Politics

Politics
5:26 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Gay Marriage May Have Rallied Idaho Republicans Around Otter

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter talks with supporters at a campaign stop in Post Falls in October.

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.

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Election 2014
12:51 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Ybarra Wins Idaho Schools Chief Race By Fewer Than 6,000 Votes

Sherri Ybarra will become Idaho's next superintendent of schools.
Credit 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.

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Election 2014
11:59 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Election Shows Idaho GOP's Wounds Healing, Democrats Still Struggling

A.J. Balukoff put nearly $3.2 million of his own money into his campaign. Balukoff lost to two-term incumbent Gov. Butch Otter.
Credit 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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2014 Election
1:34 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

5 Idaho Legislative Districts To Watch On Election Day

Idaho Statehouse
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's legislative races are not very competitive, at least that's the opinion of Gary Moncrief, professor emeritus at Boise State University, who studies state legislatures.

While all 105 seats in the Legislature are up for grabs this year, Moncrief sees only five districts where the races could be close.

“In Idaho, usually somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of the seats are not contested,” says Moncrief.

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Election 2014
9:52 am
Mon November 3, 2014

6 Things You Told Us About Being An Idaho Democrat

Credit 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.

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Election 2014
10:15 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Idaho Gubernatorial Candidates Square Off One Final Time Before Election Day

A.J. Balukoff, John Bujak and Butch Otter during Thursday night's Idaho Public Television debate. It was the candidates' final debate of the race.
Credit Idaho Public Television

In their last meeting before Tuesday's election, three men running to be Idaho's governor wasted no time in taking shots at each other's policies and ideas. The debate, hosted by Idaho Public Television, featured incumbent Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, Democrat A.J. Balukoff and Libertarian John Bujak.

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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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