Saturday, January 12, 2008

And The Gifts Just Keep On Coming

My first moment to post after learning Thursday evening that Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga, publisher and founder of DailyKos, will be the guest speaker at the Idaho Democratic Party's annual Frank Church Banquet, happening this year in Boise on March 1. Several other Idaho bloggers have already reported this news since we were all in on the same conference call when the announcement was made. These include 43rdstateblues, the Mountain Goat Report, The Political Game, the unequivocal notion, and others. Over at New West Boise, Jill Kuraitis's terrific write-up prompted the mud-slinging to begin right there in the comments section. So, is Markos's guest speaker appearance at the Frank Church Banquet good or bad for Idaho Democrats?

I think it's great. With the DailyKos, Markos has given local grassroots politics a tremendous gift, demonstrating how the internet can be utilized to not just spread messages, report news, and provide educated opinion, but everything can be cross-checked for facts. Through the DailyKos, Markos has become aware of political trends around the nation, aware of politics from the local level to the top levels, and knowledgeable about both the strengths and weaknesses of the internet. I'm looking forward to what he has to say. I hope that he relates some of the content from his critically-acclaimed book, Crashing the Gate, specifically to Idaho, and generally to the west.

An issue that might be important here in Idaho has to do not only with a seemingly imploding Republican party, but wedge issues between top presidential candidates that are pertinent to our large Mormon and evangelical populations as well as to other issues including immigration, racism, and living wages. All this bodes well for the Idaho Democratic Party, especially after receiving weeks of wonderful gifts from Senator Larry Wide-Stance Craig, that just keeps on going.

And now those Republicans are doing it again! It must have been VP Cheney's hunting accident (sic) that taught them how to shoot themselves in the foot so well! So today in the Spokesman Review, we learn that the Republicans introduced legislation Friday that would close Idaho primaries. As reported by Betsy Z. Russell,

"The bill, with a price tag of at least $800,000, would allow only registered Republicans to vote in the Republican primary, only Democrats to vote in the Democratic primary, and wouldn't allow independents to vote in any primary. Nearly a third of Idahoans say they're not affiliated with any party."

Needless to say, the Democrats don't support this legislation, so now may be the time for Independents to join with the Democrats for the kind of changes we need in this state. No voter should be disenfranchised!

Okay, I'm saving my pennies for the long haul from Bonners Ferry to Boise and the Frank Church Banquet! Thanks, John Foster, for making it even more worthwhile!

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