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Two universal truths

carlson

There are two predictions I can make with some surety (though I’m all too often out in the weeds) surety.

No, it is not the inevitability of death and taxes.

The issues are these: The Catholic church will never change its position on life and will always oppose abortion on demand as well as oppose any and all changes to laws that would allow abortion in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother.

Women, 75% of whom see this as a reproductive rights bedrock issue, will never support turning the clock backwards.

If President Trunp’s next appointment to the Supreme Court is the very conservative Judge Kavanaugh, and he leads a new majority that overturns Roe vs. Wade, all hell will break loose - a clash of the immovable force and the immovable object.

The terrible swift sword of retribution will be aimed primarily at Republicans, especially Republican men. If there is one issue that a solid majority of women from all walks of life agree upon, it is reproductive rights and unfettered access.

Most folks are familiar with the old country admonition “be careful what you wish for.” In this case the question is aimed at those seeking repeal of Roe vs. Wade. Many have forgotten that if repeal occurs state law takes effect. Needless to say some of these state tweaks are far more restrictive than Roe vs. Wade.

Conservative legislators will end up in a trap of their own making. They’ll be hammered by both sides and unable to appease either.

The issue is a tough one. Governor Andrus always said he was pro-life but the proponents of overturning the ruling did not view him that way because he believed there should be exemptions for rape.incest or life of the mother.

I personally adhere to the Catholic church’s view that life begins at conception and is a continuum until natural death. I still believe, however, that the church allows for individual conscience to prevail. That tells me that if a family decides to back a daughter who has been raped or the mother’s life is at stake, the family has an absolute right to assert and select an abortion option. I cannot imagine any father ordering his daughter to carry a child to birth if the daughter has been raped by a thug and she doesn’t want to carry to delivery.

There has to be some flexibility in any beginning of life or end of life issue. The church recognizes in good faith this primacy right of one’s conscience.

The main reason Andrus vetoed the infamous HB 625 was not because he no longer viewed himself as pro-life, for he continued to see himself in that light. He too came to recognize an individual family’s right to privacy on a difficult question with no easy answer. He could care less what the Uhlencutts and the Nuxolls of the world thought.

Andrus did do one thing differently. Usually he signed or vetoed proposed new laws quickly. In this case he took his time---the full ten days--- before zapping it. He did this as a “teaching moment” for Idaho’s citizens .

It will be interesting to see how the Legislature handles this “cow pie” that will be back in their pocket.
 

Notes . . .

notes

Wandering around election stats today, I stopped in at Cook's report on partisan indexes but congressional district, and thought it would be interesting to compare the rankings for the Northwest.

A note or two for those not conversant with the PVI (partisan voter index): It uses a set of statistical measures, including but not limited to recent votes for president and congressional seats, to establish a statistical figure to demonstrate how Democratic or Republican a congressional district is.

It's full national map is well worth the time if the subject is of interest. But for those in the Northwest, the rankings by district should give some perspective as to how parts of the region fit together.

Here's how the districts in the Northwest, and some adjacent districts as well, stack up against each other. They're listed in order from most Republican to most Democratic, and those in the middle are those which at least theoretically should be the most competitive.

-25.59 Utah 1 - Rob Bishop (R)
-24.97 Wyoming AL - Liz Cheney (R)
-20.71 Idaho 1 - Raul Labrador (R)
-16.85 Idaho 2 - Mike Simpson (R)
-13.27 Washington 4 - Dan Newhouse (R)
-11.14 Oregon 2 - Greg Walden (R)
-11.04 California 1 - Doug La Malfa (R)
-10.61 Montana AL - Greg Gianforte (R)
-7.63 Washington 5 - Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R)
-6.97 Nevada 2 - Mark Amodei (R)
-3.96 Washington 3 - Jaime Herrera Beutler (R)
-0.31 Washington 8 - Dave Reichert (R)
0.25 Oregon 4 - Peter DeFazio (D)
0.48 Oregon 5 - Kurt Schrader (D)
5.47 Washington 10 - Denny Heck (D)
5.69 Washington 1 - Suzane DelBene (D)
5.70 Washington 6 - Derek Kilmer (D)
9.10 Oregon 1 - Suzanne Bonamici (D)
9.93 Washington 2 - Rick Larsen (D)
20.90 Washington 9 - Adam Smith (D)
23.66 Oregon 3 - Earl Blumenauer (D)
32.69 Washington 7 - Pramila Jayapal (D)

The actual division is pretty clean - that is, districts leaning in the direction of one party do tend to elect people from that party. Where you see a really high PVI for either party, that means the opposition party needs something close to a miracle to win the seat. It happens, but such lightning strikes are rare.

But if 2018 turns into a Democratic wave year, you can see which districts are most worth watching. If this were a Republican wave year, districts like Oregon 4 and 5 and Washington 10 and 1 would be worth watching. In this year, however, two Washington districts - 3 and 8 - are at the top of the list. Dave Reichert in 8 is retiring, and a ferocious campaign may develop there, but we won't know for sure until after Washington's primary election next month. Washington 3 may be safer for Jaime Herrera Beutler partly because she has organized well and partly because Democrats seem not to have put strong enough campaign together there, but that district too should not be ignored.

Not far up the list above them, though, is Washington 5, a district not as firmly Republican as many people think, though Cathy McMorris Rodgers has held it solidly. She has her strongest ever opponent this year, though, and this is definitely a district to watch.

A bit of perspective as we head into campaign season. - rs

Wrecking balls in motion

mckee

About a week ago, and in the dead of night according to the New York Times, Trump started his trade war. With all the other hoopla going on, not much has been done to call attention to this event.

International trade makes up around 25% of our GDP, which is a number that is not to be sneezed at. However, international trade is not the most interesting subject to examine and even simple explanations can take the reader off into the weeds by the end of the lead. There is just no way to inject any real excitement into basic accounting, trade ratios and market shares.

That said, the event noted may have more lasting and direct consequences upon more of our everyday lives than all of the other matters that the old fool is playing around with will have, even combined. It was exactly midnight that a third round of tariffs imposed by Trump on billions of dollars’ worth of foreign trade from China was to take effect. China immediately announced that it was matching the U.S. action with additional tariffs on of its own. Similar dialogues are rippling throughout Europe, Canada and Mexico as these countries prepare retaliations in response to U.S. tariffs imposed upon their exports. Trump has announced the intention of following suit if retaliatory tariffs are imposed against the United States. The result appears to be the beginning of an inevitably escalating series of retaliatory tariffs that could escalate until trade maximums are engulfed.

So, history seems on the brink of heading down a path last followed almost 90 years ago, when the isolationists convinced then President Hoover to go along with a stiff tariff program intended to protect American jobs. The Smoot-Hawley tariffs were enacted in 1930. Economists and historians estimate that these tariffs were the direct cause of U.S. exports falling by over 40% by 1932, crippling international trade. All economists generally agree that the trade war caused by the Smoot Hawley tariffs exacerbated the Great Depression.

Trump has not announced what specifically he intends to accomplish by the imposition of his tariffs. He has no clear policy to promote. He says only that the U.S. is being treated unfairly, and that we have to reign in the current levels of trade deficits. He doesn’t say why the trade is unfair. Surely, there are specific imbalances that need attention, and there are some trade practices that are unfair. Specific tariffs can be a tool in certain cases. But the task here is to find a tool to apply as a Band-Aid to a specific problem, not to attack every situation with sledge hammer or wrecking ball. Too often tariffs become sledge hammers, leaving too much unintended wreckage. Even when carefully applied, the impact of tariffs will eventually hit the consumer.

Trump’s fascination with trade deficits, and his insistence that they need to be brought into balance, is just plain wrong. Trade deficits are not inherently evil. In a healthy economy with markets that are otherwise booming, trade deficits are a perfectly normal if not even a desirable result. In the U.S. for example, with an economy that is burgeoning ahead, the huge beneficiaries of our trade deficits with most of our trading partners are domestic consumers. Eliminating deficits by definition requires either an increase in production or a decrease in consumption. Where artificial measures are applied, in the usual case it is the consumer who will suffer in the end.

Consider what happened in 2009, when the unions and tire manufacturers complained to the Obama administration that China was flooding the market with radial tires. Domestic jobs were being lost because domestic producers could not compete. So, the Obama administration imposed a punitive 35% tariff on specific types of radial tires exported from China. Because of the specifics involved, economists were able to study the market exactly, and measure the results with a degree of precision.

It might have looked like the special tariffs helped in the short run. Domestic tire producers were able to hold their prices and maintain production, and an estimated 1,200 jobs in the tire industry were preserved. But according to a study released by the Peterson Institute of International Economics, when the consumers’ side of the deals were examined, the additional cost of what had been cheaper Chinese exports cost domestic consumers an estimated $1.1 billion in higher prices. Further, when the tariffs hit, the decline in sales of the imported tires cost an estimated 3,731 domestic jobs lost on the retail side. One academic study on this specific tariff concluded that three retail jobs were lost on the consumer side for every manufacturing job saved on the production side.

In the longer run, the special tariffs did not return all radial tire production to the U.S. Instead, production migrated from China to other cheaper countries. Domestic tire production was initially boosted by the tariffs but soon sagged again as competition from foreign sources spread. One manufacturer, for example, held his employment level from 2009 through 2012, with the addition of the tariffs, but by 2017 – five years later – the employment level at this firm was down by over 25%. A study released in July of 2017 concluded that the special tariffs made no difference to production problems in the tire industry long term yet cost the U.S. consumers billions of dollars in higher prices.

The problems are even more complicated when the commerce being hit are products made up of component parts or subassemblies. According to a 2017 analysis presented by CNN, for example, every car manufactured in the United States could actually be considered an import when considering the origination of all the parts and subassemblies that go into the manufacture. To show the incongruities, by this measure the most “American made” vehicle currently on the market is a Honda pickup – a commercial vehicle partially manufactured in Japan with more than 75% of components manufactured in either the U.S. or Canada.

If tariffs are imposed on parts that are exported to the U.S., this can put the domestic parts manufacturer at a significant disadvantage. The domestic producer’s costs are driven up by the tariffs, often resulting in it conceding market shares to foreign competition which acquires the same parts and subassemblies but without tariffs. If the domestic producer can absorb the additional costs of the tariffs without raising prices, it still must reduce margins which might otherwise be available for increases to wages or reinvestment in plant resources.

All major U.S. automakers also have assembly plants in Mexico. Components are manufactured in the U.S. and elsewhere, shipped to Mexico for assembly, with the completed vehicle then returned the U.S. for sale. In a full-scale trade war, we may find tariffs imposed by the U.S. on parts and subassemblies; tariffs imposed by Mexico on the components sent to plants in Mexico for final assembly and tariffs on the finished vehicle as it is returned from Mexico for sale. Multi-levels of tariffs would hit U.S. consumers purchasing U.S. made cars from U.S. manufacturers on vehicle models intended for sale in the U.S.

One investment analysist said long range planning under Trump was difficult because no one could figure out what his policy was, is, or might become, commenting that “Watching all these trade actions is like watching a pinball machine.” Further, what Trump is doing is probably illegal. Imposition of tariffs are supposed to require Congressional action; the President is only authorized to act without Congressional authorization when declared necessary for national security. Most analysists agree that there is no true national security involvement in any of the tariffs Trump has imposed so far, or in any tariffs that he has announced he intends to impose.

What is clear is that the ultimate target of almost all of these tariffs is, or will be, the American consumer. Despite what it looks like, tariffs are not a tax or penalty imposed upon the foreign exporter. While sometimes the cost of a tariff can be absorbed by exporter; much more common in the short run, and always in the long run, is that the additional cost of the tariff will be passed along into the price to be paid by the ultimate consumer. A tariff in reality is nothing but a sales tax imposed upon the poor end consumer.

Anybody want to guess who that is going to be?
 

Sunday drivel

rainey

Even with a near lifelong interest in politics, I avoid Sunday “talk shows” like the plague. Haven’t watched in over 30 years. Maybe longer. Maybe back to the last days of Lawrence Spivak on “Meet The Press.” Well, Tim Russert, at least.

Each Sunday, reporters and opinionists - most of whom have an uncanny inability to be able to ask the follow-up question - parade the usual cast of celebrity wannabees who babble incessantly about not much.

You don’t have to watch ‘em to know what was said. Out-takes are all over the place on Monday since most “working” media takes the weekend off and space/time needs filling.

Before his health failed, John McCain seemingly spent far more time on the Sunday tube than he did on the Senate floor. Now, his “Sancho Panza,” Lindsey Graham, seems to have that “honor.” But, unlike McCain, his hand puppet just can’t come up with a singular position on anything without several “cover-his-butt” disclaimers.

The basic reason I’ve given up on TV gabfests is that, too often, nothing that needs discussing gets discussed. A couple of weeks ago on GOP-TV, the EPA Secretary - since fired but who should still be tried for larceny - had his turn in the barrel. Did the questioner go after Pruitt’s strident efforts to tear the Department to pieces or his dastardly work to eliminate all facts about climate change from any documents that cross his desk or ending climate change research? Was he grilled about new oil spills or his wanting more drilling on our shorelines?

NO! His time was consumed trying to defend his outrageous spending, his proclivity for cronyism, his nutcase demands for 19 bodyguards and wanting his limousine outfitted with a siren so he wouldn’t miss dinner at rush hour.

That’s what Sunday “talk” has become. For reasons I can’t comprehend, the entire genre has become mindless and oblivious to the real issues. Just line up “news makers,” hit ‘em with some large, fuzzy, meaningless questions and thank them for their service.

What angers most is our disaster of a president has set loose the baddest group of grifters, con artists and outright misfits to dismantle the various agencies they’re supposed to be running. All of ‘em - pick any one- have set out to cripple or destroy institutions of government.

So, how does this near-unanimous gang of vested interest white collar criminals tie to the Sunday shows? How does their unscrupulous misbehavior relate?

Simple. These talkfests offer the only real chance serious, responsible journalists have to set the issues that should be important, then use well-researched follow-up questions to get to the facts. These aren’t “press conferences” where the interviewee can pick and chose what to answer. Using that tougher format, no one question can be dodged before running to the next. Three, four, a dozen queries until the issue has been examined. Probing. Searching. Factual.

Sounds doable, right? Well, there’s this. A friend who’s a producer for one of the networks once told me, if such a fact-searching, “hard-nosed” approach were adopted, they couldn’t get the “right people” to appear on Sunday. Might be “embarrassing” to the guest, I was told. Yep, “embarrassing.”

That producer’s response may actually be the most basic reason I don’t watch the Wallaces and the Todds of the world. They got where they are by knowing better. They’re good reporters. Yet they take their “foot off the gas” so the “big names” will come back. Gotta remember the ratings. And the advertisers.

I’d hate to think what I was told was the case across the board. But, given similarities of the current softball questioning and the meaningless drivel resulting, I think there’s more than a little truth there.

What passes as government under Trump may not be the only failing institution of our time.
 

Idaho Weekly Briefing – July 16

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for July 9. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com.

The summer quiet continues. A few wildfires flare up from time to time, but they’re small; the state revenue and budget picture wound up on track; and wild animal stories proliferate.

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and State Controller Brandon Woolf on July 13 said that continuing strong economic growth enabled the State of Idaho to end fiscal 2018 with $100.7 million more tax revenue than anticipated despite June collections that were $19.3 million less than forecast.

Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired the hearing for Ryan Nelson, an attorney from Idaho Falls and sixth-generation Idahoan, who has been nominated by President Trump to serve as a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In comments about Nelson, to his Senate colleagues, Crapo highlighted Nelson’s legal experience.

Lieutenant Governor Brad Little traveled to Washington D.C. on July 12 to testify before the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on the subject of grazing on federal lands.

The city of Twin Falls is seeking volunteers to fill seven at-large openings on a citizen advisory committee that will explore the feasibility of remodeling or building four fire stations in our community. Residents living within the city limits are encouraged to apply for the ad hoc committee.

Search warrants served on several businesses in the Coeur d'Alene area suspected of trafficking in unlawful alcohol beverages.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has approved the sale of Falls Water Company to NW Natural Water Company, LLC. Falls Water serves approximately 5,500 customers in Bonneville County.

IMAGE The Eli M. Oboler Library at Idaho State University is displaying an exhibit of photography by ISU biology Professor Chuck Peterson titled “Snakes of Idaho” that will be on display through Sept. 28 in the library’s first floor art exhibit area. Peterson's research interests include the ecology and conservation biology of amphibians and reptiles. Much of his work has focused on reptile populations on Idaho's Snake River Plain and on amphibian populations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Peterson received the Outstanding Herpetologist award from the Idaho Herpetological Society in 1997. This image is of a groundsnake. (photo/Idaho State University, by Peterson)
 

Cars, but not trucks

frazier

Ada County Highway District Commishes voted Wednesday 3-2 in favor of placing an open ended fee hike proposal on the November ballot which exempts vehicles over 8,000 lbs. from ANY local fees while placing the entire burden on automobile owners.

Commishes Jim Hansen and Kent Goldthorp opposed the measure while Sara Baker, Rebecca Arnold and Paul Woods voted in favor despite hearing repeated testimony from citizens seeking either a two year “sunset” limit or simply not passing the unequal fee hike at all.

The measure seeks to raise Ada County’s maximum vehicle registration fee from $40 to $70.

Ada County State Rep. John Gannon appeared to present his draft legislation and seek some sort of agreement to keep from placing the financial burden on the hood of auto owners and not share it with vehicles in excess of 8,000 lbs. In a letter to the commissioners, Gannon had suggested fees on commercial trucks be 10% of the state fee or capped at $70.

There were several pleas among folks seeking to distribute any fee hikes among safe routes, bicycles, and public transit. Most citizens acknowledged the issue of crowded streets is the product of state and local government-encouraged growth and not the fault of ACHD.

Look for a major battle in coming months between advocates and opponents of growth over this one.
 

Uneven distributions

stapiluslogo1

The latest data dump on population estimates running up through 2017 from the U.S. Census office offers, as usual, some numbers worth considering.

Two items in the latest round of Idaho statistics - you can see them at lmi.idaho.gov/census - seem especially worth pondering.

One of them is a chart showing the growth in Idaho population by raw numbers from 1969 through 2017 - broken out by county.

The differences are dramatic. Ada County had just over 100,000 people in 1969, and more than 450,000 now, a quadrupling of residents, which means the blue line on the chart zooms upward at better than a 45 degree angle. The growth in Ada in that time has been spectacular. The Census also reports the change in how much each county accounts for a percentage of the state’s population overall. Ada’s went from 15.6 percent in 1969 to 26.6 percent in 2017.

Below that on the county chart, a salmon line representing Canyon County rose about half as fast, from around 60,000 people to more than 220,000 - more than tripling. Kootenai County, which had about 35,000 people in 1969 - fewer than Twin Falls County - now has more than four times as many as it did back then. (For all the significant growth over the years in Twin Falls, that county now has about half as many people as Kootenai.) And Bonneville County has, in the last half-century, doubled its population.

But if you then look at the rest of Idaho’s counties, 38 or 39 of them, you see them all bunched together in something close to a straight line - almost no population change at all in 50 years. All that massive growth you’ve heard about in Idaho has happened in the space of only a few hundred square miles, a tiny sliver of the state.

We can parse this growth, in greater and lesser amounts, in lots of other ways too. One of them is by age.

While Idaho’s population has been growing overall different age groups have been growing at different paces. The state Department of Labor summarizes a piece of this:

“The number of Idaho’s seniors – people age 65 and older – grew nearly 8 percent from mid-2016 to mid-2017, the highest percentage of all age groups. Overall the state experienced a significant population increase of nearly 37,000 or 2.2 percent across all age groups for the same time period, according to estimates recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. While the 2017 data shows Idaho’s senior group represented 33 percent of the total change in population, or one out of three people, all age groups experienced growth. The 19-and-younger age group and the 40- to 64-year-old groups grew by 1.5 percent each, while the 20- to 39-year-old age group grew 2.3 percent.”

But the impact of elder growth is not evenly divided among the counties. The report noted that, “Twenty-nine of Idaho’s counties had a median age above the state’s median age.”

And: “Adams County had the highest median age in the state at 55. Boise, Clearwater, Custer, Idaho and Lemhi counties, also has a median age older than 50. Madison County, home to BYU-Idaho, had the lowest median age in the state at 23, and Latah County, home to the University of Idaho, had the state’s second lowest median age at 29.” Put another way, the older-population counties are mostly the most rural.

So what’s the future for rural counties in Idaho? What’s the future for most counties in Idaho?

It may be time to start thinking not just about the future of the state, but about the future of its components.
 

Medicaid expansion’s uncounted benefit

schmidt

When I served on the Governor’s first workgroup that studied and recommended Medicaid Expansion for the State of Idaho, I sat on the panel next to a former director of the Idaho Department of Corrections. I had previous experience working as a physician in the Idaho prisons and we had discussed this in the past.

After one long day of presentations from experts with graphs, tables, numbers and projections as we were getting up from our chairs to go he bent over and whispered to me, “I hate that Obamacare, but this Medicaid expansion would sure be a benefit for my guys.”

I nodded, but after he left I wondered if he meant by “my guys” the recently incarcerated and released, or the guards who work at the prison. Knowing the low pay for prison staff, he may have meant both.

The next day when the summary was being provided about the costs and benefits of Medicaid expansion, I asked the expert if they had figured in any savings from criminal justice costs. They said, no, such calculations would just be too hard to do. I argue they would be substantial. You can’t count what you don’t see.

People in custody (county jail or state prison) are not eligible for Medicaid health insurance to pay for their health care. That cost comes right out of the Idaho general fund. Right now, the charge for folks in prison is over $16/day, almost $6000 per prisoner per year; a total of $48M dollars a year we can’t spend on schools or roads.

My short time working as a doctor in the Idaho prison taught me a lot. I was expecting to see lots of healthy young men with a history of behavioral and substance issues. I was surprised how many middle aged and older inmates there were with chronic disease. Over 65% of the inmates were on chronic medications; many were on psychiatric meds. Imagine what happens to these folks when they are released to the community with no access to health care and a $6000/year health care habit. We are being stupid about how we treat people. Idaho pays 100% of their health care costs in prison, then because they are not eligible for health insurance in Idaho, we pay 0% when they are released. If we expanded Medicaid eligibility we would pay 10% of the costs. Seems a good investment to me.

Right now, the legislatures Justice Reinvestment Oversight Committee (JROC) is hearing testimony from “experts” as to why we need to spend $500M to build a new prison here in Idaho. That’s what the Board of Corrections has recommended. Prosecutors are saying, “It’s not our fault our prison population is exploding. We are just enforcing the laws you legislators write.”

The easiest, cheapest recommendation the JROC could make to the legislature and the governor, easier than sentencing reform, cheaper than building a new prison, would be to say what the former director said to me: “We hate that Obamacare, but expanding Medicaid would sure be a good thing for our people.”
 

Preconceived bias

carlson

This past weekend saw a classic example of an otherwise fine reporter filing an Associated Press story about the prospects of former State Representative Paulette Jordan (D-Plummer) to upset Lt. Governor Brad Little (R-Emmett) in this fall’s gubernatorial race.

Rather than state the obvious, that she has a snow-balls chance in hell (Little wins 65% to 35%) the reporter seems to want to throw out a lifeline of a shred of hope that it happens.

Wishing to appear balnaced and objective and to mask their bias the reporter set up a “straw dog” as the model of the typical Idaho governor---you know, one who rides a horse well or at least looks like a cowboy; a fiscal conservative who has signed the pledge not to support any new taxes, and of course a white male.

The reporter added one other wrinkle, pointing out that they should be a Mormon. Then the reporter veered of the tracks big-time by saying in effect this was the mold formed by former four-term Idaho Governor which Rep. Jordan was trying to break.

This line of malarky is a classic false syllogism which reveals the reporter’s bias and a desperate effort to create credulity for a candidate who has none.

There are several facts one sould keep in mind here. First, Andrus did indeed set the standard by which one should measure whether a gubernatorial candidate can do the job of solving problems.

There is nothing in Rep. Jordan’s record that indicates she is a problem-solver. She claims to be a leader, not a politician, but she has not lead any organization or board of directors. And not one of her legislative colleagues has endorsed her candidacy.

The reporter also took identity politics a step further by stating that Cecil D. Andrus was LDS. Wrong. He was a Lutheran. The reporter must feel that if Jordan pulls of an upset, people will appreciate it even more if they know Jordan knocked off a Mormon.

Of Idaho’s thirty-five governors only one Mormon has been elected—John V. Evans in 1978. One other, Arnold Williams, inherited the office in 1946 but was defeated later that year.

All reporters and columnists have pre-conceived biases and often write with their conclusion in mind to which they seek supporting testimony. A goood reporter will acknowledge bias but will strive for objectivity. At the end of the day though they still are subjectively writing.

So, you ask, what are some of your faithful scribe’s biases? I have a bias against:

*politicians who do not write personal thank you notes to those that help them in some way;

*politicians who while running for office claim not to be a politician but rather a leader;

*politicians who lie like Rep. Jordan did when she mislead the press claiming some support for her candidacy from legislative colleagues;

*politicians who campaign only on the internet, twittter and face-book and are afraid to walk into a town’s coffee shop and make a cold call. Instead their public events are known party gatherings;

*politicians who do not do their homework and cannot discuss an issue beyond a one-page briefer;

*politicians who support the expansion of gambling in Idaho;

*politicians who accept contributions from PACS and are ok with so-called dark money;

*politicians who do not understand federal/state relations and blindly accept unconstitutional “solutions;”

*politicians who view the office they seek as a stepping stone to even higher office;

*politicians who run for reasons of ego and hubris, rather than seeing politics as a noble calling;

*politicians who play the identity politics game, and by doing so trivialize the process and demean themselves.

*politicians who cannot even organize and run their own campaign. Why should the voter think they can administer the state?