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Posts published in “Day: January 28, 2014”

Government by fiat

rainey BARRETT


Secrecy has its place. Often - as in the case of national defense - secrecy can save a nation. But in matters of our political affairs, secrecy can destroy our liberties and guaranteed freedoms like a cancer. Such a political disease now exists in our country. If not stopped, we’re soon going to be living in a very different nation.

An important request here. Put aside your personal political leanings for a few minutes and look at what’s happening in several states with as unbiased an eye as possible. Though only one political party is currently conducting this onslaught, it could easily be the reverse with a different outcome at the polls in recent elections. The issue of the moment is the dangerous, freedom-killing tactic - not the perpetrator.

In recent months, legislatures in half a dozen states passed major bills affecting millions of lives. They did so without public notice -without public hearings - in more than one instance without even participation of the other political party. Those bills were promptly signed into law by the respective governors - some such executions without advance notice of any kind.

Now, if you’ve been unable to put aside your political makeup - and if you’re a member of the state majority party that has used these treacherous tactics to put laws on the books you agree with - you may just say “Good for our side.” But suppose you were opposed to what happened and you’re now saddled with these new laws. Still feel good? Still happy? Suppose the roles were reversed.

In each instance, the major topics being legislated have been cutting voting access for minorities and direct threats to women’s health care - specifically availability of abortion services. But that’s just today. And maybe you agree with the outcome. But what about tomorrow? What about the next topic? Substitute such things as new taxes, gun controls, discriminating against YOUR ethnic heritage or race, blocking YOUR ability to vote, creating challenges to YOUR private use - or even ownership - of real property. And dozens of other issues. What if new laws YOU vehemently oppose directly affecting YOUR life were being conceived, passed and executed without your participation or even knowledge? What then? (more…)

Risch’s vulnerabilities

carlson CHRIS


Because Idaho is considered the most Republican state in the nation few political prognosticators, whether in Idaho or the nation’s capital, believe Boise attorney Nels Mitchell has a snowball’s chance of defeating the long-serving Republican officeholder.

There’s one big caveat, though, and that comes down to a question of money as in can Mitchell raise enough to pound away on three vulnerabilities for which Senator Jim Risch has no adequate response. If Mitchell can get the funding to saturate the major television markets with good ads exposing these “wounds,” at a minimum he can make what many expect to be a run away Risch victory into a much narrower race.

Here are three concepts for 60-second ads the Mitchell people ought to fine tune and run:

Ad #1: You pay more taxes, Risch pays less.

Recall folks 2006 when then Governor Jim Risch sold the legislature a bill of goods about switching the one quarter of public school funding that comes from property taxes to an increase in the sales tax.

He claimed public education would lose nothing. He was wrong---they lost $50 million and the evisceration of public school funding in Idaho accelerated significantly. Idaho now is 50th out of 51 states and the Federal District, behind even Mississippi in state per pupil support.

Risch claimed no personal benefit from the switch. In a one-day special legislative session in August, while most Idahoans were enjoying vacations, he rammed through the Legislature a bill he knew would lower his Idaho property taxes by at least $4,000. He remained silent about his break while the vast majority got the shaft.

He said if it could be proven he benefitted personally he would drop out of the race. The proof was submitted but he’s still sitting in the Senate.

You can’t afford Jim Risch and Idahoans can’t trust Jim Risch. I’m Nels Mitchell and I authorized this message.

Ad #2 Arrogance

There is only one word that describes it: arrogance. In a December 2012 interview with the Idaho Statesman, Senator Jim Risch said there was no sense working hard in Washington, D.C., because everything is so partisan only grid-lock thrives. (more…)

On the front page


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Luna won't run again; Smyser possible? (Boise Statesman, Idaho Press Tribune, Lewiston Tribune, Pocatello Journal, Moscow News)
Gun on campus bill introduced (Nampa Press Tribune, Sandpoint Bee)
Asotin County considers pot rules (Lewiston Tribune)
Lewiston high school remodel considered (Lewiston Tribune)
West of border shopping center plans still alive (Lewiston Tribune)
No changes in farmers market (Moscow News)
New Idaho Womens Business Center leader (Nampa Press Tribune)
Bill on wolf kills progresses (TF Times News)
Gooding searches for new school leader (TF Times News)

Legislative budget adjustment needed (Corvallis Gazette-Times, Pendleton East Oregonian)
Corvallis bus rates drop (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
Philomath signs with new manager (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
New Eugene fireworks rules possible (Eugene Register Guard)
Looking ahead to legislature (KF Herald & News)
New head of Collier logging park, museum (KF Herald & News)
Shady Cover blaze contained (Ashland Tidings)
Ashland community radio increases wattage (Ashland Tidings)
Buckly on budget plans (Medford Tribune)
Teachers conflict draws mediator (Medford Tribune)
Pendleton's Travelers Inn to be auctioned (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Hermiston OKs wastewater bond (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Courtney won't go along with CRC (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal)
Federal law may ease hemp ban (Portland Oregonian)
Salem backs river front plan (Salem Statesman Journal)

History museum may close (Kennewick Herald)
McMorris Rodgers touted as on rise (Seattle Times, Kennewick Herald)
Bills would order DNA preservation (Kennwick Herald)
Cowlitz housing improving (Longview News)
Sewer firm owner jailed, fined (Longview News)
Crew demolish Glines Canyon dam (Port Angeles News)
Super Bowl Marijuana business (Port Angeles News)
Port has top administrator in hand (Port Angeles News)
Cost of $15/hour for Seattle city pay (Seattle Times)
Liberty Lake won't allow pot shops (Spokane Spokesman)
City may set barista clothing rules (Spokane Spokesman)
Kitzhaber says CRC dead barring bill (Vancouver Columbian)
Former Selah administrator convicted (Yakima Herald Republic)
Lawsuit says eviction from airfield was wrong (Yakima Herald Republic)