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Friday, November 7, 2008

Sali concedes

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 10:19 AM

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.


Sali spokesman Wayne Hoffman confirmed to the Associated Press [via Press-Tribune] that Sali would not be challenging the election results.

But Hoffman, who was himself a controversial figure in Sali's controversial single term in Washington, D.C., did not concede that the political road ahead for Sali is closed [see picture at left].

Hoffman: "Stay tuned. Bill has a lot of support out there. That's clear by the election results."

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Luna extends PLATO contract

Posted By on Thu, Nov 6, 2008 at 8:16 PM

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.


As we reported this week, Luna recently discovered that the company's lessons do not adequately match up with Idaho schools content standards, but the 90-day extension will include further review.

Luna announced the extension in another memo to school administrators:


AP's Jessie Bonner has more (via Press-Tribune).

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Minnick declares victory; Sali still counting votes

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 2:32 PM

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.

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Idaho still red, Minnick prevails

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 6:56 AM

Good morning Boise! We were up late last night putting today's paper to bed and woke to the news that Walt Minnick has taken Idaho's First Congressional District from Rep. Bill Sali. 

Otherwise, Idaho remained a very Republican dominated state, with Pres-Elect Barack Obama scoring only 36 percent, better than John Kerry four years ago, but not a great showing, given the national wave.

I'll be in the River 94.9 here in Boise a little after 8 a.m. talking about these results with BW editor Rachael Daigle ... and then we will post more analysis here at the citydesk, so check back.

Here are still unofficial, but mostly counted results from this morning.

UNITED STATES PRESIDENT
CON Chuck Baldwin 4,650 1%
LIB Bob Barr 3,606 1%
REP John McCain 397,819 62%
IND Ralph Nader 7,052 1%
DEM Barack Obama 232,586 36%
UNITED STATES SENATOR
DEM Larry LaRocco 216,782 34%
LIB Kent A. Marmon 9,805 2%
IND Pro-Life 8,532 1%
IND Rex Rammell 34,310 5%
REP Jim Risch 366,694 58%
US REPRESENTATIVE, District 1
 
DEM Walt Minnick 171,313 51%
REP Bill Sali 167,755 49%
US REPRESENTATIVE, District 2
DEM Deborah Holmes 83,867 29%
REP Mike Simpson 205,769 71%
ADA COUNTY COMMISSIONER FIRST DISTRICT
REP  Sharon M. Ullman 85,334 51.8%
DEM Paul Woods 79,548 48.2%
ADA COUNTY COMMISSIONER SECOND DISTRICT
DEM David Langhorst 75,853 46.1%
REP Rick Yzaguirre 88,571 53.9%

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Idaho results rolling in

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 8:08 PM

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.


  • Democrat Walt Minnick was up by more than 5,000 votes on Republican Bill Sali after the initial reporting.
  • Lt. Gov. Jim Risch had almost 4,000 more votes than Democrat Larry LaRocco in Ada County and Risch was up 55% to LaRocco's 37% at about 10 p.m. in statewide early returns. Rex Rammell, elk farmer and independent candidate was polling at 5%.
  • Ada County legislative seats all came in initially in favor of incumbents.
We have left the Modern Hotel bar, which was packed with enthusiastic Obama supporters earlier tonight. We are back at BW HQ, listening to NPR and composing our Wednesday story on this historic election... so don't expect too many more posts. Live blogging is for the bloggers...

Here's some Ada County initial results: 21:07 hours on Nov 4.

UNITED STATES PRESIDENT
CON Chuck Baldwin 297 0%
LIB Bob Barr 454 1%
REP John McCain 38,473 51%
IND Ralph Nader 701 1%
DEM Barack Obama 35,912 47%  

UNITED STATES SENATOR
DEM Larry LaRocco 33,324 45%
LIB Kent A. Marmon 1,034 1%
IND Pro-Life 533 1%
IND Rex Rammell 2,440 3%
REP Jim Risch 36,954 50%  

US REPRESENTATIVE, District 1
DEM Walt Minnick 26,651 55%
REP Bill Sali 21,482 45%  

US REPRESENTATIVE, District 2
DEM Deborah Holmes 11,556 45%
REP Mike Simpson 14,124 55%  

STATE SENATOR, District 14
REP Chuck Winder 11,956 100%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION A, District 14
REP Mike Moyle 9,278 62%
DEM Michelle Waddell 5,619 38%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION B, District 14
DEM Glida Bothwell 4,951 34%
REP Raul R. Labrador 9,653 66%
 
STATE SENATOR, District 15
REP John C Andreason 5,458 100%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION A, District 15
REP Lynn M. Luker 5,301 100%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION B, District 15
REP Max C. Black 3,755 52%
DEM Greg Funk 3,137 44%
LIB Marvin Gardner 264 4%  

STATE SENATOR, District 16
DEM Les Bock 4,350 61%
REP Christ Troupis 2,789 39%
 
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION A, District 16
DEM Grant Burgoyne 4,170 60%
REP Joan Cloonan 2,807 40%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION B, District 16
DEM Elfreda Higgins 4,197 60%
REP Elizabeth Allan Hodge 2,808 40%  

STATE SENATOR, District 17
REP T. Allen Hoover 1,692 31%
DEM Elliot Werk 3,732 69%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION A, District 17
LIB Mikel Hautzinger 969 19%
DEM Bill Killen 4,038 81%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION B, District 17
DEM Sue Chew 3,624 67%
REP Daniel A. Loughrey 1,813 33%
 
STATE SENATOR, District 18
DEM Kate Kelly 4,809 63%
REP Dean E. Sorensen 2,830 37%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION A, District 18
DEM Branden J. Durst 3,973 53%
REP Julie Ellsworth 3,540 47%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION B, District 18
DEM Phylis K King 4,145 55%
LIB James L. Oyler  230 3%
REP Becky Young 3,095 41%  

STATE SENATOR, District 19
DEM Nicole LeFavour 6,309 72%
REP Chuck Meissner 2,401 28%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION A, District 19
DEM Anne Pasley-Stuart 6,971 100%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION B, District 19
DEM Brian C. Cronin 5,836 68%
REP Kevin B. McGowan 2,783 32%  

STATE SENATOR, District 20
REP Shirley McKague 6,223 67%
DEM Laurynda "Ryndy" Williams 3,056 33%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION A, District 20
LIB Rex W Kerr 1,893 23%
REP Joe A. Palmer 6,512 77%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION B, District 20
REP Marv Hagedorn 7,407 100%  

STATE SENATOR, District 21
REP Russell M. Fulcher 9,165 100%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION A, District 21
DEM Sharon L. Fisher 4,390 38%
REP Richard Dean "Rich" Jarvis 7,097 62%  

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION B, District 21
REP Clifford R. "Cliff" Bayer 7,302 65%
DEM Steven J. Dillehay 4,006 35%

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Tools for your election watching pleasure

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 12:51 PM


We just took a drive around the Web to see what folks is saying ... It's 12:37 in the Mountain States, polls in parts of Indiana and Kentucky are closing in just two hours time.
  • Long waits, heavy turnout, blah, blah [NYT, BW BeatVOA, Chad].
  • Chris Cizziillzziillaa at the Washington Post's The Fix blog has a wonkish list of congressional districts to watch tonight, ordered by approximate time. Politico's Arena has politicos waxing on their day so far and a pretty cool swing state map.
  • RealClearPolitics aggregates election stories and keeps track of polling
  • The TV, anyone watching the TV right now? Please comment below ... (BW made sure there is a TV at The Modern Hotel & Bar, where we will be watching returns tonight.)
Huffington Post has a nice collection of widgets from the major networks: CNN, MSNBC, CBS, the Google and the betting houses. Presumably they will update themselves as the polls close from East to West. Check back tonight.

And from the Onion:

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Idaho before Supreme Court

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 11:18 AM

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.


The original law barred government agencies and some businesses from deducting political contributions for unions from employees paychecks. It was immediately challenged by Idaho unions and never went into effect.

You can read an earlier story on the Supreme Court taking the case here.

The case, Ben Ysursa, Idaho Secretary of State, et al. vs. Pocatello Education Association, et al., hinges on a small part of the original bill: the right of the state to dictate to its political subdivisions how to manage their payroll systems. In broad terms, the state has argued it has that power under state's rights principles while the union maintains this is a Free Speech case. Here is an exchange between Justice Kennedy and Idaho Deputy Attorney General Clay Smith that illustrates how the court tackled the case:
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 --
The court will issue it's decision at a later date.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

BW Pregnant Chad Watch Party

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 1:58 PM

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The citydesk voter informational

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 11:08 AM


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.


Full voter information is available for Idaho at idahovotes.gov including a polling place finder and a search to find out if you are registered yet. And if you still don't know who to vote for, there's always the BW Hip Hop Voter Guide.

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Idaho felons get civil rights back

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 10:08 AM

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.


According to this recently updated chart at procon.org there are a dozen states that deny convicted criminals their right to vote for life, even after completing their sentence. Arizona, and Nevada are on this list, as is Florida.

There are some 20 states (and the District of Columbia) that are less restrictive than Idaho, letting probationers vote, or as in Maine and Vermont, allowing prisoners to vote from prison.

Idaho Code Title 18, Chapter 3 governs the civil rights of felons. The Sentencing Project follows felon disenfranchisement news across the nation and estimates the 5.3 million American cannot vote because of felony convictions.

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