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

Maria Gonzales Mabbutt will best serve District 12

Maria Mabbutt

Canyon and Gem counties send a strong delegation of legislators to Boise. It’s a full contingent of Republicans and the voting bloc holds significant power. Certainly the local voters wield the most power at the ballot box and there’s opportunity for change in District 12 where the incumbent has held on to his seat for 26 long years.

There’s only one candidate who should be booted out this election season. That’s Robert Schaefer in District 12. He has a worthy opponent: Democrat Maria Mabbutt. - Idaho Press Tribune, Friday, October 22, 2010

"Look what I just found!" the Canyon County Democratic Party Facebook page says regarding the above article. "You need to friend Maria--especially if you live in District 12--that's Nampa from just south of the Boulevard north quite a ways."

Here is her page: Mabbutt 4 Idaho.

I first met Maria Mabutt in early 2008. She is fearless, tireless, and consistent. I have rarely seen Maria without a petition or referendum in her hand for people to sign.

From a discussion on another thread about civility, Mabbutt wrote:

... So GREAT when people talk (respectfully) with each other! I know some/many of us will FIRST look at the integrity/honesty (character) of an individual. EACH of us have to follow our Heart.

I OFTEN share ...(since I am a "Christian") that Jesus rode a donkey (not an elephant), he spent much of his time: 1) with those who were "shunned" by "society" PLUS "blessed" them! and 2) spoke "firmly" to those "in power" - so, as a TRUE Democrat (and "Christian") I think I am on the "right" path...

As a woman and Chicana Activist, I could NOT be a Republican!

For the most part, Democrats' actions are consistent with their words. In my experience (40 years here in Idaho; I am a transplant from Texas) many Republicans' (especially those in positions of "power") words are hollow! Having said this, I DO know and associate with several Republicans, who I respect very much. They are honest, have integrity PLUS are open-minded AND value others and TRULY care about them; most of these inidividuals are NOT in "positions of power!"

Maria Mabutt's character speaks volumes.

Rachel Maddow Calls Out Frank Vandersloot

UPDATED BELOW



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The unflappable Rachel Maddow doubles down on her exposure of Frank Vandersloot, his conservative politics, his hostility to homosexual causes, and his litigious confrontational methods utilized in Idaho. She addresses concerns those methods may have for the nation due to Vandersloot's close ties to the Mitt Romney campaign. She also observes the close relationship between Frank Vandersloot and Senator James Risch. She further interviews Peter Zuckerman, the award winning Post Register reporter about the personal and professional consequences he suffered as a result of Vandersloot outing him. Vandersloot declined Maddow's open invitation to speak about this on the record.*

This comes on the heels of this report from Mother Jones on Romney's fundraising ties to multi-level marketing (MLM) organizations like Vandersloot owned Melaleuca largely based in Utah and Idaho. For those who aren't familiar with MLM:  read more »

Idaho Republican Candidates Suggest Violence to Stop Bullying

In this audio, Pastor Sean Harris of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, NC tells congregants to break the limp wrists of effeminate boys and essentially "beat the gay away" from their kids.

The violent admonition is pretty extreme for a man of the cloth whose profession is to spread the word of the Prince of Peace. It makes for an odd juxtaposition to the popular national anti-bullying movement, most notably from the LBGT activists in the It Gets Better Project. And lest you think such violent advocacy is isolated to some redneck preacher in North Carolina, Idahoans need to take a hard look at what Republican candidates are saying in our primaries right now.

On Tuesday, April 24, 2012, Senator Patti Ann Lodge (R-Homophobia) basically agreed with Pastor John Harris.

Sen. Patti Anne Lodge of District 11 said boys could be allowed to settle their differences in a boxing ring like they did when she was a teacher, and that they are no longer taught to protect themselves.

“In the old days when I was teaching just 12 years ago we knew how to take care of it,” Lodge said about bullying. “We’d get those kids in a ring and let them box it out and they came out friends.

“I think our males are being feminized.”  read more »

How to attack an attack ad

Well played, Ms. Cutter, well played. Idaho Democratic candidates, take note.


Candidate Ultrasound Position

Kevin Richert of the Idaho Statesman published this list of candidates in SW Idaho and their stated position on the Ultrasound legislation.

Here's where I place the 70 Ada and Canyon county candidates facing contested primaries on May 15:

• Twenty candidates, all Republicans, support the bill or are leaning in that direction.

• Forty-one candidates — 27 Republicans and 14 Democrats — are opposed or are leaning in that direction.

• Three Republican candidates said they are undecided or did not voice an opinion.

• Six candidates — four Republicans and two Democrats — did not respond to requests to interview with the Statesman editorial board, and did not fill out an online voter guide.

Of course, there is a lot of gray in the candidates' positions. For example, candidates who expressed a desire to work on some sort of ultrasound bill fall under the "leaning yes" category. Candidates who question the need for an ultrasound bill, or government's role in this decision, fall under the "leaning no" heading.

The list is here. Use the comment section to identify the stated position of the candidates in your region of Idaho.  read more »

Fox News Win

Why I Support Betty Richardson for the Idaho Legislature

Betty Richardson

It’s high time the Idaho Legislature started serving the best interests of Idahoans rather than catering to special interests. Idahoans want a stronger economy, better jobs, and public schools that help every child succeed.

High priced lobbyists often have other priorities. But Idaho needs legislators who are dedicated to issues that everyday Idahoans care about. It is time for new leadership. I am running for the state senate to help strengthen Idaho families, protect Idaho communities, and build an economy that works for all Idahoans! - Betty Richardson, Candidate for Idaho Senate, District 15.

In the state senate, Betty will support legislation that will:

* Promote quality public schools

* Increase government accountability

* Help working families

* Promote transparency and accountability in government; and

* Protect and preserve our unique quality of life

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Here's how you can DONATE

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"I will bring to the Idaho Legislature the values I learned from my parents – respect for others, compassion, frugality, honesty and hard work," Betty says. "The people of District 15 will always come first with me, and I will work to consistently represent their interests."

Who is this candidate?

First, take a look at her proven record of public service:

Idaho’s United States Attorney

Nominated by the President and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, Betty served as Idaho’s United States Attorney for seven years. As the top federal law enforcement officer in the state, Betty expanded victim’s rights programs, prosecuted drug dealers, and recovered more than seventy-five million dollars in fines which went to help fight crime. She created a highly successful drug education program that reached thousands of Idaho families and worked in partnership with state, local and tribal law enforcement to host Idaho’s first-ever conferences on hate crimes and methamphetamine.

Betty knows that our first responders – firefighters and police officers – are our first line of defense in keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe, and she strongly supports those who serve in these critical public safety roles.

Chairman and Member of the Idaho Industrial Commission

Nominated by Governor Cecil D. Andrus and confirmed by the Idaho State Senate, Betty adjudicated workers’ compensation disputes, reviewed appeals from the Department of Employment, and administered the Idaho Crime Victim’s Compensation Program. Her service on the Industrial Commission was applauded by representatives of business and labor alike: along with her fellow commissioners, she streamlined red tape, implemented a successful mediation program, and improved the administration of justice for those injured on the job.  read more »

Mat Erpelding: Leadership to Move Idaho Forward

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I enjoyed an extensive chat with Mat for about two hours yesterday at the Black Bear Coffee House in Nampa. As a result of our talk, it became clear why so many people are supporting this energetic and dedicated candidate for the Idaho legislature.

An educator, business owner, political activist, high-altitude mountain guide, and former developmental therapist, Mat Erpelding represents the progressive ideologies embodied by the communities in District 19. Mat is an emerging leader in the Idaho Democratic Party, and currently serves as the Ada County Democratic Party Vice Chairman. At the 2012 Frank Church Banquet, Mat was recognized as an Idaho Democratic Party Activist of the Year.

In 2010 Mat was awarded Instructor of the Year from the Wilderness Education

Association for his contributions to experiential education, wilderness ethics and leadership. Mat is passionate about protecting our open spaces and public lands. He believes that access to public lands and wild places is essential to developing strong beliefs in sustainable practices.

Mat believes in the value of collaboration and accountability. He has a long history of taking important leadership risks because he believes that individuals do make a difference. As your representative, he will continue the long tradition of effective and progressive leadership consistent with the standards of District 19 residents. Mat believes that our ethical concerns, our economic woes, our educational system, and our environment are issues that cannot be ignored any longer in Idaho, and he has the vision and the leadership experience to move Idaho forward.

Mat-and-BrianPost

Representative Brian Cronin (pictured with Mat above) Endorsed Mat Erpelding

"Mat will act as a steward for progressive legislation, and has the tenacity required by any Democrat in the Idaho Legislature. Mat has been working to build the party behind-the-scenes for several years, and understands that in Idaho, building a strong Democratic party outside of Ada County is essential. Mat has a breadth and depth of leadership experience that will be beneficial to District 19 and to all of Idaho." - Brian Cronin

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YOUR SUPPORT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. DONATE HERE

Remembering Sunshine, 2 May 1972

May 2nd marks the 40th anniversary of the Sunshine Mine disaster. If memory serves, the Sunshine fire remains the worst hardrock disaster and one of the worst mining disasters in US mining since mine safety laws were put into place after 1779 men died in US mines in just 3 years (1907-1909). 91 people died in the Sunshine fire, including rescuers who succumbed to the smoke.

Some links: US Mine Rescue's account, and recent Sunshine Mine Interviews by NPR.

Vote for Branden Durst

Who is Branden Durst?

In November 2006, Branden Durst was first elected to the Idaho House of Representatives by beating a long time incumbent. The race was never considered to be in doubt until Durst pulled out the surprise upset of the year. The campaign and what has followed demonstrate Branden's tireless devotion to public service.

Background
Branden Durst was born at St. Luke's Hospital in Boise, Idaho in January of 1980. He was raised in Southeast Boise and attended the local public schools through high school, where he became a third generation graduate of Boise High School. Branden went on to attend Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), where he studied political science, economics, and communication. While at PLU, Branden earned a scholarship for speech and debate. Additionally, Branden worked throughout this time to assist in paying for his college education.

After graduating from PLU, Branden went on to graduate school, first at Kent State University and then to Claremont Graduate University (CGU), studying public policy analysis and international political economy, respectively. Prior to completing his degree at CGU, Branden returned to Boise and began working at Micron Technology in the strategic communication division. He completed his graduate coursework at Boise State University (BSU). During his time at BSU, Branden was awarded a research assistant position in the Department of Economics.

In July of 2006, Branden and his wife Jaime were married in Bayview, Washington. Branden is the proud father of three boys, Nicholas (10), Broden (7), and Carter (4) and one daughter, Graciana (3). Branden is the managing partner of Rational Strategy Consulting, a market and policy research firm he operates along with his business partner. The Dursts fellowship at Vineyard Boise where they are puppeteers for the Children's Ministry. Branden enjoys going fishing, and watching international soccer.

Innovative Leadership
Branden's time in the Idaho House of Representatives was marked by his unique ability to think of new ideas to challenges that plague state government as well as his ability to think independently. Branden's supporters and critics agree that his approach to policymaking is unique and thoughtful. Branden credits this to his professional and academic background in policy analysis and a desire to make the right decision, not necessarily the popular one.

In his first legislative session, Branden was the only member of the House Business Committee to oppose legislation that would have mandated that individuals give results from DNA tests to insurance companies so that they could be used against them in setting rates. Despite being a relative newcomer, Branden's independence and thoughtfulness were on full display as he led the charge in the House to defeat this intrusive policy. This was only one of many other examples where Branden has shown his unique qualities that make him an innovative leader.

In the 2010 legislative session, Branden once again demonstrated his knack for innovation. In this case, Branden was the co-author and co-sponsor of the Mastery Advancement Pilot Project (MAPP). MAPP was designed as a completely voluntary program to assist gifted students accelerate through course curriculum at their pace. The program was widely accepted and acclaimed as, "the most innovative education concept to hit the Statehouse since the late 1990s (Idaho Press Tribune Editorial, March 7, 2010)." MAPP was passed with large, bipartisan margins in both the House and the Senate. The process Branden went through in the development of MAPP is a perfect illustration of his commitment to bipartisanship.

Branden served on three standing committees in the House; Education, Business, and Health & Welfare. In addition, Branden's expertise in the technology sector was utilized as an appointed member of the Information Technology Resource Management Council, the State of Idaho's primary IT strategy group.

For more information, including Durst on the issues, see: durstforidaho.com

Twitter: @DurstforIdaho

Donate Here and help Idaho's working families have a voice in Boise!

Turn off the Bat Signal

Don't Tempt Me

Don't bait me, old man. I would be as an Idaho Gray Wolf having my way with a cardboard box full of mewling tabby kittens. Now calm down.
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Things Idaho Republicans and their Legislature are Better Than:

Making love to a howling Husqvarna chainsaw wielded by a pirate.
Getting a script of Hydrocodone for a very painful blown shoulder and getting this cool new roommate named Ryan Leaf on the same day.
Siamese cats in heat outside your open window the day after you come home with your new heart pacemaker.
Kneeling to worship on Easter and realizing Rick Santorum and family are seated next to you
Pitbulls named Turbo, Axle, TNT, Mugga, or Kafka
Your girlfriend asking you one morning if you'd read about this new yeast infection that can infect men turning them into simpering little cowards with diseased testicles the size of chickpeas
Cow wallpaper
Finally meeting Serephin and Sisyphus for beers and discovering all they want to talk about are their FREAKING DRUM CIRCLES in parks.
Dick Cheney getting a heart transplant when members of the non-demonic human race needing them die in hospitals.

When Native Tongues Go Silent. Idaho State Moves Toward Solutions

Crossposted on Daily Kos and on The JHub

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Cherokee:

Yigaquu osaniyu adanvto adadoligi nigohilvi nasquv utloyasdi nihi

(May the Great Spirit's Blessings Always Be With You)

Ea Nigada Qusdi Idadadvhn

(All My Relations In Creation)

Lakota:

Wakan Tankan Nici Un

(May the Great Spirit walk with you)

Ho! Mitakuye Oyasin

(We Are All Related)

"Languages around the world are disappearing at a fantastic rate, especially indigenous languages in areas where European nations took control," - Beverly Klug, Idaho State University education professor.

According to Marianne Mithun, author of The Languages of Native North America, there are languages with no clear distinction between nouns and verbs, and languages that can give tense and conditionality to adjectives. We have languages that use different pronouns for a 'we' that includes the person being addressed, and a 'we' that excludes that person.

How can we retain a record of people here on Earth who have created alternative linguistic structures that are even more unfamiliar to English speakers? How can educators open minds to the astonishing variety of ways human verbal communication can be categorized and organized?

I first met Beverly Klug in 2004 when I began a stint of teaching for four years at Idaho State University. We had a vibrant exchange on topics from literature in the classroom to the rampant discrimination against Native Americans that was evident in Southeast Idaho.

That is why I was delighted to see her as one of the organizers of a "Symposium on Indigenous Languages: Retention and Revitalization," geared to increase discussion and awareness of the issues concerning indigenous language loss, April 10-12 in the Rendezvous Complex Suites A-C.

Even though federal legislation exists protecting Native languages and Executive Orders have been issued by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama reiterating that language and culture are to be part of the education provided for American Indian children in the United States, this information is widely unknown or afforded in public schools. Speakers will provide many answers concerning this area of inquiry for those who attend, with opportunities for discussion for participants.

The symposium's original speaker lineup has changed and the schedule below reflects those changes. Reservations for the April 11 luncheon need to be made by April 3 to Rebecca Clover at 282- 2629 or clovrebe@isu.edu before April 3.  read more »

An Open Letter to Pro-Life Activists

[Ed.Note: from the blog RavenWareConsulting; used with kind permission.]

I respect your passion and dedication to something you believe in so strongly, I only ask that you respect my position, even if you don’t agree with it. I am not pro abortion; I am 60 years old, and fortunately I was never faced with that decision, and if I had been I am not sure what my decision would have been. But I can tell you this, there are instances where I would not have wanted a child.

Rape seems to be discounted so easily; as if it does not happen often and should not be taken into consideration. Incest is another situation where young women of child bearing age are exposed to a potential unwanted pregnancy. Rape does not have to be violent, and done by a stranger, it can be nothing more than you told someone No, and they forced you anyway. But you were afraid of pushing back; he is bigger and stronger then you are and you are afraid. You did not want to do it, you laid there just waiting for it to be over and you would never have to see this person again.

Or you laid there, knowing that this person would do it again and again because he thought your body belonged to him, and you were afraid to leave. There was no love in this act, and any pregnancy that came as a result was not a wanted or loved child. So lets say you got your way and abortion is illegal, do you really think that would stop me from terminating an unwanted fetus? Maybe I am only 15 and my family would kick me out. Maybe my boyfriend abuses me physically and I am afraid of what he will do if he knows I am pregnant because it would be my fault. What are my options? Find a back alley doctor that will used dirty implements to remove this unwanted fetus? So maybe I do carry this child to term; rejected by family, boyfriend and friends; do you think I am eating healthy? Do I have the money to see doctors and take care of myself? Probably not, and when I have this baby, more than likely unhealthy at birth, and certainly not loved or wanted you will send me out on the street to try and take care of ourselves. You can certainly judge me, I should not have had sex outside of marriage; you can try to force your morals and religious beliefs on me, but this is not the Jesus I read about in the Bible. The Jesus and God that I read about is loving and caring and understands that we are human.

And the Republican party is against social programs, so where is my child that you have forced me to have going to be loved, fed, educated and raised in a stable environment. Healthcare will not be available; programs like Head Start will be gone; and I don’t have a high school education, where am I going to find a job?  read more »

Senator Chuckles' public profile somewhere between snake bellies and whale poop

Idaho State Sen. Chuckles Winder is trying to keep a low profile right now. He did send out an email to his constituents today, where he wrote about legislation he worked on this week. He mentioned Texting While Driving, Homeowners Exemption, the Charter School Cap, Concussions and the new Capitol Parking Garage.

Hmmm. Does it seem like something's missing there? Hold on, hold on, don't tell me, let me figure it out...

Looney Toons

The continuing adventures of major asshole Idaho State Sen. Chuckles Winder and his State Mandated Rape bill against the women of Idaho.

The bill, S1387, may not be dead for certain yet, but it's pining for the fjords. And Senator Chuckles, who up until yesterday was running unopposed for re-election, now has a terrific Democratic candidate by the name of James Mace climbing into the ring to kick Winder's flabby ass all around District 20.

Have I mentioned...?

Chuck Winder is an asshole:

Chuck Winder, Idaho Lawmaker, Suggests Women Use Rape As Excuse For Abortions

Just before the Idaho's Senate passed the bill, which requires woman to have an ultrasound prior to obtaining an abortion, opponents of the bill pointed out that it makes no exception for rape victims, incest victims or women in medical emergencies.

Winder, a Republican from Boise, responded to those concerns by raising the question of whether women understand when they have been raped.

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this," Winder said on the Senate floor. "I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on.”

Have I mentioned that Chuck Winder is an asshole? He is -- he's an asshole. And not just any run-of-the-mill asshole. Chuck Winder is a grade-A, government-inspected, groundhog's asshole. A 5-star asshole. Asshole Prime.

I did say he's an asshole, right?

Ultrasound Publicity Stunt by Brandi Swindell and Other Extremists

After the senate vote on the state rape bill, Senator Nuxoll stated:

Stanton Health Care, a crisis pregnancy center, will sponsor a live ultrasound demonstration in the state Capitol on Wednesday afternoon entitled, “Voices from the Womb.” Three Stanton clients, one in each trimester of pregnancy, will participate, Nuxoll said. “Idaho will be the first state in the nation to have a live ultrasound display in the Statehouse,” she said....

Betsy noted that, actually, Ohio did this last year. While not novel, both stunts suggest a coordinated national campaign to the additional cost for the unnecessary procedure. So who is this Stanton Healthcare sponsoring the stunt? The answer is right in this video.

Its clear by Brandi's breathless recitation, that 1) despite God providing her a "medical facility" she has no interest in performing science based health care; 2) ultrasounds seem to be the single most critical item in the facility; and 3) the most "amazing" thing about the space is that God put it right next to Planned Parenthood.  read more »

"Welcome to Idaho Where You Can Almost Taste the Crazy"

Kudos to my friend for this gem about the Gem State. As we're both natives, it pains us to acknowledge this.

Idaho is the Latest Front on Republican War on Women

On March 19, 2012, the Idaho Senate passed SB 1387, mandating a medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure for anyone contemplating an abortion in Idaho. In debating the legislation he authored, Idaho State Senator Chuck Winder (R-Chauvinistan) argued:

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on.”

Winder said, “I believe the state does have an interest in the life of the unborn. That's what the debate's about. Does it add cost? Yes, it does. I would just ask you to consider the pricelessness of the unborn.” He noted the Senate's recent commemoration of military members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past year. “Each person has a life story,” Winder said. “Those were cut short. Let's not choose to cut others short.”

The inherent assumptions underlying the Senator's comments are currently making national news here on HuffPo and here on Addicting Info. John Miller further inquired of Senator Winder in a piece published in the Washington Post. The article contains some outraged responses to Winder's argument from State Representative Cheri Buckner Webb (D-Boise).

After a rape, Buckner-Webb said, a doctor should be performing medical procedures to ensure a woman’s health, gathering evidence of a crime and taking measures to assure that she has the necessary support.

“Those are the things they should be checking — not the context. That’s an affront,” Buckner-Webb said. “Let me tell you, a comment like that is very painful. A comment like that is what keeps women from coming forward” when they’ve been victimized by a violent attack.

Senator Winder's campaign Facebook page is replete with commentary from detractors on the matter. Butch Otter is a self described libertarian and its anybody's guess whether those credentials will present themselves to veto the ultrasound legislation.  read more »

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