Archive for March, 2011

Mar 23 2011

How much in taxes can we afford?

Published by under Washington

That’s often the question at state legislative sessions – certainly those in the Northwest – though it’s usually stated as a definitive answer: We can’t afford more taxes!

That’s posed as a purely emotional or ideological statement, of course. Surely there’s some reasonable range for taxes as a piece of our economy, and some point at which they’re demonstrably too high – too disruptive of the flow of money in the economy. But what exactly that is, doesn’t get much mention.

Meantime, there’s a neat chart on the Seattle Slog showing the portion of the overall economy taxes in Washington state consume. Take a look. The trend lines aren’t what you might expect.

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Mar 23 2011

Wu on the record

Published by under Oregon

This may wind up being as close as we get to an in-depth interview of Representative David Wu about the odd cascade of problems he’s had over the last year. Not in the Oregonian, which may not get him to sit for such an interview, but at Blue Oregon, the left-leaning blog.

The interview is still in the process of being released – as it’s being transcribed, say the two interviewers, Kari Chisholm and Carla Axtman. But the questions are certainly on point. Among them:

Where was the Congressman during the final 72 hours of the campaign? Had he been sequestered by his staff, away from the public?
After having an extraordinary allergic reaction to prescription drugs in 2008, what was Wu thinking when he accepted an unknown painkiller from a donor in 2010?
A lot of senior staff left shortly after the election, even though the reporting thus far doesn’t seem to add up to anything quite so dramatic. Why did they leave?
Why aren’t his former staff and consultants speaking on-the-record to media? Are they under a legal obligation to stay quiet?
Why did his pollster send an email saying that his staff needed to be “protected”? Protected from what?

Chisholm and Axtman drew no definitive conclusions as the series started. This will be worth watching over the next few days.

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Mar 23 2011

Carlson: United Idahoans Stand

Published by under Carlson,Idaho


carlson
Chris Carlson
Carlson Chronicles


If there is one issue that unites a majority of Idahoans, it is opposition to the reintroduction of wolves into Idaho and the dictatorial way the federal government handles the issue.

Defenders of Wildlife and others that support the reintroduction are rapidly learning that without public support this forced program will not succeed. There are too many Idahoans who carry rifles in their pickups or side-arms when they hike. The law of “shoot, shovel and shut up” supersedes whatever ruling a federal judge in Helena might dictate.

Most Idahoans are sensible enough not to get caught up in the time-wasting arguments over so-called “nullification,” for which the governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer, has made state management of wolves a symbolic issue. One can understand what the law says, but if it is ignored by everyone and the authorities make it a last priority of enforcement, it soon becomes worthless and eventually gets stricken.

Being a fairly practical lot, Idahoans rightly applaud the efforts of Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson (R-Second District) and Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-At Large) to undo the August 2010 judicial ruling that put the wolves back on the endangered species list and under federal management.

Almost every Idahoan who hunts or fishes feels the state had rightly taken over management of the wolves and had a sensible program in place to manage their predatory habits. Simpson supports both measures Rep. Rehberg introduced last year: one that would delist the wolf from the endangered species list and the other to return management of the wolf to the states’ fish and game departments.

Many Americans romanticize wolves, seeing them as large, lovable, husky-like dogs. They have no idea what large, efficient killing machines they are, nor do they understand how devastating their appetites can be on elk and deer.

Most folks subscribe to popular myths: such as wolves never attacking people (disproven last year by a fatal wolf attack on a jogger outside of Anchorage); or, that wolves never kill more than they can eat (disproven by numerous wanton attacks on sheep and cattle).

While the howl of a distant wolf when one is sitting around a campfire at night enjoying a Middle Fork of the Salmon River float trip indeed is romantic, it is quite another thing to encounter a circling pack as one walks from his mailbox 200 yards up to their home without a weapon (which has happened all too close to St. Maries).

I carry a Glock 21 with me when fly fishing on the St. Joe and the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene. Once, while on a walk up the Indian Creek Road to the old ghost town of Ulysses a few miles from North Fork, I witnessed the incredibly swift attack of a young wolf on a large buck. Only the deer seeing us and having the instinct to circle down the hillside and down stream caused the wolf to break off the attack. It lasted all of 20 seconds. Continue Reading »

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Mar 22 2011

Inslee edging closer

Published by under Washington

Inslee
Jay Inslee

There’s been a wide presumption that Representative Jay Inslee, of the Washington 1st district based around Snohomish County, is aiming at a run for governor 2012 – the job that eluded him in 1996 run (when he lost in the Democratic primary to the King County executive, Gary Locke). The indicators have been growing.

The latest, just pointed out in the Everett Herald, is his upcoming fundraiser, invitations for which pointedly said this: “We know it’s early in the cycle, but the Congressman is trying to put some funds in the bank early for his Congressional race and also if there is an opening to run for Governor.”

Presumably, there will be, unless incumbent Democrat Chris Gregoire surprises a lot of people and runs for a third term.

Inslee isn’t the only Democrat who’s made noises about such a run. Senate Majority Lisa Brown of Spokane has been reported as interested, and so have others. But Inslee could be the major entrant on the Democratic side.

A contest against Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna, who’s widely presumed to go for it in ’12 (and has to be considered the Republican heavyweight if he enters), could be a battle to behold.

Share on Facebook

2 responses so far

Mar 22 2011

A strange kind of tyranny

Published by under Idaho,Oregon

As the effort to run the health care nullification bill ramps up again in the Idaho House, amid cries of how the 2010 law is imposing tyranny on the country, maybe a look – one year hence – at some of the actual impact is in order.

Here’s a White House summary of the effects on Idaho, specifically. One point not mentioned, to be sure, is the provision on buying insurance – not a mandate, by the way (one of the many routine misstatements about the law) but rather a relatively modest tax incentive to be insured.

Don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time finding tyranny in a health law that doesn’t take over health care or insurance, only extends some regulations in a badly broken system. (Before you take any issue with that, you might read one of the latest slices of evidence of that in Steve Duin’s column today in the Oregonian, about how wonderful private health insurers can be, and how effective we’ve been at reining in their many abuses.)

Here’s the “tyranny” the health law has imposed on Idaho:

Reducing costs for seniors and strengthening Medicare. More than 16,265 Idaho residents who hit the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the “donut hole” received $250 tax-free rebates, and will receive a 50% discount on brand-name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole this year. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole completely. And nearly all 44 million beneficiaries who have Medicare, including 211,000 in Idaho, can now receive free preventive services – like mammograms and colonoscopies – as well as a free annual wellness visit from their doctor

Offering new coverage options. Insurance companies are now required to allow parents to keep their children up to age 26 without job-based coverage on their insurance plans. An estimated 5,800 young adults in Idaho could gain insurance coverage as a result of the law. Additionally, most insurance companies are now banned from denying coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition. An estimated 99,000 kids with a pre-existing condition in Idaho will be protected because of this provision.

Lowering costs for small businesses. The law provides $40 billion of tax credits to up to 4 million small businesses, including up to 28,219 in Idaho to help offset the costs of purchasing coverage for their employees and make premiums more affordable.

Improving the quality of coverage. All Americans with insurance are now free from worrying about losing their insurance due to a mistake on an application, or having it capped unexpectedly if someone is in an accident or becomes sick. The law bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits – freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment because of their lifetime limits. The law also restricts the use of annual limits and bans them completely in 2014. This will protect 934,000 Idaho residents with private insurance coverage from these limits.

Providing flexibility and resources to States. The Affordable Care Act also gives States the flexibility and resources they need to implement the law in the way that works for them. Under the law, States have received millions of dollars in Federal support for their work to hold down insurance premiums, build competitive insurance marketplaces, provide insurance to early retirees, and strengthen their public health and prevention efforts. So far, Idaho has received $27.9 million from the Affordable Care Act. Grants to Idaho include: $1 million to plan for a Health Insurance Exchange; $1 million to crack down on unreasonable insurance premium increases; $15 million to support capital development in community health centers; $3.6 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund; $100,468 for Medicare improvements for patients and providers; $784,503 for Maternal, Infant and Childhood Home Visiting; $6.5 million for the Money Follows the Person demonstration project.

Note: The White House release typo referred to “934,000 million Idaho residents” corrected here.

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Mar 21 2011

This Week in the Digests

Published by under Digests

Brookings
Tsunami damage at Brookings harbor. (image/Department of Energy)

Tight state budgets continued as a leading thread in Northwest news this week; Washington reported an enormous $778 million drop in anticipated revenues. Cuts rather than revenue increases appeared to continue to be the preferred alternative at all three legislatures to dealing with the shortfalls.

Economic indicators in Oregon and Washington were pointing up, with Oregon posting its largest one-month gain in jobs in 15 years. And in Idaho, two major public school laws were signed into passage, and another was under revision in the Senate.

Some of the larger stories in the Washington edition:

bullet Revenue estimate: A $778 million drop

bullet Washington job numbers improve

bullet Constantine proposes stimulus

bullet Worker compensation bill signed

bullet Cantwell: Crack down on gas speculation

In the Oregon edition:

bullet Major job additions in February

bullet Two wilderness areas proposed

bullet No radiation from Japan

bullet Tax credit information still hard to get

In the Idaho edition:

bullet Otter signs two Luna plan bills

bullet Wolf litigation partly resolved

bullet Senior water rights upheld over juniors

bullet Otter signs geothermal leasing bills

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Mar 20 2011

Cowboy ethics

Published by under Northwest

When Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter was running for governor last year, and before that, his campaign office had in the window a “Code of the West” – “live each day with courage,” “take pride in your work,” “be tough but fair,” “when you make a promise, keep it,” “ride for the brand” (aka, Be True to Your School, or loyal to your community and country). Concepts that, doubtless, you’ve never heard of before. It came up during the campaign and Otter has pushed them as governor, even reciting then when talking to school kids.

Nothing particularly wrong with them, either. But what wasn’t clear then, seeing the “Code” posted on a campaign window or website, was that it wasn’t the idea of Otter, or of some Idahoan.

It’s popped up again this session at the Oregon Legislature, in the form of House Concurrent Resolution 14 (a hearing is set for Monday), to approve of the “Code” (because, remember, it has to do with the mythical Old West, not the real one) as a sort moral guideline for the state.

It has also appeared, the Oregonian noted in writing about this, in other places: Wyoming has adopted it as state policy (to accomplish what exactly is unclear), and the Montana legislature is considering it.

So it didn’t just pop up as one local lonesome cowboy’s thought.

It came from one James P. Owen, who has made substantial bucks from a series of books. The first one was Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West, and when it sold well, was quickly followed by two sequels. Getting a marketing boost for his book from governors and legislators surely didn’t hurt. And he set up a non-profit corporation as well, The Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership. The approach of the New West wrapped in the mythology of the old: Quite a mashup.

If you’re wondering where that reference to Wall Street came in, you need to know something about Owen. He is not a cowboy (though the fringe-sleeved jacket he wears on his non-profit’s web page conveys the impression). Owen’s background is on Wall Street, as an investment professional; he has even been linked to investor Bernie Madoff’s operations (though he has said the financial connection occurred after his left his firm). The cowboy principles do not come from any study of the old west, or life on a ranch, but – he has said – from recollections of his childhood, watching Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.

A 21st century philosopher of the American West. Truly.

Share on Facebook

2 responses so far

Mar 18 2011

OR remap: Pleas from John Day

Published by under Oregon

A woman, named Smith, who farms near John Day describes the isolation of the John Day and Canyon City area – which is to say most of the people of Grant County – in terms of mountain passes. You have to climb through two or three of them, she said, “to get anywhere that is somewhere.”

This came up at the second redistricting committee road hearing today, a later-afternoon and light-attended session based at Burns but with video feeds at John Day and Ontario. Tomorrow’s hearing is at Bend.

She said she testified a decade ago when reapportionment was last done, with the idea that Grant County should be kept intact. By the time the map was drawn (by the secretary of state, not the legislature), the county was split down the middle between two state House districts. They do share state Senate and a U.S. House district.

What counties should be united with Grant (which is far too small to form a legislative district by itself) into a House district? Mrs. Smith suggested that similar resource counties be fitted, like Harney and Malheur, more than “anything up along the Gorge.”

No one in Ontario testified.

Of all the eastern Oregon counties, Grant may be the one that has the most – and logically so – interest in reapportionment.

Cliff Bentz, the House member who represents much of this vast area, was ironically in Salem but participated by video feed. He noted that “the need to add 8,300 people [to his current district] is a sad commentary on my corner of Oregon,” another indicator of the need for economic development there.

He added that he wanted “to make sure that the committee does not carve Ontario off into Idaho. That would be an unfortunate event.”

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Mar 18 2011

Senior rights upheld over juniors

Published by under Idaho

Unanimously, the Idaho Supreme Court yestrday upheld a judgment of District Judge (and former SRBA judge) John Melanson, protecting senior decreed water rights in the Thousand Springs region and dealing a blow to groundwater pumpers to the north and east.

The ruling, authored by Chief Justice Daniel Eismann, put the onus directly on the groundwater pumpers. It followed directly on the age-old appropriation principle of “first in time, first in right.”

The case, Clear Springs Foods Inc. and Blue Lakes Trout Farm Inc. v. Idaho Department of Water Resources, is available on line.

The decision, about 40 pages long, was a thorough rundown of the conjunctive management situation and legal changes in recent decades.

Adapted from opinion and related documents:

Clear Springs Foods, Inc., and Blue Lakes Trout Farm, Inc. have decreed water rights in certain springs in the Thousand Springs region of the Snake River Plain. Appellants Idaho Ground Water Appropriators, Inc., North Snake Ground Water District, and Magic Valley Ground Water District are users of the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer ground water across southern Idaho. Groundwater Users pump groundwater from the Aquifer, primarily for irrigation purposes. The decreed ground water rights of Groundwater Users are junior to the surface water rights of Spring Users.

In the spring of 2005, Spring Users sent letters to the Director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources requesting that the Director administer water rights. The director treated these letters as calls for delivery under the Department’s Rules for Conjunctive Management of Ground and Surface Water Resources. The Director found that the Groundwater Users’ diversions were materially injuring Spring Users’ senior surface water rights and issued curtailment orders. An administrative hearing was held in November 2007 and the hearing officer approved the curtailment orders. The Director thereafter entered a final order, based on the hearing officer’s recommendations but substantially affirming the original curtailment orders. On judicial review of the orders, district court affirmed the Director’s findings. The Groundwater Users appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court, arguing that the Spring Users should be denied their requests for water based on the economic impact that would result from curtailment. Continue Reading »

Share on Facebook

One response so far

Mar 18 2011

OR remap: From LaGrande

Published by under Oregon

On the four-way split screen (accessible through the Oregon Legislature’s Hearing Room C cam), Lake County Commissioner Ken Kestner was responding to a reapportionment-pertinent question: Does Lake County look more to, and communicate, trade and deal more with, and have more in common with, the larger communities to the west (Klamath Falls, Medford) or to the north (around Bend)?

His answer was logical, doubtless accurate, and also confounding.

Lake County, which has just 8,000 or so people but a immense land area, has two more-or-less population centers of comparable size. One, in the south near the California border, is Lakeview, and its people look mainly to Klamath Falls and Medford. The other, more spread out, is in a group of communities in the north of the county, and it looks toward Bend.

Combine the community-of-interest priority together with another, to keep counties intact where practical, and you have a conflict. And no one in the eastern counties where the legislative redistricting committees are focused today – in a hearing at LaGrande this morning and a later one today at Burns (with video participation from other eastern counties) – wanted counties split. No one wanted to be like the John Day area – a small community split between two legislative districts (50 and 60).

The legislative redistricting committees, separate Senate and House panels holding hearings together around the state, have the job of squaring the circle. In this first road hearing (after the tsumani-forced cancellation at Tillamook last week) the questions and answers were a little general, befitting a process still trying to find its way. One witness noted that it’ll be easier to comment, in some ways, once plans are actually drawn, than it is now.

Testimony was light, under a half-dozen people in LaGrande (where the mayor and university president were on hand for greetings), and fewer than that in Pendleton, Baker and Lakeview (the county commissioner was alone there).

Still, some educational points were made.

Several speakers made the emphatic point that, in the northern part of eastern Oregon, Interstate 84 is the critical conduit and connecting link. They generally made a point of setting themselves off from the Bend area; that, they said, is central Oregon, not eastern Oregon (as many Portland-centric people would have it). And they do not feel much of a commonality of interest with it. From La Grande, speakers said, people heading out of town for goods or services might hit the Tri-Cities or Boise (both out of state), but not Bend. But the eastern area sounds internally knit together. People in LaGrande said they felt comparably connected to Pendleton and Baker, and those in Baker said the same about LaGrade and Ontario. The I-84 corridor seems to tie tightly.

This is an area that will change in its legislative districting. Several eastern Oregon counties lost population, and the current House District 57 (which includes Union County) is short about 6,100 people of the new required state average for House districts – it will have to add territory from somewhere. In fact, the east overall probably will have to, which may make some meetup with Bend inevitable, even if not especially wanted.

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Mar 17 2011

People will die

Published by under Northwest

Representative Peter DeFazio on cuts, in the U.S. House budget, to emergency early-detection services (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for example, in the case of tsunamis).

So often, this kind of rhetoric doesn’t relate to real-world risks. In this case the risks are real and apparent; you have only to look on the other side of the Pacific to see them (in a nation generally better-prepared for disaster than we are).

These services are there for reasons. Ignore those, and reap the consequences.

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Mar 17 2011

Broadband visuals

Published by under Northwest

broadband
Broadband in the Northwest

A fascinating online tool is out for checking where broadband service is available, and what types and what speeds.

Developed by the National Telecommications and Information Agency, the National Broadband Map shows where broadband is and isn’t available. (By land-based services, anyway; satellite is obviously available in many more places.)

In the Northwest, you see what you generally expect to see, with maybe a little stronger lines through the outskirts of the Portland metro area, and in eastern Washington. But you can drill down to the street level. Want to find out exactly what’s available where you live? Here’s how.

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Mar 17 2011

Rapist rights

Published by under Idaho

It was caught also by Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review, but not noted widely, so we’ll note it here …

The legislation in question is Idaho Senate Bill 1148, aimed principally “to prohibit the abortion of an unborn child of twenty or more weeks postfertilization age.”

One of the provisions of the bill (section 18-508-1), not highlighted in the statement of purpose, says this: “Any woman upon whom an abortion has been performed in violation of the pain – capable unborn child protection act or the father of the unborn child who was the subject of such an abortion may maintain an action against the person who performed the abortion in an intentional or a reckless violation of the provisions of this chapter for actual damages.” (emphasis added)

Senator Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow, had a question for the attorney general’s office: Does that mean a rapist could sue an abortion provider. The reply (in an informal but researched opinion): “Section 508(1) is unambiguous on this score and, as currently drafted, provides a private right of action to the biological father without exclusion. The answer to your question is therefore in the affirmative.”

Rapist rights in Idaho, protected by the Idaho Legislature. At least until or unless this bill, sponsored by six Republican senators and 10 Republican House members, is amended.

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Mar 17 2011

A non-citizen’s right to counsel

Published by under Washington

wacourt

The decision seems basically right, but you can just imagine how it is going to go down among the anti-immigrant crowd.

Here’s the short version: Washington v. Valentin Sandoval, decided today by the Washington Supreme Court, concerns a non-citizen of this country who was accused and found guilty of rape. The high court overturned – vacated – the conviction not on a question having to do not with evidence, but whether his attorney gave him the best advice on legal strategy. That’s a reasonably fair and accurate summation, and it may be repeated broadly in months and years to come.

It’s not the whole story, as you might imagine. For one significant thing, while the conviction was thrown out, nothing in the decision seems to preclude a trial – and it would be the first one – in the case.

Here’s a longer version of the background from the court (legal references deleted):

Valentin Sandoval, a noncitizen permanent resident of the United States, was charged with rape in the second degree. The prosecutor offered, in exchange for a guilty plea, to reduce the charge to rape in the third degree. Sandoval conferred with his attorney and said that he did not want to plead guilty if the plea would result in his deportation. Sandoval’s attorney recalls Sandoval as being “very concerned”that he would be held in jail after pleading guilty and subjected to deportation proceedings. Sandoval’s counsel advised him to plead guilty: “I told Mr. Sandoval that he should accept the State’s plea offer because he would not be immediately deported and that he would then have sufficient time to retain proper immigration counsel to ameliorate any potential immigration consequences of his guilty plea.” Sandoval explains, “I trusted my attorney to know that what he was telling me was the truth.”

Sandoval followed his counsel’s advice and pleaded guilty on October 3, 2006. The statement on plea of guilty, that Sandoval signed, contained a warning about immigration consequences: “If I am not a citizen of the United States, a plea of guilty to an offense punishable as a crime under state law is grounds for deportation, exclusion from admission to the United States, or denial of naturalization pursuant to the laws of the United States.” During a colloquy with the court, Sandoval affirmed that his counsel, with an interpreter’s help, had reviewed the entire plea statement with Sandoval. After the original sentencing hearing was continued, Sandoval was sentenced on January 23, 2007 to the standard range of 6 to 12 months in jail, with credit for time served.

Before Sandoval was released from jail, the United States Customs and Border Protection put a “hold” on Sandoval that prevented him from being released from jail. Deportation proceedings against Sandoval then began. Sandoval now claims, “I would not have pleaded guilty to Rape in the Third Degree if I had known that this would happen to me.”

On this issue, you can kind of see his point – I thought I knew what my lawyer was doing.

From the court’s conclusion (legal references dropped):

“Although Sandoval would have risked a longer prison term by going to trial, the deportation consequence of his guilty plea is also “a particularly severe ‘penalty.’” For criminal defendants, deportation no less than prison can mean “banishment or exile,” and “separation from their families.” Given the severity of the deportation consequence, we think Sandoval would have been rational to take his chances at trial. Therefore, Sandoval has proved that his counsel’s unreasonable advice prejudiced him.”

The case was close; there were two concurrences with varying views. So may there be in the public.

Share on Facebook

One response so far

Mar 16 2011

Carlson: Decline and fall

Published by under Carlson,Idaho


carlson
Chris Carlson
Carlson Chronicles


It did not start with Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, but the decline of higher education in Idaho has reached its nadir on his watch.

Consider the abysmal record of Idaho’s Board of Education. For all the good it does in serving the best interests of educating Idaho’s youth, from kindergarten through college, it might as well not exist. The state’s founders actually wrote the board into the Constitution to serve as the Regents of the University of Idaho. That’s how important they thought the role was.

Unfortunately, no more.

As an independent body supposedly put in place to advocate for the best interests of education, the Board of Education has in recent years been nothing more than a lap-dog for Idaho’s governors, especially Otter, who have been eviscerating education budgets, K-12 and higher ed, for years. Ponder this fact: the recently proposed Idaho higher education budget takes state support for colleges and universities back to where it stood in 2000. At the same time, mom, dad and the kids face sky- rocketing tuition and fees.

Most importantly, there’s little scrutiny and absolutely no challenge by the state board for what the governor, the state superintendent or the Legislature wants, regardless of how harmful to education’s interests it might be.

Forty years ago, the kind of people then serving, Democrats and Republicans alike, would have resigned en masse if they had been blindsided like the present board was by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna’s radical reform proposals not to mention the unfunded mandate they represent for local school districts.

Board members had not a clue. Nor were they consulted. And not a peep from them. I find that incredibly sad. I can recall strong pro-education Republican board members in the past, such as John Swartley of Boise, Ed Benoit of Twin Falls, Mal Deaton of Pocatello, Kenneth Thatcher of Rexburg and Janet Hay of Nampa.

On the Democratic side there were sensible, solid board members like A.L. “Butch” Alford Jr. of Lewiston, State Senator Mike Mitchell and Sandpoint’s J.P. “Doc” Munson. These folks took their role seriously; none were the kind of people a governor took for granted or expected to be a rubber stamp, as is the case today.

Democrats on the board of education? Yup. At one time governors like Republican Phil Batt and Democrat John Evans recognized the importance of a bi-partisan board and appointed members of each party. There’s not one Democrat on today’s board.

Instead, the Board was dominated just a couple years back by the likes of disgraced former Republican state chairman and Idaho Falls attorney Blake Hall, whose personal life read like a bad soap opera. Nonetheless, this partisan apparatchik engaged in blatant micro-management of the activities of Idaho’s university presidents down to dictating the tuition and fees each school could charge. Continue Reading »

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

« Prev - Next »

 


Oregon State Highway film from 1966. A few changes since then.

 

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