6:53 am
Thu April 17, 2014

What Do Idaho Voters Want? Without Recent Public Opinion Polls, It's Hard To Tell

Election day might be the most consequential poll, but routine public opinion polling can also impact policy.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho voters will soon be inundated with campaign ads and sound bites from political candidates who proclaim to know exactly what Idahoans want. But it's unclear how voters are feeling heading into the May 20 primary election, thanks to a lack of public opinion polling. Without such polling, it's tough to tell if politicians' rhetoric matches the electorate's viewpoint.

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Election 2014
9:13 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Idaho Governor Candidate Spurns NRA Questionnaire

Credit AJForIdaho.com

Democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff has refused to answer the National Rifle Association survey and has criticized the organization for pushing for concealed-carry guns on Idaho college campuses.

Balukoff says Idaho's governor and Legislature shouldn't be beholden to the NRA.

Rather than complete the 23-question survey, Balukoff wrote a letter to the NRA, saying the questionnaire allows only for polarizing and extreme positions.

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Reader's Corner
12:26 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Remembering Bethine Church And Her Passion For People And Politics

Bethine Church was widow of Senator Frank Church and would have turned 91 on Feb. 19 2014, she died on Dec. 21, 2013 at her home in Boise. Bethine was one of Idaho’s sweethearts and a political powerhouse in her own right. Her contributions to Idaho and its institutions are numerous and include being the founder and chair of The Frank Church Institute at Boise State University.

Shortly after the launch of this weekly radio show in 2003, Bethine Church was a guest and we spoke about her new memoir, “A Lifelong Affair: My Passion for People and Politics.” 

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Election 2014
8:16 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Tea Party Wants To Make Spending A Federal Case In Idaho

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:20 am



This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.


And I'm Steve Inskeep.

In election years, we hear a lot of reporting from swing states: Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin. We do not usually hear as much from a place like Idaho, because it is so deeply one color: red. But this midterm election year, Idaho is home to one of the most closely watched races in this nation. A Republican is battling another Republican in a primary campaign that may point to where the party, as a whole, is heading.

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7:52 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Idaho District Reflects Battle Over GOP's Soul

Eight-term Idaho GOP Rep. Mike Simpson has used his seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee to bring home funding for the Idaho National Laboratory. The nuclear research facility is spread over nearly 900 square miles of southeastern Idaho, including the above area.
David Greene NPR

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:45 pm

In 2013, the battle lines were drawn within the Republican Party. This year, war may be breaking out across the country.

The Tea Party has already proven it has the energy, influence and cash to change elections and shape the landscape of Congress. Now, moderate and establishment-oriented Republicans are trying to match their intensity.

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Election 2014
12:22 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Gov. Otter Has More Than $700K To Run Against Fulcher In Idaho's Primary

Republican state Sen. Russ Fulcher is challenging Republican Gov. Butch Otter in May's primary.
Credit DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said he has more than $700,000 in cash to wage a campaign against his Republican primary challenger, state Sen. Russ Fulcher.

Otter filed his latest campaign report Tuesday, outlining his 2013 fundraising when he brought in $901,000, largely from business groups.

Fulcher hasn't filed his report.

Meanwhile, Otter hasn't formally announced he's running for a third term.

Among Otter's biggest supporters were trucking lobbyists, cigarette maker Altria, retailer Wal-Mart and wealthy Emmett rancher Harry Bettis, who gave $7,500.

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Election 2014
12:58 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Boise Democrat, Lawyer Wants Risch's U.S. Senate Seat

Credit Idaho Democratic Party

A Boise lawyer plans to run as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Jim Risch.

Nels Mitchell aims to announce his run Tuesday at Boise's historic train depot.

Mitchell grew up in Idaho's capital, but spent much of his professional career as a lawyer in New York and California.

His legal experience includes several years as an associate regional director at the Securities and Exchange Commission in southern California, where he oversaw a staff of about 75 people who investigated and prosecuted securities fraud cases in the Los Angeles area.

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Idaho Legislature
7:00 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Election Year Could Cut Short Idaho's Legislative Session

The Idaho Statehouse
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The 2014 Idaho legislative session started just last week, but there are already people watching the calendar to see when lawmakers will go home. That matters to taxpayers because each day of the session costs roughly $30,000. 

Lawmakers aren't just thinking about the money, but they're gearing up for the primary election this May. 

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1:27 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Some Idaho Republican Leaders Ask Rep. Patterson To Resign

Credit Idaho Legislature

Update, 4:30 p.m.: Some Republican leaders in Boise have drafted a resolution calling for Rep. Mark Patterson's resignation and may meet on the matter next Tuesday.

Officials in District 15, which Patterson represents, say they're still mulling plans to discuss Patterson's future. Dan Luker, District 15's secretary, said the situation remains "fluid" and that no meeting agenda has been finalized.

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Small Towns
10:10 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Jobs For Life? Meet The Politicians Of A Tiny Northwest Town

Mayor Lynette Oswald leads the monthly meeting of the Prescott City Council.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 6:52 pm

There are some towns in the Northwest that are so small, nearly everybody is a politician.

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Election 2014
11:30 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Brad Little Announces Another Run For Idaho Lieutenant Governor

Lt. Gov. Brad Little will run for the same office in 2014. He made the announcement during a ceremony Wednesday morning in Emmett.
Credit BradLittleForIdaho.com

Idaho’s lieutenant governor announced Wednesday  his plans to run for the same office in 2014. Brad Little made the announcement during an outdoor event in his hometown of Emmett.

The news ends speculation that Little was preparing for a run for governor. Idaho’s current governor, C.L. "Butch" Otter, attended Little’s announcement. Otter has said he plans to run for re-election in 2014, but has not officially kicked off a campaign. 

Little will now visit various Idaho cities over the next two weeks.

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Election 2014
9:39 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little To Seek Re-Election In 2014

Credit BradLittleForIdaho.com

Lieutenant Gov. Brad Little is running again in 2014, hoping to secure a second elected term.

Little made the announcement Wednesday in Emmett, his hometown about 40 miles northwest of Boise.

The 59-year-old Republican rancher and businessman was appointed in 2009 by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter after former Lt. Gov. Jim Risch's U.S. Senate election. He was re-elected in 2010.

With Otter planning to seek a third term, Little appears content to remain in the part-time, $35,100-per-year job as the governor's fill-in.

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Idaho Politics
9:40 am
Thu July 25, 2013

15 Months Before The General Election, Idaho Politics Making Headlines

Much has been made lately of the future of Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador, seen here discussing immigration with protestors at his Meridian office in June.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Normally a slow news season when it comes to politics, Idaho's headlines in recent days have been rife with political developments.

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Governor's Race
1:43 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Boise School Board Trustee Mulls Democratic Gubernatorial Run

Credit Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

A Boise school board trustee is considering whether to run for Idaho governor as a Democrat.

The Idaho Statesman reports A.J. Balukoff will decide sometime in the next several months whether to wage a 2014 campaign against two-term Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, who says he's running again.

Balukoff has been on the Boise School Board for 16 years.

He's also part-owner of the Century Link Arena, the Idaho Steelheads ice hockey team and the Grove Hotel, all in Boise.

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8:43 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Idaho Democrats Look For New Recruits On Latino, LGBT Issues

Credit DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

Democrats in Idaho are hoping to breathe new life into the party in this overwhelmingly Republican state. Party leaders are hitting the road with an appeal to Latino, gay and lesbian, and female voters.

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Election 2012
9:59 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Taxpayer Funded Voter Guide Won't Be Checked For Accuracy

Molly Messick Boise State Public Radio

Idaho voters will soon have a new state-issued voter guide arriving in their mailboxes in the coming weeks. But the information inside hasn’t been fact-checked. 

The Secretary of State’s office – which oversees elections – puts the guide together.  It gets input from both sides of an issue or a race, and then prints what those campaigns submit.  But that material isn’t vetted for accuracy.

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8:40 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Rift In Deep Red Idaho Reveals Dueling Factions In GOP

The Coeur d’Alene Fourth of July parade featured the main Kootenai County Republican Party float, followed at a distance by other factions of the party.
Duane Rasmussen

Republicans meet next week in Tampa, Florida to officially nominate Mitt Romney as the party’s 2012 presidential candidate. But in one of the reddest counties in the Northwest- Kootenai County, Idaho - a public rift is pulling apart the GOP – exposing factions Republicans are struggling to unite across the nation.

There’s one event every year in Coeur d’Alene where the local Republican Party can really shine in spectacular, patriotic fashion:  The Fourth of July parade.

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9:50 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Online Comment Reveals Rift In N. Idaho GOP

Linda Cook, 55, revealed herself as the commenter “almostinnocentbystander” on the blog Huckleberries Online.
Sandy Clemons

A lawsuit in north Idaho over anonymous comments posted in an online forum attracted national attention. Now, the commenter at the center of that dispute has unmasked herself. The case reveals a rift within the north Idaho Republican Party.

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5:09 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Labrador Votes To Hold Attorney General Holder In Contempt

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID)
Office of Rep. Raul Labrador

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. 

Holder withheld documents from a congressional investigation into the failed border security operation knownas“Fast and Furious.”

U.S. Representative Raul Labrador (R-ID) has been critical of Holder and Operation Fast and Furious since last year. He spoke on the House floor before the vote.   "The Attorney General has not only failed to produce all the relevant documents, he has misled this Congress and thereby prevented us from uncovering the truth." 

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6:00 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Idaho Senator Says Some Health Care Rules Will Stay

U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Senator Crapo's Office

The U.S. Supreme Court will make a much anticipated decision this week on the nation’s health care law.  Idaho's senior senator believes some parts of the law will survive whatever the court decides. 

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