Immigration rights marchers begin trek to Labrador’s Meridian office

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WILDER — About 20 people gathered Monday near Chula Vista Acres in Wilder to begin a three-day, 30-mile walk from that spot to Meridian City Hall in the name of immigration reform, today’s Idaho Press Tribune reports.

“The walk is symbolic,” said Ruby Menendez, a member of the Idaho Community Action Network. “We are collectively taking a path, current voters and future voters, to recognize that real change, lasting change to our immigration system will build a future together.”

The event is a collaborative effort between the ICAN, the Coalition for Immigrant Rights of Idaho and the Community Council of Idaho. The group walked to Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church on Monday and held a vigil Monday night and will continue walking to Nampa all day today.

On Wednesday, they plan to arrive by 1 p.m. at Meridian City Hall for a press conference and rally, and will deliver “thousands of petitions” to Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador’s office to pressure him to vote in favor of the immigration reform bill.

And Labrador sees any compromise at this time as “pandering to Hispanics.”

“In fact, the biggest mistake we can make as conservatives is to pander to the Hispanic community and to think that the only way we’re going to get votes is to vote a certain way on immigration,” Labrador said at the monthly ‘Conversations with Conservatives’ event. “Because what we start doing is, we start pandering and we start giving goodies out to people, then we’re going to get into a bidding war with the Democratic Party.”

Labrador said that inciting a bidding war with Democrats over issues such as immigration would only result in Republicans losing because “Democrats are always more willing to give goodies to a certain group than we are.”.

The congressman went on to say he wishes that Republicans would stop basing legislation and policies off of politics because the American people want immigration legislation based on the principle of a secure border.

A bit of history:

On June 5, Labrador, a former immigration attorney, informed his colleagues that he was leaving the bipartisan group negotiating a House immigration bill because he was not satisfied that taxpayers would not have to foot the bill for immigrants in the country illegally in their legislation.

Rather than agree to detailed language on healthcare, the group decided instead to essentially punt the issue and hew to the contours of the Senate Gang of Eight legislation, which makes clear that undocumented immigrants in a provisional legal status cannot receive federal benefits from the 2010 healthcare law.

Eliminate Public Safety in Idaho!

Who said that you are entitled to it?

The constitution (granted, I never dun read it but a friend at the bar told me) merely says something about ensuring the general welfare.

It doesn’t say that the government will stop somebody from robbing your house.

Think about it: for hundreds (or at least maybe dozens) of years Idaho survived the good old fashioned way. If somebody started trouble on your farm, grandma went out with the shotgun and pumped some lead in him.

So why do ya’ll expect us to fund an Idaho State Police Department?


The quote of the week once again goes to Rep. Brian Cronin:

Idaho has the same number of state troopers today (2011) as we did in 1977 (when we had almost half the population). Bloated government, indeed. Public safety? Just another entitlement program.

And see: Time to stop beggaring the state police from the Times News in Twin Falls.

More IDP inter-party analysis


Crossposted at RedStateBlueGuy

This is just some on-the-fly commentary on George Prentice’s recent interview with John Foster, so it’s going to be short. And in bulletin-format. And in no particular order.

1. The good news seems to be that Mr. Foster has accepted a position as VP for a Seattle-based Public Affairs Company. Hopefully that means he won’t be bothering us anymore. Just to be clear, I’m not saying he has no place within the party. I just don’t think he does well at the top.

2. I have to point out the irony inherent in his obtaining such a lofty position within a Public Affairs company not even a month after essentially running one of the worst campaigns (mind you, a campaign is nothing BUT public affairs) in Idaho history. He made so many ridiculous missteps that I find it very ironic that he would move from this on to Public Affairs. Is it just me?

3. Okay, now I’m going to build some analysis around a couple of Foster quotations that I think are emblematic of some recent problems with the IDP.

Fore more info, see:

Idaho’s Most Notorious Export

EXCERPT from Sisyphus’s blog:

Hard to fathom that someone is giving Larry Craig a challenge as undisputed champion, but the Village National Idiot has launched himself, and the American Family Association (AFA), the social conservative organization Bryan Fischer was selected to represent, into notorious territory by its addition as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). As the watchdog organization instrumental in taking down the Aryan Nations compound in northern Idaho, the SPLC now lists the AFA, along with the Family Research Council (FRC) in the same category as the KKK and the Aryan Nations, which unfortunately is still active in Idaho. Their leader just last year described Obama’s election as “the greatest recruiting tool ever.”

The SPLC acknowledged their criteria in including the AFA and FRC as hate groups. READ MORE

Quit using my tax dollars to sell me K-12

Excerpts from a facebook “notes” page:

Friends and fellow Idahoans, I am fired up. I just wrote a reply in response to a Daily Kos diary posted by another Idaho writer. I want to share it here … and everywhere, in hopes that someone takes notice in the last 10 days before Election Day. I’ve added a bit more material …

Here’s the real story in the SSPI race, though: K12, the Virginia-based company that runs the Idaho Virtual Academy, dumped $25K into Tom Luna’s campaign a few days ago. (Along with Melaleuca, K12 was also Luna’s biggest benefactor in 2006.) Other than a post by Betsy Russell on EOB on Wednesday, it’s going nowhere with the media.

Here’s the link:

… Yet here’s what really offends me: Every time I turn around, I see ads, billboards, direct mail, etc. from K12 – paid for with OUR tax dollars – pushing me to consider an online school for my kid. And guess who had the top banner ad when I hit the Kos home page a few minutes ago? “Classrooms are not for everyone,” the K12 ad says. “Your teen has a better option.” (I want to say, “Oh yeah? My kid attends the top academic high school in the state, you nimrods, so leave us the hell alone.”)

Source: Quit using my tax dollars to sell me K-12

Melaleuca attack ad targets Olson

According to Betsy Russell, Melaleuca … has launched a TV ad in southern Idaho that belittles Luna’s Democratic challenger, Stan Olson, with a digitally altered clip from an Idaho Public Television debate in which Olson said he’s always struggled with math.

Melaleuca sought permission from IPTV to use the copyright material a week in advance, and was specifically and firmly denied. Frank VanderSloot, Melaleuca chief, said he decided to go ahead with the ad anyway, and has hired copyright attorneys to battle over the issue with the state.

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Minnick vs. Labrador: Bellwether For America’s Future?

Excerpt from a post by Bubblehead
[Cross-posted from TSSBP based on Sisyphus’ urging.]

As the midterm elections approach, most of the talk is about whether or not the Republicans will be able to take back the House of Representatives (or even the Senate). More than that, this election seems like it will be a referendum on whether or not Constitutionalism (represented mostly by the Tea Party and Libertarians) has the strength to re-emerge as a dominant force in American politics for the first time since basically the end of the Polk Administration. I submit that the Congressional election this year in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District between Democratic incumbent Rep. Walt Minnick and Republican challenger Rep. Raul Labrador is a key battle between those who seek to return American political philosophy to the Jacksonian era and those who prefer a more modern interpretation of the Constitution. Basically, if the Paulites and their ilk can’t win here, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to ever emerge as more than an occasionally humorous sideshow to the main ebb and flow of the American body politic.

Read more »

Sisyphus: McJoan Misses the Mark on 1st Congressional District

I’ve been a huge fan of Idaho native Joan McCarter (McJoan), front pager for Daily Kos, ever since I first became acquainted with her from blurking the blogs. And I acted like a star struck teenager when she brought Kos to Idaho for a Democratic banquet. But her write up on the Labrador upset is wide of the mark. writes 43rdStateBlues blogger Sisyphus.

According to McJoan:

Unfortunately for the incumbent, Dem Walt Minnick, because his best chance of holding on to his seat was the mistake-prone Ward, who was unlikely to generate the kind of enthusiasm Labrador can garner. The best a Dem can hope for in this state is low Republican turnout.

McJoan had a point. For example TPM labels Vaughn Ward the worst candidate ever.

McJoan wrote:

Despite Palin’s endorsement of Ward, Labrador was the teabaggers’ choice, as is obvious given his quotes, above. Ward’s series of missteps–lifting whole sections of other Republicans’ talking points for his Web site, falsely claiming endorsements from Idaho officeholders, plagiarizing from Obama–sealed his fate.

However, Sisyphus offers a different analysis:

On the contrary, Labrador is (Bill) Sali’s heir apparent. Minnick won this seat in a district that gave McCain 61% of the vote. Minnick’s opponent, Bill Sali, was a Republican flame thrower who became a congressman in a similarly divided primary after being funded by a right wing PAC, Club for Growth. Sali was the informal head of the ideological wing of the Idaho Republican party which constantly clamors for purity purges to cleanse it of notions they see as an anathema to conservatism.

An analysis of party history followed:

In 2007, Sali helped lead a fight to defeat the Executive Director of the party, Kirk Sullivan, a big business lobbyist and a moderate. The moderates are largely composed of business types more concerned about government regulation than abortion. … A legislator that helped Sali in that fight was none other than Raul Labrador.

As a result of that schism, Sali ended up lonely and alone when running for re-election in 2008. His sugar daddy, Club for Growth, had other fish to fry. Big business Republicans like Dirk Kempthorne, Phil Batt and Governor Butch Otter were noticeably absent from Sali’s campaign trail. And the big money, usually relied on by Republicans to fund their campaigns, actually started showing up on Minnick’s campaign finance disclosure forms, probably as a result of Sali’s xenophobic immigration legislation he was threatening. With the help of this money, Minnick was able to cobble together a sufficient coalition of disaffected moderate Republicans and eager enthused Democrats to squeak out a victory in a heavily Republican district.

Sisyphus calls yesterday’s Republican primary yesterday a continuation, if not a deepening, of the Republican rift:

Fourteen months prior to the primary, Vaughn Ward was plucked from DC by Dirk Kempthorne, anointed by the Republican establishment such as Phil Batt, and funded by Idaho big business Republicans.

Thus, isn’t it better for Minnick to try to defeat this extremist, maverick than a candidate who had the full backing of the RNC?

Sisyphus’s blog

Idaho Press Tribune: Steve Kren is “the weakest link among Canyon County’s delegation.”

Political observers could see this one coming a mile away.

Too much time on the Nintendo and XBox 360 can be detrimental to legislative efficiency.

Steven “Steve” Kren Jr. earned the Idaho Press-Tribune endorsement two years ago, but with this warning:

“We expect him to flex his political muscle more this term. If he doesn’t, he’ll need to be replaced,” reads todays IPT editorial.

Hi, my name is Steve Kren, I am your Representative from District 13. I am a small business owner, and committed to making government as efficient as my business. To pull out of this economic mess, we need business owners and citizens of Idaho keep as much of their money as possible. That is why I am committed to lower taxes and a strong proponent of legislation that supports family values.

reads the Facebook page Steven Kren for Idaho.

But the Press Tribune endorsement article details how Kren’s opponent, Christy Perry, outshines him.

The IPT wrote:

Voters gave him another chance.

The junior lawmaker got involved — and made mistakes. Kren unsuccessfully co-sponsored several key pieces.

Are legislators only effective if they successfully sponsor a law? No. Some build laws and some are the architects or framers. And some are effective because they kill bad legislation. Kren has been praised by some of his fellow lawmakers for doing just that. He’s also been the one who points out flaws voiced by others.

Unfortunately, Kren has lost credibility. He’s not confident with his speaking skills and can’t clearly articulate his views or he isn’t sufficiently informed.

In his endorsement interview he suggested that parents could pay user fees to help offset education cuts. This would violate the state’s constitution.

He also believes the state should explore programs so nonviolent offenders can be released and pay for special monitoring programs to make room for the violent criminals. Good idea, but already in place.

Kren, unfortunately did not take the time to present his best side in the Q & A posted online at

A smart politician makes sure his answers meet high standards when it comes to grammar and proper word choice and that they clearly outline his position. He didn’t.

Here are a couple of snippets:

First I want to say thank you to the citizens of Dist 13 and Canyon County for allowing me to serve them as there State Representative for the past four years. My wife Kalah and I love Idaho and Canyon County. I am a Canyon County native, being born and raised in Nampa gives me a understanding of how local taxes effect you. Knowing the struggles in our local economy and how business in our community our making it through these tough economic times, also, I am Vice-President of my family business in Nampa.

Doesn’t a comma come after an introductory expression such as “First?”
Is “State Representative” a proper noun that needs upper case?
Kren has been “there” state representative?
I am a Canyon County Native (complete sentence right?)
Being born and raised in Nampa … begins another complete sentence, right? There are such comma splices throughout Kren’s essay.

Take another look at the sentence “Knowing the struggles in our local economy and how business in our community our making it through these tough economic times, also, I am Vice-President of my family business in Nampa.”

We will let you edit/interpret/judge that one yourself.

Kren goes on to say:

“I have three children and over the past 4 years I have made education my top priority, (Really? Hey Steve, you need a period here, not a comma) now the public school system has to stretch the tax payers dollars to ensure the children of Idaho receive a quality education, (ditto) I have an invested interest (Steve, the expression is “vested interest” … read much?) in our public schools and will fight for student achievement and a quality education in Idaho” (you mean a quality education such as the one you are demonstrating?).

The Press Tribune continued:

These missteps, along with a not-so-stellar legislative record, make Kren the weakest link among Canyon County’s delegation.

We’re not sure he takes the job that seriously. Kren missed more than 50 votes. He says as a father of two and another baby born five weeks ago, he missed some votes so he could go to the doctor with his wife. Understandable. And if that were the only gaffe, no problem.

They also mention how:

Kren has had four years to cement himself firmly in the Canyon County delegation. But he’s simply not stepping up.