Idaho Rep. Bill Sali did finally concede the election to Walt Minnick late Wednesday, leaving what's described as a "gracious and heartfelt message" on Minnick's voicemail.
Idaho schools' chief Tom Luna has negotiated a 90-day extension to the state's contract with Plato Learning, a Minnesota-based online and computerized education company that provides remediation services to many IDaho students who fail Idaho's graduation tests.
Idaho businessman Walt Minnick, a conservative Democrat, has snatched a Republican House seat from Idaho Rep. Bill Sali, according to the state’s now complete, but unofficial vote totals.
Minnick declared victory at 11:15 Wednesday morning.
“Most importantly I would like to thank the thousands of Idahoans, Republicans, independents, who chose to look at this campaign from the standpoint of who could be more effective for Idaho and to cross party lines and to do something that is rare in Idaho: elect someone who’s party affiliation was other than Republican,” Minnick told the TV cameras at a gathering outside the Idaho Historical Museum.
Minnick counted 175,567 votes to Sali’s 171,324, a 51-49 margin, after the last remaining Idaho precincts reported totals to the Secretary of State early this afternoon.
Sali said at a 12:30 p.m. GOP press conference on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol Annex that the counting was not done and he did not concede the election.
“There’s a process that needs to play out and we’re anxious to make sure that every ballot gets counted, that they’re all counted correctly make sure that we come up with the right result for the election,” Sali said.
But at the same press conference, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo offered his congratulations to Minnick and pledged to work across the isle with Idaho’s newest congressman.
“As Walt and I talked… we can work across party lines, and our delegation whether it be our national delegation or those who serve here in the state are going to be focused on good government and on making sure that we eliminate from the political scene to the best of our ability the kind of harsh, bitter personal and partisan politics that have taken such a dominant focus in our national election climate these days,” Crapo said.
Minnick also said he had spoken with Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson Wednesday morning and planned to meet with him soon.
“He and I are going to get together, hopefully in the next few days and talk about how we can forge a bipartisan team that will allow us to work with Republicans work with Democrats, work with the new Democratic administration and come up with common sense solutions to problems that will be in the best interest of the country and helpful to Idaho,” Minnick said of Simpson.
Minnick is Idaho’s first Democratic congressman to be elected since Larry LaRocco’s final term in 1992.
|UNITED STATES PRESIDENT|
|UNITED STATES SENATOR|
|LIB||Kent A. Marmon||9,805||2%|
|US REPRESENTATIVE, District 1|
|US REPRESENTATIVE, District 2|
|ADA COUNTY COMMISSIONER FIRST DISTRICT|
|REP||Sharon M. Ullman||85,334||51.8%|
|ADA COUNTY COMMISSIONER SECOND DISTRICT|
The polls are closed in Idaho and the numbers are rolling in. Ada County released more than 75,000 absentee ballot numbers shortly before 9 p.m. showing McCain leading Obama 51% to 47 % in the county.
Idaho argued it's piece yesterday in an attempt to preserve the last vestiges of the Voluntary Contributions Act, passed by the Legislature in 2003 and struck down by courts ever since. You can read the transcipt here.
JUSTICE KENNEDY: If you -- if you think of the case as a principal-agent case so that the principal can direct the agent as to what to do, the agent being the county, then it seems to me that the unions might still have an argument that this is an unconstitutional condition.
I've been looking for ways to examine this case. The public forum doesn't really work for me. Subsidy doesn't really work for me. It seems to me to be an unconstitutional-condition case. At least that's the argument.
That doesn't mean you necessarily can't prevail. But suppose the State told the city: You can't have a parade that you sponsor for this particular cause. That would raise an unconstitutional-conditions argument; wouldn't it?
MR. SMITH: It might, Your Honor, but that situation, of course, is not the situation presented here.
JUSTICE KENNEDY: Why isn't it? And I say that because I think that follows on Justice Stevens's line of questioning. I didn't mean to interrupt him, but it seems to me that is consistent with what he is asking.
MR. SMITH: Because the statute at issue here, Justice Kennedy, speaks across the board to a specific kind of conduct, political activities. It does so in the a viewpoint-neutral fashion. To prohibit a particular parade might well raise viewpoint non-neutrality issues.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Yes, because the State couldn't --
JUSTICE KENNEDY: You stand up and say that this isn't viewpoint -- that this is -- that this is viewpoint-based. Isn't it where the union --and aren't they right about that?
MR. SMITH: Your Honor, they are incorrect about that. The district court concluded that the statute is viewpoint-neutral. Indeed --
JUSTICE GINSBURG: But does it get at any speech other than union speech? I mean you say, yes, it is content-based, but it's viewpoint neutral. But it seems that what is banned by the statute is union speech. Is any other organization affected? Does the ban affect any other organization? Isn't it simply union speech that's at stake?
MR. SMITH: The answer is no. It -- the --the statute just -- does not just affect union speech by its literal terms.
JUSTICE GINSBURG: But, in practice, is there any other application?
MR. SMITH: Well, there is no evidence in the record, Your Honor, as to any other entity who is affected by the statute. But that is hardly -- that's hardly remarkable, given the fact that the plaintiffs in the litigation are six labor organizations. I should add that --
Google has another nice tool to find your polling place. Remember that in Idaho you can register to vote at the polling places on Election Day, just bring photo ID and something official with your address on it, like a bill.
Idaho is one of 18 states that allow felons to vote after they have completed their sentence, including probation and parole. That includes felons from other states who have completed their sentences and relocated to Idaho.