Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

Labrador Runs Again

Feb 13, 2012

BOISE, ID – Congressman Raul Labrador drew hundreds of supporters to the Idaho statehouse Monday.  The Republican from Eagle kicked-off his reelection campaign surrounded by dozens of state lawmakers and elected officials.

Raul Labrador served four years in the Idaho House of Representatives before his election to Congress in 2010.  He defeated Vaughn Ward in that year’s Republican primary.  Labrador then went on to beat incumbent Democrat Walt Minnick to represent Idaho’s Congressional District One.


BOISE, Id – An overflow crowd watched today as the Senate State Affairs Committee killed a bill that would have made it illegal to discriminate against gays and lesbians in Idaho.  The bill would have added the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to Idaho’s Human Rights Act.  Pocatello Senator Edgar Malepeai made an impassioned plea before the committee, in favor of the bill.

BOISE, ID – The Congressional Budget Office released its latest budget and economic outlook today.  This year’s federal government deficit will top one trillion dollars.  Add to that $75 billion if payroll tax cut extensions continue for the rest of the year.

Reaction To Obama’s State of the Union

Jan 25, 2012

BOISE, ID – Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords came to hear President Obama give his State of the Union address last night. When the President entered the chamber he gave her a long hug and then he kissed her on both cheeks.  Some of Idaho’s congressional delegation was also there in the chamber.  Scott Ki caught up with part of the state’s delegation today to get their reaction on the President’s annual speech.


BOISE, ID – Idaho’s Redistricting Commission meets Thursday to draw a new legislative map.  But just who will be on the Commission, is anybody’s guess.  The Idaho GOP removed two Commissioners Monday.  But those appointees say they can’t be fired and they won’t resign.

BOISE, ID – Polls predict a tight race heading into South Carolina’s Republican Presidential Primary Saturday.  The southern state has correctly picked the eventual GOP nominee since 1980.  Idaho has played less of a role in selecting a GOP presidential candidate. But this year is different. That’s because the GOP caucus happens in March along with nine other states.  That caucus will likely have an impact on Idaho state elections.

BOISE, ID – Idaho is one of nine states that doesn’t have an independent ethics commission.  These panels investigate state officials who may, for example, have abused their public office or misused state funds.  In Idaho, Democrats and Republicans have lobbied ethics claims against one another in the past.  But now there’s a push to find a new way to handle them.

Romney On Idaho GOP Presidential Caucus Ballot

Jan 11, 2012

BOISE, ID – Idaho Republican lawmakers put Mitt Romney on the GOP caucus ballot Wednesday.  That’s after Romney’s first place win in New Hampshire Tuesday night.

Governor Butch Otter, U.S. Senator Jim Risch, and Superintendent Tom Luna filed papers with Idaho Party Chairman Norm Semanko on behalf of former Massachusetts Governor Romney’s campaign.

Governor Butch Otter:  “I’ll now deliver his application.”

Norm Semanko:  “Thank you Governor.”

BOISE, ID – The future of state legislative districts is in the hands of the Idaho Supreme Court.  The five justices heard arguments Thursday in a challenge to the Redistricting Commission’s newly drawn map.

A number of Southern Idaho counties and cities filed suit against the redistricting plan known as L-87.  Twin Falls County prosecutor Grant Loebs represents these political entities.  He argues the Commission‘s plan violates the Idaho Constitution because it divides counties more than is necessary to satisfy the U.S. Constitution.

Idaho Not Iowa GOP Caucus

Jan 4, 2012

BOISE, ID – Idaho Republicans hope to attract presidential hopefuls to the state’s caucus on March 6th.  That’s what Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, and Ada and Canyon County GOP leaders said Wednesday.

Ada County Republican and State Senator Chuck Winder wanted to provide some historical context at the caucus announcement so he did some research beforehand.

Chuck Winder:  “I got on the Internet and “googled” Idaho presidential caucus. You know what?  You get about two things and it goes to Iowa.”

Otter Versus Allred Again In 2014?

Dec 15, 2011

BOISE, ID. – Idaho Governor Butch Otter announced Wednesday night he’ll seek a third term.  He was in Northern Idaho for a visit to St. Maries High School and a fundraiser.  At the Governor’s Ball held at the Couer d’Alene Resort, Otter said he’ll run again in 2014.  Jon Hanian of the Governor’s office confirmed the announcement.

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.”