Archive for January, 2008

Jan 24 2008

Loggerheads

Published by under Washington

Washington courts The key line in today’s Twin Bridge Marine Park v. Department of Ecology Washington Supreme Court seems so self-evident that you almost wonder how a serious court case could develop around it: “When disagreements over property development arise between these two entities that exercise regulatory powers under the SMA [the Shoreline Management Act], private citizens must not be forced to choose between conflicting edicts.” Even if the law in question is something other than the SMA.

This one has to do with a turf battle between Skagit County and the Department of Ecology; a marina developer has been caught in the middle. The Supreme Court noted that “Twin Bridge is a dry-storage marina that has been properly permitted by local, state, and federal agencies after years of litigation. At argument, Ecology conceded there were no continuing environmental concerns.” But the battle has gone on, at some length.

This might be reasonable grounds for a task force: To find areas of overlap or conflict in the laws, so that citizens aren’t caught between. Or, of course, we could all just litigate.

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Jan 23 2008

Limited, in space and size

Published by under Idaho

Geddes and Denney

Leaders face the press: Robert Geddes (left), Lawerence Denney

They probably intended to convey a workaday Idaho legislative session, nothing especially exciting here, and if that was the idea, then Idaho Senate President pro tem Robert Geddes and House Speaker Lawerence Denney succeeded.

They were at an Idaho Press Club lunch today, fielding questions on a fairly broad range of subjects, from property taxes to teacher pay to the corrections explosion. But the overarching metaphor for everything seemed to be the legislature’s cramped circumstances.

The Idaho Statehouse is shut down for renovation, for this session and next moving legislators next door to the old Ada County courthouse (now referred to as the “statehouse annex”), much smaller and less comfortable quarters than before. People are stepping over each other (especially in the House), or jamming into small corners. Denney asked reporters trying to interview House members to do it off the House floor, rather than at their seats as they historically had; the closeness of the quarters means legislators might have trouble working with visitors climbing over them.The limits on freedom of movement probably have a psychological effect, too; lack of physical ambition can lead to the mental version as well. (Something like this probably affected the Washington Legislature this decadetoo, in the sessions when it also was bounced from an under-renovation statehouse; those were not especially productive sessions.)

The exploding population in jails, prisons and parole “is a problem we need to address this session,” Geddes said, and probably some movement will be made, whether or not toward the private prison ideas Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has proposed. Geddes described the problem in some detail, and he seemed quite conversant with the implications of several of the options. But as to what path any of those options might take remained unclear.

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Jan 22 2008

Liveblogging: Senate Pendleton debate

Published by under Oregon

Pendleton debate

Pendleton debate: Candy Neville, Steve Novick, Jeff Merkley, David Loera

Snow is on the ground at Pendleton, and scatterings of ice on the roads in town. The debate for the Democratic candidates competing to oppose Republican Senator Gordon Smith was set up fr a small room in the Pendleton Convention Center, with seating for 30 people or so. By starting time, they had to break away a wall and almost triple the seating space. The debate among these Democrats seemed to draw some interest in Smith’s Republican home town.

The approach was standard press conference (the qiestoners were from the East Oregonian daily paper, which sponsored the event); the candidates had no real opportunity to question each other. But they did cover many of the major topics, from Iraq to health care, immigration, housing finance, No Child Left Behind and Columbia River water withdrawal (a heavy topic east of the Cascades). All four candidates – David Loera of Salem, House Speaker Jeff Merkley, Portland activist Steve Novick and Eugene realtor Candy Neville – and all from the west end of the state, were there.

There weren’t, in sum, a lot of policy differences here; nor breakthroughs, or any particular crash or burn. Nor were there any fireworks; the candidates all focused their fire on Smith and President George W. Bush. (They did say they approved of one part of Smith’s record, that dealing with the Indian tribes, which have endorsed the Republican.) The only real inter-candidate shot, briefly and not clearly explained, came from Loera of Salem, against Merkley (having something to do with a meeting at the legislature). Merkley’s and Novick’s supporters have been blasting each other of late, but the candidates themselves did not at Pendleton, even going out of their way to agree on various specifics.

We’d not seen Neville in action before, and considering her newness to the field came off quite well – passionate, energetic, generally knowledgeable and good at making connections. (She came up with some nice homely metaphors, at one point drawing a neat connection between a poorly-grounded electric stove and the No Child Left Behind program.) Her keynote issue seems to be Iraq, but she had a good deal to say on other topics. Against candidates much more experienced at this sort of thing, she held her own. If Neville doesn’t clear this primary (and the odds are against), you can imagine Eugene Democrats seizing on her for another race down the road.

Loera was a less clear presence. He seemed mostly in agreement with the others (though his stance on illegal immigration seemed to be a “throw the doors open” approach not mirrored by the others).

Merkley and Novick mostly stuck to their usual limes, but each got off some good lines. Merkley nicely framed a lot of the economic-related discussion by suggesting, “The Bush economy isn’t working for any of us.” Portlander Novick did the fun line of the evening, saying the question from Umatilla County had to be: “How can a kid from a small city like Cottage Grove represent a big city like Pendleton? I’ll give it my best shot.” It got a laugh.

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Jan 22 2008

Polling conflicts

Published by under Washington

Are you about ready to give up on polls after having seen their performance in the presidential contest so far this year? Our inclination is to bag early-early poll numbers; to many people seem to hold off a lot of decisions until close to election day, and too many of those turn out to vote alike, to allow for easy early projections.

But you still may find some readable thoughts in Peter Callaghan’s column today in the Tacoma News Tribune, on the most recent numbers on Governor Chris Gregoire‘s approval ratings (close to two to one favorable) versus her numbers in opposition to Republican challenger Dino Rossi (47% to 42%, an at-risk figure).

Reconciling the two is Callaghan’s subject. It also may be Topic A in Washington this year.

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Jan 21 2008

Identity politics

Published by under Washington

Over in Kitsap County, a former (2004) state legislative candidate accused of identity theft.

From the Kitsap Sun: “Frank W. Mahaffay, 35, is believed by sheriff’s deputies to have paid about $1,400 worth of his wireless phone bill with another man’s bank account information, sheriff’s office documents say.”

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Jan 20 2008

Water that course!

Published by under Washington

ALarger Question: Is there too little water in the Northwest – referring here mainly to the drier parts of the region? Conflict over water use and supply has been rising steadily. Are we about to hit a wall?

The Larger Picture answer seems to be: We’re hitting a wall on water only to the extent that we continue to use the way we do. Somewhere upwards of four-fifths of the region’s water, for example, goes to irrigated agriculture; change our agricultural practices, take a little desert land out of cultivation, and water supplies soon look a lot more adequate.

So, the story today about water rights held by Washington State University at Pullman. The university has won a decision, being sharply contested by critics, on its water use. The decision only gives WSU the right to use as much water as it is already using (from a critical regional aquifer which, by some reports, is in decline). But significance is that the university has been finding efficiencies in many of its water uses, and the permission has to do with tripling the water it uses to keep its golf course green.

So what do we use our water for? That may be the key upcoming question.

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Jan 20 2008

Boom, bust and the aftermath

Published by under Idaho

There’s what’s become an article of faith in Idaho that things would be great if only government would get out of the way and let the free market do its thing.

So you wonder what consternation there may be in the area on reading this paragraph today in the Idaho Statesman, about the recent super-heated growth followed by slowdown in the new city of Star, in northwest Ada County:

“One of the last major Valley towns with no planning and zoning commission and no design review committee, Star has a free-market mayor who didn’t want government to stand in the way of private development. The boom and bust have left the city with unsold homes, half-built neighborhoods and even dangerous holes in the ground that developers abandoned without filling or covering.”

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Jan 19 2008

Democratic Senate intensity

Published by under Oregon

Not much more to add here to the Oregon Senate Democratic campaign business of the Progressive Democrats of America, except about the way it seems to have ratcheted up the intensity and hard feelings in the race.

Short version: The PDA is (as indicated) a national Democratic group. There has been no Oregon chapter, but an effort just lately has been made to establish one. That effort was made by a paid staffer for candidate Steve Novick; within hours of seeking to set it up, she launched an endorsement process in the Senate race. When the Jeff Merkley campaign was informed of it and sent inquiries to the national PDA organization, things started coming unraveled. There’s a piece on this in the Eugene Register-Guard political blog and a distinct version in Blue Oregon. The comment section at Blue Oregon gives a clear feel for how the campaign’s partisans (not necessarily the candidates themselves; we haven’t heard from them) feel about it.

A sample from Kari Chisholm (an editor at Blue Oregon and also working with the Jeff Merkley campaign), in the Blue Oregon comments section: “This is the dirtiest thing I’ve ever seen from a Democratic campaign in Oregon. The Novick people and the Oregonian went nuts when the Merkley campaign did a few still-legal robocalls. This is 1000 times worse. Someone needs to be held accountable.”

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Jan 18 2008

The Wingard split

Published by under Oregon

Matt Wingard

Matt Wingard

From a political standpoint, the Matt Wingard question seems to come down to, is it hypersensitivity or ideologial opportunism? Either way, it looks like a question to be asked not of the media or of Democrats (Wingard being a Republican candidate for the Oregon House); it’s very much an inquiry among Oregon Republicans, and one (phrased in different ways) some of them are asking each other.

Wingard is running for the House in District 26, based around the Wilsonville area, a Republican-leaning district which has been represented by Republican Jerry Krummel of Wilsonville. Wingard, who has been a Republican operative and activist for some years, told Willamette Week that in 2001 he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor that followed his striking his son, who was then seven, on the head. (He said he’d heard private investigators, on whose behalf was unclear, had been looking into the case.) Evidently the incident was a one-time occurance and resulted in no lasting injury. The mother and son apparently have reconciled with him and have endorsed his House campaign. The conviction was later expunged from court records, and he seems to have had no legal problems since.

This is, of course, not exactly the kind of news a candidate wants. But it doesn’t seem fatal, either, on political or judgmental grounds. We’re talking about a single incident seven years back, a misdemeanor considered sufficiently marginal to be erased from official records, and with which the participants have long since made their peace. Wingard was apparently open about it when asked; given the expunging, he might have tried to hide it, but evidently did not. He seems contrite about it, with indications that he learned his lessons.

And there’s a useful character reference online from Rob Kremer, who ran for superintendent of public instruction in 2002, and who hired Wingard as campaign manager: “So I lived through it with him at the time. Before I hired him, he told me what happened and what he was going through legally. I hired him, and we basically spent 80% of our waking moments with each other for the next nine months. You get the full measure of a man when you spend that kind of time with him in the pressure cooker of a statewide campaign.” He maintains that though the facts alleged were accurate enough the misdemeanor charge was “pretty badly trumped up” (On that we have no information, but domestic law is often a treacherous place to search for definitive fact) and shouldn’t be any kind of disqualifier for Wingard now. And he said he flatly supports him for the legislature. (Krummel also apparently is continuing to support Wingard.)

There hasn’t been much chatter from Democrats on this (though there is a Democratic candidate in 26, Jessica Adamson). But there has been from Republicans, and therein lies the story.

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Jan 17 2008

The Walker run

Published by under Oregon

Vicki Walker

Vicki Walker

We caught up with state Senator Vicki Walker, D-Eugene, one of the four Democrats running for Oregon Secretary of State, at Cornerstone Coffee in downtown McMinnville. Fresh from one stop with the local paper’s editorial board and just ahead of a meeting with county Democrats, she had water, rather than coffee. She said she hasn’t drunk coffee (or smoked cigarettes) since the 70s.

That’s probably a good thing. Vicki Walker not on coffee does a fair impression of someone rolling fast on their quota for the day; Vicki Walker on coffee might be a little scary.

That’s not a criticism, just noting that while most successful candidates (which she has been so far) cultivate a degree of casualness, Walker doesn’t especially try: She hits the floor, and the conversation, running, and she doesn’t slow down. We’ve seen some of that in action in her Senate work – the intensity, the determination to soak up details, striding into territory many of her counterparts would as soon leave alone – already; it shows up as well in campaigning.

So does the substance. Most candidates bring up horse-race elements, most often in making the case for their own viability, as a matter of routine; Walker glosses over them, though she does project a sense of confidence. (In our talk, she didn’t argue for how or why she’ll win the primary.) Her focus is on her legislative projects – past and upcoming this session, and she has been a very busy and often successful legislator – and on what she’d like to do as secretary of state. The legislative work covers a surprisingly broad range, from education to details in the legal system to open records. She’s almost relentlessly substantive, in a plain non-wonkish way.

Secretary of state, which in many ways is a ministerial office, would seem to offer less opportunity for someone of her jump-into-the-subject approach. Or maybe not. Unlike counterparts in Idaho and Washington, Oregon’s secretary of state is in effect the state auditor as well, and it was when we talked about getting into the auditing function that Walker seemed to light up especially – or was that an almost predatory look? Bringing up the idea of auditing state agencies that could use it, she seemed ready to pounce immediately. And her history of publicly considering an insurgent primary run against a governor of her own party and outing the personal history of former Governor Neil Goldschmidt (you certainly couldn’t credibly call her a party hack), among other things, suggest an audit function in her hands could generate some fascinating results. Not to mention being highly entertaining. To call her a boat-rocker (as we have, among others) is probably true enough, but doesn’t really cover it.

Walker is one of four candidates so far for secretary of state, like her all Democratic state senators: Kate Brown of Portland, Brad Avakian of Bethany and Rick Metsger of Welches. All bring distinctive qualities, a significant assets, to the contest. Brown is the leading fundraiser, but there’s no prohibitive frontrunner here; you could make a reasoned argument for any of them taking the primary.

Walker may be the one who most compulsively draws your attention.

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Jan 16 2008

The Roberts model

Published by under Oregon

Following up on the last post, we ran across an I Am Coyote post at NW Republican that offers an idea to the Republican problem of running and winning statewide. Comments on the theory are welcome.

He calls it the Jack Roberts Model, after one of the last Republicans (Senator Gordon Smith aside) to win statewide, for labor commissioner), who happens to hail from Eugene. (He makes clear that Roberts says he has no plans at present to run for anything.)

The common GOP model in Oregon, recently, has been to nominate Portland area moderates to run in the state-wide elections. That model has not worked. Quite frankly I have never liked that model and that has caused some PDX area GOPers to be slightly uncomfortable with me.

There is another model however that has shown to be effective. That is to find a Republican that runs strong in the Eugene/Lane County region. A Republican that may not be a Yamhill County conservative, but is also not a PDX moderate. It is a model to gain a strong base of support and even win in Lane County while also winning the rest of the state.

In the standard state-wide GOP model a Republican must take about 32% of the Portland area vote in order to win state-wide. The thinking is, and the numbers constantly bear this out, that the rest of the state is so disconnected with Portland that a reasonable candidate will win a state-wide election while losing Portland. It is possible and Kevin Mannix’s first run against Kulongoski almost got that done.

However the other population center in the Willamette Valley is Lane County. Jack Roberts won his Labor Commissioner race with a base of support in Lane County. The thinking behind that model is that winning the population center of Lane county will offset even greater losses in PDX.

Would the home turf issue be enough to kick a Republican over the top? We have doubts. But Coyote is surely right that the approach of running a Portland moderate (Ron Saxton in 2006, for example), with the hope of cutting into the Democratic vote in Multnomah County, seems not to have worked. Or does the large vote in the suburbs – in Washington and Clackamas – which have been tilting Democrat, render the Portland/Eugene formula beside the point?

Good material here for discussion. Coyote also notes that he knows of a possible candidate for a major office who would fit his criteria. Interesting: The theoretical could become quite practical.

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Jan 16 2008

Plotting a rebuild

Published by under Oregon

What’s the appropriate medicine for a political mired deep in the dumps of second place? Another discussion group – for Oregon Republicans, the Oregon Leadership Council highlighted in the Oregonian today – doesn’t offhand seem the answer.

The concern its co-founder, Portland investment broker Tim Phillips, expressed is certainly legitimate enough: “We have to do something because right now it is not looking very promising. If we don’t do something, there is a risk we will see a multigenerational decline in the Republican Party in Oregon.”

They’re talking about undertaking research into the question of why the decline (remember, Republicans controlled the legislature in 2002 and nearly won the governorship that year) has occurred, and how to reverse it. If they go at it seriously, the results would be fascinating to see; certainly Washington Republicans and Idaho Democrats also would like to know.

Our guess is that the reasons (in all three cases) are broad and not susceptible to a simple list of easily-implemented bullet items; after all, the Republicans in Washington and Oregon and the Democrats in Idaho got where they are as a result of a lot of decisions and actions over a lot of years; and the impressions they have left on the electorate about who and what they are, or good or ill, won’t be undone in a cycle or two. Dan Lavey, a Republican consultant, was quoted as saying simply, “The most effective way you can position a political party is to have quality candidates who run quality campaigns.”

Hard to argue too far with that analysis – but it begs a lot of questions nonetheless. We’ll be curious to see if the new researchers have much luck answering them.

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Jan 15 2008

WA: Address and counter-address

Published by under Washington

Chris Gregoire

Chris Gregoire

Dino Rossi

Dino Rossi

Short of, and up to the point of, the actual debates for the candidates for governor of Washington, we got an early version of that today in some ways superior to what may show up later.

The major event, and the larger headlines, will go to the institutional event, the state of the state address to the legislature by Governor Chris Gregoire. Those always get strong news coverage (more, we started to think over the years, than they really merit – referring here to SOSes generally, not Washington’s in particular).

With some wisdom, Gregoire’s probable Republican opponent, Dino Rossi, posted on his web site what amounts to a counter-SOS speech. (Warning: no telling how long the video will remain posted there.) It seemed to be posted before Gregoire delivered hers, and didn’t constitute direct rebuttal as such. But it did cover much of the same territory – education, law enforcement, transportation and budgeting were highlighted – and watching the two back to back you can get a sense of where the policy battlegrounds are, and how the two of them stake them out. (Click on the video for the full deal; the text link only includes a shorthand description.)

Gregoire’s speech generally was a conventional SOS speech (with a few uneasy moments at the beginning about family matters, including her daughter’s wedding), but a bunch of statements scattered through jump out as useful campaign fodder. Rossi’s was almost the reverse: A campaign talk on its face, but often with the sound and feel of a formal address.

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Jan 15 2008

Throwback

Published by under Idaho

Curtis Bowers

Curtis Bowers

Back in the 50s and 60s, and to a lesser degree into the 70s, you heard this sort of thing from time to time: Communists are for it, and they’re trying to destroy our country, so we do this at our peril. “It” varied, but in the early 60s civil rights was a regular target, along with most anything that smacked of social liberalism; never mind whether any of it made any kind of sense in terms of what actual Communist leadership on the other side of the world had in mind.

With the devolution of Communism in the late 80s, and its transition by the early 90s into something of a sick joke, this line of argument has faded away – at least, we don’t often hear it any more. But at the Idaho Statehouse, it has surfaced again, courtesy of new Idaho Representative Curtis Bowers, and his recent guest opinion in the Nampa Idaho Press-Tribune.

In it, he writes about a meeting (of the Communist Party USA he says in the guest op, later amending that to a meeting of a spinoff group) he says he attended at Berkeley in 1992, for which he says he grew a goatee and donned a radical t-shirt. And he listened to their plan to “take America down.”

Firstly, to destroy the family, they would promote co-habitation instead of marriage. They would also try to get children away from their mothers into government programs at the earliest age possible. They felt the best way to do this was to promote the feminist movement, which had been very effective at making women discontent with marriage and motherhood.

Secondly, to destroy businesses, they aimed to wipe out the profit potential that motivated people to start them. If people couldn’t make good money off their ideas and hard work, they would eventually be content working for someone else. They were sure the environmental movement (modest at the time) was the only vehicle capable of creating enough regulation and expense to discourage business growth.

Finally, to destroy our culture, they needed us to abandon our heritage of religion and morality. They believed the homosexual movement, if accepted, would begin to effectively extinguish these values.

At the time they laid out this strategy, I wasn’t overly impressed. It seemed very unrealistic and certainly not something to worry about in my lifetime. Yet as I sit in my office, recall their plan and consider where America is today, I am shocked.

As he counterparts in the 50s and 60s were shocked too, except of course that then there was a real live Communist party, in real power with real clout, which really was adversary to us, instead of the toothless shadow we’ve known for going on two decades now. One blogger asks of Bowers, “Seriously, where do they find these guys?”

The Idaho Press Tribune tracked down a man who said he was at the meeting Bowers refers to, but says “It’s some fantasy that he’s concocted to describe something that really didn’t exist.” Bowers’ fellow legislators, asked what they think, seem to be stepping carefully. Understandably.

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Jan 14 2008

A three-way

Published by under Oregon

This is more or less what we were thinking of when we expressed some interest in the contest to replace Oregon Representative Tom Butler, whose eastern district is one of the most Republican in the state. Three candidates for his seat have surfaced, and they vector in from all over: Baker City, Burns and Ontario, each more than an hour’s drive from the other. In good weather.

Oregon House District 60

Local Republicans sent along in nomination the three people who expressed interest: Cliff Bentz, a lawyer at Ontario; Tim Smith, a rancher and consultant at Burns; and Deon Strommer at Baker City, owner of area restaurants and some other businesses. One each from the three full counties in the district.

All three have filed with the state as candidates for the job, too.

You might expect that’s pro forma, that after one of them is named to replace Butler for the rest of this term, the other two will fade away. We don’t know that won’t happen; but plenty of regional history suggests that one or both stay in contention for the race, to the May primary.

ALSO An indication of philosophical differentiation? From Oregon catalyst: “Taxpayer Association of Oregon has endorsed Tim Smith & Deon Strommer in the special election to replace retiring Rep. Tom Butler from Eastern Oregon. Both candidates are running on a strong pro-taxpayer platform. . . . candidate Tim Smith has been endorsed by Governor Victor Atiyeh, Kevin Mannix, Denny Jones and Ron Saxton. Deon Strommer has been endorsed by former Representative Tom Butler.”

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Jan 14 2008

Documented

Published by under Idaho

When last we visited the Idaho court case involving a group of Idaho Republicans who wanted to closed-registration for party primaries in the state, the case was tossed. The judge’s reason was that the group of Republicans, led by former state Senator Rod Beck, lacked standing to sue on behalf of the party. That may be a debatable view – highly debatable, since majorities at central state Republican events have voted to support closed primaries – but it seems clear enough: The judge was saying that to launch the case, the party had to specifically act to press the issue.

Well, now it has. On Saturday, the party’s governing unit, the central committee, passed this:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Idaho Republican Party is directed to present legislation to the 2008 Session of the Idaho Legislature within the first month of the legislative session. That legislation shall provide for the immediate and full implementation of the Closed Republican Party Primary Rule; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if the Idaho State Legislature and Governor of the State of Idaho fail to enact legislation into statute in the 2008 Legislative session that provides for the full and immediate implementation of the Closed Republican Party Primary Rule, then within 10 days of the close of the 2008 legislative session, the Idaho Republican Party shall institute litigation in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho against the Secretary of State of the State of Idaho and any other necessary parties. In that suit, the Idaho Republican Party shall demand the full and immediate implementation of the Closed Republican Party Primary Rule by the State of Idaho; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Idaho Republican Party shall pursue this litigation vigorously and without undue delay . . .

Hard to see how the party’s formal intent could get much clearer than that. Clear enough that state Chair Kirk Sullivan, who is no fan of closed primaries, on Friday (even before the meeting) proposed a closed-primary measure, which was introduced. Beck, as it happens, blasted the measure, saying “Sullivan’s bill forces the Idaho Democratic Party and other parties into compliance with party registration against their will by using the power of the Secretary of State. I believe the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings demonstrate that Sullivan’s bill is clearly unconstitutional.” (That’s a debatable point too, since state law clearly can govern the actions of parties. Welcome to another lawsuit?)

This fight once somehow seemed a little fringey – something that seemed unlikely to happen, simply because so many legislators and so many Idahoans were opposed. If it ever was, it’s certainly not fringey now. This is a big battle just starting to unroll.

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Jan 14 2008

A high enough mark

Published by under Oregon,Washington

In rough terms, raising a million dollars for an Oregon Senate race pre-election year – if you’re a challenger – is pretty good. Close to that, at $913,000, is where Democrat Jeff Merkley stands; it ought to be a solid enough mark to unleash funds from the national Democratic treasury.

Figuring out how solid a number that is involved pulling in various factors.

The Merkley campaign points out that “Merkley’s fundraising efforts represent the best two-quarter totals that a challenger for Senate has ever posted in Oregon,” breaking the previous record by Democrat Bill Bradbury in 2002. Of course, Bradbury, who rised $2.1 million (and we should note entered the race much later than Merkley) still was heavily outspent by Republican incumbent Gordon Smith, who raised $7.7 million.

You could compare it to one of the other leading challenger Democrats in the region, Washington District 8’s Darcy Burner, who raised $858,125 in 2007, and for just one congressional district. But she entered the race for a re-run against Representative Dave Reichert almost as soon as the 2006 polls closed; her numbers are very good but not wildly out of line for what you’d expect. Comparing to Merkley, who started raising money only in August, you get a sensse that both are pulling in money at a solid pace.

More real comparisons: Upcoming numbers for Steve Novick, Merkley’s main Democratic opponent, and for Smith, who ask of the most recent available report (not an end of year) had raised about $6.3 million, and should add a mill or two to that with the new report. Any Democrat will need a big infusion of national money to compete with what Smith is likely to report over the next few days.

PULLING AWAY? Following up on the Merkley-Novick comparison: We hadn’t spotted the new Novick finance numbers, but David Steves of the Eugene Register Guard did, and noted them on his blog. Novick has raised $541,000 total ($219,000 in the last quarter, compared to Merkley’s $619,000 in that time). Has Novick’s fundraising pace slackened just a bit? Looks it.

The Novick argument (in Steves’ post) is that both campaigns are positioned to move past Bradbury’s 2002 fundraising. But, as suggested in the main post, that’s a false comparison: Campaigns have gotten more costly than they were in 2002; Bradbury’s campaign was heavily out-raised and spent then (and he lost, remember); and Smith is positioned to substantially out-raise himself from his last run. None of which means the Democrats are outclassed this time. But Merkley’s numbers are much closer (and seem on track) to what you need to leverage (and that is the word) a campaign fund that can compete solidly with Smith’s.

Was there a reason Novick chose today to release his first television spot? (An amusing spot, with some of Novick’s trademark wit in evidence, but too focused on what an unusual-but-committed candidate he is.)

AMENDED to include link to Merkley fundraising on that web site.

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100 Influential Idahoans 2015
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Hardy

 
"Not a day passes that I don’t think about Vietnam. Sometimes its an aroma or just hearing the Vietnamese accent of a store clerk that triggers a memory. Unlike all too many soldiers, I never had to fire a weapon in anger. Return to civilian life was easy, but even after all these years away from the Army and Vietnam I find the experience – and knowledge – continue to shape my life daily."
 
Drafted! Vietnam in War and in Peace. by David R. Frazier; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton OR. 188 pgs. Softcover. $15.95.
The DRAFTED! page.

 

Drafted
 
Many critics said it could not be done - and it often almost came undone. Now the Snake River Basin Adjudication is done, and that improbable story is told here by three dozen of the people most centrally involved with it - judges, attorneys, legislators, engineers, water managers, water users and others in the room when the decisions were made.
Through the Waters: An Oral History of the Snake River Basin Adjudication. edited by the Idaho State Bar Water Law Section and Randy Stapilus; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 300 pages. Softcover. $16.95.
See the THROUGH THE WATERS page.


 
Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh died on July 20, 2014; he was widely praised for steady leadership in difficult years. Writer Scott Jorgensen talks with Atiyeh and traces his background, and what others said about him.
Conversations with Atiyeh. by W. Scott Jorgensen; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 140 pages. Softcover. $14.95.
The CONVERSATIONS WITH ATIYEH page.

Atiyeh
 
"Salvation through public service and the purging of awful sights seen during 1500 Vietnam War helicopter rescue missions before an untimely death, as told by a devoted brother, leaves a reader pondering life's unfairness. A haunting read." Chris Carlson, Medimont Reflections. ". . . a vivid picture of his brother Jerry’s time as a Medivac pilot in Vietnam and contrasts it with the reality of the political system . . . through the lens of a blue-collar, working man made good." Mike Kennedy.
One Flaming Hour: A memoir of Jerry Blackbird. by Mike Blackbird; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 220 pages. Softcover. $15.95.
See the ONE FLAMING HOUR page.


 
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.