Peterson Runs from the Strip Clubs, Coffee Shops 

Guv candidate at the Torch II, Senators on Sotomayor

Candidate Announces at Boise Bikini Bar

With a guy like Al Franken serving in the U.S. Senate, or Jon Stewart being the most trusted newsman in the nation, it may not be as far-fetched anymore for a comedian to take to politics. And that's just what Pete Peterson of Boise aims to do. "Politics and comedy are not mutually exclusive," he said.

Peterson has set up shop at the Torch II, a Boise bikini bar and at various downtown and North End coffee shops and corner stores to plot out his campaign strategy, which amounts to courting high turnout for the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary and not spending a lot of money doing it.

We went up the hill to the Torch II out of curiosity last week and met with Peterson, who was staging a 12-hour campaign launch party.

Peterson has been performing standup on stage since his retirement from state government work in 2006, including three trips to London and the United Kingdom, he says, where he even performed at the London Comedy Store. He used to do standup at the Funny Bone in Boise as well.

Peterson traces his involvement in politics back to a 1994

People magazine

article asserting that Larry Echohawk, now head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, was poised to become the first Native American governor. Peterson said he was pissed off that

People

would declare a winner in the Idaho race like that, so he signed up to work for Phil Batt, who won. Peterson rode the Idaho GOP campaign bus, which in past elections has traveled the state with a slate of Republican candidates.

But then, as Peterson tells it, Batt double-crossed him and did not allow him to appear on stage at the inauguration. Now he says it's Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter who has crossed him, appearing "disconnected" and "arrogant" as Peterson puts it.

A manager at the Torch II made it clear that the bar was not endorsing anyone in the governor's race and that Peterson was just another customer.

Risch, Crapo to Vote Against Sotomayor

Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch announced their intended nay votes on Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Risch said she was "a genuinely nice, smart and well-intentioned person," but that he's still not going to vote for her. Crapo said that she was evasive and misleading in her testimony.

Here's what Risch said, via e-mail: "I personally met with and interviewed Judge Sotomayor and discussed water law, the Second Amendment and several other matters. I reviewed her cases and I listened to her confirmation hearings and have determined I cannot support her lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court."

And from Crapo, who along with Risch criticized her Second Amendment stance:

"Also troubling is that she has made statements acknowledging that her experience allows her to choose the facts she wants to see when determining a case, rather than applying the law. And she has repeatedly stated that U.S. judges may look to foreign law to interpret the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States to maintain our country's standing in the world community."

war in Iraq

U.S. CASUALTIES: As of Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 4,332 U.S. service members (including 31 Idahoans) have died since the war in Iraq began in March 2003: 3,464 in combat and 868 from non-combat-related incidents and accidents. Injured service members total 31,454. In the last week, no U.S. soldiers died.

Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 103 soldiers have died.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Defense

IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS: Estimated between 92,519 and 101,006.

Source: iraqbodycount.net

COST OF IRAQ WAR: $668,680,959,178

Source: costofwar.com

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