Sep 03 2006

Protesting too much?

Published by at 11:33 am under Idaho

This space has not taken much notice of the formation in Idaho’s 1st House district of Republicans for Grant – Larry Grant being the Democratic candidate for that congressional seat.

But we’ve lately begun to wonder why Idaho Republicans have started to take such extensive note of it. Do they know something we don’t?

There is no voter registration by party in Idaho, which means that if you say you’re a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian or most anything else, then you are. Most people are reasonably honest about it, and the people who signed on as Republicans for Grant have to be fairly described as Republicans – all or nearly all (there’s one possible exception) have Republican activity, campaign work and in at least one case a major-office candidacy, in their background. We don’t think their party affiliation is much arguable. And they are prominent people in the state, leaders in one way or another.

And Bill Sali, the long-time state representative from Kuna who is the Republican nominee, does have an unusual and striking set of weaknesses.

Set against that, three factors. First, all or nearly all of these people have crossed the line before, contributing to or at least openly supporting Democratic candidates from time to time. Their support of Grant is not precedent-shattering. Second, there are no Republican elected officials or leading party officials, or even former elected or leading party officials, on the list – that would be an eye-opener. Third, the “Republicans for” approach is far from new; a long list of Democratic candidates in past years have sported such committees. We can’t think of one that proved decisive in a campaign, and some of those included people who were prominent statewide as Republicans. Most such groups faded from memory almost as soon as announced.

This one has not, at least so far. And for that Republicans – for Sali – are responsible.

First, even before the counter-group’s announcement, there was Mike Simpson at the state Republican convention, saying there are no “Republicans for Grant,” only Democrats for Grant.

Then, repeated low-level snipes at the members of the group. Then, acceleration.

Visits by Vice President Dick Cheney and House Speaker Dennis Hastert to pump up Sali’s candidacy – not just to raise money, which would be the norm, but to call for Republican unity. Unity was the text and the subtext.

Saturday, former congressional (and legislative) candidate Dennis Mansfield released an e-mail exhaustively detailing the contributions to Democrats by members of Republicans for Grant. Today, an op-ed in the Idaho Statesman by Mansfield and another former congressional candidate, David Leroy, on the subject of Republican unity. They concluded, “This year we’ll all work to elect Sali to Congress — to help the other three members of Idaho’s delegation fight for Idaho’s interests, and to help retain the all-important Republican majority in Congress. Republican Party members support Sali.”

What’s gotten interesting is this persistent call for unity, which to these ears has taken on an underlying tone of real concern.

That’s what didn’t happen in the races Leroy and Mansfield cite as past examples of the party coming together after a contested primary, in 2000 after C.L. “Butch” Otter won a contested Republican primary, or after Helen Chenoweth did it in 1994. In those races, the party did coalesce around the winner, and it was no big deal. It was simply assumed, and no national leaders or op-eds seemed to be needed to press the point home.

Which raises the question: Are these Republican leaders seeing something going on out there that hasn’t surfaced yet?

Share on Facebook

One response so far

One Response to “Protesting too much?”

  1. Adam's Blogon 04 Sep 2006 at 6:48 pm

    What Randy Stapilus Is Missing

    Randy Stapilus is looking at the reaction to Republicans for Grant. He’s wondering, “do all the people trying to keep unity in the Idaho GOP know something I don’t?”

    He writes:

    Set against that, three factors. First, all or nearly all of the…

Share on Facebook

 


A truly down-home ad for Oregon Senator Merkley.

 

Back in Print! Frank Church was one of the leading figures in Idaho history, and one of the most important U.S. senators of the last century. From wilderness to Vietnam to investigating the CIA, Church led on a host of difficult issues. This, the one serious biography of Church originally published in 1994, is back in print by Ridenbaugh Press.
Fighting the Odds: The Life of Senator Frank Church. LeRoy Ashby and Rod Gramer; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 800 pages. Softcover. $24.95.
See the FIGHTING THE ODDS page.


 
JOURNEY WEST

by Stephen Hartgen
The personal story of the well-known editor, publisher and state legislator's travel west from Maine to Idaho. A well-written account for anyone interested in Idaho, journalism or politics.
JOURNEY WEST: A memoir of journalism and politics, by Stephen Hartgen; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, here or at Amazon.com (softcover)

 

 

NEW EDITIONS is the story of the Northwest's 226 general-circulation newspapers and where your newspaper is headed.
New Editions: The Northwest's Newspapers as They Were, Are and Will Be. Steve Bagwell and Randy Stapilus; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 324 pages. Softcover. (e-book ahead). $16.95.
See the NEW EDITIONS page.

How many copies?

 
THE OREGON POLITICAL
FIELD GUIDE 2014

The Field Guide is the reference for the year on Oregon politics - the people, the districts, the votes, the issues. Compiled by a long-time Northwest political writer and a Salem Statesman-Journal political reporter.
OREGON POLITICAL FIELD GUIDE 2014, by Randy Stapilus and Hannah Hoffman; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, available right here or through Amazon.com (softcover)

 
 
THE IDAHO POLITICAL
FIELD GUIDE 2014

by Randy Stapilus and Marty Trillhaase is the reference for the year on Idaho Politics - the people, the districts, the votes, the issues. Written by two of Idaho's most veteran politcal observers.
IDAHO POLITICAL FIELD GUIDE 2014, by Randy Stapilus and Marty Trillhaase; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, available right here or through Amazon.com (softcover)

 
 
without compromise
WITHOUT COMPROMISE is the story of the Idaho State Police, from barely-functioning motor vehicles and hardly-there roads to computer and biotechnology. Kelly Kast has spent years researching the history and interviewing scores of current and former state police, and has emerged with a detailed and engrossing story of Idaho.
WITHOUT COMPROMISE page.

 

Diamondfield
How many copies?
The Old West saw few murder trials more spectacular or misunderstood than of "Diamondfield" Jack Davis. After years of brushes with the noose, Davis was pardoned - though many continued to believe him guilty. Max Black has spent years researching the Diamondfield saga and found startling new evidence never before uncovered - including the weapon and one of the bullets involved in the crime, and important documents - and now sets out the definitive story. Here too is Black's story - how he found key elements, presumed lost forever, of a fabulous Old West story.
See the DIAMONDFIELD page for more.
 

Medimont Reflections Chris Carlson's Medimont Reflections is a followup on his biography of former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus. This one expands the view, bringing in Carlson's take on Idaho politics, the Northwest energy planning council, environmental issues and much more. The Idaho Statesman: "a pull-back-the-curtain account of his 40 years as a player in public life in Idaho." Available here: $15.95 plus shipping.
See the Medimont Reflections page  
 
Idaho 100 NOW IN KINDLE
 
Idaho 100, about the 100 most influential people ever in Idaho, by Randy Stapilus and Martin Peterson is now available. This is the book about to become the talk of the state - who really made Idaho the way it is? NOW AN E-BOOK AVAILABLE THROUGH KINDLE for just $2.99. Or, only $15.95 plus shipping.
 

Idaho 100 by Randy Stapilus and Martin Peterson. Order the Kindle at Amazon.com. For the print edition, order here or at Amazon.


 

    Top-Story-graphic-300x200_topstory8
    Monday mornings on KLIX-AM

    watergates

    ORDER IT HERE or on Amazon.com

    More about this book by Randy Stapilus

    Water rights and water wars: They’re not just a western movie any more. The Water Gates reviews water supplies, uses and rights to use water in all 50 states.242 pages, available from Ridenbaugh Press, $15.95

    intermediary

    ORDER IT HERE or on Amazon.com

    More about this book by Lin Tull Cannell

    At a time when Americans were only exploring what are now western states, William Craig tried to broker peace between native Nez Perces and newcomers from the East. 15 years in the making, this is one of the most dramatic stories of early Northwest history. 242 pages, available from Ridenbaugh Press, $15.95

    Upstream

    ORDER HERE or Amazon.com

    The Snake River Basin Adjudication is one of the largest water adjudications the United States has ever seen, and it may be the most successful. Here's how it happened, from the pages of the SRBA Digest, for 16 years the independent source.

    Paradox Politics

    ORDER HERE or Amazon.com

    After 21 years, a 2nd edition. If you're interested in Idaho politics and never read the original, now's the time. If you've read the original, here's view from now.


    Governing Idaho:
    Politics, People and Power

    by James Weatherby
    and Randy Stapilus
    Caxton Press
    order here

    Outlaw Tales
    of Idaho

    by Randy Stapilus
    Globe-Pequot Press
    order here

    It Happened in Idaho
    by Randy Stapilus
    Globe-Pequot Press
    order here

    Camping Idaho
    by Randy Stapilus
    Globe-Pequot Press
    order here