Monday, February 25, 2008

Thinking of Sara

I just heard that Sara Anderson of f-words, has received some horrible news:

I found out today that I have a huge tumor-looking thing in my brain. Thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Needless to say, friends and fellow bloggers have all sent her lots of love, good thoughts, prayers, and encouragement. I met Sara last year at the State Committee Meeting in Post Falls. She is a delight and I was so happy to meet a young person who is so involved in politics and feminist issues. It was also nice for both of us to meet a fellow "foodie" as well.

Sara's husband, Andy, will be fielding emails and "holding the keys" to her blog for a while. Leave a message for her at the blogsite. We all hope she's back in full swing soon.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hollingsworth Announces House Bid

Boundary County businessman and community volunteer Tom Hollingsworth on Thursday, December 20, announced his candidacy as state representative for District 1, saying it has been 20 years since Boundary County has had a local Representative in Boise.

Tom and his wife, Toni, moved to Boundary County 20 years ago and opened a retail garden center, Holly Gardens. Throughout his time here, he has been active in the community, serving for many years as a volunteer in the Sheriffs Office, as a member and past chairman of the county translator board, on the Neighborhood Watch program, in the North Bench Fire Association, and on the county Youth Advisory Board. He has served on the Boundary County Planning and Zoning Commission for several years and is currently its chairman, and he was recently appointed by County Commissioners to serve on the county Guardianship Board.

In announcing his bid for the State House, Hollingsworth said he would like to take his community service one step higher.

“Bonner and Boundary Counties need a voice in Boise that can be heard,” he said. “There are many important issues; transportation, quality jobs, law enforcement, an educated workforce, senior citizen concerns, primary care funding, elimination of the grocery tax, elimination of the business property tax, affordable housing, a cap on real estate assessments and more. I feel the State of Idaho has to step up to the plate and lend assistance to rural counties that have a low population base, and therefore a low tax base.”

For further information, write Tom at PO Box 212, Moyie Springs, ID 83845, or call (208) 267-2627.

Having known Tom and his wife, Toni, for many years now, I need to add how much both of them have given to our community in terms of volunteer work. Toni has been a major mover in getting more people active in the local Democratic party. She also just brought in much needed grant money for the Restorium. She has organized the twice yearly "Take-It-Or-Leave-It" days at the county landfill. And of course there's much more. Tom's volunteer activities have been vital to our community, a community in which volunteers are often stretched thin. And both of them take their volunteer activities very seriously.

Both Toni and Tom were active in sales before retiring to Bonners Ferry. That's if you can call opening a nursery retiring! With the nursery now closed, except for the beautiful cut flowers they make available all summer, most of their time is dedicated to the community.

Boundary and Bonner County Democrats are elated that Tom has stepped forward to become the Democratic candidate for Congressional District 1. He will be running for the seat that Republican, George Eskridge, has occupied for years. Known as a representative who does little for District 1, it seems high time for George's position to be filled by someone who truly represents both counties, especially someone with the willingness to be active. With a degree in business from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, as well as the respect he has from so many of the people he knows through his community involvement, Tom is, by far, the best candidate for the job.

Watch for him in his red suburban with the large signs on the car! He's always happy to stop and chat about District 1 concerns. From meetings to just filling up the car with gas to community activities, and even behind the bar in Clark Fork, say hello to Tom, voice your concerns, sign up for volunteer work, and let's put District 1, the crown jewel of Idaho, back on the congressional map!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rand Lewis Withdraws From District 1 Race

As just reported at Red State Rebels and a press release from the Larry Grant campaign, Rand Lewis has withdrawn from the race for Congressional District 1 and has endorsed fellow Democrat Larry Grant, stating,

“...[we] share a very high degree of agreement on the important issues such as veterans, national security and the military, the economy, health care and retired people and senior citizens. I like Larry, his sense of values, his honesty and his integrity. I’ll do what I can to help him both before the election and when he goes to Washington.”

Grant thanked Lewis for both his endorsement and his offer to act as an adviser on important issues such as veterans’ affairs and national security. Grant said,

“I’m extremely appreciative of Rand’s endorsement. We have had time to get to know each other during the campaign and have become friends. I have a great deal of respect for him and his background. His experience and service to our country are commendable. He has offered to advise me on matters that are important to him, such as veterans’ issues, and I’m glad that I and the people of the 1st District will have the benefit of his knowledge.”

I, personally, have found that Rand and his wife, Michelle, have been gracious and enthusiastic supporters of Democratic issues in the state of Idaho. It is an honor to Larry Grant that he has Rand's endorsement.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Here's The Deal....

If I'm sporadic in the coming days, it's because I've taken on employment in Coeur d'Alene, a good two hour drive one way, and while I'm becoming adjusted to my new schedule, I don't have the time to devote to IdahoRocks. Too bad I couldn't just dictate my blogs to my computer while commuting.... Okay, don't tell me I can because it will be awhile before I'm ever that computer savvy. However, being the workaholic that I am, as well as someone who gets easily excited over favorite issues, you will hear from me occasionally. And I will be at the Frank Church Banquet. My second time in Boise. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Caucus O Caucus

I invited some of the other northern counties to describe their caucus evenings. I think they're as exciting as elsewhere in Idaho. Please read what Shelley Landry from Bonner County and Bev Moss from Kootenai County have to say about their events.

As Bonner County Vice-Chair and the Caucus Chair for the 2008 Idaho Democratic Caucus in Bonner County, all I can say about Super Tuesday, Feb. 5th is: “What an unbelievable and exciting night it was!” We had 593 people attend our caucus which goes on record as the largest turn-out for a Democratic Caucus in our history.

We began planning this caucus several months ago. We were warned by the Idaho Democratic Party that we should expect a turn-out that was triple the size of our 2004 caucus. Many people laughed and scoffed at that prediction……oh how RIGHT the IDP was! We had an incredible team of volunteers that worked hard helping to prepare for anything: tables, computers, food, candidate materials, finding more volunteers, the list was endless. I can’t thank my team enough!

By the day of the caucus, we all knew that we were going to be getting a record crowd. I think many of us were grateful for the snow. Bonner County Democrats proved that no matter the weather they are ready to win and win big! People began flooding in at 5pm and by 615pm we had almost reached capacity at the Panida Theater. We somehow managed to squeeze everyone in.

One of my greatest moments of the evening was right at the beginning. I welcomed everyone, said the pledge and then asked the question, “who is ready to take back the White House?” The response was not a cheer it was roar! That roar set the tempo for the rest of the evening. Bonner County and clearly the rest of the state are ready for change!

Shelley Landry

"We are the ones we have been waiting for"

Last night Kootenai County Democrats filled the North Idaho College Gym literally to the rafters! We were pushing the fire code restrictions of 1250 with over 1300 in attendance. In order to get all the people into the gym, we delayed the actual caucusing until about 7:25, but we started right at 7:00 with the pledge and used that extra time to fire everyone up. It was great to be with so many other Democrats and friends who care about the direction and leadership of our country. Our 27 delegates were split 80% for Obama and 20% for Clinton. Although we were finished with the actual caucusing by 9:30 pm, the delegate elections for the Obama caucus took until 11:00. Even though we’ll need to spend the next few days sorting through boxes of supplies that were dropped by the headquarters late last night, we all agreed that we pulled off the biggest caucus Kootenai County has seen with a minimum of glitches. Congratulations to all of the counties throughout our state who went to great lengths to make sure Idaho voters’ voices were heard.

Bev Moss
Chair, Kootenai County Democrats

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Caucus in Boundary County

This is the succinct edition: Boundary County had almost three times (145) as many in attendance as in the last caucus (55). Our caucus also occurred in the midst of a snowstorm, receiving about 6 in. of snow. Several Republicans turned out for Obama, as well as a number of Independents. Although most of the crowd was older, we had a small but significant number of high school and college students show up for the caucus. We began with a small group for Edwards (some of our older Edwards' supporters called to say that due to the weather they would not be able to attend), a slightly larger group for undecided, the next largest group for Clinton and the largest group for Obama. The final results ended up with all Edwards' supporters going to either Clinton and Obama. We had several die-hard uncommited. But we ended up with about 73% for Obama and 25% for Clinton. Representatives for each candidate gave great speeches. We also had two foreign (French) observers (with children) who wanted to see our political process in action. Not expecting quite this large a turnout in a room that turned out to have horrid accoustics, it was difficult to be heard (without yelling), but we succeeded in having our numbers carefully monitored. I think, and I want to personally thank, all the volunteers in Boundary County who put on a great chili feed, set up, kept a number count, greeted newcomers, collected names, represented their candidates, and came out in the middle of a snowstorm to participate in the caucus. All the Boundary County Democrats were very pleased, we have some new faces for the State Convention, and we'll be in the news again tomorrow. Go Democrats!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Caucus Eve

It has been an interesting day. It began with people needing rides to the caucus. That was cheerful. Then it moved into information that our new Democratic Mayor and City Council (no website for the mayor or the city or the city council) wouldn't be coming to the caucus because they never changed (nor seemed inclined to change) the regular meeting date for city council meetings. I understand their predicament as newly elected officials, but I guess my obligations towards my voting responsibilities are just different than theirs. I mean, they are participating in our democracy, which is good, but they only seem to care about one small aspect of it. At least it's the grassroots, hometown aspect. But you know, the caucus is really the only vote that counts for Democrats in Idaho. And I'll bet the Democratic mayors in most other Idaho cities will be at their caucuses. Well, the the chair, vice-chair, and most precinct captains of the Boundary County Democratic Cental Committee would have changed the City Council meeting time, but obviously that is not our decision....Schade....

Then I heard that after a query phone call about the caucus to our local County Clerk's office, the woman was only told that "there is a primary in May." Well, I do not believe that an older female stranger, who needed a ride to the caucus, made this story up. I reported it the the IDP and heard that this was going on around the state. I urged the IDP to call our county clerk because she had run as a Democrat and at the first opportunity switched back to being a Republican. Our vice-chair also called them today, before I called just before 5pm. They said that they have been telling people the location is at the fairgrounds but they didn't know the time or anything else about it because we had not given them the information. EXCUSE ME, but the information has been (remarkably) in our local rag for the PAST THREE WEEKS! The clerk office employees know who the chair is and the phone number. How could they know nothing about the caucus but the place???? Which information, it seems, was not always given. Is this a boast of local ignorance? Do they never read the paper? Or, as Republicans, do they feel threatened by a display of Democratic popularity?

Finally I learned that the Spokesman Review reported that our caucus was at the city fire hall, even though we had changed the venue, as posted at the Idaho Democratic Party website, over a month ago, after finding out that the fire hall did not have wheelchair access. Ah, how to deal with such ignorance, such a lack of efficiency, such blatant and willful inattention to details. I guess that in exchange for all the physical beauty of Idaho's northernmost county, we have been given a balance in human inadequacy. Ah well, if the youth turn out for Obama at our caucus, perhaps all is not lost....

"This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease." - Robert Kennedy.