Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

As the economic crisis in Europe gets closer to the brink of disaster, as the housing and mortgage mess shows no sign of resolution, as political gridlock messes with the country’s credit rating, this is what we get from leadership in Congress:

Which is, of course, nonsense.

Indeed, the rhetoric about EPA regulation from our Idaho representation is increasingly over the top. (Really, Senator Risch? The EPA is like the Gestapo?) We get that there are ideological differences. We are perfectly aware of the onslaught of anti-environment legislation being proposed in this Congress. We’d just prefer that the debate remain fact-based and on the merits, however.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Every decade, the national one-person-one-vote principle needs to be geographically rebalanced. This summer, Idaho will begin redrawing state legislative and Congressional districts to account for migration in and out and around the state.  As one of the fastest growing states, Idaho has more migration to manage. But as one of the more enlightened states when it comes to redistricting, Idaho uses a bipartisan commission to draw district lines, rather than some more baldly political processes used in other states.

The Redistricting Commission is charged with drawing district lines that are reasonably compact, respect city and county political boundaries, respect logical geographic and natural boundaries, and respects the law.  As a bipartisan Commission, it will also need to avoid gerrymandering  and stacking the deck in favor of any particular party or incumbent.  It won’t be easy. (The Redistricting Commission has provided census data and mapping software on its website if you want to give it a try yourself.)

New lines for Congressional districts are not likely to affect north Idaho, as the entire panhandle is expected to remain in the 1st Congressional district. However, new lines in legislative districts are likely to shift significantly. Census data shows a significant migration away from rural areas and into more urban and suburban areas.  Kootenai County and the Rathdrum Prairie cities kept pace with Idaho’s overall growth, but Shoshone and Clearwater Counties lost residents and Boundary, Bonner and Benewah counties grew at a somewhat slower rate than the rest of the state. The result is that the more rural panhandle — consisting of Districts 1 through 8 — has lost about half of a legislative district.

To rebalance, lines in District 1 need to shift south into District 2. But District 2 needs to grow significantly to make up for the population lost. Eventually, somewhere, an incumbent is likely to be squeezed out of his or her current district and into another one.

We don’t have a particular dog in the fight.  But we do understand what an important fight it is.

The Commission will be holding hearings throughout the state, and hearings in North Idaho are scheduled for this Wednesday. (Sandpoint from 2-4 pm at the Sandpoint High School Auditorium, Coeur d’Alene’s from 7-9 pm at Meyers Health and Sciences Building at NIC.)

 

Read Full Post »

Uniquely Idaho this holiday fourth:

Want to be a mushroom millionaire? — New York Times

The Big Burn as history and family adventure — Out There Monthly

The Idaho GOP 2010 platform on the 17th Amendment – What would it’s Idaho sponsor, William Borah, think? — The Johnson Post

A fascinating statistical study of the Rocky Mountain West from Colorado College. It’s not all about cows, farms, trees and mines anymore — State of the Rockies Report Card

A good year for fire? Or a good year for good fire? — Idaho Statesman

Read Full Post »

The League of Conservation Voters just released its 2009 scorecard, grading Congress on environmental votes. As is sadly not unexpected, the Idaho Congressional delegation did poorly. On a 0-100% scale:

Sen. Mike Crapo = 18%

Sen. Jim Risch = 18%

Rep. Walt Minnick = 43%

Rep. Mike Simpson = 21%

However, to look on the (barely) bright side, in a delegation rated among the most conservative in the U.S. by the National Journal, Idaho’s Congressional representatives weren’t the very worst environmentally. In the U.S. Senate, seven delegations scored below 10% (Oklahoma, South Carolina, Kentucky, Arizona, Georgia, Texas and Wyoming). In the U.S. House, four delegations scored below 20% (Wyoming, Montana, Oklahoma, and Nebraska)

Partly, this is due to the universal support the Idaho delegation gave to the omnibus public lands bill which, among many other things, created the Owyhee wilderness in Southern Idaho — the result of a long collaborative effort. 

LCV scored Congress on votes on top priority votes on clean energy and global warming, but also public lands, water quantity and quality, forest management, offshore drilling, wildlife conservation at home and abroad, chemical security and population.

There’s always next year…

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: