Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

AP Photo

Last week, Terry Branstad of Iowa stepped down, ending more than 22 years in the Governor’s chair. Yes, we said Iowa, not Idaho, but that means Idaho’s governor moved up on a short list of the longest-serving heads of states.

The website Smart Politics keeps track of just how long top leaders in each state have been in office. Branstad takes the top spot, with 8,169 days as Governor.

AP

Four Republican candidates are vying to be Idaho's next governor, a race that's expected to be one of the state's most competitive in 2018.

According to voter participation records requested by The Associated Press, three of the candidates have a strong history of casting votes on Election Day.

The fourth voted, but not as often — and not in a primary until speculation about his own potential bid emerged.

Bureau of Land Management

President Donald Trump’s budget request, released this week, includes a provision changing how the Bureau of Land Management manages wild mustangs in the West.

Both the BLM and its detractors agree there are too many wild horses on the landscape. Erin Curtis is the Deputy State Director of Communications for BLM Idaho.

“We cannot keep up with what’s happening out on the range and overpopulation,” says Curtis.

U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC
VPickering / Flickr Creative Commons

The response to the President’s budget among Idaho’s political delegation in Washington, D.C. is tepid. The Trump Administration proposes cutting spending by $3.6 trillion over the next decade.

In a statement, GOP Senator Jim Risch reminded people that Congress, not the President, actually appropriates funds. Risch characterized the proposed budget as a blueprint of the Trump Administration’s priorities.

Toby Scott

Idaho lawmakers have billed state taxpayers roughly $107,000 so far this year for travel expenses accrued during the 2017 legislative session.

The Associated Press obtained the information through a public records request for this year's travel reimbursements for the 105 state lawmakers in the House and Senate. However, while many lawmakers have turned in their legislative travel reimbursement receipts, the Legislature doesn't have a deadline on when expenses need to be submitted.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Trump administration has proposed an 11 percent decrease in funding for the Interior Department.

If approved by Congress, the Interior Department would receive $11.7 billion for fiscal year 2018. That’s more than the president had originally outlined in an earlier budget draft, but still would be a hit to department funding.

Don Ryan / AP Photo

Tucked into President Donald Trump’s new budget, which was released Tuesday, is a proposal for the government to sell off power lines that deliver electricity to Idaho.

The budget summary says the government could make $4.9 billion by selling the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission assets over a 10-year period. Around $1.8 billion of that could come in two years.

As Donald Trump continues on his first major foreign trip as President, statesmanship is in the spotlight. Today we speak with a former State Department official about this moment in U.S. diplomacy.

Steve Feldstein  is joining Boise State University to teach in the School of Public Service. In this audio clip, Tom Michael of KBSX News begins by asking him what he thinks of the new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Poll data released by Idaho Politics Weekly shows a majority of Idahoans support re-designating Craters of the Moon National Monument a national park.

The poll finds 55 percent of state residents are in favor of bumping up Craters to the more prestigious and visible national park status; 32 percent don't want to see the vast lava fields changed from their current state.

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.

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