Rex Rammell, unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate, Idaho governor and the Idaho Legislature, and who once joked that Idaho should sell "Obama tags" to hunters, has said he's leaving the Gem State.
This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that Rammell said he plans to move to Torrington, Wyo., next week, when he takes a new veterinary job at the Torrington Livestock Auction. Rammell made the announcement shortly after having four misdemeanor Fish and Game charges dismissed in Idaho County. Rammell had been accused of hunting with a suspended license. He had previously been convicted in 2011 of poaching an elk in Bonneville County.
"If I do anything with politics, it won't be in Idaho," Rammell told the Tribune. "I've kind of given up on Idaho, to be right honest with you."
Rammell had recently moved from eastern Idaho to Idaho County, one of the only two counties in Idaho that supported his 2010 run for governor.
"I just can't justify staying in idaho County or Idaho when the economy is as bad as it is and not enough people want to change it," Rammell told the Tribune. "The majority seem to be happy with it, so they can suffer. I've done my best to bring the problems to everybody's attention. I tried to change the Fish and Game in Idaho, and if there's any change, it will be through my lawsuits."
Rammell conceded that it "was probably a good thing" that he was not elected to the Idaho Legislature.
"I would have been frustrated going down there," Rammell told the Tribune. "And I probably wouldn't have accomplished anything."
Perennial political candidate Rex Rammell said yesterday he is no longer a part of "corporate Idaho."
The Lewiston Tribune reports that Rammell told Magistrate Judge Jeff Payne in a Grangeville courtroom that the judge had no jurisdiction over him. Rammell told Payne that he is a "de jure" citizen, invoking Ninth Amendment constitutional rights that he claimed make him exempt from the laws of "a corporate state."
Rammell is facing a charge of felony battery after law enforcement said he confronted a couple for trespassing.
Rammell was convicted of poaching a cow elk in July. And in August, he pleaded guilty to criminal contempt in a case that started when he was arrested for tampering with jurors in the poaching trial.
Perennial political candidate Rex Rammell pleaded guilty to criminal contempt Wednesday, following accusations of jury tampering. Prosecutors said Rammell attempted to influence a jury on April 12 when he handed out fliers titled "The Jury's Secret Power" in front of the Bonneville County Courthouse. Rammell was facing a court hearing after being accused of killing a cow elk in the wrong zone.
In exchange for his guilty plea, Rammell was ordered to pay fines and fees totaling $387.50 and will be under nine months of informal probation. If Rammell violates his probation, Judge Colin Luke said Rammell would be ordered to spend 90 days in jail.
Perennial candidate for governor Rex Rammell has once again gone afoul of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Rammell is under investigation for allegedly killing an elk with an expired tag in the wrong hunting zone, then threatening an IDFG officer and refusing to accept a citation.
Here's how it went down earlier today, according to an IDFG: Rammell was stopped after a Fish and Game conservation officer saw him dragging a dead elk with a snowmobile during a late season cow elk hunt in the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area located east of Idaho Falls. When the officer checked Rammell's tag, he found it was issued for a hunt in the Middle Fork hunting zone that closed in October.
According to IDFG, Rammell then "interfered with the officer's attempt to seize the elk" before threatening the officer, physically dragging the elk back to his snowmobile and taking off. He is accused of refusing to stop until he reached his home, where he then proceeded to refuse to accept a citation written by the officer. Fish and Game did confiscate the elk at that time, and the department states it will seek formal charges against Rammell.
This is far from Rammell's first run in with the wildlife law. Back in 2006, more than 150 elk broke out of Rammell's private elk ranch. Then-Gov. Jim Risch ordered that they be shot on site because of the risk of the elk interbreeding with native elk in the area—which includes Yellowstone National Park. Tests to determine if the elk were genetically modified later came back positive.
The list, which claims to be a secret White House document, but is probably the result of a fun brain storming session at the Globe offices (published by the folks who bring you The Enquirer), seems pretty comprehensive. Topped by Glenn Beck, who spends all of his air time making stuff up about Obama, and Larry Sinclair, a guy who claims he took drugs and slept with the prez, Rammell appears at No. 16.
His claim to infamy: "GOP contender for Idaho's governorship said he'd buy a license to 'hunt' Obama."
Rammell appears on the list between two country stars: Toby Keith who apparently told Beck that Obama doesn't act black and Hank Williams Jr., who said Obama doesn't really like the National Anthem.
Rammell's reaction: "Although the "Obama tags " comment has been completely blown out of proportion, I am honored to be #16 on his hit list. When I am governor of Idaho, I expect to move to the top of the list. Not because I want to hunt Obama, but because I plan to challenge him and the federal government on their usurpation of Idaho's states' rights. It is my intention to show President Obama the power of the 10th Amendment."
KTVB told me they'd be live-streaming the debates tonight on their website, which is good, because I'm planning on liveblogging the debate from an apartment owned by someone who does not believe in TV antennas. But at the moment, the KTVB website doesn't appear to have anything I can click on to take me to said live-streaming debate. Hopefully all will become clear within the next 10 minutes, and I won't feel like an idiot without anything to blog about. (Update: Just talked to a very nice guy named Jeremy at KTVB who says the blue "Watch This!" link looking thing on the home page that isn't a link now will be a link in just a couple minutes, when the debate goes live. So if, like me, you are antenna-less, just watch for it. It's the black linky thing.)
Anyway, if you want to play a little drinking game, I suggest you follow many of the same rules from the last debate:
1) Drink any time LaRocco pesters Risch to debate him on IPTV.
2) Drink any time LaRocco talks about one of his 35 jobs.
3) Drink any time Rammell says Risch should change parties.
4) Drink any time Rammell says "green" like it's a swear word.
5) Three drinks if Libertarian candidate Kent Marmon makes an appearance.
6) Five drinks if Risch or LaRocco take any of the third-party candidates seriously.
7) New rule: Two drinks if anyone mentions Joe the Plumber.
Oh, boy, technical difficulties. I can't get any audio. I called KTVB; Jeremy just tried it too, and there's no audio online. He will do what he can to get it fixed. Anyone following along here with the TV, please feel free to comment about what's going on.
6:45 -- Yay, audio is on!
6:46 -- Pro-Life says our money is false. Your currency is a lie! We should all go back to gold and silver, because look where centuries of your fake paper money have gotten us.
6:48 -- LaRocco doesn't want to cut you a stimulus check. He wants to put money into building roads and bridges. I CAN'T EAT PAVEMENT, LARRY.
6:50 -- Yay, pizza's here!
6:50 -- LaRocco said Risch benefited at least $53,000 from his own property tax plan.
6:52 -- Not even close, Risch said -- it was $1,000. LaRocco's sticking with his numbers. Risch said if he got that amount, he'll drop out of this race.
6:57 -- Yay, Rammell's here! So apparently he was in the hospital? Pro-Life said a prayer for him on this very stage.
6:58 -- Pro-Life says we're about to have Refrigerator Police and Democratic Communism. Then he goes all No Nukes on us.
7:00 -- On the gas price question, Risch says drilling is a short-term energy solution. I believe that's supposed to take 10 years?
7:00 -- LaRocco says he supports drilling, and says no, he hasn't taken any money from oil companies unlike Risch. Risch of course claims that LaRocco owns oil stocks. (It's apparently some kind of larger investment package like a mutual fund that includes some oil companies, LaRocco says.)
7:00 -- Rammell considers Risch's pro-drilling and pro-carbon cap policies contradictory.
7:03 -- Rammell says anyone who commits abortion should be charged with murder. Risch says abortion shouldn't be legal, but wants a state's rights approach and doesn't want to punish women who get abortions, just doctors. Pro-Life said even people who drive women to baby-murder centers (his words, not mine) are involved in pre-meditated murder. LaRocco says he abhors abortion, but he doesn't believe in the government getting involved in personal decisions.
7:10 -- Pro-Life is anti-NAFTA and anti-any trade agreement. LaRocco said he voted against it because he felt it would outsource jobs; Risch says it's not perfect in it's current form, but we need free trade.
7:11 -- Pro-Life says Americans are becoming imperialists. As long as we get the Darth Vader theme from Empire Strikes Back, right?
7:15 -- Risch says he wants to get his information he bases decisions on from Mike Crapo, from various websites and publications (what, can he not name one, like Sarah Palin?), but mostly from the people of Idaho. Pro-Life says he won't get his info from the people of Idaho because the people of Idaho are selfish. Literally, he said this. He also said he sometimes gets his information from Liberals, because sometimes they'll tell you the truth. Rammell says he gets his info from Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, Glenn Beck, Fox TV -- basically your entire rabid hate-spewing Conservative coterie. LaRocco says he gets his info from the people he works side-by-side with on his jobs-for-a-day. Drink!
7:22 -- What would you cut from the budget? Rammell says he'd cut No Child Left Behind; Pro-Life says he'd cut Social Security and that public education is the 10th plank of the Communist Manifesto.
7:25 -- Is Rammell crying about his dead elk? His voice sounds trembly. I'm not sure if it's the illness or if he's just that close to crying. "He should go to jail, not to the United States Senate," he said about Risch. Risch said he didn't like having the elk destroyed, but that Rammell refused to corral the elk, and the Department of Agriculture told him they were a problem and couldn't guarantee they were disease-free.
7:30 -- Thirty-five jobs! Drink! Also, LaRocco lists violent video games in the same breath with rushing into war and the decline of the economy. I'm sorry, but I didn't realize my Bioshock fixation was destroying America.
7:33 -- "The people that run this world, they're Fascists, you know," Pro-Life says. Now Pro-Life is crying as he struggles to say, "if you violate your conscience, you harm America."
7:35 -- "Larry Craig has been in office for a number of years now ... what would change if you were in his office?" Well, certainly less clandestine gay bathroom sex, right?
7:37 -- Every month there are thousands of veterans who attempt suicide, LaRocco said, and Craig didn't do enough for veterans. He also stood in the way of Crapo and Simpson's wilderness bills and rubber-stamped the war, he said. Risch praised Craig for the Craig-Wyden bill, among other things, because it was incredibly important for rural Idaho -- it gives money to communities that lost out on tax dollars when timber harvests were disallowed. (Hey Risch, maybe you could tell Bill Sali that.)
7:44 -- Wait, is Pro-Life suggesting health care professionals should not be regulated? Like, no testing or anything? I'm still not letting you do my brain surgery, Pro-Life.
7:47 -- Rammell says Risch is green like it's a filthy, filthy thing. Drink! Omigosh, Pro-Life is next, and he's an organic strawberry farmer.
7:52 -- LaRocco says Risch should show up to the IPTV debate. Drink!
7:54 -- LaRocco says he'd be bipartisan and he'd love to be in a delegation with Crapo, Simpson and Minnick.
7:55 -- Rammell said Risch is going back and forth on privatizing Social Security and that the Republican Party (i.e., Risch) left him (Rammell) and conservatives like him.
7:55 -- Pro-Life is saying something about gold coins and debased paper money and that you should be able to learn about this issue at church.
7:57 -- Risch is only comparing himself to LaRocco and is tarring LaRocco as pro-high taxes. And he's using the change card -- "I know how to do change."
7:59 -- In a sentence: Risch said he'd lower gas prices and taxes. Pro-Life said he'll save babies. Rammell says Risch has no integrity. LaRocco said he's not a liberal Democrat and that, contrary to what Risch has said, he didn't vote for the largest tax increase ever; he'd vote for a balanced budget.
8:01 -- And we're done! Remember to vote, and tip your waitress generously.
KTVB caught some flack when it refused to allow some members of the media, including the Associated Press and the Idaho Statesman, into its Republican primary debate for U.S. Senate in May. This time around, the television execs seem to have changed their minds.
When asked if a reporter for the Boise Weekly could attend the KTVB debate for the five-way Senate race, a KTVB representative said reporters would be allowed in along with the general public. Only members of the panel would be allowed to ask questions in the debate, however.
The debate airs live tonight from 6:30 to 8 PM, followed by a debate between Rep. Bill Sali and Walt Minnick, who are running for Idaho’s First Congressional District seat.
The Senate race is between Republican Jim Risch, Democrat Larry LaRocco, independents Rex Rammell and Pro-Life, and Libertarian Kent Marmon. Marmon claims he was not invited and is urging supporters to call the station and protest. He plans to attend and sit in the audience.
Rammell was shut out of the GOP Primary debate in May and left in the parking lot along with the media.
The KTVB debate is one of only three that Risch has agreed to appear in during the general election season, and the one that would be closest to reaching statewide.
Candidates for Idaho’s Second Congressional District will battle it out in the KTVB debate on Thursday starting at 7 PM.
Something called the Idaho Media Coalition puts on these debates. It includes the KTVB News Group, KPVI, Peak Broadcasting, Idaho Business Review, Idaho Cable Telecommunications Association, Idaho Press-Tribune, KREM and Northwest Nazarene University. Notice Boise Weekly is not in this particular coalition.
Citydesk is not going to go all the way to Nampa to watch these things just because we can, but check back for another blogging event soon…