"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

A revised state Senate

In Oregon’s primary last week not a single incumbent legislator lost. Not so this week in Idaho – a number are biting the dust, all on the Republican side.

Notably in the Senate (though some House members are losing too). In District 3, three-term Republican Mike Jorgenson, Hayden Lake, well-known for his activism on illegal immigration, is losing decisively. In District 8, Lee Heinrich of Cascade.

But the two that may have the most impact in the chamber are Senators Gary Schroeder of Moscow and Charles Coiner of Twin Falls – probably the two key players in what was once a substantial moderate group among Republican senators. Schroeder is behind Gresham Dale Bouma by about 300 votes with more than two-thirds of the vote counted; Coiner clearly has lost to Lee Heider. Both of these primaries were challenges from the right.

In the case of the Twin Falls district (24) that will mean the seat, for decades held by relatively moderate Republicans, will move decisively rightward. In the education-dominated Moscow-area District 5, this is an opportunity for the Democrats and their new nominee Dan Schmidt. However November goes, though, the Idaho Senate has changed.

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