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Posts published in April 2006

All in fun . . .

They say it's all in fun. But whatever the disclaimers - and naturally they would give them - there's an unmistakable barb.

A story in the Idaho Statesman today notes that several dozen legislators - that's a lot out of a total 105 - have started wearing buttons promoting their wives for appointment to lieutenant governor.

Here's the background: That office is likely to come open in another month or two after Governor Dirk Kempthorne is confirmed (which is strongly probable) as Interior secretary and Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch steps up to replace him, leaving his current job vacant. Risch then gets to name his replacement. A number of names have surfaced, but the only person who we know has specifically asked Risch for the appointment is Kempthorne's wife, Patricia.

Hence, the buttons promoting my wife. The trend apparently started after friends of Representative Max Black, R-Boise, presented him with a joke "campaign button" for his wife. But the joke has spread, widely.

And it's not a commentary on the Kempthorne situation. Of course not.

Mannix on the grill?

Provocative item indeed on the NW Republican blog, suggesting that some kind of big splash is about to be made about Oregon Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix.

Kevin MannixThe post has some specifics, which lend some credence to the idea that a big Oregonian piece is about to hit. (We should note here that NW Republican has enforsed one of Mannix' opponents, Jason Atkinson, for the Republican nomination for governor - though doubtless it would support Mannix in the general if he wins the primary.) Most specifically, it quotes from a letter said to have been sent from Oregon Republican Party Chair Vance Day to party leaders:

It's come to my attention that a reporter from the Oregonian has been calling some of you and making inquiries regarding the ORP documents and activities. We have had the same sort of calls.

This same reporter (Les Zaitz) has also made written requests of the ORP which I consider outside the bounds of what is reasonable or relevant to the general public. We disclose all that is required by law to the Federal Election Commission and the Secretary of State and have nothing to hide in those regards. Beyond that, I feel that our internal operations are just that - internal.

Zaitz is one of the O's top reporters, well steeped in investigative reporting. Indications in the post were that something is expected to run in the first half of April, possibly on or about April 8 (about the same point in the election schedule when, last cycle, a big expose hit about Democratic U.S. Representative David Wu before the general election).

Heads up.

Takes on abortion

For a certain portion of the voting population, there is no more decisive, vote-determining, subject than abortion. In the Northwest, that is particularly true in Idaho; and it is especially true in Republican primaries; and beyond that, it is strongly true in a Republican primary in Idaho where a half-dozen candidates stand to split the vote deeply. A very sensitive political match is being played, then, in Idaho's 1st congressional district Republican primary.

In a sense, there should be no issue. All of the candidates in this race call themselves "pro-life," and most people would readily accept the self-definition. All of them call themselves conservatives, too, and most non-conservatives would accept that defnition as well. But in such a primary, distinctions are being made now by candidates, as they will be on election day by voters.

That's preface to the op-ed just published in the Nampa Idaho Press-Tribune by candidate Keith Johnson, which aims to upend the calculus. (more…)