Aug 22 2012

Carlson: Where’s the beef?

Published by at 8:54 am under Carlson,Idaho

carlson
Chris Carlson
Carlson Chronicles

The month of August is fast disappearing. Has anyone seen any evidence that the most momentous vote Idahoans may ever make is only a couple months away?

No, it’s not how Idaho votes in the presidential election. That’s a foregone conclusion: the Romney/Ryan ticket has Idaho’s four electoral votes in the bag.

No, the most important issue on the ballot is the three measures to repeal the key elements of the alleged Otter/Luna Educational Reform package. The three initiatives are critical to providing a real teacher-led effort at reform rather than the balderdash served up so far by conservative Republicans.

Unless the Idaho Education Association has polls showing the repeals to be significantly ahead, which is doubtful, it appears the strategy for the “repealers” is to find a big name leading public figure to be the face for a significant media campaign.

If “repealers” do go that route, one hopes they will select a credible spokesperson, preferably one with solid Republican credentials, like former Governor Phil Batt or former State Superintendent Jerry Evans. Ideally, they also should pair them with the mother of school age children who can speak eloquently of her concerns and her lack of confidence in the Otter/Luna reforms. This is needed as an antidote to First Lady Lori Otter’s ads in support of the three laws.

One suspects proponents are going to saturate the airwaves themselves.

Rest assured, companies that provide computer programs and on-line learning will dump several million into a “support our kids first” campaign that will match dollar for dollar if not exceed whatever the “repealers” raise.

Reportedly, IEA and supportive unions have pledged a $2 million budget. So far there is virtually no evidence for even a portion of that sum being spent on a critical component for success – a well organized grass roots effort.

Motivated teachers and concerned parents should be organized and out on the hustings. Many of Idaho’s counties hold their fairs in August. Where are the information booths manned by parents and teachers with literature, buttons and bumper stickers? Where are the precinct captains plotting literature drops, scheduling phone banks and getting volunteers ready to drive those to the polls that will need rides?

If there’s a campaign being mounted, it’s the most silent, stealth like campaign one has ever witnessed.

The lead “Idaho” campaign consultant is former State Rep. Brian Cronin, a veteran campaigner in his former district and statewide. Brian has been an education consultant for several years and is considered by many of his former House colleagues to be a reasonable and thoughtful voice on education issues.

He now works for Strategies 360, a Seattle-based consulting firm closely aligned to unions and Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell, a former fiance of Ron Dotzhauer, who heads up the firm. Talented but also possessed of an enormous ego, Dotzhauer is without question the most brilliant strategist Democrats in the northwest and Alaska can retain.

He ran Scoop Jackson’s last campaign for the US Senate, both of Booth Gardner’s gubernatorial campaigns, Senator Cantwell’s “comeback” campaign in which she knocked off long-time Republican senator , Slade Gorton, and six years later engineered her defeat of Gorton protege and one of the founding partners of the Gallatin Group, Mike McGavick.

Dotzhauer is very good, there’s no doubt about it. The question is will he listen to the advice of Cronin who is on the scene and in touch (but not necessarily yet in tune) with the finicky nature of the Idaho electorate?

There’s a legitimate fear that campaign folks based elsewhere (Seattle, Portland, Spokane) will listen to former Idaho State Senator John Stocks, now head of the NEA and also the architect of the Republicans massive defeat earlier this year of an egregious ballot initiative in Ohio that would have gutted collective bargaining.

After all, Stocks signs the checks and it’s the “golden rule” – he who has the gold, rules!

IEA board members ought to insist on seeing the breakdown of how the 360 firm intends to spend the $2 million. How much has been allocated for polling? How much for grass roots organizing and get out the vote efforts? How much for tv and radio? How much for direct mail? Print ads? Brochures? Bumper stickers? How much for overhead?

And what is the percentage of the media buy that goes to the media buyer and 360? Many a naive campaign manager has unwittingly let smooth consulting firms get away with a much higher percentage than the going rate.

Not only are there lots of answers that should be provided to questions like these, there’s a clear need to see evidence of a real campaign to put education back in the hands of teachers who know far more about what today’s students need than do ideological politicians like Governor Otter and Superintendent Lunacy.

Chris Carlson is a former journalist and writer who lives in Medimont.

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Comments are closed at this time.

Share on Facebook

 


 

Introducing one of Ridenbaugh Press' latest authors, Nathalie Hardy - introducing her new book, Raising the Hardy Boys.

 

 
owb1444

WASHINGTON-OREGON-IDAHO
Our acclaimed weekly e-pubs: 35-45 pages Monday mornings getting you on top of your state. Discounts for multiple subscriptions. Samples available. Contact us by email or by phone at (208)484-0460.

 

RIDENBAUGH BOOKS catalog


 
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. In this book, writer Scott Jorgensen talks with Atiyeh, traces his background and recounts some of what he had to say – and others said about him. “He was a good man ... In many ways, Vic Atiyeh was more than a man – he was a link to a past that I could barely even imagine.”
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.


 

    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