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Posts published in “Day: November 4, 2014”

Elections: Some quick impressions

stapilus RANDY

The View
from Here

Just a few thoughts this evening - more tomorrow - in looking at the Northwest results. (As is our wont, we'll leave most of the national commentary to other places.)

Talking to a caller early today, I remarked that I didn't see many surprises and didn't expect a lot of change in Northwest politics. With most of the results in, I see no need to change that. While control of the U.S. Senate will change some pictures for the Senate delegation, the in-Northwest political scene changed remarkably little.

Every incumbent member of Congress in the Northwest was re-elected, and not only that, re-elected easily, mostly in landslides, Democrats and Republicans alike.

The two governors up for elections, Democrat John Kitzhaber of Oregon and Republican Butch Otter of Idaho, both under heavily assault in this campaign, won re-election, to a fourth and third term respectively.

The most interesting of the congressional races, in Washington's 4th district, pitted two Republicans against each other, Tea Party activist Clint Didier against the more mainstream former legislator Dan Newhouse. Newhouse, who had the endorsement of the incumbent (Doc Hastings), won, narrowly, tempering the tone of the state's House delegation a smidge.

Washington's legislature looks likely to be split again in the term ahead - the key indicators being the Tim Sheldon and Mark Miloscia - but at least one ballot issue showed no turn away from left-activism by the electorate: The decisive win in favor of expanding background checks for gun purchases. And you can match that up against Oregon's vote in fabor of joining Washington (and Colorado) in the crop of states seeking to legalize marijuana, keeping the issue from remaining a two-state experiment.

A surprising number of Idaho Democrats pulled together scenarios for possible Democratic wins, up to and including the governorship. My take, on radio and elsewhere, was that Democrats had a small edge to win the superintendent of public instruction job, weren't favored but could come close for secretary of state, and would be unlikely to win elsewhere among major offices. Some horn tooting, then: Democrat Jana Jones may have won for superintendent (just as this is written, the vote is a dead heat - we'll know more later), Democrat Holli Woodings has a decent percentage but still is losing for secretary, and no other Democrats were coming close.

My call, though, for most significant Idaho election of the night - assuming that later returns uphold the early - is in a House seat in District 15, a west-Boise district held easily for decades by Republicans, but essential to a breakthrough into the suburbs if Democrats are ever going to gain significantly in Idaho. Those early results showed Democrat Steve Berch, who has run for the House twice before (two years ago in this district) defeating well-established incumbent Republican Lynn Luker. The other two incumbent Republicans in 15 also were on the razor's edge, and could go either way tomorrow. A decade from now, these votes in District 15 may be seen as the most significant event - as regards change - in this election year in Idaho. [UPDATE: Late results did change the totals significantly in the District 15 races, giving the three Republicans there wins; so this year was not the year it turned. But the district still is showing itself as closely competitive, and a Democratic win there in an upcoming cycle clearly is not out of reach.]

But in the main, and for the next couple of years . . . for all the discontent that seems to be out there, people in the Northwest mostly voted for more of the same.

Remembering Henry ‘Hank’ Day

carlson CHRIS


On an August weekend this past summer I took our two grandchildren to visit the nearby Cataldo Mission. We toured the visitor center and museum before visiting the Jesuit Mission that is the oldest building in Idaho, having been constructed by Father DeSmet in the 1830’s.

There were various plaques in and around the State Park with names of patrons but nowhere did I see the name of the gruff, Irish pixie, Hank Day, who led a fund-raising campaign that saved the Mission from irrevocable deterioration and led to its restoration.

Hank, and his friend, Harry Magnuson, were two of the wealthiest people to ever be born into and grow up in the Silver Valley. They both made fortunes with shrewd investments in penny stocks and a canny knack for investing in mines that provided regular returns. In turn, often quietly and with little fanfare, they reinvested in a vast array of civic and community projects.

As Judge Dick Magnuson told the Spokesman-Review in an article on Hank’s passing in the March 22, 1985 edition, “Few are aware of how much he really gave to the community.” The same can be said for the Judge’s brother, Harry.

Magnuson, however, is named on a plaque for being a significant supporter of the restoration project. Hank is not. He was more than content to let Harry get the lion’s share of credit for projects and causes they worked on together.

Saving and restoring the Cataldo Mission was just such a project. Both were devout Roman Catholics and both were financial boosters for Gonzaga University and Gonzaga Prep. Both recognized the importance of preserving the Old Mission as the visible symbol of the Jesuits extensive role in the early history of the inland northwest.

Both also played a critical role in providing Gonzaga University a line of credit that staved off bankruptcy in the early 60’s.

Hank was born on October 4th, 1902 and his first home was up the gulch just outside of Wallace that constituted the community of Burke. When he was five the family moved to Wallace just in time to survive the monstrous and devastating 1910 forest fire that destroyed part of Wallace and consumed hundreds of thousands of surrounding acres of forest.

Few realized how well educated Hank was. He received his degree in mining engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He did advance studies in Economic Geology and wrote his thesis on the underground geology of the Tamarack Mine where he worked during a couple of college summers.

His father was a co-founder of the Hercules Mine which over a number of years paid out $200 million to investors. Hank helped found the Day Mine in 1947, and remained an officer and ultimately board chiar until he retired in 1972. One of the bitter moments in his life was when his beloved mine was the object of a successful hostile take-over by Hecla in 1981.

Hank also was a director of the Coeur d’Alenes Company until 1966 when the steel fabricating and mining supply firm was acquired by Jimmy Coulson. During his career, Hank participated in almost all the civic activities going in the area, not to mention his legendary support for the University of Idaho and his fund-raising efforts to establish a College of Mines school at the university. (more…)

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)

Ahead to today's elections (Boise Statesman, TF Times News, Nampa Press Tribune, Lewiston Tribune, Pocatello Journal)
Yellowstone, Teton may expand bandwidth (Boise Statesman)
Legal fight over Clarkston pot ban continues (Lewiston Tribune)
Moscow plans downtown public toilet (Moscow News)
Latah neighbors conflicting over water rights (Moscow News)
Nampa prepares to hire Idaho Center leaders (Nampa Press Tribune)
Barnes & Noble wins data turnover case (TF Times News)

Ahead to today's elections (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune, Corvallis Gazette, KF Herald & News, Pendleton E Oregonian)
Loud public debate in Corvallis on open carry (Corvallis Gazette)
Springfield watcher spots illegal carports (Eugene Register Guard)
New UO mission statement approved (Eugene Register Guard)
Klamath may get a rural OHSU hub in 2016 (KF Herald & News)
Former Kitzhaber aide complains on Hayes (Medford Tribune)
Athena may end its local police force (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Wildhorse reports large financial success (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Hacker hits employment department records (Portland Oregonian)
Hot debate over city pot taxes (Salem Statesman Journal)

Ahead to today's elections (Seattle Times, Vancouver Columbian, Bremerton Sun, Longview News)
Marysville school chief was seeking mental health funds (Longview News)
Washington's DC clout at risk (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
2nd Walmart opening at Lacey (Olympian, Port Angeles News)
Sekiu Olsen's Resort sold to Idaho firm (Port Angeles News)
Stabilizing Coeur d'Alene river near Cataldo (Spokane Spokesman)
State might be auctioning Picassos (Spokane Spokesman)
Still working on Yakima nitrate pollution (Yakima Herald Republic)