While the fury over health-care reform that spurred Idaho's Attorney General Lawrence Wasden to sue the feds seemed to dissipate in the last week, one Idaho group is not taking the lawsuit threat lightly.
The Idaho Main Street Alliance, an odd front for national health-care reform efforts in Idaho, delivered a letter to Wasden this week urging him to drop the suit. After quoting E.J. Dionne in the Washington Post and listing the benefits of Obamacare, the letter goes on to say: "We urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to not stand with those who would deny Idahoans access to health care. Please oppose any costly legal challenges that would prevent implementation of health-care reform."
Other nascent efforts to rein in the mad dog reaction to health-care reform include a Facebook-fueled organization called Citizens for Boise Sovereignty that promises to liberate the City of Boise from Big Government mandates coming out of the Statehouse.
Formed on April 1, the group's mission declares: "Tired of Boise being marginalized by the occupants of the Statehouse? Let's assert Boise's sovereignty from the state of Idaho, and exercise the power of eminent domain over all state-occupied holdings within our city limits."
Did we mention the group was born on April 1?
Speaking of April showers, primary elections are just around the corner and are just as serious. A raft of statewide candidates are waiting to answer your questions at Boise Weekly's Electionland.
What's that? You have no idea who they are or what to ask. Well here's a few tips.
Two completely anonymous men are seeking the Democratic nod to run against Sen. Mike Crapo. One, P. Tom Sullivan, runs a credit card processing company out of Driggs and flies his own Epic LT airplane that seats six in reclining, overstuffed leather seats, according to his Linkedin profile. He was preparing to launch his campaign as BW went to press.
The other, William Bryk, lives in Brooklyn, New York, and was surprised to see Sullivan on the ballot. He only signed up so that Crapo would not get off scott free in the general election.
"I think that it would be fair to say that it is more symbolic for me," the Brooklyn attorney and newspaper columnist told Citydesk. "Certainly if the Democrats nominate me I will come out and campaign."
Bryk had not been able to track Sullivan down either, but noted the contrast between their avocations.
"His background is in providing services for lenders and credit card companies, whereas I've spent most of my life as an attorney trying to free my clients from the bonds of interest slavery," Bryk said.
You can read Bryk's pontifications and those of his wife, Mimi Kramer, a former New Yorker magazine theater critic, at cityofsmoke.com.
Crapo faces one opponent in the GOP primary as well, Claude M. "Skip" Davis III, a Realtor from Weiser who vows to serve one term.
The Republican primary for governor is far and away the best race of the season and we think you'll have lots of questions for these folks. In one day last week, we had a professional anti-abortionist and a semi-professional stand-up comic come into BWHQ. Both are running against Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter in the primary.
Walt Bayes and his wife, Virginia, swung by to talk about baby killing and to get a computer lesson. Bayes, 72, has 16 children and raised them working farm labor jobs in Wilder. He's a frequent candidate and thorn in Otter's side.
Bayes recently lost a lawsuit against Otter and the state, seeking to stop all abortions in Idaho. The suit was dismissed with prejudice and Otter's attorneys are asking Bayes to pay legal fees, $4,640, according to Bayes, who has appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court.
"He expects me to pay it, but I've got news for you, I don't think it's going to work that way," Bayes said.
Bayes is generally seen as a one-issue candidate; he does not like abortion. But he also believes strongly that gay students should have separate bathrooms.
Pete Peterson does comedy and has been a bit schizophrenic about his race for governor. He's even endorsed independent candidate Jana Kemp, but continues to campaign with giant PETE signs and his latest gag, white booty shorts with "Beat Butch" emblazoned on the backside.
We're looking forward to watching Peterson and Bayes out-abortion Rex Rammell, an angry former elk rancher on a mission, and the two women in the race.
Incidentally, Ada County Commissioner Sharon Ullman and Post Falls trichologist Tamara Wells are the first Republican women ever to file for governor in Idaho, according to the Secretary of State's Office.
Ullman's latest campaign announcement called for an investigation, no, a "probe," into possible gas price fixing in Idaho.
And a trichologist, if you don't know, is a hair specialist. Wells provides wigs for cancer patients and others and runs a jewelry store in Hayden as well, according to her husband and campaign manager, Greg Wells. We don't know much about her positions, but she's planning a series of townhall meetings to find out about ours.
So ask away, dear readers. Boise Weekly is providing you the most democratic of candidate forums: You can ask them whatever you like and we will try our damndest to get them to answer. The address is electionland.boiseweekly.com.