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Posts published in “Day: November 5, 2012”

Student choice

Not always is the Idaho Student Mock Election, whose results were released today, predictive of Idaho state results. But a particular variation in this one make it worth watching.

At the top of the ballot, the Idaho students chose Republicans Mitt Romney for president and Raul Labrador for U.S. representative in the 1st district, and Mike Simpson in the second. That's certainly in line with what the state is likely to do tomorrow, though the margins were closer than the real election's likely will be.

Having said that, there's this: The students voted overwhelmingly against the "Luna laws," the three referenda (1, 2 and 3) which would sustain them or reject them. The students' margins on them were not close, about three to one in opposition to each. They defeated #3, for example, by 324-1,363.

What will the statewide voters do tomorrow?

An ominous attack on our most basic liberty

Barrett Rainey
Second Thoughts

In the 1950′s, three governors stood on the steps of Southern public educational institutions in their states, attempting to block African American students from attending. Flash forward 50 years or so and it’s Florida Gov. Rick Scott standing between Floridians and their polling places to stop them from exercising another guaranteed right of citizenship – the vote.

Our most basic freedom – the right to cast a ballot to determine our choice of government – has been under attack this year by Republican legislatures and Republican governors as never before. It’s been totally a Republican Party drive.

And before one of my elephant-loving friends rises in defense of these elected law breakers, he/she better be holding in his/her hand an concrete example of a Democrat-sponsored effort to participate in this despicable enterprise. Go ahead. I’ll wait. ‘Cause it won’t happen.

Republicans in at least seven states have undertaken various approaches to denying Americans their rightful place at the ballot box. When the efforts were taken to the courts, all were stopped but one. And that one – upheld by a Republican-appointed judge in Pennsylvania – was reversed on appeal. These were just the ones that got through the legislative process. In more than half-a-dozen other states, the Republican-backed treachery was stopped before getting out of the chambers.

In Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, Republican Secretaries of State have also tried to separate voters from the franchise. One fired Democrats on Ohio’s voting commission when they opposed his illegal restrictions. All three made drastic cuts in early voting hours, days and polling places. All have sponsored official web sites with wrong voting data about polling places, dates of the election, hours of operation and “official” telephone numbers for voting information that were either unanswered or led to automated messages containing similar bogus data.

In two states, billboards were placed along highways that contained phony information – such as photo identification being required to vote- even after courts had struck down the illegal requirement. Official mailings were sent out in three states with dates to vote listed that were two days after the election. In one case, the voting information was only wrong – in Spanish.
Is this a full Republican Party press to violate constitutional rights of citizens? No. Thank God, no. In Florida and Ohio, several Republican county officials refused to comply with state orders to cut days, hours or otherwise impede voters. They were threatened but held their ground.

But what we’re seeing played out here is – in my view – a symptom of the internecine battle to come within the Republican Party following this week’s election. There are Republicans – God love ‘em – many Republicans who’re just as disgusted and embarrassed about this destructiveness as the rest of us. They are seeing the rotten fruits of the labors of zealots and ideologues who control the Party from precinct level to national offices. (more…)

More about that last independent

In the last Idaho column I noted that I didn't know much about A.L. Freehafer, the last person elected (in 1928) to the Idaho legislature as an independent, other than that he was later (in 1930) elected as a Democrat, and had served in the legislature some years before as well.

Turns out that Freehafer has some family members who became considerably better known around the state than he was: His grandson was former U.S. Senator James McClure. The senator's son, Boise attorney Ken McClure, sent a note this morning on Freehafer, filling in some of the background about him:

I know a fair amount about A. L. Freehafer. Nice to read about him. He was my great-grandfather. Albertus Leroy. The source of Dad’s “James Albertus.” He actually served in the Senate from three different counties He lived in Council, and was elected in 1908 to represent Washington County in the Senate. In 1909 he carried the bill that created Adams County (split off from Washington County) and then was elected to represent Adams County. He left the Senate to serve on the (I believe first) PUC in 1913 if memory serves. After that service concluded he later moved to Payette County (to be nearer my grandmother and her husband and to practice law in that growing metropolis) where he later was elected to the Senate.

A.L. was a lawyer who “read the law” instead of going to law school. He and my grandfather, W. R. McClure, practiced law together in Council after my Grandfather graduated from the U of I Law School in 1920 (following a stint in the army air corps in WWI) until my grandfather moved to Payette in 1924, just a few months before my father was born. After that, A. L. practiced in Council for a couple years with Roger Swanstrom’s father (or perhaps grandfather, I don’t recall, I do recall that his nickname was “Too Tall Swanstrom” since he was tall, just like Roger) until he moved to Payette. He may have run as an independent in 1928 but he was a Democrat, particularly after Roosevelt was elected. I had always assumed he had run as a Democrat in Washington and Adams Counties, but I guess I don’t know for sure. I need to find out. Thanks for the article. It gives me a bit of research to do.

Thanks: Illuminating a whole section of Idaho politics and law.