Democrats

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Supporters of sweeping changes to Idaho's campaign finance laws have failed to collect enough signatures to get their initiative on the November ballot.

Holli Woodings, a Boise Democrat who chaired the Keep Idaho Elections Accountable campaign, said Friday that her group needed at least 48,000 valid signatures, but they fell short by about 6,000. Signatures are only valid if they're from people with up-to-date voter registration.

“The poison pill ended up being people who believed they are registered to vote," says Woodings, "but they’ve moved.”

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Idaho Democrats kick off their 2016 state party convention Thursday. It runs through Saturday. Party leaders expect nearly 400 delegates at the Riverside Hotel in Garden City.

The itinerary includes training sessions for candidates and activists and updating the party platform. Idaho Democratic Party spokesman Dean Ferguson says there are a lot of platform changes being proposed but most are tweaks to language in existing planks. Ferguson says one significant change that may be made is calling for a specific increase to the state’s minimum wage.

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Secretary of State Denney
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Secretary of State says he won’t put up billboards advertising the state’s Democratic caucus on March 22.

Lawerence Denney came under fire this week from the Idaho Democratic Party, which objects to 22 state-funded billboards that advertise the state’s presidential primary on March 8. The primary is solely for the Republican and Constitution parties, after Democrats chose to hold their event at a later time.

Idaho Democratic Party

Leaders of Idaho’s Democratic Party picked their next chairman Saturday. Bert Marley of McCammon replaces Larry Kenck, who resigned earlier this year for health reasons.

Marley, 67, is a former teacher and state lawmaker. He lost the lieutenant governor’s race last fall by 30 percentage points.  Democrats, in fact, lost all five statewide races. 

Marley spoke to KBSX’s Scott Graf Wednesday.  

Q: Considering the party’s recent struggles, what interested you in this job?

Idaho Democratic Party

Idaho’s Democratic Party elected a new party chairman over the weekend. Former state senator Bert Marley of McCammon will lead the minority party, after former chairman Larry Kenck stepped down, citing health reasons.

Marley says he’s excited and honored to serve his party. He beat one other candidate - party spokesperson Dean Ferguson - in an election held by party leaders Saturday.

IDP

Idaho’s Democratic Party will soon be under new leadership. The party announced Tuesday that Chairman Larry Kenck will resign effective May 29.  Kenck says health issues are forcing him to leave his post two years before his term expires.

The party’s vice chair, Jeanne Buell, will take over as acting chair until June 13.  The state central committee will then select a new chair to serve the remainder of Kenck’s term. The party says Buell will oversee the search for Kenck’s replacement.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

On Friday afternoons, the crowd at the B gates of the Boise Airport includes a lot of familiar faces from the Idaho capitol.

Sen. Bob Nonini knows everybody. He's one of the longest-serving north Idaho lawmakers.

“We got Rep. Don Cheatham, Rep. Ron Mendive, Sen. Mary Souza, Rep. Sage Dixon, Rep. Vito Barbieri, Rep. Heather Scott, Rep. Kathy Sims, and Rep. Eric Redmond,” Nonini said. “And we go home -- most of us -- go home every weekend. And then come back.”

Everyone was in jeans and sneakers, ready to fly to Spokane.

Idaho Democrats predict more common ground than usual at the state Capitol this year. That’s because Idaho’s minority party leaders say many of the Republican proposals on the table are things Democrats have been pushing -- for years.

Democrats make up only 20 percent of Idaho’s Legislature. House Minority Leader John Rusche says they’re used to their bills not even being printed.

A.J. Balukoff, 2014 Election, Democrats
Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Tuesday’s elections revealed two political parties headed in different directions in Idaho.

For the GOP, the sweep of statewide races was a step in healing wounds opened during a contentious summer. But Democrats’ optimism gave way to the stark reality that they continue to struggle for competitiveness in one of the reddest states in the country.

Democrats, Donkey, Politics
DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

We recently asked our Boise State Public Radio Facebook followers about what it's like to be an Idaho Democrat, and we got a big response.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Jerry Panko vacuums up leaves around the candidate signs in his north Boise front yard. Panko is a retired teacher, he refers to himself a liberal, he’s a big fan of unions and he’s a long-time Democrat.

With Election Day a week away we’re profiling some Idaho voters. We talked with Panko about the experience of being a hardcore Democrat in Idaho.

Panko says the affiliation came in handy nearly three decades ago when he first asked out the woman who would become his wife. She had some requirements for him.

Idaho Public Television

The two candidates vying for the job of Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction faced off Tuesday night in a debate sponsored by Idaho Public Television. 

Republican Sherri Ybarra and Democrat Jana Jones are competing to replace Tom Luna, who's stepping down at the end of his current term. 

jana jones, education, election 2014
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Democrat running to be Idaho’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction says funding and low morale are the two biggest issues facing Idaho’s schools.

Former Idaho Gov. John Evans Has Died At Age 89

Jul 8, 2014

Former Gov. John Victor Evans Sr., one of Idaho's last Mormon Democrats to achieve statewide political success, has died. He was 89.

Summers Funeral Home confirmed he died Tuesday morning at his home in Boise.

Evans was born Jan. 18, 1925, in Malad City. He is the grandson of the founder of the Idaho-based D.L. Evans Bank.

Evans was elected Idaho lieutenant governor in 1974, a position he held for the next three years. In 1977, he was elevated to the chief executive job when then-Gov. Cecil D. Andrus was named U.S. Interior secretary under President Jimmy Carter.

Democrats, Donkey, Politics
DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Democrats meet this weekend in Moscow for their state party convention. It comes a week after the state’s Republican convention, which the Washington Post called “a total fiasco.” Factional infighting prevented Idaho’s dominant party from accomplishing anything on its convention agenda, including electing a party chairman.

It’s political convention season in Idaho. Republicans held theirs last weekend and Democrats will meet this weekend. Randy Stapilus admits what happens at party conventions doesn’t typically reach directly into people’s lives.

Betty Richardson, Jim Weatherby, Ben Ysursa
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Republican Party has dominated Idaho politics for most of its history. In fact, it's one of the reddest states in the country. But it hasn't always been that way. Twenty years ago, Idaho had a Democratic governor.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Whenever people talk about Idaho politics, chances are someone will say something like “Idaho is one of the reddest, if not the reddest state in the country.” Republicans have been the majority party for most of the state’s history, but until relatively recently, Democrats were also very competitive.

To find out how Idaho became a one party state, take this stroll down the historic road to red.

Idaho’s First 100 Years of Party Politics

Democrats, Donkey, Politics
DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

Two Democratic candidates spurred by a recent political scandal in the Idaho Treasurer's Office hope to oust four-term incumbent Ron Crane.

The treasurer's race is one of only two statewide political contests for the Democratic party. Crane faces no challenger in the May 20 primary election.

The Democratic primary candidates are Twin Falls accountant Deborah Silver and Boise freelance writer W. Lane Startin.

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