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Posts tagged as “Idaho governor”

What should we talk about?

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On Tuesday, the two main candidates for governor - Republican Brad Little and Democrat Paulette Jordan - will meet for their first face-off, at the College of Idaho at Caldwell.

What should they talk about?

Here are a few topics they, and the panel of questioners, might consider.

The cost of housing: The sheer ability to get housing - in the parts of Idaho that are growing - has become something close to a crisis. This is a regional, not just a local, issue. What can and should the state do?

As the housing problem suggests, the parts of Idaho are growing, or slipping, in different ways. How can the growth in some parts of Idaho be harnessed to avoid the troubles of boomtowns, but help and boost the parts of Idaho that are stagnant or in decline?

Should the Medicaid expansion ballot issue pass? (Jordan has endorsed it, Little has declined to state a position.) If it does, what will you do to make it work in a frequently hostile political climate? If it doesn’t, what will you do to help solve the problems that have led to its placement on the ballot?

This year’s Idaho Republican convention called for punishing businesses that employ undocumented workers. What do you think the state should do about that?

Pause for a look at the big picture on taxes: Is Idaho’s tax structure taken as a whole fair? How can it be improved?

How do you plan to communicate with the public? Please explain how that relates to your, or your party’s, relationship with the news media in Idaho.

Tell me something - one specific thing, a law, a rule, a process, a program or whatever - that another state does that Idaho would be wise to emulate; and other specific thing from another state Idaho would do well to avoid.

A one-off for Jordan: You’ve accumulated a long and growing list of campaign missteps, from uncertainty about keeping your legislative seat, to involvement with outside issues, to campaign administration problems, to (this isn’t too strong a description) attacks on news reporting, and beyond. If all this doesn’t suggest a lack of preparation for the top elective administrative job in Idaho, what does it say?

A one-off for Little: How are you and your prospective governorship anything other than the Otter Administration Mark IV? Granting some successes (and a strong Idaho economy, attributable only in part to state government), plenty of Idahoans, including plenty of Republicans, would like to see something else after 12 years. Will there be anything substantial other than new names on the doors? And if so, what is that?

And: What do you think is the biggest piece of unfinished business the Otter Administration is leaving behind, and how would you deal with it? How as a practical political matter would you get it done - and why hasn’t it been done yet?

For that last question, at least, there are more than a few reasonable answers. Maybe allow an extra minute on that one.
 

Preconceived bias

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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?