Politics

2014 Election
4:24 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Many Young People Don't Vote, We Explain Why This Young Idahoan Does

Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

It’s no secret that young voters are less likely to vote than older voters. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in every presidential election since 1964, 18-to 24-year-olds voted at lower rates than all other age groups. In the last mid-term election, 21.3 percent of 18-to 24-year-olds voted. The number was almost three times higher for those 65 and over.

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Election 2014
7:10 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Idaho's GOP Governor Faces Two Hurdles: A Wealthy Democrat And Fed-Up Republicans

Gov. Butch Otter, with First Lady Lori Otter, spoke at the Republican Party's "unity rally" in May.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A favorite joke in Idaho -- at least among Republicans -- is that Idaho's Democrats could hold their convention in a phone booth.

Republicans have held the Idaho governor's office for 20 years and are easily the state’s ruling party. But this year, Republican governor Butch Otter doesn't face the easy ride back to office you might expect.

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Election 2014
5:51 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Balukoff Puts Up $3.2 Million Into His Campaign For Idaho Governor

Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A.J. Balukoff has said he’s committed to doing whatever it takes to unseat incumbent Gov. Butch Otter.

And we now know that includes putting more than $3.2 million into the race.

The latest round of campaign finance reports came in Tuesday — a snapshot covering the period from Oct. 1 to Oct. 19. In that time, the businessman, accountant and Boise School Board trustee contributed $995,000 to his campaign, bringing his total contributions for the year past the $2.7 million mark. Since Oct. 19, Balukoff has put an additional $545,000 into the race.

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Election 2014
4:59 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

In This Republican Stronghold, Why One Idaho Man Still Votes Democrat

Jerry Panko working in his north Boise front yard.
Credit 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.

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Election 2014
4:04 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

National GOP Group Drops $500K Into Idaho Governor's Race

TV cameras focus on Idaho Governor Butch Otter (top left) and Democrat A.J. Balukoff (top right) at the gubernatorial debate in Coeur d'Alene on October 3.

New campaign finance reports show a national Republican group has spent more than $500,000 trying to re-elect Gov. Butch Otter in Idaho.

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Election 2014
1:52 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

After Scandal, Typically Quiet Idaho Treasurer Race Heats Up

Deborah Silver, left, is running for treasurer against longtime incumbent Ron Crane.
Credit Courtesy Idaho Public Television

Idaho's normally quiet race for state treasurer is heating up during the last leg of the midterm election as four-term incumbent Ron Crane faces off against political newcomer Deborah Silver.

Republican Crane has held the office since 1998 with few viable Democratic opponents.

However, this year he's defending his 16 years in office after a recent legislative audit claimed he mismanaged funds that resulted in a $20 million loss of taxpayer money.

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Election 2014
6:53 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Otter Leads Balukoff By 24 Points In Latest Poll For Idaho Governor

The latest poll on Idaho's gubernatorial race shows two-term incumbent Republican C.L. "Butch" Otter leading Democrat A.J. Balukoff by 24 percentage points.

The CBS/New York Times/YouGov poll released Oct. 1 shows 57 percent of respondents said they favor Otter.

The poll surveyed 594 Idahoans between Sept. 20-Oct. 1. In each demographic breakdown available, Otter had a sizeable lead.

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Election 2014
9:49 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Denney, Woodings Touch On Issue Of Closed Primaries During Statewide Debate

The two candidates running to be Idaho's next Secretary of State faced off Tuesday in a debate hosted by Idaho Public Television.  

State Representative Lawerence Denney of Midvale, a Republican, debated state Representative Holli Woodings of Boise, a Democrat.

In a debate Monday, Denney was reported as saying that primaries should not be run by the state government, but by political parties.  

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Election 2014
9:45 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Candidates For Idaho Governor Dis Washington's Legal Pot

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 9:36 am

Washington's law legalizing recreational marijuana made its way into Idaho's gubernatorial debate on Friday.

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Debate Specials
3:07 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Boise State Public Radio To Broadcast 6 Political Debates

Credit DonkeyHotey / Flickr

Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 7, KBSX News will broadcast a series of political election debates being produced by Idaho Public Television.

The Idaho Debates are a collaboration of the League of Women Voters, the Idaho Press Club, Idaho Public Television, and Boise State University.

Here is the schedule:

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Ethics Violation
9:55 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Idaho Supreme Court Rules Former Prosecutor, Gubernatorial Candidate Bujak Broke Ethics Rules

The Idaho Supreme Court has ruled that Libertarian gubernatorial candidate and former Canyon County prosecutor John Bujak violated four of the Idaho State Bar's ethics rules between 2004 and 2011.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the court ordered that Bujak's law license be suspended for one year, but because he already underwent a 19-month interim suspension three years ago, the penalty has been satisfied.  

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Election 2014
1:09 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Idaho Governor Ads Heat Up, Hazy On Details

Idaho's gubernatorial candidates are honing their campaign messages as election season enters the homestretch. However, as political advertisements increase, not all include details proving their claims.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's political ads have largely focused on his involvement during his past two terms in improving Idaho's economy after it fell during the Great Recession.

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Legislation
5:05 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Idaho Rep. Labrador Pushes Bipartisan Police Demilitarization Bill

Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho GOP congressman Raul Labrador is teaming up with a Democratic lawmaker to move a bill designed to curb police militarization among state and local law enforcement agencies.

Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson and Labrador introduced the bill Tuesday. The legislation follows the shooting of a black teenager by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, that sparked a series of riots and increased criticism of police use of military equipment.

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Teacher Pay
3:45 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Idaho Task Force Seeks Higher Teacher Salaries

Credit BES Photos / Flickr Creative Commons

A state task force says reforming Idaho's teaching certification must be tied to increasing salaries in order to attract and retain quality teachers in public schools.

The 15-member committee spent most of Monday discussing details of implementing a new teacher pay system commonly known as the career ladder.

However, some members worry that state lawmakers will approve tougher certification requirements without providing funding for higher salaries.

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2014 Election
8:34 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Idaho Schools Chief Candidate Ybarra Removes Content Identical To Rival's Website

This story was updated at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 5, 2014

State superintendent’s candidate Sherri Ybarra has edited her campaign website — removing language that was nearly identical to wording on opponent Jana Jones’ website. 

The modifications apparently were made Thursday, a day after Idaho Education News first reported on similarities between the rival candidates’ sites. As recently as mid-afternoon Thursday, the passages appeared twice on Ybarra’s page.

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Election 2014
12:13 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Otter Commits To 4 Gubernatorial Debates

Gov. Otter at the KBSX studios in spring 2014.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter will participate in four debates against his general election opponents.

Otter says he accepted debate invitations that could be viewed via a statewide broadcast.

The first debate will be in Coeur d'Alene on Oct. 3, then in Idaho Falls on Oct. 9. He'll travel to Nampa Oct. 14 to participate in KTVB-TV's debate and finish on Oct. 30 by participating in the Idaho Public Television debate.

Debate moderators and other participants have not yet been released.

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Politics
9:47 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Idaho's New GOP Chairman Promises To Leave Personal Politics Out Of His Job

Steve Yates, chairman of Idaho's Republican Party.
Credit Melissa Davlin / Idaho Public Television

The new leader of Idaho's Republican Party says the GOP is beginning to heal after a chaotic state convention in June, and a summer full of fighting that ended in court.

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Local Government
10:09 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Boise Mayor Appoints 22 Students To City Positions

Credit Dave Bieter's Facebook Page / City of Boise

Nearly two-dozen Boise high school students are getting a little extra civics homework this year.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter has appointed 22 students to serve on various city boards, commissions and committees over the course of the school year.

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Politics
5:30 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Why Idaho's Most Well-Known Political Reporter Is Now Working For A Politician

Popkey joined the Idaho Statesman in 1984. He's covered 26 legislative sessions and five governors during his tenure.
Credit Jim Hadley / Idaho Public Television

Dan Popkey, the longtime Idaho Statesman reporter who announced last week he’s going to work for Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador, says his decision to make a career change has been an agonizing one.

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Election 2014
11:57 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Scandal Threatens Montana Democrat's Hold On U.S. Senate Seat

Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., has been accused of plagiarizing a portion of his 2007 master's thesis.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 10:25 am

On Sunday morning, with haze from wildfires thick in the air, Sen. John Walsh addressed a graduation for officer candidates at the Fort Harrison Army post outside Helena, Mont.

"As your senator and someone who sat in your seat approximately 30 years ago today, I will always be your partner," Walsh told the small crowd.

For Walsh, this should have been a perfect event. He's the only Iraq War veteran serving in the U.S. Senate. And he had graduated from this same training here.

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