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Posts published in “Day: February 8, 2006”

Neutral elections

Bearing in mind that the subject may - strike that, almost certainly will - come up elsewhere, we found this interesting:

Oregon's secretary of state, Bill Bradbury (a Democrat) and California's, Bruce McPherson (Republican), have released a "neutrality pledge." They didn't seem to overtly suggest their counterparts elsewhere (and both Washington and Idaho have secretaries of state, and all these states' SoSes have mostly similar responsibilities) adopt it too, but the subtext seemed to be there. The idea for the pledge evidently grew out of meetings of the National Association of Secretaries of State.

Here are its five points:

I will not serve in any ongoing capacity on a campaign supporting any candidates.

I will remain neutral, will not raise or contribute funds, and will not serve in any ongoing official capacity on a campaign supporting any referendums, measures, propositions, recalls or initiatives, unless they relate directly to the official duties and responsiblities of the Secretary of State.

I will not take any action in my official capacity as Secretary of State for the purpose of directly benefitting or disadvantaging any candidates, referendums, measures, propositions, or initiatives.

I will pledge to follow the current campaign finance and disclosure laws that apply to candidates for statewide office.

If I am a candidate for any office, this pledge will not restrict me from any otherwise legal campaign activity on my own behalf.

May prove interesting if the subject arises . . .

Library fallout

How to read the political fallout from the Boise library bond vote, which failed at 57% approval (needed two-thirds)?

It was a defeat for Boise Mayor David Bieter; a win would have set him up with some momentum headed toward next year's election.

But it was a mediated loss - but a big and outright one, and probably not overly damaging. There are two reasons for saying so. One is the positive vote, 57%, which while not enough to prevail in a bond election, does indicate some overall community support for the bond and, presumably and to a degree, for Bieter. It was not a weak showing.

The second reason is that the property taxes that would have supported the bond are, just at this moment, a big topic of discussion, and the dominant word seems to be that the Idaho Legislature will do little or nothing to address the subject. If people are little touchy about the subject of property taxes right now, that may be understandable, and not entirely the doing of the city of Boise.