Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

BOISE, ID – President Obama wants Congress to stay in Washington, D.C. until an extension of payroll tax cuts is authorized.  U.S. Senator Mike Crapo is fine with working through the holidays, but as Scott Ki reports he wants to focus on a broader problem.

Taxi cab drivers in Boise could be in for some changes. The city council Tuesday takes a first look at a proposed ordinance that would place an age limit on new cabs, and require more inspections. It would also make credit and debit card services mandatory. City spokesman Adam Park says the proposal comes after complaints from passengers.

Boise, ID - Friday morning Idaho is scheduled to execute convicted murderer Paul Ezra Rhoades. Idaho has conducted one execution in the past 35 years. Texas on the other hand has executed 477 inmates in that same time span. Ginny Hatch is with Boise State University’s criminal justice department. She says her students often ask her why Texas has so many executions. She answers it comes down to population.

Ginny Hatch “They literally have hundreds, hundreds of inmates on death row.”

A jury ruled in favor of Micron Technology today in an antitrust case.  Rambus Incorporated brought the suit against Micron and Hynix Semiconductor.  The Wall Street Journal reports Rambus accused the pair of conspiring to fix the price of memory chips and keep Rambus from gaining traction in the market.  Rambus wanted four billion dollars in damages.  But the jury found in favor of Micron and Hynix.  Micron says design flaws, manufacturing costs and Rambus’ business practices  kept 

Boise’s Newest Council Member

Nov 9, 2011

BOISE, ID – Voters throughout Idaho Tuesday night elected mayors and city council members. In the capitol city, political freshman Ben Quintana is the newest Boise city councilor. But Quintana’s already a veteran campaigner focused on job creation.

At 33, Ben Quintana becomes the youngest member on Boise’s city council. So a downtown bar and restaurant seemed a fitting place for him to declare victory.  But it wasn’t all drinks and good cheer that got him this win.  Earlier in the day, Quintana was at his campaign headquarters in downtown Boise calling voters:

Idaho’s 2011 Election Results

Nov 9, 2011


Mayoral races, city council seats and local initiatives got decided Tuesday night. Idaho was one of more than 30 states to hold elections.  Unofficial results point to low voter turnout, some political upsets and some wins that were expected. We’ve highlighted some.

You can find unofficial election results for Ada County here as well as for Canyon County.


Boise’s Mayor  Wins Third Term

Eagle, ID - Idaho was one of 30 states Tuesday to hold elections. Unofficial results across the Gem State show that voter turnout was low. But in the city of Eagle, voters turned out to keep current mayor Jim Reynolds in office.  This was Reynolds’ first election after he was appointed mayor last year.

Jim Reynolds’s supporters gather around a computer screen at a posh home on Eagle Island. The Ada County Election website is up on the screen and it shows most of the votes are in. .... plenty to see who Eagle voters want as mayor.

A woman shouts “Do the happy dance!”

Nampa’s City Council Seats Decided

Nov 9, 2011

Boise, ID – In Nampa, four-term city councilman Stephen Kren won his reelection bid for seat two.  He faced 41-year old Lance McGrath, a librarian at Northwest Nazarene University.  The 59-year old Kren also serves as precinct chair for the Canyon County Republican Party. Meanwhile Bob Henry beat incumbent Curtis Homer for Nampa City Council seat number four.  This is Henry’s third run for city council and first victory.  He also beat out two political newcomers – Chuck Harris and Justin Harrison.  Homer meanwhile leaves office after serving four years.

Boise, ID - Idaho lawmaker Pat Takasugi died Sunday night after a three year battle with cancer. Takasugi represented  Canyon County for two terms in the legislature. He was a farmer who grew onions and alph alpha seeds on 1,500 hundred acres near Wilder. Gayle Batt grew up down the road from that farm. She later became Takasugi’s campaign manager and took his seat in the legislature earlier this year when his cancer kept him from serving.

Gayle Batt “It wasn’t just; oh he was a Republican I decided to help. He was someone I’ve admired, and a friend and neighbor.”

Ketchum, ID - Many cities around Idaho hold mayoral elections next Tuesday. But one community will vote on whether to have a mayor at all. There’s an initiative on the ballot in Ketchum that would switch the local government to a city manager system.

Ketchum city council hopeful Mickey Garcia tries to ease the tension at a recent candidate forum with a joke.

Mickey Garcia “Welcome to fear and loathing in politics Ketchum style.”

Name:  Tammy de Weerd

Age:  52

Profession:  Incumbent Mayor of Meridian

Political Experience:  Two-term Mayor of Meridian; four years on Meridian City Council; two years on Meridian Planning and Zoning Commission; six years on Meridian Parks Commission.

Top Three Goals as Mayor:

Boise, ID - This week marks the tenth anniversary of the Patriot Act. The law has been widely criticized by civil liberty advocates as unconstitutional. But ten years ago it passed overwhelmingly. But one Idaho congressman stood against it.

Boise, ID - Friday President Obama announces a new policy on the No Child Left Behind education law. It grants waivers to states who don’t want to participate. Idaho’s superintendent of education is there.

Superintendent Tom Luna says he can take some of the credit for states gaining the ability to opt out of No Child Left Behind. In June Luna sent a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan saying Idaho would no longer take part in the program. Since then other states have taken similar steps.

BOISE, Id – Idaho has new political lines for legislative and congressional districts.  The redistricting commission wrapped up business Monday with the congressional map. Redistricting happens every ten years after a census.  It’s meant to make sure population numbers are equal in each district. Samantha Wright talked with Boise State University Political Science Professor Gary Moncrief.  He''s been following this process of re-drawing the state''s political boundaries.  Moncrief says this commission, unlike the first one, got the job done quickly.

Boise, ID - The US Supreme Court will not hear the appeal of Paul Rhoades who was convicted of three murders in eastern Idaho in 1988.  That means the state could soon hold its first execution in 17 years.