Politics + Policy

Politics
1:29 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Idaho Republican Weighs In On Islamic State, Immigration

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), speaks at the Conservative Political Action conference (CPAC), on February 10, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 1:26 pm

Rep. Raul Labrador, a Tea Party favorite, is calling for Congress to debate and vote on further military action against the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State.

Labrador thinks President Obama needs to sketch out a well-defined mission with a clear exit strategy in order to win Congressional support in his forthcoming speech to the nation.

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Health Policy
10:36 am
Tue September 9, 2014

As Childhood Obesity Rates Increase, Boise Considers Plan To Make Daycares Healthier

Credit drpavloff / Flickr Creative Commons

A new initiative to make daycare centers healthier for Boise children will be the subject of a public hearing Tuesday at Boise City Hall. 

City councilman T.J. Thomson wants the city to adopt his “Healthy Child Care Initiative.”

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Policy
6:09 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

During Arguments In Idaho Case, Appeals Judge Predicts Gay Marriage Headed For Supreme Court

Screengrab of Boise Lawyer Deborah Ferguson arguing before the 9th Circuit.
Credit ca9.uscourts.gov

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Monday afternoon in California on Idaho’s gay marriage lawsuit. A  lower federal court ruled in May that Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional

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Gay Marriage
1:47 pm
Sat September 6, 2014

Federal Appeals Court Hears Idaho's Same-Sex Marriage Case

Lawyer Deborah Ferguson represents the four couples suing to overturn Idaho's gay marriage ban.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A three judge panel in San Francisco Monday will hear arguments for and against Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage. A lower federal court has already ruled the law unconstitutional, but Idaho is challenging that decision and now the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will weigh in.

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Wolverine
3:55 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Idaho, Montana, Wyoming Support Wolverine Decision

Credit Roy Anderson / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

State wildlife agency directors from Idaho, Montana and Wyoming say they support the recent decision to deny endangered species protections to the rare wolverine.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service withdrew proposed protections last month, reversing its prior stance that climate change threatened the snow-loving animals in the Lower 48 states.

In a letter submitted Friday to major newspapers in the region, the three state directors applauded the move and wrote that wolverine populations are on the rebound.

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Gambling
3:08 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Judge Tells Coeur d’Alene Tribe To Stop Offering Poker

Credit Images Money / Flickr

A judge told the Coeur d’Alene Tribe Friday to stop playing Texas Hold ‘em poker at its casino.

The Spokesman Review reports U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued the injunction, saying tournaments violate Idaho’s state ban on poker.

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Law
3:13 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Judge Denies Idaho's Request To Toss 'Ag-Gag' Lawsuit

A federal judge in Idaho Thursday refused to toss out a challenge to the state's “ag-gag” law that was passed by Idaho legislators earlier this year at the urging of the state’s $2.5 billion dairy industry. The law spells out stiff punishments for people who secretly tape agricultural operations.

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Election 2014
9:51 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Idaho Governor Latest Target Of Political Attack Website

This is a homepage screengrab from the attack website.

Idaho's third-party gubernatorial candidate is following the lead of the state's largest business lobbyist group and has launched an attack website criticizing incumbent Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's political stances.

Former Canyon County prosecutor and Libertarian candidate John Bujak says he put up the site after seeing the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry use the same tactic to attack Democratic candidate A.J. as a liberal.

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2014 Election
8:34 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Idaho Schools Chief Candidate Ybarra Removes Content Identical To Rival's Website

This story was updated at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 5, 2014

State superintendent’s candidate Sherri Ybarra has edited her campaign website — removing language that was nearly identical to wording on opponent Jana Jones’ website. 

The modifications apparently were made Thursday, a day after Idaho Education News first reported on similarities between the rival candidates’ sites. As recently as mid-afternoon Thursday, the passages appeared twice on Ybarra’s page.

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Election 2014
12:13 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Otter Commits To 4 Gubernatorial Debates

Gov. Otter at the KBSX studios in spring 2014.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter will participate in four debates against his general election opponents.

Otter says he accepted debate invitations that could be viewed via a statewide broadcast.

The first debate will be in Coeur d'Alene on Oct. 3, then in Idaho Falls on Oct. 9. He'll travel to Nampa Oct. 14 to participate in KTVB-TV's debate and finish on Oct. 30 by participating in the Idaho Public Television debate.

Debate moderators and other participants have not yet been released.

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Water Policy
12:53 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Why It Took 27 Years And $94 Million To Complete Idaho Water Rights Adjudication

Idaho Deputy Attorney General Clive Strong helped oversee the 27-year Snake River Basin Adjudication.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

The largest-ever review of water rights claims wrapped up in Idaho this week. A project that started in 1987 ended Monday when a judge signed the final decree of the Snake River Basin Adjudication

Conflicts between Idaho Power, its customers and farmers in southern Idaho in the late 1970s prompted the state to tackle the massive review. The goal was simple: to clearly define water rights in the basin to help resolve future disputes during drought. 

Since the project, Idaho has defined more than 158,000 water rights.

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Voting
9:44 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Ada County Mistakenly Revokes Voter Registrations

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Ada County officials say they mistakenly revoked 765 voter registrations and are working to get them restored.  

Ada County Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane tells the Idaho Statesman that workers discovered the mistake Thursday.

He says the revocations happened when workers compared Ada County voter registrations with registrations from 27 other states that's part of a process to remove duplicate registrations.

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Agriculture
11:25 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Idaho Ag Group Says It Never Meant To Deny Access To Dairies

Credit MHall209 / Flickr Creative Commons

 This post was updated at 11:20 a.m. Aug. 27, 2014.

The Idaho dairy industry group that sent a letter to its members urging them to deny media tours and on-farm interviews now says it never meant to deny access.

Tuesday, after the Associated Press reported the letter was sent to 500 dairies, a public relations firm followed up with this statement from United Dairymen of Idaho CEO Karianne Fallow:

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Politics
9:47 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Idaho's New GOP Chairman Promises To Leave Personal Politics Out Of His Job

Steve Yates, chairman of Idaho's Republican Party.
Credit Melissa Davlin / Idaho Public Television

The new leader of Idaho's Republican Party says the GOP is beginning to heal after a chaotic state convention in June, and a summer full of fighting that ended in court.

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Domestic Violence
9:35 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Special Idaho Court A Model In Fight Against Domestic Violence

Rick and Tess are working together in Ada County's Domestic Violence Court
Credit Michael Martin

Rick and Tess laugh a lot. After 22 years together, they finish each others sentences and tease each other constantly. “I’ve got the one-in-a-million,” says Rick of his wife. “Yeah, me too,” laughs Tess. The pair's marriage hasn't always been easy, three years ago Rick was arrested on domestic violence charges.

Rick and Tess didn’t want to use their real names, but they did want to talk about their experience with Ada County’s domestic violence court. This special court has become a model for judges around the country in the fight against domestic violence.

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Local Government
10:09 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Boise Mayor Appoints 22 Students To City Positions

Credit Dave Bieter's Facebook Page / City of Boise

Nearly two-dozen Boise high school students are getting a little extra civics homework this year.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter has appointed 22 students to serve on various city boards, commissions and committees over the course of the school year.

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Energy
2:54 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Inaugural Energy Summit Headed To Idaho Falls

The U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, is among the speakers who will attend the inaugural Intermountain Energy Summit in Idaho Falls this week.

The Aug. 19-20 conference will feature panel discussions on the future of energy policy and production in North America. Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, are also among the speakers.

The Post Register reports that one theme of the conference is the energy potential of Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Congress
9:41 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Sen. Mike Crapo Announces 2016 Re-election Bid

Credit Mike Crapo

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo says he will seek re-election in 2016.

In making the announcement Friday in Lewiston, the 63-year-old Republican says he's committed to resolving a number of critical issues to the country.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that Crapo was elected to the Senate in 1998 to succeed Sen. Dirk Kempthorne. He is serving the fourth year of his third term and is ranked 39th in seniority in the Senate.

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Medicaid
9:56 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Governor-Appointed Panel Recommends Expanding Medicaid In Idaho...Again

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho work group says the state should expand its Medicaid eligibility, but committee members voiced concerns that their recommendation will be ignored by both the governor and legislators.

The 15-member group voted Thursday to submit their recommendation to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.

This is the second time this work group has supported expanding Medicaid to provide coverage to the state's working poor. Their 2012 recommendation, however, has been ignored for the past two years.

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Boise
6:09 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Boise Ethics Commission Says It Doesn't Have Authority To Investigate Alleged Heimlich Coverup

Members of Boise's citizen ethics commission listen to a city attorney offer counsel during a meeting held Thursday afternoon at City Hall. The commission later voted that it does not have the authority to investigate an alleged cover-up in the Boise Fire Department.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

The City of Boise’s ethics commission says it does not have jurisdiction to conduct an investigation into an alleged cover-up in the city’s fire department.

The four member citizen panel met Thursday afternoon and unanimously agreed that the city statute that governs the ethics commission doesn’t give it such authority. 

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