Writings and observations

There was a time not so long ago that Dave Oliveria, the Spokesman-Review‘s columnist/blogger for northern Idaho, was clearly sympathetic with the area’s ascendant Republican politicians. He’s a self-described himself conservative, as in one interview where he recalled, “In 2004, we had the presidential election and I was probably one of the few in the newsroom who supported Bush. I wanted an outlet. I wanted to provide a conservative voice online to counter some of the liberal voices.”

I mention this by way of setting up the bonafides when Oliveria, as he has done increasingly in recent years, takes on the local Republicans.

He started a post today noting that the Kootenai County treasurer, who had planned to resign, withdrew the resignation after becoming concerned that the county’s Republican central committee, which selects nominees for replacing him, would not choose someone qualified for the job.

Oliveria: “The GOP Central Committee no longer can be trusted to act in the best interests of the public. Rather, it has become a vehicle for Constitutionalists, Libertarians, Ron Paulers, and various other elements of the local Tea Party to push their extreme agendas under the name of the Republican Party. For the past year, we have watched as “Republican” activists have created turmoil on the Coeur d’Alene City Council and Coeur d’Alene School Board. Councilman Steve Adams, a former North Idaho Patriot for Ron Paul, won office as a “Republican” and now has Coeur d’Alene facing an economic disaster as a result of his flipflop stand against wastewater treatment expansion. The Coeur d’Alene School Board, including three appointees, all of whom have Republican Party backing, has bounced from one self-inflicted controversy to another in the last 9 months.”

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BOEING JOBS It’s not just how many jobs; it’s also what kind of jobs, and how much they pay. That may give some outsized significance to the report out today about the prospect that Boeing may moved hundreds of white collar jobs from the Puget Sound area south to California. In the Seattle Times: “The company’s blue-collar workforce last week learned Boeing would shrink the ranks of machinists by more than 2,000 this year, including about 800 layoffs. Boeing’s white-collar workforce in the region will also lose some jobs — though the process will be more piecemeal.”

IDAHO MEDICAID You might think that the idea of sending tax money to the federal government only to deliberately get less of it back might be a winning arguing point … even in Idaho. A Medicaid committee set up by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, no fan of the feds, says as much, that such “leaves Idaho citizens in the frustrating dilemma of Idaho federal tax dollars supporting expansion in other states, while our taxpayers reap none of the benefits. We urge serious consideration of the negative consequences of delaying expansion.” As matters stand, though, legislative leaders seem poised to block even consideration of the idea this year.

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