Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

A bill to protect victims of domestic violence comes up for a vote this week in the U.S. Senate.  Some Senate Republicans oppose the legislation because it expands prosecutorial powers for native American tribes, and adds protection for battered illegal immigrants, gays, and lesbians. 

U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)  is a co-sponsor of the bill.  He says the provisions that have been criticized aren’t central to the legislation.   “I believe these are critical programs that need to be re-authorized and I’m going to be a strong advocate for it.” 

Office of Rep. Raul Labrador

A new book coming out today contains an inside account of Idaho Congressman Raúl Labrador’s conflict with ranking members of the House. The Washington Post reports the book details the rift between GOP leadership and freshman Republicans pursuing a Tea Party agenda.

The book in question is “Do Not Ask What Good We Do,” by Robert Draper. In it, Draper chronicles infighting between the GOP old-guard and the freshmen class of Republican House members that helped the party gain a majority in 2010.

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador participated in what's called "Conversations with Conservatives" Tuesday. It was the second in a new monthly event for Congress’s most conservative Republicans. Labrador is one of the organizers along with Tim Huelskamp of Kansas and Jeff Landry of Louisiana. Today Labrador had some advice for Mitt Romney. Labrador said if Romney gets the Republican nomination for president he’ll need help from the people involved with Conversations for Conservatives.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Tax evasion will get you into hot water with the IRS. But in north Idaho, it won’t necessarily spell the end of your political career. A Republican state legislator who believes the federal income tax is unconstitutional is battling charges of tax evasion, even as he seeks re-election.

Pew Center on the States

A new 55-page report from The Pew Center on the States shows most states don’t really know if business tax incentives are boosting job growth.

Idaho Democratic Party

Four years ago, thousands of voters lined up around the state to participate in Idaho’s Democratic Caucus.  Back then, the race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was still going strong.  This year the caucus tomorrow is more of a foregone conclusion, but the party still wants voters to turn out.  

imacgyv0r / Flickr

A group that opposes same-sex marriage is taking its boycott of Starbucks to the other side of the world. The National Organization For Marriage is upset that the Seattle-based coffee chain has come out in favor of legalizing gay marriage in Washington state as well as nationally.

The "Dump Starbucks" campaign got under way last month in the U.S.. Now, the group behind the boycott attempt is running an online ad campaign in local languages in the Middle East, Indonesia and China.

Session Wrap: Democrat’s ‘IJOBS’ Fails, Again

Apr 5, 2012
Betsy Russell / Spokesman Review

Democrats in the Idaho Legislature again offered a slate of bills they said would boost economic growth and add jobs to the economy.

They dubbed it ‘IJOBS’, and it’s not the first time they’ve attempted to get similar measures through.  Democrats introduced the first round of IJOBS bills back in 2010.  They all failed.

Session Wrap: Lawmakers Expand Tax Exemptions

Apr 4, 2012
smcgee / Flickr

Free samples of beer and wine are now tax-free.  So are parts for some airplanes that are worked on in Idaho.

Lawmakers expanded and added new tax exemptions during the 2012 session, adding to a growing list (exemptions start on page 41).

Lets start with the new.  Continue reading....

Idaho Legislature

Monday Rep. Phil Hart (R-Hayden) pled his state tax case before the Idaho Supreme Court.  The Republican owes more than 50-thousand dollars in taxes and penalties to Idaho.  Today his federal tax case took a new turn. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge denied most of Hart’s arguments.

Supporters Of Trayvon Martin March In Eugene

Apr 3, 2012

About 100 people gathered in Eugene Monday to show support for Trayvon Martin of Florida, who was killed last month by a neighborhood watchman. 

The group marched downtown ending at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza. There, representatives from the ACLU, NAACP, Occupy Eugene, and Mayor Kitty Piercy talked about racial profiling, gun control, and accountability.  "I urge you today to think of this: A loss of a child is a loss of a piece of our future and all the possibilities they had. And that is an unbearable loss. We're together, let's make a difference."

Idaho State Legislature

Idaho Democrats pushed for a jobs package and ethics reform at the start of this legislative term.  At the end, none of these proposals made it very far.  They announced Friday they’ll renew their efforts next year.  Democrats also want a constitutional amendment to guard against mandated medical procedures. 

Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Governor “Butch” Otter said Friday the legislature had “81 very successful days.”  That’s how long it took to wrap up this session. 

Gavels Down: Idaho Lawmakers Go Home

Mar 30, 2012
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers wrapped up business Thursday and called an end to the 2012 legislative session.  In the Idaho House, legislators joked over the motion to adjourn.  “You’ve heard the motion, all those in favor say aye…Aye!...All those opposed say nay…Nay…The ayes appear to have it. The ayes do have it. The House stands adjourned Sine Die.”

Idaho Lawmakers Sprint To The Finish Line

Mar 29, 2012
Kevin Rank / Flickr

Idaho lawmakers are finishing up business today, trying end the 2012 Idaho Legislative Session. 

The House adjourned mid afternoon with some levity in the air.  “You’ve heard the motion. All those in favor say aye…" A resounding "Aye!" filled the chamber. Then House Speaker Lawrence Denny asked, "All those opposed say nay." The "nays" were nearly equal to the aye votes but all of it was done in fun. And after some laughter Denny brought the gavel down on the session.  

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