Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Idaho Ethics

Today the Idaho Statesman has an editorial about Closing holes in Idaho's ethic laws. Using the example of Popkey's report on a recent case of bribery by a lobbyist for the Idaho Association of Realtors, the editorial suggests that firming up the ethic laws in our state is definitely necessary. The Statesman then mentions how Eagle Republican Rep. Raul Labrador is "working on a bill that would make it a felony offense to offer financial benefits in exchange for a public action." Then the article adds, "The idea deserves bipartisan support, albeit belatedly."

Wow, that was gutsy. And it ignores the fact that the Democrats already had included ethics legislation in their caucus agenda of bills. Indeed, Senator Kate Kelly has been working on ethics reform since 2005! But now the Statesman is interested in ethics because a Republican has come forward? Where has the Statesman been for the past four years? Why are they allowing the Republicans to co-opt an issue that the Democrats have been pursuing for years? And what do they mean to insinuate by the phrase "the idea deserves bipartisan support, albeit belatedly," that it's about time the Republicans began to pay attention to ethics, or is the writer suggesting that the Democrats have been ignoring this problem as well? It's bad enough that the Republicans like to co-opt Democrat issues when it suits them, but why doesn't the Statesman at least provide some fair and accurate reporting?

Another Statesman blunder: they correctly reported that the Republicans rejected their own pay raises, but they FORGOT to mention that the Democrats did the same LAST DECEMBER in a caucus press release. Wow, it seems to me that perhaps the Statesman should have a review session on its own sense of ethics....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Living In Obamaland

Ah, Inaugural Eve, and all is quiet in this house....although D.C. seems to be rocking. As a Democrat in VERY Republican north Idaho, I just luxuriate in telling my Republican neighbors about how happy I am to be living in Obamaland. I can't help myself: the Republicans here are SOOO irritated, depressed and resigned to the overall world's end doom of this country. I pity them their ignorance and their blinded view. But I find it difficult to arouse any sympathy in myself.

Perhaps it's because at least one local county commissioner has boasted that he and the other incumbent commissioner, who had Democrats challenge them during the election, now have the "lists" of those who contributed to the Democrats' campaigns. I asked the person who told me this if the boast came because they planned revenge and the response was not what I expected, but should have, "Hell ya!" That's how it is up here. In politically divided families, spouses make the decision to not talk about politics at all, which, I must admit, is very foreign to me. However, if I want to make a difference as a Democrat, I guess I'd better try to understand these rigid, unyielding, and blindly biased ideologies. Wow, is that possible???

What really gets me is that Democrats are the supporters of the underdog, the downtrodden, the disenfranchised. So why don't why my Republican neighbors see this? Hmm, maybe I just answered my own question. Maybe they don't see themselves as the underdogs, maybe that's reserved for, and more equated to, people like the disabled, or immigrants, or "other races." And downtrodden? perhaps that's for the homeless, or immigrants, or welfare recipients of another "color." And disenfranchised, well, the Republican party disenfranchises no one who will support their wedge-issue, fundamentalist-in-word-but-not-deed, and anti-environmentalist, pro-union, abolish the right-to-work laws, and keep-moms-at-home ideologies. Wow, we Idaho Democrats certainly have our work cut out for us. I hope that the 50-State-Strategy doesn't end any time soon.....

So, on this pre-Obamaland eve, it is quiet in my house while we ponder how we can make change and what kinds of change an Obama administration might bring. I can promise this: I'll be keeping a close on the the Idaho Legislature and what kinds of frivolities they entertain as serious legislation.....