Politics

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's Rep. Raul Labrador is one of nine U.S. House Republicans this week who announced the formation of the House Freedom Caucus. The group includes some of the most conservative members of Congress.

Labrador says the formation of the new caucus is a way for the its members to better represent their constituents. 

Labrador has been part of a similar, but larger group in the Republican Study Committee. He says having his voice – and that of his constituents in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District – heard will be easier as part of the new Freedom Caucus.

Marcel Pacatte

Nowhere else but on a college campus do you, two days after a presidential visit, sit down and unpack the event with a raft of scholars, some of the school’s best-brained students and a group of highly motivated learners from the community.

This was simply a university being a university on Friday afternoon in Driscoll Hall at Boise State University – and the place was packed for the unpacking.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

During President Barack Obama's speech at Boise State, he bragged about innovation taking place in Boise and on the BSU campus. At least 5,000 people heard his remarks firsthand. But a lot of people who wanted to be there couldn't. The White House limited the number of tickets available. And, as Adam Cotterell reports, those who watched Mr. Obama on TV, may have actually had a better seat than those in attendance.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise State University sophomore who introduced President Barack Obama before his Wednesday speech was beaming ear-to-ear at the podium. Camille Eddy is studying mechanical engineering. When she learned she'd be introducing the president at Wednesday's event, she was understandably thrilled.

“That felt really great -- being up there on the stage -- being able to welcome him to our community was such an awesome honor," Eddy says.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

President Barack Obama spoke for just over 30 minutes Wednesday at Boise State University, touting the proposals from his Tuesday State of the Union address aimed at helping the middle class.

Jim Max / For Boise State Public Radio

President Barack Obama made a whirlwind stop in Boise Wednesday, touching down at around 1:20 p.m. MST.  Air Force One then departed the Boise airport three hours later.

In between, the president spoke to thousands people at the Caven-Williams Sports Complex on the Boise State University campus. He also visited Boise State's New Product Development Lab.

Idaho Statesman

President Barack Obama will speak at 3:00 p.m. MST at Boise State University.

After last night's State of the Union address, Obama is in Idaho to further his plans laid out in his speech which include tax and education plans aimed at benefiting the middle class.

The White House / Flickr Creative Commons

President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver a 2:45 p.m. speech today at the Caven-Williams Sports Complex on the Boise State University campus after delivering his State of the Union address last night.

During his stop at Boise State University Wednesday, President Barack Obama will visit a lab that helps local entrepreneurs and industries build prototypes of their products to help get them into the marketplace.

Obama will visit the College of Engineering’s New Product Development Lab. It’s managed and run by the College of Business and Economics. 

Castle Peak, Baker Ranch
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

President Barack Obama’s visit to Boise is a rare chance for Idaho groups to get their messages in front of the nation’s leader. Organizations critical of the President are organizing demonstrations outside the Boise State University sports complex where he'll speak Wednesday afternoon. Others will rally for causes and issues hoping to get attention from Obama.

Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Little

Tuesday, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is having surgery to get his left hip resurfaced. From the time Otter goes into the hospital to when he comes out from his anesthesia, Lt. Gov. Brad Little will be Idaho's acting governor.

It's something Little is pretty accustomed to; it happens on a regular basis. Any time the sitting governor is out of the state or incapacitated, the lieutenant governor steps in as the top official, even if it's just for an hour or two.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has publicly taken his oath of office as Idaho's chief executive officer.

The Republican governor stood on the steps of the state capitol Friday, along with the six other statewide constitutional officers, to be sworn-in to their recently elected positions.

More than 200 people attended the event, including legislators, Idaho Supreme Court justices and three former Idaho governors.

Kevin Rank / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s annual legislative session starts next week, but some lawmakers are already at work. Each year, just before the session, a group of lawmakers meets to try and get an idea of what Idaho’s economy will be like in the coming year. They use what they hear to inform their budgeting decisions.

Of course, what the state’s economy will do in the future is something that’s important to most everyone in Idaho, not just lawmakers. So here’s a preview of what legislators will hear.

http://idahopoliticsweekly.com/

Idaho political junkies have a new option for getting their news. Idaho Politics Weekly launched Monday, right before the state legislative session kicks off Jan 12.

But unlike other traditional media outlets in the Treasure Valley, the website and newsletter are sponsored by Utah-based Zions Bank.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Secretary of State office changes hands this week after 12 years under the same elected leader. Lawerence Denney takes over for the retiring Ben Ysursa, who has been Idaho’s secretary of state for three terms.

Ysursa leaves as one of Idaho’s most respected political figures. Denney – a former Speaker of the Idaho House - raised eyebrows when he filed to run for the office. Some saw the Republican from Midvale as too partisan to run the state office that oversees elections, campaign finance, lobbying, and business filings.

Ysursa says he has heard the whispers regarding what Denney’s plan for the office – and policies on voter access – might be.

Governor's Office via Twitter

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has taken the oath of office and marked his place in Idaho history as being only the second governor to start three consecutive terms as Idaho's chief executive.

The Republican governor was sworn in during a private ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday.

Only family members and invited guests attended Monday's ceremony. The public inauguration will be held Friday at noon on the steps of the Idaho Capitol where Otter will give his inaugural address. The Inaugural Ball and Processional will be held Jan. 10.

This Reader's Corner interview was originally broadcast in May, 2014

Fans of novels depicting dystopian societies need look no further than our nation’s Congress for real-life examples of governance run amok. That’s the message from our guest, former U.S. Representative Mickey Edwards, author of "The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans."

Edwards argues that blind allegiance to party affiliation has turned lawmakers into followers rather than leaders, with many voting their party line more than 90 percent of the time.

A federal appeals court Thursday upheld gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan. It’s a break with the trend in most courts.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

As expected, the closest statewide race of Idaho's 2014 election was for superintendent of public instruction. Unofficially, Republican Sherri Ybarra won with 50.7 percent of the vote to Democrat Jana Jones' 49.3 percent. Just 5,700 votes separated the two candidates.

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.

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