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Last Week in My Part of Idaho

Politically speaking it was fascinating, unfortunately overshadowed by bigger happenings in the bull vs bear greedfest, the continuation of the Hillary vs Barack slapfest, and the telecoms NOT getting immunity, at least for now.

Soo, let’s get started.

1. Plane Junket. I first saw something at The Mountain Goat Report. For whatever reason, it didn’t start bugging the shit out of me until I read about in Jim Hansen’s post at Red State Rebels. A portion here:

In our country, we have a system that entrusts elected officials like state legislators with power to decide how public resources are raised and invested. To ensure the public trust is always in the forefront of their actions, lawmakers should constantly apply rigorous standards so they know how to keep private interests at arms length while doing the public’s business.

At his blog at United Action for Idaho, this is the lead in on the plane junket:

Last week, Republican legislators cut short a public hearing on the public‘s business and boarded a private jet owned by a wealthy corporate executive. He provided the trip to escort ten Republican legislators to a partisan fundraiser in eastern Idaho. That corporation just happens to be lobbying for a bill and made sure the legislators were conveniently returned to Boise that evening. Low and behold, the vote for the bill the corporation wanted passed was up for a vote in Senate the next morning. All of the Senators who were on the plane voted for it.

But it was really lit on fire when after a brief discussion with the reporter on the story, I called the Secretary of State’s office and the person there was just too nonchalant, too … too, something else.

The jist: My question: “Is this common?” The answer (SoS’s ofc): “It’s not common, but it is done.”

So it’s common practice for the local ReThugs to jump on a private plane, go to a GOP-sponsored event, jump back on that private plane, and then vote favorably on legislation that private plane owner was pushing to get passed. Well, okay – JUST so I knows. Kinda reminiscent of Tom DeLay.


2. Banning Books.

Okay, sure they are about S.E.X., but we’re adults – right, we can handle discussions about sex. And as “concerned parents” we sure as hell can handle them with our own children. From Sharon at the ‘The New West‘ on Mr. Randy Jackson’s continued crusade.

“Astroturf” defines efforts intended to make it appear that there is a groundswell of popular support for something, when the effort actually comes from a small group of people (Astroturf = fake grassroots, get it?) Two current events in the Treasure Valley that at first seem unrelated—a “concerned parent” protesting The Joy of Sex an the Joy of Gay Sex at the Nampa Library, and a demonstration demanding the firing of a Planned Parenthood staffer for her supposed racism—are related, through the same man—an associate of conservative gadflies Bryan Fischer and Brandi Swindell.

Chris at The Unequivocal Notion has been following this closely, noting no mention of Mr. Jackson’s “ties” in the MSM here in Idaho or at least the Treasure Valley. More here at Mountain Goat’s place. And, via Brandi Swindell’s e-mailing declaring ‘Huge Victory in Idaho’:

Yesterday, the Nampa Library board voted to remove these graphic books, “The New Joy of Sex” and “The Joy of Gay Sex” off of their library shelves. The message of these books, and especially their availability to children have been a concern for over a year now and we applaud the Nampa Library Board’s decision.


3. Multiple legislator’s filings & shifting, comings & goings:

  • Canyon County filings
  • District 16 in Boise (my district) is in ‘upheaval’. David Langhorst is ‘out’, as is Margaret Henbest; Les Bock is still in, he’s just running for Langhorst seat.
  • Brandon Durst in District 18. Kate Kelly (D) will face opposition from Dean Sorenson (R) – an old politico here.
  • District 19: Mike Burkett (senate) is not running again; Nicole LeFavour (house) will run for his seat. Brian Cronin will run for the seat Nicole will be vacating.

4. HB516: – Additional sentencing options on substance abuse-related crimes.

Amends existing law to provide additional options for sentencing for certain substance abuse related crimes; and to include additional information required to be reported by the Supreme Court and the Department of Correction to the Legislature and the Governor regarding mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Tara at The Political Game has been following this and has some very well-written posts and I don’t think I could do it any justice.

The problem with Idaho law in regard to drug offenses is the lack of distinction between drugs. On the books there is no distinction made between a man operating a meth lab in a house with minors and a man picked up with a prescription narcotic not prescribed to him. The problem with Idaho law is that both men, once arrested, will face three to twenty-five years in our overcrowded state prison system and may or may not receive any treatment for their addiction.

And Tara is continually taking state senator, Denton Darrington, to task for his bull-headed, punitive approach and being just an all-around jackass – sorry, wrong party.


5. The local option. Red State Rebels has a couple of entries and an update. I thought maybe I needed to look over this more to really get a good understanding of it. It seems simple enough, which had me a bit worried.

And here comes House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, who Thursday morning will make good on his threat to effectively kill local control over air quality, traffic, and transit. I hope he’ll be thinking of Wednesday’s tragedy when he introduces his utterly unnecessary constitutional amendment on local option taxation.


One Response

  1. Much thanks, Wordsmith.

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