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Posts published in “Day: May 14, 2014”

Defining a party

malloy CHUCK

In Idaho

Could this election define the heart and soul of Idaho’s Republican Party? Congressman Raul Labrador makes a case for those high stakes, which led to his endorsement of Sen. Russ Fulcher for governor and a host of tea party candidates.

“We need a new vision for Idaho,” Labrador said. “We need strong leaders that understand that business as usual is what should not be happening in Idaho. We should look for fresh ideas and for new ways to make Idaho what I believe should be the gem of the whole United States, rather than be at the bottom of all the different things.”

Labrador calls for leaders to “show a vision of what Idaho will be five years from now, 10 years from now and 20 years from now.”

Cecil Andrus could not have said it better. Of course, the Fulcher-Labrador crowd offers far different solutions than Andrus, but there at least is agreement on what some of the problems are. Idaho is last in the nation in wages, and first in the relative numbers of workers receiving minimum wage. It’s at the bottom, or near the bottom, in just about all measures for education and as stories by the Statesman’s Dan Popkey and others have revealed, Gov. Butch Otter’s Project 60 has been more of a campaign slogan than a formula for economic recovery.

When Labrador talks about things like “heart and soul,” he can start with the visual contrast between the young turks and the old guard. Fulcher and Labrador are two politically ambitious men who are in the prime of their lives. Otter, the leader of the old guard, is an example of an aging politician who has been there, done that and never wants to leave.

Yes, Fulcher and Labrador are about as conservative as politicians get. But in Idaho, that’s not a bad thing. Idaho is a poor state, and there is not a high threshold for new programs and more taxes. Idaho will never be among the big spenders for education, whether it’s the public schools or higher education. Paying the minimum wage will continue to be challenging enough for businesses.

This new brand of conservatives want what almost all Idahoans want – quality schools, good roads, safe communities and quality state services. But people such as Fulcher and Labrador think there are smarter and more effective ways to manage state government and boost the economy. Fulcher talks about natural gas exploration in the Payette area and Labrador talks about Idaho becoming the next Silicon Valley.

Both say that for Idaho to move forward, old leaders have to go. “Butch Otter has done a lot of things to admire in office. But after 40 years in government, he has lost his way,” Labrador says.

Labrador, especially, is what Otter was in his younger days – a firebrand conservative who challenges the old ways of doing business. Fulcher is more measured in his approach, but he has a similar resolve.

The question that Republicans will answer on May 20th is whether they are ready for a new heart and soul.

On the front pages


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)

Judges throws out ID same sex marriage ban (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune, Pocatello Journal, Moscow News, Sandpoint Bee)
Profiling the governor's primary (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune)
Garden City may ban bar smoking (Boise Statesman)
Profiling attorney general GOP race (IF Post Register)
Fall chinook runs doing well (IF Post Register)
Lewiston will retain Horizon flights (Lewiston Tribune)
Urban renewal finance questions (Lewiston Tribune)
Fire calls increasing at Pullman (Moscow News)
1st district primary contest profiled (Moscow News)
House 13A candidate talks past charges (Nampa Press Tribune)
Pocatello High principal retiring (Pocatello Journal)
Snake Canyon jumps may be televised (TF Times News)
Club for Growth quits funding Smith (TF Times News)

Lane Transit won't seek income tax rise (Eugene Register Guard)
Lane County strikes two Mt Pisgah events (Eugene Register Guard)
Charter school issues debated at KF (KF Herald & News)
KF Ridge View trail approved (KF Herald & News)
Jedge says Medford can block pot license (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Elk Creek lands to become park (Medford Tribune)
Anger over contract for fire station (Medford Tribune)
Hermiston may spruce up airport (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Teachers blocked in battle against Common Core (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Fire burns from cooking hash oil (Portland Oregonian)
Healthy job growth at Oregon (Portland Oregonian)
New Salem-Keizer superintendent hired (Salem Statesman-Journal)

Labor council won't back Larsen (Everett Herald)
State not planning to halt logging (Everett Herald)
Benton City students protest staffing changes (Kennewick Herald)
Inslee bars release of convict (Kennewick Herald)
Longshore talk begin at Longview (Longview News)
Campground still shut over mudslide (Seattle Times)
Another police chief candidate reviewed (Seattle Times)
Idaho same sex marriage ban tossed (Spokane Spokesman)
Reporting planned health insurance rates (Tacoma News Tribune)
More insurance plans may come to Clark (Vancouver Columbian)
Supreme Court visits Clark (Vancouver Columbian)
Planning consider revised Yakima plaza (Yakima Herald Republic)
Lawsuit erupts over Taylor Bridge fire (Yakima Herald Republic)