accident he called their leaders in the other day and told them no, I'm not negotiating with you crackers.

The self destruct button on extremist ideologues is always pushed down by the belle curve outliers. It is the step that comes once they lose whatever attention and expansive base they had. Expected. But this time they really hit the Kamikaze button. They have no exit strategy but to try to take everyone down with them into the deepest whirlpools of hatred and fixations. But we are standing on the banks of the river America and shaking our heads in both disgust and a sort of wonder.

Namaste, motherfuckers.  read more »

Idaho State Senate Candidate Leif Skyving Delivers an Uppercut to the Idaho Press Tribune

Crossposted on Daily Kos

Leif Skyving boxing in April 2012 at O’Connor field house in Caldwell, Idaho

Leif Skyving is currently a Caldwell School Board Trustee running for Idaho State Senate District 10. District 10 includes most of Caldwell.

He is also a boxer.

Leif Skyving literally fighting for you! See Leif's Facebook page for more photos of of him in action.

"After a long, testy debate last week, the Caldwell School Board voted 3-2 to retain its membership with the Idaho School Board Association," reads an editorial in the September 18 Idaho Press Tribune.

Those who follow the Caldwell School Board know Skyving is also among the board’s more liberal members. He ran as a Democrat for a seat in the Idaho Senate against former Sen. John McGee and staunchly opposed key components of Idaho Schools Superintendent Tom Luna’s Students Come First education plan. ...

So when the ISBA encouraged Idaho lawmakers earlier this year to adopt key elements of failed Proposition 1 — limiting conditions of teachers’ salary contracts to one year, giving districts permission to reduce salaries and shorten teacher contracts, and allowing school boards to operate under the district’s “last, best offer” if negotiations stall — Skyving was not amused. He and Amy Rojas voted to end Caldwell’s affiliation with ISBA, and he cited the endorsement of that legislation as a major reason. ...

If Skyving and other board members believe they can get by without ISBA services, they should come to a rational, deliberate, thoughtful conclusion and end their affiliation. But terse, emotional arguments based on policy disagreements shouldn’t play a role in the ultimate verdict.

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Skyving counterpunched:

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:

The IPT editorial board had no right to personally tar Caldwell School Board member Leif Skyving with those terrible words: “Democrat” and “liberal.” Had they reviewed the agendas for the last several months, they would realize that a long-planned policy decision was being made after strong debate.

Skyving pointed out that the ISBA “services” had not been used for over two years, that some of the “services” were duplicative, and that the $10,000 could be used for other pressing needs. Sounds rather conservative to me.

Then he proposed (what audacity!) that the board adopt “benchmarks” (it refused) by which to evaluate whether the board’s experience with the ISBA helped the citizens of Caldwell. Note: everything in education today is evaluated by benchmarks.

So in what way does it make sense for the IPT to attribute partisanship to a public servant, serving in a non-partisan office without remuneration, who questions excessive government expenses and insists on accountability? In the old days this was called “good government.”

For more information see and be sure to support and vote for this terrific candidate for District 10!

"Working hard to lock down the baby vote!" - Leif Skyving

A Riddle: from Senator Elliot Werk


Let's change it up a bit.

Here's a riddle for you to solve:

If you throw me from the window, I'll leave a grieving wife. Bring me back, but through the door, and you'll see someone giving life! What am I?

If you want the answer, simply make a contribution to the IDLCC Victory Fund by CLICKING HERE. The answer will come to you in our thank you note for your contribution! Thanks for your support of Democrats in Idaho.

IDLCC is on your side.

Senator Elliot Werk
IDLCC, Chair

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