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Posts published in “Day: May 20, 2018”

Idaho Weekly Briefing – May 21

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for May 21. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com.

The governor’s primaries are done, with Brad Little winning on the Republican side and Paulette Jordan on the Democratic. A string of other contests, notable among them races for the first U.S. House seat, lieutenant governor and superintendent of public instruction. Next: A breather, then the launch of general election campaigning.

A year’s worth of campaigning led up to the evening of May 15: Primaries in the Republican and Democratic parties that settled the nomination – and in some cases the tenor – of a number of major office races. The top line was the race for governor, won on the Republican side by the candidate from the inside, Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, and on the Democratic by the candidate from the outside, former state Representative Paulette Jordan.

Representative Mike Simpson announced that the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill protects funding for the Idaho National Laboratory, the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, and cleanup activities in Idaho. Simpson is Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, which passed the bill through the full House Appropriations Committee this week, and had the lead role in deciding funding for all Department of Energy programs.

Air Combat Command officials announced the 366th Fighter Wing at Mountain Home AFB will test a new wing organizational structure. The experimental structure, initiated by the commander of Air Combat Command, Gen. Mike Holmes, directs the 366th Fighter Wing to create an organization that will test possible ways to improve squadron readiness, develop unit leaders and encourage innovation. Changes at the wing are expected to start this month.

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 2.9 percent in April, continuing an eight-month run at or below 3 percent. The state’s labor force – the total number of people 16 years of age and older working or looking for work – continued to increase, gaining 1,242 people from March to April for a total of 849,373.

The Idaho Department of Water Resources issued a final notice on May 17 to more than 400 ground water irrigators who have yet to comply with an order requiring installation of approved flow meters on ground water pumps in the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer region.

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests visitors should be prepared to encounter personnel working on and near Forest Service roads near the Orogrande community this summer as fuels reduction and restoration projects move forward.

The Board of Ada County Commissioners will be holding a public hearing on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 9 AM to consider Ordinance No. 833 that would amend Ada County code to include a new section for unmanned aircraft. This public hearing will occur during the Open Business Meeting in the Commissioners’ conference room on the 3rd floor of the Ada County Courthouse.

PHOTO Would you release a 30.5-inch rainbow trout if you caught it? David Raisch of Pocatello did, and he's now a state-record holder. Raisch caught his record fish in late March and recently submitted it into Idaho Fish and Game's catch and release records, which allows anglers to claim a state record while letting the fish live. The program started in 2016, and it complements the traditional "certified weight" records that require anglers to weigh the fish on a certified scale, which means the fish is typically killed. Raisch was fly fishing in the Snake River when he landed the record rainbow, which coincidentally is where the previous record of 29.3 inches was caught. (photo/Department of Fish & Game)
 

A convincing win

trahant

Paulette Jordan won a convincing primary victory in her bid to be the next governor of Idaho. She convinced more than 60 percent of Democratic voters that her progressive message would work in November.

“I am so moved by the strength and determination of our Idaho voters today. Their voices were heard loud and clear — our vision for a more prosperous future lies with the progressive values embodied by this campaign,” Jordan said in a telephone call to Indian Country Today. “Our communities have spoken, and now we must unite as never before to move onward together.”

Jordan said she is “honored by the widespread support received from my relatives throughout Indian Country.”

“This is a huge step for us and I’m excited to be on this journey with all of you. This is a great indicator of where we as indigenous progressive leaders in rural states can help lead our communities,” Jordan said.

Already some dismiss Jordan’s chances going forward. The New York Times described the race this way: “In a state that Donald J. Trump won by more than 30 percentage points and has not elected a Democratic governor since 1990, the Republican primary on Tuesday is almost certainly where Mr. Otter’s successor will be chosen.”

When asked how she will convince voters in a state that is overwhelmingly Republican, Jordan laughed, and said, “we’re about to find out.”

Then again Idaho is a state that did once elect Democrats. Former Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus won the governor’s office four times, the last time in 1990.

The formula? “Connectivity,” Jordan said. “It’s about connections to the land and people.”

Jordan also is already bringing new voters into the process, young people. A tweet Tuesday before the vote captured that very idea. “Today I became a #firsttimevoterand my first vote ever went to the one and only @PauletteEJordan,” wrote Taylor Munson.

The turnout in the Democratic Primary was remarkably high. The Idaho Statesman reported in the state’s largest county, Ada, officials scrambled to supply enough ballots. “I am super curious to see what actual turnout was for the Democratic Party, because we were certainly overwhelmed by it today,” Ada Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane told The Statesman.

In addition to Jordan’s messages about her rural values, her outreach to younger voters could also be the key to reversing the Republican hold on Idaho.

Jordan defeated a well-funded candidate, A.J. Balukoff who used his own personal wealth to fund his campaign. She also defeated the Democrats establishment, most of the elected party officials endorsed Balukoff (who had been the party’s nominee four years ago). Balukoff was gracious in his defeat. He said he would work hard to elect Democrats.

So that’s another first. Jordan easily erased a substantial gap in campaign funding.

This is history. Jordan is the first woman to ever win a party’s gubernatorial nomination in Idaho.

She also made history because Kristen Collum is her running mate. It’s the first time two women have run together to lead Idaho.

See previous coverage: Making news, making history, and breaking rules. Idaho’s Paulette Jordan announces an all-female ticket

Then this is going to be an election of firsts and making history. Jordan, Coeur d’Alene, is now the first Native American woman to ever be a major party’s nominee for governor. Get used the phrase “first ever” is going to pop up a lot between now and November.

On Facebook, Seahdom Edmo posted: “I am watching this with my daughter. I said, ‘look she is a Native woman running for Governor, do you want to be Governor?’ She said, ‘no, I want to be President.’ Paulette, you are inspiring all of us!”

Cross posted on Indian Country Today. Mark Trahant is editor of Indian Country Today. He is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. Follow him on Twitter Follow @TrahantReports