Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

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.

Boise, ID - Idaho’s Freshman Congressman Raul Labrador called on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign Thursday. Many of Labrador’s fellow Republicans want an investigation into Holder’s knowledge of the "Fast and Furious" sting operation. But Labrador says that’s not enough. Under Fast and Furious, federal agents allowed guns to go from the U-S to Mexico in an attempt to track them. Some of those guns ended up at crime scenes and one was linked to the death of an American law enforcement officer. In May, Holder told Congress he had only known about the program for a few weeks.

Boise, ID - Wednesday the Boise Young Professionals hold a forum for city council candidates. But one of those candidates may have a bit of an advantage.

Ben Quintana is running for Boise council seat two. He’ll share his platform with an audience of familiar faces at the Boise Young Professionals. Quintana founded BYP five years ago.

Ben Quintana  “I don’t believe it presents a conflict of interest. I had no part in organizing the event and they did set up a moderator so we all have equal time.”

BOISE, Id – The Second Idaho Redistricting Commission was sworn in Wednesday.  Its job is to draw Idaho’s new political maps.  The First Commission couldn’t get this done in its three-month window.  The New Commission got underway with some words of wisdom.

Ben Ysursa “Welcome, and it is a very serious task, you have a daunting task in front of you.”

Secretary of State Ben Ysursa had that warning for the New Commissioners, before he swore them into office. [start hot, fade under quickly]

BOISE, Id – Today the Second Idaho Redistricting Commission will be sworn in.  The group will work to redraw the state’s political boundaries.  The first Commission failed to do this in its allotted ninety days.  But Idaho isn’t the only Western state running behind.

It’s round two for the Idaho Redistricting Commission.  New commissioners were sworn in on Wednesday, September 28th.

SHAUNEEN GRANGE-D has worked in Idaho politics in the state, county, and municipal levels. She was part of the staff of the 2001 Redistricting Commission. She has served as the Chief of Staff for the House Minority Leader, as Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Boise, and as Field Director for the effort that resulted in the College of Western Idaho.

BOISE, Id – While Republican and Democratic officials have been picking names for a brand new Redistricting Commission, the old Commission has been working behind the scenes.  Monday the Old Commissioners stepped forward and submitted a plan to redraw Idaho’s political boundaries.  But it turns out the old Commission’s power ran out when its term of office did.

Crapo on Obama’s Jobs and Debt Plans

Sep 20, 2011

BOISE, ID. – President Obama has called for raising taxes on high earners and spending federal dollars to stimulate job growth.  Idaho’s senior senator in Washington, D.C. is against the plans.  But he could support one part of Obama’s call for tax reform.

President Obama unveiled two plans within the past week:  a multi-trillion dollar mix of tax increases and savings from government programs to address the nation’s debt, and a multi-billion dollar plan to create jobs.  U.S. Senator Mike Crapo is in favor of one part of Obama’s debt plan.

Jim Weatherby sits in front of a coffee shop across the street from Boise’s city hall. He’s Professor Emeritus of Political Science for Boise State University. As he sips his coffee, he glances at the backside of city hall. He says it’s puzzling why there seems so little interest in landing the office on the third floor where Mayor David Bieter sits. Bieter has one challenger in his bid for a third term. That’s David Hall a student at College of Western Idaho. Weatherby says Hall is a long shot.

Crapo: Debt Crisis Serious Threat to Nation

Aug 31, 2011

BOISE, ID. – U.S. Senator Mike Crapo is back in Idaho while Congress takes a month break. He’s been traveling the state to listen to Idahoans and their concerns.  Here are highlights from Scott Ki’s conversation with the Senator, edited for length and clarity. Senator Crapo begins by telling Ki that it’s great to be back in Idaho:

BOISE, Id – More than 19-thousand Idaho homeowners got a foreclosure notice in the mail last year.  Those notices created some confusion for many homeowners.  A new law, which goes into effect Thursday, gives consumers more tools to try and save their home.

Idaho ranked eighth in the nation last year in foreclosure filings.  As the notices flooded in, so did complaints from homeowners.

Brett Delange “We have a lot of people in foreclosure and it’s not a problem that’s going to go away quickly or easily and it’s gonna be with us for a while.”

Labrador Votes No

Aug 3, 2011

Congressman Raul Labrador was the only member of Idaho’s delegation to vote no on the Debt Ceiling bill which passed this week.  He’s now back in the state. Labrador sat down to explain why he voted the way he did.