Politics + Policy

Ethics Violation
9:55 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Idaho Supreme Court Rules Former Prosecutor, Gubernatorial Candidate Bujak Broke Ethics Rules

The Idaho Supreme Court has ruled that Libertarian gubernatorial candidate and former Canyon County prosecutor John Bujak violated four of the Idaho State Bar's ethics rules between 2004 and 2011.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the court ordered that Bujak's law license be suspended for one year, but because he already underwent a 19-month interim suspension three years ago, the penalty has been satisfied.  

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Idaho Legislature
10:31 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Idaho Legal Fees To Look At Public Lands Takeover Total $61,000

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's bill for outside legal work to find a way take over federal public lands is up to about $61,000.

Documents obtained by The Spokesman-Review in a story on Tuesday show Holland & Hart charged about $20,000 for work from April to August.

That's on top of about $41,000 the state previously paid.

Holland & Hart lawyer Bill Myers charges the state $420 an hour.

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Election 2014
1:09 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Idaho Governor Ads Heat Up, Hazy On Details

Idaho's gubernatorial candidates are honing their campaign messages as election season enters the homestretch. However, as political advertisements increase, not all include details proving their claims.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's political ads have largely focused on his involvement during his past two terms in improving Idaho's economy after it fell during the Great Recession.

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Media
9:49 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Forest Service Chief Says Filming Regulations On Public Land Won't Apply To Journalists

Credit Linda Tanner / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal agency under fire from free speech advocates and nature enthusiasts says it has absolutely no intention of charging people to take pictures on public land. The head of the U.S. Forest Service Thursday clarified a rule that’s been generating charges of government overreach.

“There's no way that our proposal will infringe on anyone's First Amendment rights,” says Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell. 

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Homeless
11:00 am
Thu September 25, 2014

City Of Boise Limits Police Action On Homeless, ACLU Not Satisfied

A homeless man's belongings outside Boise's Corpus Christi day shelter
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise City Council this week changed its ordinance which makes it illegal to sleep in public places. The council voted not to enforce its “camping” ordinance when homeless shelters are full. That comes after police this summer cracked down on people sleeping on the sidewalk near some of the city’s shelters and homeless advocates and others criticized the move.

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Election 2014
9:18 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Candidates For Idaho Governor Debate Without The Incumbent

The first debate between candidates for governor of Idaho kicked off Wednesday evening without the incumbent, but nonetheless, he was the target of criticism throughout the event.

Democratic candidate A.J. Balukoff faced off against Libertarian candidate John Bujak in Twin Falls.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter declined to participate, but he has accepted debate invitations in other regions of the state in the upcoming weeks.

Media
3:47 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Idaho Public TV Plans 'Vigorous' Fight Against Rules For Filming Public Land

Idaho's Sawtooth National Forest.
Credit Miguel Vieira / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Public Television plans to fight the U.S Forest Service over a proposal that would require its camera crews to ask government permission before filming on public land.

The Forest Service first introduced the rule four years ago as a means of protecting public lands from commercial interests.

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Election 2014
2:40 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Gov. Otter's Election Challenger Balukoff Has Spent 4-Times More On TV Ads

A.J. Balukoff is campaigning to unseat two-term incumbent Butch Otter.
Credit AJForIdaho.com

Idaho democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff is outspending Republican opponent Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter on political television advertisements.

According to data reviewed by the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity, Balukoff has spent more than $500,000 on political television advertisements. Otter, meanwhile, has spent nearly $121,000 on television ads in the same time period.

The data also found that Balukoff's ads have run nearly 2,800 times and Otter's ads have run little more than 500.

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Drug Policy
7:42 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Congress May Answer (And Complicate) An Idaho Girl's Need For Epilepsy Treatment

Clare, Alexis and Michael Carey before Alexis was hospitalized in June.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

There’s a bill in Congress that would legalize a marijuana extract to treat children with severe epilepsy. We’ve reported previously on plans to introduce a similar bill in Idaho’s Legislature.

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Audit
10:27 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Audit Finds No Problems With Idaho Treasurer

Auditors for the Idaho Legislature say they have found no problems with accounting or administrative procedures at the state treasurer's office.

The audit, released Thursday, didn't find anything significant conditions or weaknesses in the general management and accounting controls of the office.

Treasurer Ron Crane says he's extremely pleased with the report, and says it shows that all prior concerns have been resolved to the Legislative Auditor's full satisfaction.

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Cobell Settlement
1:37 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Native Americans Getting Final Settlement Payments

Hundreds of thousands of Native Americans across the nation have started receiving the final cash payments this week from one of the largest government settlements in U.S. history.

Checks ranging from $869 to nearly $10 million were sent beginning Monday to more than 493,000 people by the administrators of the $3.4 billion settlement.

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Legislation
5:05 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Idaho Rep. Labrador Pushes Bipartisan Police Demilitarization Bill

Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho GOP congressman Raul Labrador is teaming up with a Democratic lawmaker to move a bill designed to curb police militarization among state and local law enforcement agencies.

Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson and Labrador introduced the bill Tuesday. The legislation follows the shooting of a black teenager by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, that sparked a series of riots and increased criticism of police use of military equipment.

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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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