Writings and observations

Fine fiscal catch by the Idaho Press-Tribune at Nampa, which asked and then made formal requests to learn how much money Canyon County spent on its abortive effort to crack down on businesses employing people who are in the country illegally.

That effort was launched, you might recall, by former Commissioner Robert Vasquez, who in 2006 ran for the U.S. House (coming in second in the Republican primary behind current Representative Bill Sali). The county filed lawsuits against four local companies (Swift Beef, Syngenta Seeds, Sorrento Lactalis, Harris Moran Seed), alleging they had hired illegal aliens and that this had cost the county money for various social and other services. It was the first time a local government had used the federal Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act against its own local businesses for this purpose.

Did that cost to the county amount to as much as $61,626? We may never know (and surely the commissioners didn’t), but that’s how much the county paid the Chicago law firm Johnson & Bell to pursue the case. Which the county eventually lost at both the federal district court and court of appeals levels.

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Idaho

The Lake Roesiger store, and the water body for which it is named, are located maybe 10 to 12 miles east of Everett, about due east of where Highway 2 leaves the city and heads for the mountains, but several miles north of the twisting highway itself. This is a mountain area, woodsy, with scattered rural cabins and the like for weekenders and some who want to spend more time there. Quiet and, considering the distance from the Seattle-Everett area, a little remote; the roads there are not major roads.

So the area is in for a shock, if developer plans carry through: Plans call for building 6,000 homes there – what could develop into an incorporated city of maybe 20,000 people.

The controversy is just beginning . . .

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Washington