UPDATE, November 5: Jerry Brady gets the nod from the Idaho Statesman. "Brady has articulated a specific agenda for the state and the Treasure Valley — something Otter has failed to do. Brady has invested more thought in the issues, and it shows ... Brady is more attuned to Idaho in 2006 and better envisions the Idaho of 2010 or 2020. Otter speaks more to the Idaho of 2000, when he left the state for Congress, or even 1978, when he first ran for governor. ...
"Idaho faces 21st-century issues that must be discussed. And now. The best way to start is by electing the candidate most prepared to lead the discussion. This year, that candidate is Jerry Brady." (Read it all here.)
UPDATE, November 2: Yeesh. Sorry, but I haven't had time to keep up with these, what with my work on the Grant campaign. So here's a quick recap; I couldn't find links for all of 'em. There are a few more coming, including governor. It's gonna be Jerry Brady, what do you bet?
Gerry Sweet? Huh? (District 20) The man is a fellow traveler of Bill, Bryan, and Brandi and he missed a third of his votes last year and Ryndy Williams is a far better fit for the district. But Chuck Oxley got a nod, despite not campaigning.
Go Kate Kelly! The freshman District 18 senator has proven more than equal to the task of cracking down on ethics violations. Phylis King would likewise do more in one term than Julie Ellsworth has in a decade.
Too many unknowns on Proposition 1, and the Statesman counsels a no vote. I fully understand their argument and have myself questioned where the money will come from to better fund public education. But because there is no doubt that Idaho schools (ranked 45th in per-pupil spending) need more resources, and because the GOP-dominated legislature refuses to take this problem seriously (and in fact made things worse with the special-interest-session tax shift), I voted yes.
Werk's for me (and for the Statesman, too). Our District 17 senator Elliot Werk got a well-deserved nod for re-election, and Bill Killen was wisely picked over Risch rubber stamp Kathie Garrett for House Seat A. Janet Miller is one of the most reasonable Rs around, but she's still an R. We need a two-party government in Idaho, so I'm voting for Sue Chew.
When in doubt, vote no was the newspaper's take on Prop 2. Pretty much every elected official, business group, and community organization agrees. No one is against private property rights, but a badly written initiative bankrolled by a NYC real estate mogul isn't the way to safeguard 'em.
Larry Grant! He's the one! Clean sweep. He'll get things done! (Sorry, I just had to relive our drill-team days ...) Probably the easiest endorsement the Statesman has had in a decade, for Idaho's next 1st CD congressman.
Mike Simpson. An uninspiring choice to be sure, but the worst part was the Statesman didn't even mention Jim Hansen in its editorial. Sad.
The Idaho Statesman has begun its election endorsements. I am going to try and post brief comments about some of the newspaper's selections every few days as they're revealed. Please chime in with your thoughts via the comments section.
10 Commandments monument initiative Vote no. Excerpt: Boise’s Ten Commandments initiative is not a referendum on the commandments themselves. ...Instead, voters must make a dispassionate public policy decision. ... A yes vote settles nothing. A no vote settles an issue. After three long and divisive years, it’s time for Boise voters to put this dispute to rest at last. (October 18)
RSR: No surprise here, and the Statesman has it right. In some senses, we already had a referendum on this issue when Brandi Swindell ran for Council last year and received 29% of the vote. Next ...
Lieutenant governor Larry LaRocco. Excerpt: We believe Democrat Larry LaRocco has the passion to make the most of the job. We admire LaRocco’s desire to lead the fight against methamphetamine, a social, law enforcement and public health issue gripping this state. ... We judge Risch’s time as governor by its defining moment: a one-day special legislative session to shift $260 million of school funding from local property taxes. (October 19)
RSR: Dead on. Meth is a serious problem that demands serious attention, and LaRocco has been studying Montana's approach, which has been netting great gains in that state's war on meth. The bottom line, though, was Jim Risch's bull-headed drive for the special-interest-session tax shift. Nothing shows more clearly why Idaho voters must break the death grip the GOP currently has on state government.
Superintendent of public instruction Tom Luna. Excerpt: ... we can’t afford to continue with the status quo in the office of state superintendent of public instruction. Republican candidate Tom Luna represents the best chance for real change, and earns our endorsement to lead Idaho’s education system. He offers unique ideas, has identified places where money can be put to better use and — most importantly — is more likely to get results with the Legislature. (October 20)
RSR: This one signals that, contrary to what some Treasure Valley folks believe, the Statesman is assuredly NOT a Democratic paper. If a Dem-leaning board wrote this editorial, it would have endorsed Jana Jones and said the real way to get education taken more seriously in Idaho is to immediately elect a Dem majority in the legislature. Ah, but the Statesman is realistic (and truly bipartisan, I feel), and its ed board may be right when it declares, "Luna is the best candidate to get buy-in from lawmakers — which was a struggle for Howard and probably would be a problem for Jones as well." Personally, I continue to distrust Luna due to his support for the Risch tax shift and his continuing coziness with the extreme wing of his party. If Luna does prevail, we'll need to watch carefully to be sure we don't have another Fox "guarding" the education coop.
UPDATE: One Mom explains why electing this candidate would be sheer Luna-cy.