Mike Simpson

Monday, August 31, 2009

Minnick, Simpson Groveside Chat

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Minnick, SImpson, greet fans, critics after City Club show
  • Nathaniel Hoffman
  • Minnick, SImpson, greet fans, critics after City Club show
Idaho’s Congressmen, Mike Simpson and Walt Minnick appeared side-by-side at City Club of Boise last week, agreeing with one another an awful lot and even joking about who should sit on the right side of the dais.

The rare, bipartisan pairing drew a record crowd at the venerable public affairs forum—some 420 people. But, as with most of their votes, Minnick and Simpson agreed more than they disagreed.

Simpson said sometimes his wife does not like how he votes and Minnick said sometimes his wife likes Simpson better. Each talked over the other trying to be the first to deliver a verbatim rendition of the pharmaceutical industry talking points on health care reform and then both made emphatic statements that campaign contributions do not influence votes.

One interesting difference emerged when Minnick admitted to canceling several appointments at the University of Idaho recently because he was behind on his fund raising goals (U of I president Duane Nellis was sitting right up front at the Grove Hotel during the forum). Simpson then said he has only made one fund raising call in his entire federal career.

And then moderator Marty Peterson asked about earmarks and Minnick launched into an impassioned argument against them, asserting that earmarks shortchange the competitive process and deplete funds available for competitive grants.

Simpson said if Congress does not direct earmarks then the administration will; pork is partisan any way you cut it.

But they still agree on earmarks—agree to disagree, that is.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Simpson visits BW

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 10:09 AM

Rep. Mike Simpson told the BW Editorial Board (Features Editor Deanna Darr, News Editor Nathaniel Hoffman and a dozen untouched DK Donuts) this morning that he does not think the Omnibus Public Land Management Act, including proposed wilderness in the Owyhee Canyonlands, will pass the House any time soon.

Simpson also said that his personal project, the Boulder-White Clouds wilderness proposal, is going to go through the Senate first, where it might have a better chance of getting through the committee process than in the House. Simpson inferred that a certain high-profile wilderness advocate/singer-songwriter has held up his bill in the House.

"I don't think they were too excited about doing it because there is some opposition to it by individuals who influence that staff substantially, certain singers," Simpson said, referring to Carole King. "She pretty much controls that committee. So we've been working with the Senate staff." 

On the Omnibus Wilderness bill, which passed the Senate, Simpson said that a lack of clear strategy may kill the bill. It is on the suspension calendar in the House, meaning it needs two-thirds vote, but 20 Democrats still oppose it and not enough Republicans exist to counteract their opposition. If the bill were to go through normally, it could get a majority vote, but Republicans would insist on guns in National Parks and it would have to go back to the Senate again, which the Senate does not want to happen.

I think we got that all right, the Microtrack 24/96 crapped out at this point in the interview.

Translation: Business as usual in Washington, D.C.?

We made a pot of coffee, but Simpson and staffers Nikki Watts and John Revere showed up with their own starbucks. The Congressman, a dentist, praised BW Publisher Sally Freeman for attending to her oral hygeine this morning rather than attending the edit board meeting (BTW, BW has no editorial board, and Freeman was dissed by her dentist for being 10 minutes late, apparently).

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And there's a write-in

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 3:45 PM

This week's BW takes a look at the Second Congressional District race, highlighting citizen-candidate Debbie Holme's uphill battle against Mike Simpson.

But there is also a write-in candidate in the race, Gregory Nemitz, who challenged Simpson in the GOP primary in May, is running on the anti-bailout ticket and the Ron Paul coattails ticket.

And according to the YouTube, he's shaved his mustache. 

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