Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: February 17, 2015”

The posturing politician

carlson CHRIS


There’s something about a politician who piously postures on an issue that sticks in the craw. In a way it tells the voter the officeholder thinks a majority of the electorate is too stupid to see through the posturing and the pontificating.

Exhibit A from last week is Idaho’s First District congressman, Raul Labador. The darling of the Tea Party Republicans is more and more proving to be, like a majority of those in Congress, nothing more than a “show horse,” as opposed to his colleague, Second District congressman, Mike Simpson, a true “work horse” who does the heavy lifting that keeps Congress moving.

Labrador engaged in two activities last week which were pure posturing. The voter should be wary and take them with a grain of the proverbial salt.

First, he introduced and heavily publicized a bill he had filed which would restrict and further circumscribe the absolute power the President has under the 1907 Antiquities Act to create national monuments with the stroke of a pen. The bill is similar to one introduced in the Senate by Idaho’s two senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch.

These bills generally require public hearings before a president could act as well as the concurrence of a state’s governor. There are two major problems with this action that confirm the “political posturing” tag.

Labrador’s ostensible goal is to preclude President Obama from using his Antiquities Act power to declare the Boulder/White Clouds area a national monument, as he is being urged to do by folks like Idaho Conservation League executive director Rick Johnson and former four-term Idaho Governor Cecil D. Andrus.

In doing this, the congressman has with malice aforethought breached congressional protocol which states as a matter of professional courtesy one congressman does not introduce a bill in a colleague’s district having no impact in his district. It is tantamount to saying, “In your eye, Mike.” Rest assured this is duly noted by Simpson and will not be forgotten.

The second reason this is pure posturing as well as a waste of taxpayer’s money is that Labrador, as well as Crapo and Risch, know damn good and well this legislation is going nowhere. Sure, they’ll pontificate and excoriate President Obama, Governor Andrus and the ICL for imposing their will on the good citizines of central Idaho while camapigning at home during a congressional recess.

If honest with the voters, though, they would acknowledge they don’t have the votes to over-ride a presidential veto. They would also acknowledge that every president since the passage of the Act has used his authority to make and has made nationl monument declarations.

What Labrador does not want to admit is that he and his colleagues will not have the skill or the standing to get legislation passed invalidating the monument declaration by passing Simpson’s original carefully crafted bill creating a wilderness area.

The other pure political posturing by Labrador last week was the Congressman telling The Hill newspaper, the daily bible of all those who work on Capitol Hill or serve in the House, that he was NOT going to challenge three-term incumbent Mike Crapo in the 2016 Republican primary for the Senate. (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)

Road and bridge bills arrive at legislature (Nampa Press Tribune, Lewiston Tribune)
Insurance exchange extended in WA (Lewiston Tribune)
Elk rule change could mean disease imports (Lewiston Tribune)
Legislators urge local broadband solutions (Moscow News)
Simplot Stadium won't be in county fair (Nampa Press Tribune)

Kitzhaber and Brown out of public eye (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune, KF Herald & News)
I-5 viaduct at Medford studies for safety (Medford Tribune)
Area schools allow open enrollment (Medford Tribune)
Umatilla Co courthouse gun ban reviewed (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Hillsboro data centers yield 1 job per 175k (Portland Oregonian)
Oregon considers stronger vaccine law (Salem Statesman Journal)

Bill would allow simple majority for bonds (Bremerton Sun)
Bill would limit Boeing tax breaks for jobs (Everett Herald)
Extension of Oso donation deadline (Everett Herald)
Interview with new Longview city manager (Longview News)
Pam Roach admonished by Lt Gov Owens (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
Voters may get another vote on class size (Olympian)
Harbor Patrol ending with no funds (Olympian)
Port Angeles hospital raises measles tent (Port Angeles News)
Port Angeles may ban fireworks (Port Angeles News)
Trade programs growing at N Idaho College (Spokane Spokesman)
Zoo finds places for aquarium (Tacoma News Tribune)
Few of WA mentally ill are hospitalized (Tacoma New Tribune)
Reviewing legislature's transport package (Vancouver Columbian)
Klickitat PUD plans power storage system (Yakima Herald Republic)
Insurance exchange deadline extended (Yakima Herald Republic)