Politics + Policy

Bowe Bergdahl
3:10 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

House Panel Condemns Obama For Bergdahl Prisoner Swap

A House panel has voted to condemn President Barack Obama for the May swap of five Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years.

The Armed Services Committee voted 34-25 on Tuesday for a nonbinding, bipartisan resolution that disapproves of the exchange and faults Obama for failing to notify Congress 30 days in advance, as required by law.

Politics
1:06 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Longtime Political Reporter Popkey To Head Idaho Congressman's Press Team

Dan Popkey joined the Idaho Statesman in 1984.
Credit Courtesy Idaho Statesman

Longtime Idaho political reporter Dan Popkey is leaving his job at the Idaho Statesman to be Rep. Raul Labrador's new press secretary.

A press release from the Republican Congressman's office Tuesday says Popkey will be based in Meridian, and coordinate communications for Idaho and Washington, D.C. 

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Politics
11:46 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Judge Rules Peterson Is No Longer Chairman Of Idaho's Republican Party

Peterson, left, talks with Gov. Otter the day after the GOP's May primary.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Barry Peterson is no longer the chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, that's the ruling from 5th District Judge Randy Stoker.

“His term has expired,” Stoker told the court.

The judge’s ruling came after extensive arguments that lasted for more than two hours in court this morning in Twin Falls.

“This is not a question of this court taking any position with regard to what the Republican Party should do in this state,” Stoker said. “I have no dog in this fight, so to speak.” - Spokesman-Review

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Policy
4:16 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Gov. Otter Didn't Know 8 Immigrant Children Have Been Sent To Idaho In Border Surge

Gov. Otter with First Lady Lori Otter at a recent Republican event at the Capitol.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

This post was updated at 10:00 a.m. July 25, 2014.

This week, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter sent a letter to federal officials telling them not to send any of the unaccompanied young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to Idaho.

However, federal officials say they've already sent children from the border to Idaho.

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Policy
10:20 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Gov. Otter Tells Federal Officials Not To Send Migrant Kids To Idaho

Credit Idaho Statesman

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has sent a letter to federal officials telling them not to send any of the unaccompanied young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to Idaho.

Otter on Wednesday sent the letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez.

Idaho has not been contacted by federal officials about bringing any of the children to Idaho.

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Idaho News
1:02 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Idaho Woman Appeals NSA Surveillance Lawsuit

Credit Marcus Linder / Flickr

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are joining in a northern Idaho's woman appeal over the National Security Agency's collection of cell phone information.

Anna Smith of Coeur d'Alene sued the NSA last year, contending that the agency's collection of the data amounts to an illegal search and seizure. In June, U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill dismissed her lawsuit, and now Smith is appealing the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Idaho Legislature
7:00 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Gay Rights Protesters Arrested At Idaho's Capitol To Be Sentenced

In February, protesters stood in silence at the Capitol to protest against discrimination. Monday they have their day in court.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / For Boise State Public Radio

During the legislative session, dozens of people protested inside and outside the Idaho Capitol against discrimination. Monday is their chance to stand up in court and say why they did it.

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Gay Marriage
1:52 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

A Look At Where Gay Marriage Laws Stand Across The U.S., Idaho

Nearly 200 people attended a May 16, 2014 event that was organized as a celebration of the overturning of Idaho's gay marriage ban. It turned into a rally because an appellate court has temporarily halted gay marriages.
Credit Courtesy Idaho Statesman

State same-sex marriage bans have been falling around the country since June 2013, when the nation's highest court ordered the federal government to recognize state-sanctioned gay marriages. The remaining state bans all face legal challenges to overturn them.

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Policy
1:03 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Idaho Defends Fetal Pain Abortion Law In Court

Idaho attorneys say a federal judge's ruling striking down the state's law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy should be reversed because criminal charges against the eastern Idaho woman who filed the initial lawsuit had been dismissed.

The Idaho attorney general's office also told a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California, on Friday that the attorney who intervened on her behalf didn't have legal standing.

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Policy
4:27 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Idaho's GOP Leader Sues For Party Control

Barry Peterson (left) talks with Gov. Otter at the GOP's May 21 unity rally.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's Republican Party infighting may be solved in court.

The leader of Idaho's Republican Party has filed a lawsuit against two members of his own party who called an Aug. 2 meeting of the GOP Central Committee after the group left its state convention without voting on a platform or new leaders.

Chairman Barry Peterson has called for an Aug. 9 meeting.

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Entertainment
2:18 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Idaho's Eccentric Political Candidate Harley Brown Gets Reality TV Deal

Brown has long been a candidate for political office in Idaho. He's never been elected.
Credit Aaron Kunz / Idaho Public Television

Well, it happened. Idaho's very own gubernatorial debate superstar Harley Brown has inked a TV deal, according to the Boise Weekly.

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Public Health
9:46 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Coeur d'Alene Lost $1.5 Million Crisis Center After Regional Lawmakers Opposed Project

Northern Idaho lawmakers opposing a bill to fund three mental health crisis centers is part of the reason Coeur d'Alene didn't get a $1.5 million behavioral-health crisis center.

Information obtained by the Coeur d'Alene Press through a public records request shows that a committee gave the city a higher score than winner Idaho Falls.

But criteria also included lawmaker support, which the center attained in eastern Idaho.

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State Budget
3:41 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Idaho Ends Budget Year With More Cash Than Planned

Credit Tax Credits / Flickr Creative Commons

State officials say Idaho closed the 2014 fiscal year with $7.2 million more than anticipated.

The Idaho Division of Financial Management reports that June's general fund receipts of $294.4 million were $8.4 million above economists' projections. Overall, last month's boost helped raise the final fiscal year totals to $2.81 billion.

That means general fund dollars went up 2.4 percent compared to the previous fiscal year.

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Policy
12:27 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Idaho Endowment Fund Hits Record $1.7 Billion

Idaho's endowment fund hit a record high of $1.73 billion after earning high returns on its investments over the past year.

Investment manager Larry Johnson told the Idaho Land Board on Tuesday that the fund during the fiscal year that ended June 30 earned its second-highest amount in its history.

This is also the second year in a row the fund hit an all-time high.

That means there will be an increase in how much the fund can distribute to public schools and other endowment beneficiaries.

Policy
4:37 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

The Constitution Might Have Something To Say When Police Shoot Dogs

Video screengrab from the February dog shooting incident in Filer, Idaho.

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:50 am

A handful of recent incidents where police have shot pet dogs in Idaho have angered animal rights advocates. One dog owner in the small town of Filer has issued notice that he intends to sue the city over the death of his dog, Hooch.

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Idaho Legislature
4:13 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Audit: More Proof Of Review Needed From Idaho Treasurer

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Auditors with the Idaho Legislature say State Treasurer Ron Crane has not provided enough evidence that a full review was conducted following an inappropriate money transfer.

The auditors found earlier this year Crane's office overrode internal controls meant to contain financial risk and the transfer resulted in a loss of at least $10.2 million loss of taxpayer money.

The 90-day follow-up audit says Crane's office asserts it has reviewed its securities lending transactions but has only provided state officials with documentation for two specific transactions.

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Gov. Evans
10:49 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Gov. Evans To Lie In State Friday At Idaho Capitol

Former Gov. John Victor Evans Sr. will lie in state Friday at the Idaho Capitol.

Evans died at his home in Boise on Tuesday at age 89.

The Idaho Statesman reports that a public viewing is planned for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

A funeral service will be held starting at 5 p.m. in Boise at the First United Methodist Church, Cathedral of the Rockies.

Public Lands
3:28 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Rep. Labrador Asks Congress To Turn Parcel Of Federal Land Into Idaho County Gun Range

Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow a parcel of federal land to be transferred into county ownership for use as a gun range. 

The 31-acre area is near Riggins, along the Salmon River in north-central Idaho. An act of Congress is needed because the land currently falls under the protection of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

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Obituary
11:58 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Former Idaho Gov. John Evans Has Died At Age 89

Former Gov. John Victor Evans Sr., one of Idaho's last Mormon Democrats to achieve statewide political success, has died. He was 89.

Summers Funeral Home confirmed he died Tuesday morning at his home in Boise.

Evans was born Jan. 18, 1925, in Malad City. He is the grandson of the founder of the Idaho-based D.L. Evans Bank.

Evans was elected Idaho lieutenant governor in 1974, a position he held for the next three years. In 1977, he was elevated to the chief executive job when then-Gov. Cecil D. Andrus was named U.S. Interior secretary under President Jimmy Carter.

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Policy
8:54 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Utah's Limited Medical Marijuana Program Begins

Utah will begin issuing registration cards Tuesday for its limited medical marijuana program targeting adults and children with severe epilepsy.

A new state law doesn't allow medical marijuana production or distribution but permits those meeting certain requirements to possess a marijuana extract oil.

The oil is believed to help with severe seizures.

The extract's Colorado-based producer has a long waiting list, so many families are expected to apply for their Utah registration cards later this year when there will be more supply of the oil.

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