Writings and observations

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Idaho

With the most recent election results, a new regional political map of Idaho has emerged.

The higher-level offices contested in Idaho’s Republican primary election last week were fought over primarily by two clearly competing slates of candidates, those you might call the establishment candidates (who mainly were incumbents) and the insurgents, who challenged them.

Apart from the fact that the establishment won those major offices nearly across the board – losing only for secretary of state (where former House Speaker Lawerence Denney won) – the results varied quite a bit among the candidates. In the controller’s race, Todd Hatfield came within about a percentage point of unseating incumbent Brandon Woolf (who had the disadvantage of never having been on the ballot before). Incumbent Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter scored only a modest win (51.4%) against state Senator Russ Fulcher. Meanwhile, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden scored a near-landslide over attorney Chris Troupis, and Lieutenant Governor Brad Little won smashingly (66.8%) over county commissioner Jim Chemelik. In the four-way superintendent of public instruction race, insurgent candidate John Eynon came in third.

But these races, as varied as their statewide totals may be, look surprisingly similar on county maps.

Fulcher, Chmelik, Denney, Hatfield, Troupis and Eynon, so varied in their statewide results, all won in Benewah, Clearwater, Idaho and Kootenai counties, and either won or nearly won in Latah, Boundary, Bonner, Shoshone and Latah and Nez Perce – in other words, all of northern Idaho. In no southern Idaho county did the insurgency fare nearly so consistently well.

And this relates to all of the north, however it tends to vote in the fall. Latah and Nez Perce counties are fairly competitive between Republicans and Democrats, in contrast to such others as Kootenai and Bonner, but in the primary all fell sharply into the insurgent camp.

And some of those northern wins were really striking. While losing clearly statewide, for example, Fulcher won Benewah County about three to one – and so did Troupis, even while he was losing by a big margin in the state overall.

In the governor’s race, Fulcher did win three counties outside the north: Idaho’s two largest, Ada and Canyon, plus Oneida County. (For whatever reason, Oneida County is the southern Idaho county that came closest to matching the north’s voting pattern.) There’s a case to be made about the growing political difference between Idaho’s first congressional district (north and west) and its second (east and south). But the southern part of the first district, including counties like Valley, Washington and Payette voted a lot like their counterparts to the east, over in the second district. The governor’s race aside, so did Ada and Canyon counties (which is chiefly what made the difference in the controller’s race).

There’s another piece of information to confirm the differences in the north. Legislative candidates who were not aligned with the insurgents, including a number of incumbents, lost almost across the board in the north; incumbent examples include Senator John Goedde and Representatives George Eskridge and Ed Morse. In the south, the reverse was generally true, the big incumbent example being Senator Monty Pearce.

Travelers around Idaho through primary season, watching signage and picking up on locally-produced political literature, sometimes remarked about how different the north seemed to be from the south. Those observations have been borne out.

The biggest divide in Idaho politics today lies along the line between the Mountain and Pacific time zones.

Share on Facebook

Idaho Idaho column

news

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)

Splits among the GOP continue (Boise Statesman)
Health care hiring slows (Boise Statesman)
Education building at UI to be rebuilt (Lewiston Tribune)
State parks rearrange their financing (Lewiston Tribune)
About Magic Valley’s small graduating classes (TF Times News)

On University of Oregon, sexual violence (Eugene Register Guard)
Nature Conservancy helps with wocus transplants (KF Herald & News)
Coos Bay divides over liquid gas project (Portland Oregonian)

Childrens Hospital opens at Everett in August (Everett Herald)
Trios Southridge Hospital prepares to open (Kennewick Herald)
Possible big traffic increase on Columbia (Longview News)
Reviewing VA overload situation (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
Changing times for medical pot users (Vancouver Columbian)
Portland water boil order lifted (Vancouver Columbian)
Stormwater rates rise at Clark County Vancouver Columbian)
Yakima farmers try via program for workers (Yakima Herald Republic)

Share on Facebook

First Take

harris ROBERT
HARRIS

 
Oregon
Outpost

I admit it. I read the Andrew Miller generated police report about Dr. Monica Wehby and thought. Whatever. She used bad judgment by entering Millers home, but it wasn’t stalking.

And I still hold to that opinion.

Then in today’s Oregonian are two more reported 911 incidents. One about an incident regarding her possibly using a pad of paper to slap her soon to be ex husband in 2007. That didn’t really alarm me too much either. Again, the heat of a divorce, a husband looking to get an edge. Whatever.

But, included in that story is a link to a 2009 incident. This was apparently towards the end of what was a long divorce process. The husband apparently called the police and reported:

[Husband] called and said that he and [Wehby] are in the process of getting divorced. They have joint custody of the children. [Wehby] will come over and let herself in without permission. Stating she is there to see the children.

[Husband] and [Wheby] have a written agreement that neither is allowed at the others house W/O prior arrangement.

Tonight [Wehby] showed up at [Husbands] house at 2215 hrs, and knocked on the door (Banged). When [Husband] answered the door, [Wehby] said she was going out of town and wanted to say goodnight to the kids.[Husband] said that the kids were in bed already and that she was to leave.

[Wehby] continued to pound on the door until the kids came to the door to say goodbye. The kids were at the door in approximately one min.

(Bold added for emphasis by author)

So, it appears that when Dr. Wehby doesn’t get the type of personal treatment she feels she deserves, she is pretty . . . insistent, that people pay attention to her. This puts the 2013 Miller incident into a whole new light for me at least.

It also raises an interesting question about the role, if any Attorney Jody Stahancyk played in the 2013 Miller/Wehby incident. Stahancyk was Wehby’s divorce attorney, so Stahancyk likely knew about the 2009 incident. And Miller’s attorney is John Crawford, the husband of Stahancyk, and Miller was at the Stahancyk/Crawford home when he called 911 “on the advice of his attorney”. Since John Crawford is a business attorney, is it likely that it was Stahancyk that was advising Miller to call 911 on her former client?

Listen to the 911 tape again. Can you hear Miller talking to two people in the background?

Share on Facebook

Harris