Archive for May, 2012

May 31 2012

Is Seattle losing it?

Published by under Washington

Danny Westneat’s Seattle Times column today ended with this: “This is the mood of the city. Joggers are packing heat. Moms of toddlers are contemplating arming up or heading out of town. It’s insane, yes. We are losing it. Can you blame us?”

Well, yes.

That’s not to dismiss the tragic events of the last week. A week ago: A man shot at the Northwest Folklife Festival. Shortly after: Four drive-by shooting incidents in South Seattle. Wednesday: Four killed in a cafe in the University District, a woman shot to death in another neighborhood – by, it turns out, the same man, who then shot himself.

Westneat’s column reflects the attitude of a lot of Seattlites, to either arm up (he writes about a jogger visibly carrying a firearm) or get out of Dodge. (You can imagine how local TV news has been dealing with this – scaring the bejeebers out of everybody.)

Some blame the police. Some blame the Department of Justice, which has been leaning on the police over civil rights issues. There’s a lot of blame being spread around elsewhere, too.

Consider it this way:

The meshing of these events into a short span is a fluke of timing. Nothing has changed. Seattle, in large part, is a safe large city, a fact true two weeks ago and true today.

The shootings reflect two trends contributing to violence especially in larger cities: gangs and mental illness. Both are challenging for police to deal with, but better approaches do seem to be coming along. (Seattle might cast a glance southward to Portland, for example, which is working on some innovative approaches in dealing with potentially hazardous mental illness cases.)

There’s nothing really new here. The mass of bullets is just, simply, drawing our attention to what’s already there: Problems that will take hard, slogging work to resolve. Seattle will probably figure that out before long.

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May 31 2012

Backgrounding Rudy Crew

Published by under Oregon

crew
Rudy Crew

Oregon has never had a chief education officer; newly-hired Rudy Crew will be the first. He may have a big effect on Oregon education – certainly, that’s the hope – and while a number of the policy points inherent in overhauling the state’s education system are already in place, many will have to be devised on the fly. Crew will the guy in charge, more than anyone else, of doing that.

The immediate news reports have noted that he’s been a major figure in national education circles: Head of public schools in New York and Miami, executive director of the University of Washington’s Institute for K-12 Leadership, and an academic more rcently. His tenure at these spots has been described as “contentious,” and there’s some acknowledgement that he has both fans and detractors, but we haven’t been given much sense of what that translates to. Being controversial could be a good thing or bad, depending on how you assess it. Governor John Kitzhaber and other Oregonians clearly, as the Oregonian pointed out, want someone who will shake things up. They seem likely to get that with Crew.

But what sort of shakeup?

Here are two paragraphs from the (heavily footnoted) Wikipedia entry on him:

Crew’s leadership in Miami was reflected in recognition as a finalist for the prestigious Broad Prize for three consecutive years (2006–08),[4] and in School Improvement Zone being named a Top 50 Innovation by Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Institute,[5] 12 high schools being named among the best by Newsweek,[6] Crew was named the 2008 National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), topping the 50 state winners.[7] His initiatives have led the District to be viewed nationally as a model of success,[8] with the secondary-school reform program being credited with Miami’s graduation-rate boost.[9]

Crew has also garnered controversy. At a June 2008 school board meeting, Crew said the district had overspent millions of dollars during the past two years because it had hired more teachers than budgeted, lost state funding, and encountered rising costs.[10] School Board member Renier Diaz De La Portilla called for Crew’s ouster, criticizing the way he has managed the schools’ budget.[11][12] Ana Rivas Logan, another board member, called Crew “insubordinate.”[11] At an August 4, 2008 school board meeting, the item to terminate Crew’s contract failed. Despite Crew’s strong support from business and community leaders,[13] the School Board bought out his contract at its September 10, 2008 meeting.

Is there a way to characterize what sorts of change Crew might want to push toward? Continue Reading »

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May 30 2012

Throwing out 1053

Published by under Washington

Today’s court decision throwing out Initiative 1053 may reshape quite a bit of Washington politics. It was a lower court decision, by King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Helle, but there’s a strong chance it’ll be upheld at the Washington Supreme Court level (where it certainly will reach).

I-1053 was the measure requiring that a two-thirds majority is needed in the state legislature to pass tax or many fee measures. It has put a severe limit on state budgeting options. The group No on 1052 – Uphold Our Constitution argued, “Initiative 1053 is Tim Eyman’s latest attempt to wreck government, funded by out-of-state corporations like BP, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Tesoro, Bank of America, USBank, and Wells Fargo, who want to change the basic rules our Legislature has operated by since statehood so they can preserve their special tax breaks. Under Initiative 1053, seventeen out of one hundred and forty seven lawmakers can block any revenue-raising bill that they don’t like. Initiative 1053 is an assault on our cherished tradition of majority rule – the bedrock principle of our democracy. It would effectively give a fringe minority the ability to veto important fiscal decisions.”

Helle’s short summary judgement decision was more to the legal point, that the initiative’s “supermajority vote requirement violates the simple majority provision of Article II, Section 22 of the Washington constitution, rendering that provision of the statute unconstitutional.” A mandatory referendum requirement, he wrote, violates another portion of the constitution.

If upheld, that means nothing like 1053 can hold up – Tim Eyman and his initiative organization can’t simply try against with different words. The concept is too flawed, by this legal ruling.

Since the Supreme Court is unlikely to deliver a decision on this before the Washington Legislature convenes in January, this is going to create a big squabble. Not least in the upcoming general election.

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May 30 2012

Carlson: More like Simpson

Published by under Carlson,Idaho

carlson
Chris Carlson
Carlson Chronicles

Second District Congressman Mike Simpson continues to make a case to be Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives some day. He believes in solving problems and making government work. We need more like him.

He recently spoke candidly to the Idaho Conservation Leagues’ annual retreat at Redfish Lake. What he said was a breath of fresh air to those who are beginning to wonder if either political party will figure out that real solutions to the nation’s challenges will require compromise and bipartisanship.

Simpson not only figured it out a long-time ago, he has taken steps to form a working coalition of like-minded Republicans and Democrats. His frustration is that outside of the “Gang of Six” in the Senate he sees little else that gives any hope that the Senate, which has failed to pass a budget for three straight years, will be of similar mind.

In what some would consider heresy, Simpson repeated his endorsement of the castor oil but comprehensive approach worked out by the Erskine Bowles/Allan Simpson Commission. It arrived at a combination of entitlement reform, spending cuts and revenue enhancements that would be a path forward out of the debt wilderness would folks, including the President who formed the Commission, get behind it.

Asked about the unholy hold “take the no taxes pledge or else” Grover Norquist seems to have over most Republicans, Simpson said he’d signed the oath once and had refused to do since. He pointed out the illogic of closing loopholes and supporting tax reform being translated into further tax increases by Norquist.

A line that brought applause was a statement that he no longer signed any pledges or requests by any interest groups, that the only oath or pledge any member should take is the oath of office that pledges to defend the Constitution.

Other statements by Simpson included: Continue Reading »

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May 29 2012

Mixing messages

Published by under Idaho

You can understand the confusion that the Washington Post wonders about.

The beer, from Utah, called Polygamy Porter is available for sale in Idaho, in stores generally that sell beer.

But Idaho liquor stores, you can’t buy another Utah alcohol product called Five Wives Vodka, made in Ogden. They sell it in Utah (which Polygamy Porter isn’t), but not in Idaho. The Post quoted Idaho State Liquor Division administrator Jeff Anderson as suggesting it was offensive: “The bottom line is, we represent everybody. It’s masterful marketing on their part. But it doesn’t play here.”

We can think of some quarters, at least, where it would play just fine.

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May 28 2012

Rainey: The pain’s only starting

Published by under Oregon,Rainey

rainey
Barrett Rainey
Second Thoughts

From time to time, I’ve used this space to describe the unique nature of the several counties of Southwest Oregon. Politically, socially, economically – they don’t resemble any other section of the state. Now, because of some of our “differences,” folks here are starting to feel a lot of hurt. In several ways, that hurt is – and will be – self-inflicted. It’s already begun.

First, some background. Geographically, we’re isolated. Only Interstate 5 and Highway 101 on the coast run north and south through several counties. Some communities have no direct east/west access. Several are large but most land is owned by one level of government or another. Most communities are small. Timber cutting/processing is big. But – because of limited access to those government trees and given today’s sluggish economy worldwide – unemployment is high and the standard of living for many is pretty low. The economic importance of commercial fishing is not near what it used to be and likely won’t ever be again.

Population in several counties is older than typical. Several regional Vet’s Administration hospitals account for a lot of that. Retirement, too. Not much here to keep lots of young folks. So, with many older people on fixed incomes – and without the usual liberalism balance of youth – politics hereabouts is very conservative. From right-of-center to edge-of-earth. Seceding from Oregon is not uncommon talk in our neighborhood.

A lot or our county commissions, city councils, boards and the like often have people who’ve served 10-20-30 years or more. Because of that – and the fact our county-city populations are mostly small, the folks that serve and folks that elect often have close relationships. Which – in some ways – has added to our problems.

Example: a multi-county electric cooperative nearby had a member who had been on the board more than 40 years. The co-op board prided itself on almost never raising electric rates, regardless of increases in costs of power it bought. It just didn’t pay all the bills each month. The situation got so out-of-hand the federal agency that loaned the millions for all the system improvements over the years demanded a new repayment plan. Now! Or the Bonneville plug gets pulled! Rate increases – sizeable rate increases – hit the mailboxes and restructuring of the board of directors soon followed.

Another problem. Several counties have been receiving sizeable federal checks annually for years. The millions are supposed to support schools and other services because (a) the feds own so much land here and (b) the feds don’t pay taxes. So “in lieu” monies were paid under a special program – a program that’s now going away. Most everyone knew it would.

So – in the midst of our national economic troubles – these counties have been hit double. The hurting has begun. But only begun. Continue Reading »

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May 28 2012

In the Briefings this week

Published by under Digests

rail build
A time-lapse image capture of construction of a new rail bridge across the Willamette. (Photo/capture from Tri-Met)

Last week, economic forecasts around the region showed a slight improvement – but just slight. In Idaho, some county jobless rates fall, but others rose.

Oregon state auditors say that school districts in the state have missed $40 million in energy cost savings. Washington State University researchers say they have come up with a new super battery. RealNetworks settled on a series of customer complaints with the state of Washington. Idaho legislators pushed for more potato sales access in Mexico.

The first fires of the season in Washington were reported. In Idaho, discussion flared about whether Idaho might be at risk of having to take more nuclear waste (the governor says not). Representative Doc Hastings had his say on a federal stormwater-logging rule. The Portland-Milwaukie light rail picked up some major federal financial support, while Metro worked on a new process on public engagement. A new transit center moved toward reality at Moscow.

All this and a lot more in this week’s Briefings. For more, write us at [email protected]

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May 28 2012

The precinct wars

Published by under Idaho

Most years, the job of precinct committee person (each major party has them) flies quietly under the radar. In Idaho (and some other places), not this year.

Across Idaho, battles for precinct committee positions have erupted, reflecting an ideological struggle inside the Republican Party.

One of the problems Idaho Democrats long have had is the lack, in many places, of precinct leaders. These are important, basic, building-block positions for party organization, important for local organizing and choosing local party leaders, and sometime filling vacancies for offices like state legislator. In Idaho, the Republican Party long has outshone the Democrats in getting many more of those spots filled. (Neither party fills them all.)

Ordinarily, only one person runs for nearly all precinct committee spots, but this year Republicans had an unusually large number of contests, in places around the state. They became intense enough that I spotted something I’ve not seen before, in any year – a campaign web site devoted to one precinct, aimed at one political party. (It is Kootenai County precinct 61; the web writers describe it as “A resource for the republican party members of precinct 61.”

In Twin Falls County, the Republican Liberty Caucus ran a slew of challenges to often-veteran precinct officers, and won almost a third of the seats. The mainstream party leaders expressed relief that the challengers hadn’t won a majority, but they’d better not count on the fermet to ease off soon. Many races were competitive; one was decided by a coin flip.

Another coin flip came in Ada County, home to a large pile of contests, where Roger Brown, a Ron Paul activist, unseated governor’s aide Roger Brown. In another race, a party nominee for state legislator lost a precinct office. One of the most prominent Paul backers in the county, former legislative candidate Lucas Baumbach, was defeated. But Paul backers won more than a third of the precinct seats in the Ada County party organization, enough to have impact.

Overall, the Paul forces fell short of the statewide precinct numbers they would have needed for their more ambitious projects, like the attempt to shift Idaho national convention votes to Paul from Mitt Romney. (That one never felt like much of a starter.) In Bannock County, a county meeting projected by one veteran county party official, Jim Johnston, as “a bloodbath”, turned out sedate.

But getting even a third of the votes in a county organization has its uses. Here’s an indication how.

Kootenai County Republicans earlier this year asked Texas congressional candidate Richard Mack to speak to the party’s Lincoln Day dinner. After the invitation was made, 14 precinct committee members sent a letter to the local party leadership objecting to Mack, saying his “support of the Republican Party and Republican Party candidates is inconsistent, intermittent and questionable.” The battle raged for a while and went public. Eventually, the Mack invitation held up, he spoke, and the event was held without incident. Not without trepidation on Mack’s part: He told reporters he had never felt as unwelcome as he had before coming to Coeur d’Alene.

It doesn’t take a majority to create a civil war. Just ask the South.

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May 25 2012

The ATM states

Published by under Oregon

Presidential candidates campaign, as such, during general election races in states where the votes are up for grabs – Virginia, or Florida, say, or Ohio. Not so much in Oregon, where both sides know the state is highly likely to vote for Democrat Barack Obama.

Still. You wonder if there may be a little bit of irritation about Republican Mitt Romney’s third visit to Oregon (upcoming June 4) not to campaign but, each time, to hold a fundraiser.

Blue Oregon notes, “And once again, he won’t actually be talking to any real voters — and won’t even be doing the sort of pro forma political stop that usually accompanies an ATM run. He’s not even going to go read stories to kids, or tour a factory floor, or anything.”

After a while, doesn’t it seem a little crass, even for a presidential campaign?

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May 23 2012

Carlson: 30 pieces?

Published by under Carlson,Idaho

carlson
Chris Carlson
Carlson Chronicles

Some may recall an ad for a brokerage firm a few years back. Folks would be talking and suddenly everything would go silent as everyone strained to hear what the man from E.F. Hutton was saying. The message was simple: when E.F. Hutton speaks, everyone listens.

Former four term Governor Cecil D. Andrus spoke this past weekend to the Idaho Conservation League’s annual retreat at Redfish Lake. He had two very pointed messages not just for the ICL, but for all the Idahoans as well as the states’ elected leadership.

Everyone should stop everything they are doing and listen. Nothing less than the future of Idaho as a viable, economically growing state is at stake.

Cece is 80 now, still sharp as a tack, but hard of hearing, has vision impairment in one eye (Not his shooting eye he’s quick to tell one), and manages other ailments that come with age. Gifted with energy as he is, inevitably the old clock starts to slow down, but his devotion to a state he loves and led during 14 years as governor compels him to speak out.

His first message was typically blunt. He told his friends at the ICL and Congressman Mike Simpson, who also spoke later, that it was time to quit fiddling around with trying to please everyone regarding the need to provide additional protection for the high peak areas of the Boulders and White Clouds to the east of Redfish Lake.

Andrus called on the ICL and Simpson to write President Barack Obama that just as Jimmy Carter had to do in Alaska, President Obama had to declare the Boulder/White Clouds a National Monument. Both Simpson and the ICL, who have worked so hard for so many years to obtain compromise wilderness legislation, had to support this step as the only way to overcome Senator Jim Risch’s “hold” on Simpson’s wilderness bill and galvanize the Congress into acting.

While complimentary of Simpson’s extraordinary efforts to achieve reasonable compromise, Andrus was critical of Senator Risch for bowing to the single issue interests of those who simply desire to take their snowmobile or ATV anywhere they want on public lands, damn the consequences. Continue Reading »

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May 22 2012

Try this one the Atlanta Braves or KC Chiefs

Published by under Oregon,Rainey

rainey
Barrett Rainey
Second Thoughts

From time to time, seems to me the “correctness police” take things a step too far. A State of Oregon busybody group is the latest “correctness” over-reacher.” Specifically our Board of Education which has decided that – henceforth- our public schools may no longer have mascots, nicknames or logos that are Native American in nature.

The official “thinking” behind banishing all things Indian connected to Oregon schools is that somehow they’re “racist,” “shameful,” “dehumanizing.” Apparently some in the American Indian community feel that way. Equally apparent, some don’t. Also apparent, some don’t give a damn.

I’ve never attended an Oregon school with an athletic team or image that contributed to this official human “shame.” We were the Bend High Lava Bears and, frankly, we didn’t much care if a few bears in Central Oregon or elsewhere were bent out of shape about it. The notoriously bad play of our football team in my senior year would have created enough shame even if we were St. Catherine’s of the Cascades. Bummer.

But here in the “burg-in-the-woods” where I now live, the local high school must surrender to this “correctness” which means removal of all things Indian from buildings, uniforms, letterheads, football end zones, basketball courts and cheerleader outfits. All must be done because the Board of Education “correctness police” are watching. And if all “dehumanizing” accouterments aren’t gone in 60 months, state funding will be withheld!

Imagine, for a moment, your state legislature took a dislike to the name of your town for some “correctness” reason, and told your city council to rename your village posthaste or there would be no more state dollars come 2017. “BLACKMAIL,” the cry would go up. “FISCAL BLACKMAIL!” Schools, however, are expected to roll over and get their collective tummies scratched.

What makes it even more ridiculous is this. In the community of Oakridge, school athletic teams are called “Warriors.” And they’ll continue to be called “Warriors” because the “correctness police” have drawn a fine hypocritical line between that label and any other thing “Indian.” Continue Reading »

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May 21 2012

Running once, running twice

Published by under Washington

When Washington 1st District Representative Jay Inslee resigned to run for governor – in what looks like unfortunate timing – he set up a number of curiosities in his old district.

In November (and in the primary too), voters will have the oddity of being able to vote for two different people to represent the 1st – one for a “short term”, really short, just a month – and the other for the full two-year term. Candidates can run for both, since the terms are consecutive, not concurrent.

In one sense, why should they run for both? Here’s another oddity: The 1st district to be represented is different in the two elections. It was reapportioned, dramatically, with the boundaries moved much to the east, so that the new and the old district only overlap about half of the population. Campaigning may be a lot more complicated running in, in effect, two districts at once.

(Left: Current District 1; Right: New District 1/Daily Kos)

In the last few days, though – last week being filing week – there’s been quite a tussle about who runs in one or both. Word was that state Democratic Chair Dwight Pelz wanted his main candidates to run just for the full term, in what will be a very competitive new district, more closely competitive than the old Democratic-leaning one has been. But there’s been some pushback.

For one thing, John Koster, the presumptive Republican standard-bearer, is running in both – and there are good reasons. An article in Daily Kos points out one factor applying to all candidates in the races:

By running in two elections at once, FEC contribution limits are doubled, so donors who’ve already given the maximum amount allowed by law can be re-solicited. Burner was reportedly concerned that Koster, the Republican standard-bearer, would also jump into the special, giving him a financial leg up. Koster did ultimately wind up doing so, but it appears Burner made the first move—and that prompted most of the rest of the field to abrogate their agreement with Pelz and follow suit, lest they, too, wind up at a disadvantage.
The one holdout was, as I mentioned, Hobbs, who put out a press release hammering the other candidates for trying to “dodge federal campaign contribution laws.” It’s not clear why Hobbs didn’t follow the herd, though perhaps he thinks he’s got a good angle with voters by avoiding what he called “financial trickery and shifty politics.”

That would be Darcy Burner, who has run twice (unsuccessfully, but in close races) in the 8th district, part of which makes up the new 1st (but not the current 1st; see?). And legislator Steve Hobbs.

Of the seven candidates for the two-year term, just two – Hobbs and Independent Larry Ishmael – aren’t running as well for the month term. But, oddly, the short term has drawn a raft of candidates. They include one Independent (Bob Champion), eight Democrats (compared to five for the 2-year) and two Republicans.

The top-two primary will winnow the lists, of course, presumably to Koster and one of the Democrats. But working out the calculus beyond that has gotten a little harder.

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May 20 2012

A matter of tone

Published by under Idaho

As you consider the Idaho primary election, put aside any thoughts of who was more or less “conservative”, whatever that may mean. Tone is more significant.

Many of the races had individual characteristics. The most striking races were challenger-against-incumbent, where the challenger rhetoric was common to many of the races (at least on the Republican side, where most of them were), and the background structure of the races mainly split into two types.

The rhetoric of the challengers tended to be overheated, even apocalyptic – so-and-so must be defeated or our freedom and liberty are at risk. “The downward spiral of our nation,” warned one House candidate. Or some such: Shrill rhetoric, shrill candidates.

Not all but many challenges fell into two overlapping structural categories: Coming from the inside, from established political people and forces, or outside, from people evidently angry about conditions in general. On election day in Idaho, both kinds of challenges failed. Continue Reading »

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May 20 2012

Column running: Twin Falls Times News

Published by under website

A quick note: A Randy Stapilus column on Idaho politics starts running on Mondays, effective tomorrow, in the Twin Falls Times News.

And, in a nice piece of geographic pairing, I’ll be on KLIX-AM radio in Twin Falls, at 8:20 am Monday (Mountain Times). That’s just this Monday, that is.

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May 20 2012

Another look at the shifting numbers

Published by under Idaho

I don’t really know how many Idahoans have told me in the last month, especially before the primary election last week, that there was no way they were going to publicly declare or sign up with a political party. Not all but a lot of them were, well, known Democrats.

The widespread (and it does seem to be widespread) antipathy to the new party registration regime in Idaho looks to be especially strong left of center, not a great shock in a state dominated by Republicans. Voting patterns from last week seem to support that idea.

Secretary of State Ben Ysursa was quoted as saying, “In my opinion, the main reason for the decline in the turnout was attributable to the, for the first time, Idaho’s closed primary where people had to declare their party affiliation and make that a public record.”

His office hasn’t yet posted the number of ballots cast and the number of registered voters, from which turnout is calculated. But if you take his website’s estimate from not long ago of registered voters (about 742,000) and the “turnout” estimate of about 23%, then you come up with a number of cast ballots around 170,660. Since the total number of partisan ballots cast in the congressional primaries was 154,649, you get the suspect that even 23% could be a tad high.

You’d have to go back quite a way to hit a lower number for a primary election – back when Idaho’s population was smaller. In 2100, primary turnout was 203,013; in 2008, it was 182,627; in 2006 it was 184,456. Back in 2004 the ballots-cast number was similar (172,006) to this year, but that was an unusually boring primary season.

The diminished turnout, then, seems to be solidly established. Overall turnout was down about 29,000 from 2010 and about 8,000 from 2008, and about 6,000 from 2006. (Primaries in non-presidential years tend to bulge a little higher because most of the statewide officials are on the ballot then.)

There’s another interesting numbers question too, in a release from the Idaho Republican Party (whose efforts generated the registration system). Party rules Chair Ronald Nate offered the analysis that “Idaho Democrats have a problem. They are bleeding support. With all the speculation about the Republican’s move to closed primaries possibly hurting voter turnout; the actual vote totals tell a startling story.” (Note, before we move on, that he’s not disputing the idea of the system “hurting voter turnout,” but just drawing attention to something else.)

His numbers, which are accurate, are a mix of cherry-picking and something intriguing.

The argument is about the Democrats comes from votes cast in the congressional races, for Democratic candidates, amounting to 10,149 this year, compared with 24,698 in 2010 and 36,101 in 2008. That trajectory looks like a charge right off the cliff: At that rate, they’ll get no votes at all in 2014.

Broaden the picture a bit, though: In 2006 the Democratic congressionals drew 27,856, and in 2004 collected 25,741. 2008 looks like an aberration, explainable by the Obama enthusiasm at that time. A standard Democratic turnout of around 24-30,000 seems in place.

(That seems to be in the range of a fifth to a quarter of the Republican turnout, so there’s certainly a story here of Republican dominance in Idaho. And Republicans didn’t seem to mind registering nearly as much. Republican congressional votes, at 144,500, were down from the much hotter primary year of 2010, when 158,746 voted in those races. But this year’s Republican primary turnout, in the congressional races at least, was higher than in any year prior to 2010, so advocates within the party can legitimately crow about that.)

Except that this year, fewer than half as many voted, accounting for just about all of the decline in overall primary voter turnout. The Republican Party naturally argues that has something to do with Obama, but that doesn’t seem likely; presidential caucus turnout, even without a contests, was fairly strong among the Democrats, and Democrats generated a larger than usual number of candidates for office this year. Neither indicated a recent utter collapse (comparatively) among Democrats.

No, the more logical explanation is that Democrats, more than most others, rejected participation in the system. While it is true that only those voting in the Republican primary had to register with that party, it’s also the case that to vote at all, you had to “Fill out a new voter registration card, Fill out a Party Affiliation Declaration form, Declare a party [or non-affiliated] at the polls at the 2012 Primary Election.” And a lot of people just rejected that.

And we now have a pretty good idea of who did – and, for the most part, it doesn’t seem to have been Republicans.

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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