Politics + Policy

1:25 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Rural Border Town Becomes Idaho's 8th City To Approve Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Victor, Idaho is 25 miles from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Credit Eric Fredricks / Flickr Creative Commons

A small town on Idaho's border with Wyoming is the latest city to approve employment, housing and public accommodation protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Victor, Idaho is the eighth city to approve a non-discrimination ordinance. It says people can’t be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.  

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4:28 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Judge Bans Idaho From Removing Protester Tents

Tents filled the lawn next to the state Capitol in 2011.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A federal judge issued a ruling Wednesday barring Idaho from removing tents used by Occupy Boise protesters on state grounds.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill said in a decision released one day after listening to oral arguments that the around-the-clock tent ban violated the group's First Amendment rights.

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Bowe Bergdahl
1:58 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Idaho Rep. Labrador Urges Politicians To Stop Criticizing Sgt. Bergdahl

Rep. Labrador represents Idaho's First Congressional District.
Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador, a Republican, is calling on fellow politicians to avoid “escalating the rhetoric” around Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. He made the comments at a panel discussion hosted by the Heritage Foundation Tuesday in Washington D.C. 

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Election 2014
1:30 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Group Wants Recount Of Eastern Idaho Town's Non-Discrimination Vote

A group opposed to Pocatello's non-discrimination ordinance retained by voters last month is seeking a recount.

Bannock County election officials tell the Idaho State Journal that Vote Yes Pocatello made the request Monday.

The group wants a recount in 20 of Pocatello's 39 precincts from the May 20 vote, as well as a recount of early and absentee votes.

The city of Pocatello in June 2013 passed an ordinance banning discrimination against a person because of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Guns On Campus
10:05 am
Thu June 5, 2014

As Idaho Colleges Brace For Guns, Here's How Utah Schools Manage It

Utah Valley University had 30,880 full and part-time students in 2013.
Credit ZenHikers / Flickr Creative Commons

On July 1, people with concealed weapons permits can carry their firearms right onto the campus of Boise State, and any other state-run college or university in Idaho. This state is the seventh to allow “campus carry.”

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9:33 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Idaho's Federal Lands Panel Hires Private Attorney

The Legislature's Federal Lands Interim Committee has hired outside legal counsel even though the state attorney general's office has questioned the legality of Idaho being able to take control of public lands away from the government.

The committee is relying on the Legislature's Legal Defense Fund to cover the private attorney's costs. So far, Idaho has paid the attorney nearly $26,000.

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Gay Marriage
12:37 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Gay Marriage Plaintiffs Ask Idaho To Pay Their Court Costs

Deborah Ferguson is the lead attorney for the four Idaho couples.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Four couples who successfully sued Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter over the state's gay marriage ban are now asking to be reimbursed for nearly half a million dollars of attorney fees and other court costs.

The group filed a motion in Boise's U.S. District Court on Tuesday asking that the state be ordered to pay more than $467,000 for the expenses associated with bringing the lawsuit.

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4:27 am
Wed May 28, 2014

'Little Bitch Otter' Beer Maker To Give Some Proceeds To Gay Rights Groups

Crooked Fence Brewing's Kelly Knopp created this image for its beer label.
Credit Courtesy Crooked Fence Brewery

The brewery we told you about two weeks ago that's fermenting a batch of political commentary plans to give a portion of its proceeds from "Little Bitch Otter" beer to gay rights groups.

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10:18 am
Tue May 27, 2014

New Idaho Law Aims To Curb Power Of Homeowners' Associations

Some experts estimate Idaho has more than 3,000 homeowners' associations.
Credit Jessica Murri / For Boise State Public Radio

A new Idaho law set to take effect this summer will curb the power of homeowners' associations after state lawmakers felt some organizations were abusing their authority.

HOAs are popular in Idaho's larger cities. Six years ago, the Idaho Senate estimated there were around 2,500 homeowners' associations in the state. An HOA's goal is to keep neighborhood property values up by enforcing covenants and bylaws. Residents who don’t always abide can be fined. 

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Election 2014
9:27 am
Tue May 27, 2014

GOP Newcomer Faces Hurdles In Schools Chief Race

Credit DonkeyHotey / Flickr

After securing a surprise victory in Idaho's Republican primary, Sherri Ybarra now moves up to face Democratic challenger and political veteran Jana Jones in the race for Idaho's top education post.

Unlike the three GOP newcomers Ybarra competed against in the May primary, Ybarra's opponent in November's general election comes with statewide name recognition and has already significantly outraised and outspent her Republican contender.

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3:57 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Idaho Opting Out Of Federal Prison Rape Law

Eric Holder
Credit roberthuffstutter / Flickr

Several states, including Idaho, are refusing to comply with a federal law designed to reduce sexual assaults in prison, with governors criticizing the Prison Rape Elimination Act as an unfunded mandate that replaces good intentions with red tape.

The governors of Idaho, Texas, Indiana, Utah and Arizona have informed U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that they won't try to meet the federal prison rape standards. Governors were required to certify by May 15 that their states either met the standards, or to promise that they were actively working toward that goal.

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5:40 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

2015 Defense Budget Passed By House Preserves A-10 Jets Based In Idaho

Airmen from the Idaho Air National Guard's 124th Fighter Wing trained with the A-10 during night flying missions in March.

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 8:14 pm

The U.S. House of Representatives Thursday rejected the Pentagon's plans to retire aging ships and planes.

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Election 2014
3:17 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Voting Mostly Glitch Free In Idaho Primary, Turnout Just 25 Percent

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Election officials say voting went smoothly during Idaho's primary except for a ballot machine that stopped working in central Idaho and a ballot shortage in Kuna in southwest Idaho.

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa says about 2,300 Blaine County ballots cast Tuesday had to be taken south and counted in Twin Falls County.

He says poll workers in Kuna overcame the ballot shortage by photocopying ballots for waiting voters.

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Election 2014
1:49 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

After Winning Urban Areas, Fulcher Says He Lost Idaho's Governor Primary With Rural Voters

Russ Fulcher, left, and Gov. Otter talked quietly before Wednesday's GOP rally at the state Capitol.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. 'Butch' Otter won his Republican primary Tuesday night, making him the first GOP governor since 1962 to win his party’s nomination three times in a row. Otter's victory wasn't a landslide, his main primary opponent, state Sen. Russ Fulcher, gave the longtime Republican politician a run for his money.

With all but three of Idaho's precincts reporting, Otter won just over 51 percent of the vote, and lost major counties like Ada and Kootenai to Fulcher.

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Election 2014
8:52 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Ybarra, Jones To Compete For Idaho School Superintendent

Credit Courtesy Sherri Ybarra

Sherri Ybarra has won a close Republican primary for superintendent of public instruction, setting up what could be one of the most competitive statewide races in November.

Ybarra of Mountain Home took 28 percent of Tuesday's vote. Randy Jensen of American Falls was in second place with just over 24 percent, followed by John Eynon of Cottonwood with 24 percent and Andy Grover of Melba with 23 percent. All four of the candidates came with experience as educators but no political background.

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Election 2014
8:44 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Former Idaho House Speaker Denney Wins GOP Secretary Of State Nomination

Credit Boise State Public Radio

Former Speaker of the House Lawerence Denney has won the Republican primary in the secretary of state race.

Denney had nearly 36 percent of the vote with 92 percent of precincts reporting from Tuesday's election. He beat second-place finisher Phil McGrane, who had the support of retiring incumbent Ben Ysursa, by more than 10,000 votes.

Denney will face Democrat Holli Woodings in November. Woodings ran unopposed in the primary.

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Election 2014
8:38 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter Wins GOP Nomination For Third Term Bid

Gov. Otter will face Democrat A.J. Balukoff in November's general election.
Credit Idaho Statesman

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter barely cinched the GOP gubernatorial nomination, winning about 52 percent of the vote in Tuesday's primary.

Otter will face Democrat A.J. Balukoff in November as he bids for a third term in office.

The GOP gubernatorial race was tight, with tea party favorite Sen. Russ Fulcher lagging by only about 13,000 votes with 92 percent of precincts reporting very early Wednesday morning. But the governor left the GOP celebration in Boise early, without making a statement and before the race had been called.

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2014 Election
12:07 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Wasden Wins Idaho GOP Attorney General Primary

Lawrence Wasden gave a brief victory speech May 20 after beating his primary challenger Chris Troupis. Wasden is running for his fourth term as attorney general.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Lawrence Wasden, Idaho's longest-serving attorney general, defeated challenger C.T. "Chris" Troupis in Tuesday's Republican primary election.

Wasden is seeking his fourth term in office. Wasden has said he would continue to fight to protect Idaho's sovereignty and water rights, and to combat fraud.

Troupis, a tea party favorite, had said his main focus if he won the general election would have been to pursue securing full control of Idaho's federally managed public lands.

Bruce Bristline ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

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Gay Rights
11:57 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Pocatello Voters Keep LGBT Protections

The Pocatello City Council heard public testimony on the issue in April 2013.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A ballot measure in Pocatello that would have repealed the city's non-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people failed by a narrow margin according to the Idaho State Journal.

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Election 2014
10:09 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Congressman Mike Simpson Easily Defeats Tea Party Challenger In Idaho

Bryan Smith (foreground) is an Idaho Falls attorney who was supported by the national group, Club for Growth. Smith had said Simpson was too liberal for Idaho.
Credit Aaron Kunz / Idaho Public Television

The Associated Press has called Idaho's Republican primary in the 2nd Congressional District for eight-term incumbent Mike Simpson.

Simpson had faced a tough primary challenge from tea party-backed candidate Bryan Smith.

Simpson's opponent, Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith, got an endorsement from the Club for Growth. Smith had said Simpson was too liberal for Idaho, citing his October 2013 decision to end the 16-day partial government shutdown Republicans attempted to use to force an end to the federal Affordable Care Act.

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