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Posts published in “Day: November 9, 2006”

Boise blue: The Fischer take

Yesterday we noted that the city of Boise (not the environs in Ada County) went heavily "blue" on Tuesday, voting strongly for Democratic legislators and similarly elsewhere on the ballot.

10 Commandments monumentAmong other things, Boise city voters rejected (47.3%-52.7%) the initiative aimed at moving the Ten Commandments monument back to one of the city parks from its much more visible current location on church grounds across State Street from the state capitol building. Our sense of this is that voters probably were less concerned where the monument was located than they were in putting to rest such a purely symbolic issue that has taken up a lot of attention, time and effort that might have been devoted to more practical pursuits.

There are, of course, other ways of looking at it. Bryan Fischer of the Idaho Values Alliance, which championed the initiative - taking it to the state supreme court at one point - and fought the battle before that, has a rather different one, though factoring in the same political shifted we noted here.

Fischer's view: "Today is a sobering day for the pro-faith community of Boise. Not only did the city turn its back on God and his abiding standards, it also sent 12 secularists to the state legislature. Of the four main districts which lie wholly within the city limits (Districts 16-19), not a single seat is now held by a conservative.

"The reins of Boise city government are also in the hands of confirmed liberals. A kind of moral and spiritual darkness has descended on this city, and its effects will be felt for years to come."

Next up

Okay gang: The 2006 campaign cycle is dead. Long live the 2008 cycle - for the next 24 months.

A quick reminder here of what lies ahead.

ALL THREE Presidential contests await. After the results from 2004 and - atop that - this year, Washington, Oregon and Idaho may not be foremost targets; the first two have taken on deeper shades of blue and Idaho remains about as red as ever. But hope may spring quadrennial.

WASHINGTON No Senate race, but the governor and statewides will be up, along with all the U.S. House members, about half the state Senate and all of the state House. The governor's race is likely to be dominant, so expect action on developing a Republican candidate for Governor Chris Gregoire to kick in before long. Gregoire's numbers are still not where they really ought to be for a governor at this stage of term; but they are a lot better than in early 2005, and better than Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski's were a few months back. Will Republican Dino Rossi try again? Our guess is not, though he likely has first right of refusal.

Expect another hard run at the 8th congressional district. As for the legislature - its level of vulnerability may depend greatly on how the enhanced Democratic majority handles its increased power.

OREGON Republican Senator Gordon Smith will be up, and a battle royal that contest may be. In 2002 he won decisively (but short of a landslide) against Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, and polling indicates he remains personally popular. But a working majority of Oregon voters has soured on Republicans, ace fundraising isn't enough (paging Ron Saxton), and several strong Democratic prospects hanging around out there. (Either former Governor John Kitzhaber, now comfortably recovering from politics though still apparently retaining an interest, or Representative Earl Blumenauer, who's been visible statewide and burnished his national support network this campaign season, would give Smith a helluva race.

Beyond that, races for partisan constitutional officers other than governor, the U.S. House delegation (all reconfirmed in their electoral strength by this year's results) and the legislature. Expect the Oregon House, teetering at the brink of partisan control, to return as a high focus of attention.

IDAHO Republican Senator Larry Craig is up, and there's some question about whether he will run again - a cycle in the minority (where, to be sure, he has been before) after those years in the majority, may be ill-appealing; especially if he wants to set about making some money pre-retirement. He already has a fierce primary opponent in Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez. Some Democrats are trying to talk recent congressional candidate Larry Grant into the race.

The House seats will be up as well, with the question being: What will be the state of play as regards Bill Sali's first term? The legislature (all of it in Idaho) will be up, with the question: Can the Democrats retain/expand their new substantial base in the city of Boise?