Here’s a photo of Sen. Curt McKenzie playing chess on his smartphone during consideration of his guns on campus bill, SB 1254

“Sen. Curt McKenzie, who wants to let young people with a total of 8 hours of training carry concealed weapons on Idaho campuses–despite the objections of law enforcement, college presidents, faculty, and students–is apparently so uninterested in anyone’s opinion about his bill that he played chess on his phone during public testimony. Really?” – from a friend’s Facebook page.



Former Crapo aide wishes he could undo ‘serious errors’

EXCERPT: (Jake) Ball, who resigned Thursday as U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador’s district director, gave the money on Sept. 22, 2008, to his friend Gavin McCaleb. He signed a promissory note for his investment company, called Blueberry Guru, to repay the loan with an 8 percent annual interest rate. Instead, the money disappeared.

“Mr. McCaleb invested the money in a less than professional manner and, without knowing it, in fraudulent enterprises with persons who absconded with the funds,” Ball said in the affidavit from March 13.

In 2008, when Crapo’s campaign was between treasurers, Ball had authority to withdraw money and make investments with his signature alone. … Campaign finance ethics experts say giving such power to a single individual isn’t typical.

“It certainly does not reflect best practices,” said Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C. Many campaigns invest donor money, Ryan said, but “typically safe investments are chosen,” not speculative ventures in Las Vegas at a time when the global economy was in unprecedented turmoil and property foreclosures were escalating to record levels.

IDP: U.S Sen. Jim Risch Loves Perks of Dysfunctional Congress

U.S Sen. Jim Risch Loves Perks of Dysfunctional Congress

Risch is just kicking back in D.C., content to frequent the Ford Theater, take exotic trips on the taxpayer dime, and be part of the “dsysfunction.” He tells Statesman reporter Dan Popkey the job is so easy, “This you could do ad infinitum.” 

Read more.

Minimum Wage For All: Your Idaho GOP Economy

Idaho has the largest percentage of minimum wage earners in the country. That’s a full-time job earning $15,000 a year. Decades of GOP control created Idaho’s economy. It will take Idaho Democrats and some reasonable decision-makers to fix this.

Read StateImpact Idaho’s report.

School Board Elections May 21

Plenty of examples out there of why these elections matter. A good starter would be to ask them how they voted on the Luna Laws last November.

Read more

Save Idaho. Here’s How.

We need to elect more Idaho Democrats in Idaho. The Idaho Democratic Party is the only organization in the state that is dedicated to doing that. Right now, we need to hire a political director. Just dollars a month from you can make that happen. Please help.

Click here to donate anywhere from $5, $15, $25 or a $1,000 a month.

Idaho Latino Population Growing Fast

Idaho’s Latino population is poised to become an important force in Idaho politics.

Find out what the Latino population looks like in your community.

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GOP Keeping Michael Steele on ‘Short Leash’

What’s next?

Whips and chains?

According to a story called: GOP Leaders to Michael Steele: Back off, on, GOP leaders, in a private meeting last month, delivered a blunt and at times heated message to RNC Chairman Michael Steele: quit meddling in policy. The plea was made during what was supposed to be a routine discussion about polling matters and other priorities in House Minority Leader John Boehner’s office. But the session devolved into a heated discussion about the roles of congressional leadership and Steele, according to multiple people familiar with the meeting.Steele was taken aback by the comments from Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Senate GOP Conference Chairman of Tennessee and Senate GOP Policy Chairman John Thune of South Dakota and grew defensive during the 10-minute discussion, according to two people in the room.

First, the RNC stripped Steele of the authority to make big financial decisions. Now, GOP heavyweights are telling him to pipe down and do no more than what he’s told to do.

And support for Steele does not appear to be growing:

There are larger issues at hand, though, beyond a tense exchange over strategy. Since Steele took over the party earlier this year, congressional leaders and their staff have often cringed at the voluble chairman’s gaffes and rolled their eyes at his unambiguous view that he alone leads the party.

“He’s on a short leash here,” said one top House GOP leadership aide.

At the same time, Steele and his backers can be annoyed at what they see as the know-it-all arrogance and even jealousy of some in their party’s congressional wing.

I would defy anyone that it wasn’t politically smart” to issue the bill of rights, said a Steele ally, arguing that it painted Democrats as hypocrites for wanting to cut Medicare after they’ve spent years accusing Republicans of wanting to do the same.

However, reports that there is some lingering resistance among the party’s congressional leaders and their top aides to fully embrace Steele as chairman, the Steele associate said.

“None of this surprises me, writes Carmen Dixon, especially now, given that the hard right is the most powerful contingent in today’s Republican party. In fact, I have never heard any GOP heavyweight (other than Newt Gingrich) echo Steele’s stated goals of reaching out to communities of color to bring them into the Republican party.”

Have YOU?”