Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

Jamie Richmond

When news broke that President Trump revealed classified information to Russian officials visiting the White House last week, many in Washington expressed concern. Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, however, was one of the first to make public statements in defense of Trump. This afternoon, a small group of protesters, about 54 of them, gathered outside Risch’s Boise office in opposition.

Risch, a member of the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, said Trump’s move to declassify state secrets was completely within his right as President, as he told PBS.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson says he’s inclined to believe former FBI Director James Comey over President Donald Trump. The comments come in the wake of new details emerging about the investigation of Michael Flynn.

Speaking to reporters this week, Simpson says he’s afraid members of the GOP aren't doing enough to head off a possible crisis similar to Watergate.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. Congressman Raul Labrador introduced a bill in the House Tuesday seeking to tighten enforcement of immigration laws and cracking down on so-called Sanctuary Cities.

The bill is called the Davis-Oliver Act; it’s named after two California law enforcement officers who were killed in 2014 by an undocumented immigrant.

Among the provisions of the bill are requirements that all applicants for a visa to the U.S. undergo additional screening. Part of that enhanced vetting includes letting security agencies access an applicant’s social media profiles.

Brad Little, Politics
BradLittleForIdaho.com

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says he's endorsing Republican Lt. Gov. Brad Little in Idaho's 2018 governor race.

Otter said Tuesday that while the gubernatorial race currently has a several capable candidates, he's always supported Little. Otter appointed Little to serve as his second-in-command in 2009.

 

Otter's announcement is the first high-profile endorsement of the 2018 gubernatorial race. It's roughly one year until the Republican primary election takes place.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Members of the Idaho Senate from the right and the left jointly filed a petition to intervene in the lawsuit over Governor Butch Otter's veto of a bill that would've repealed the state's tax on groceries.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

Fifteen candidates are vying for an open seat on the Idaho Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Justice Daniel Eismann announced earlier this year he will retire in August — 16 months before the end of his current six-year term. This Idaho Judicial Council has since solicited names, where they will then recommend up to four names to the governor for appointment instead of waiting until the 2018 election.

Idaho's Supreme Court positions are nonpartisan.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The field of candidates for Idaho’s Lt. Governor has again increased. There are now five GOP hopefuls seeking the position.

The former chairman of the state’s Republican Party, Steve Yates, is the most recent to throw a hat in the ring for Lt. Governor. The businessman from eastern Idaho previously served as an aid to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

Former Idaho GOP Chairman Steve Yates has filed to run for lieutenant governor in 2018.

Yates filed the paperwork to run as a Republican candidate Thursday. Yates, an Idaho Falls businessman and former aid to Vice President Dick Cheney, took over as chair in 2014 during a chaotic battle over control of the party and resigned last month.

He joins a growing list of candidates vying for the seat after incumbent Lt. Gov. Brad Little announced he would be running for governor in 2018.

Samantha Wright/BSPR

Update 10:34 a.m. Thursday: Former Republican Lt. Governor David Leroy has filed paperwork to run for Labrador's seat. He is the first candidate to enter the race.

Earlier this week Republican Rep. Raul Labrador filed paperwork to run for Idaho governor, ending a long period of speculation about whether he would jump into the race. Now, political wonks are turning their attention to who might seek his congressional seat. 

Planned Parenthood of the Northwest

A federal judge has agreed to dismiss a lawsuit challenging two anti-abortion laws in Idaho now that lawmakers have repealed the targeted statutes.

In 2015, the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands sued the state over two newly enacted bans that prohibited women from receiving abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine. Planned Parenthood argued that the laws placed unnecessary burdens on women seeking safe abortions.

City of Twin Falls

In a 5-to-2 vote Monday, the Twin Falls City Council decided to label the community a “Neighborly City.”

In the run-up to the decision, the city council heard more than three hours of public comment at meetings over the last month.

The “Neighborly City” label is a tamer version of declarations other cities have made calling themselves either “Welcoming” or “Sanctuary Cities” where federal immigration law is either downplayed or outright flouted.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

After months of speculation, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador walked into the Idaho Secretary of State's office Tuesday morning and signed the paperwork to start his run for governor.

Troy Smith / Flickr Creative Commons

President Donald Trump signed an executive order that questions the validity of some national monuments in the West.  The order applies to any national monument created after 1995 that totals at least 100,000 acres.

Friday, the Interior Department released the list of monuments up for review and announced the first-ever public comment period on the topic. In a new twist, Idaho's Craters of the Moon National Monument made the list.

Kim Nilsson / Flickr

Ahead of August’s total solar eclipse which will pass through Idaho, the state’s Department of Commerce is launching a website to help eclipse watchers coming to the Gem State.

Anywhere from 500,000 to a million people are expected to descend on Idaho this August to watch the once-in-a-lifetime spectacle of day turning to night as the moon blots out the sun.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter on Wednesday asked the Idaho Supreme Court for permission to get involved in a lawsuit challenging how much time a governor has to veto legislation.

According to the petition, Otter's attorneys argue that the Republican governor should be allowed to intervene because it was Otter's veto that sparked the lawsuit and he wants to defend that decision in court. Currently, the lawsuit only names Secretary of State Lawerence Denney as a respondent.

Pages