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Boise’s University Place Attorneys Reach Settlement

March 30th, 2007 by Halli

As reported in the Spokesman Review, Roy Eiguren and L. Edward Miller, two attorneys at the center of the Boise University Place scandal, have reached an “agreement” with the Idaho Bar Association. The agreement includes fines and censure, but no loss of law licenses. And so another chapter of this expensive outrage comes to a close.

Basically, these attorneys represented both parties in the effort to construct a building to house a branch of the University of Idaho in Boise. The legal term “conflict of interest” figured prominently in the charges brought against the two. Of course, they cleaned up financially while the U of I lost big time. The U of I is still trying to dig itself out of the financial hole dug for it by their own officials, and these attorneys made out like the proverbial bandits.

The $17,500 “restitution costs and fees” assessed both Eiguren and Miller constitute a minuscule fraction of the losses to the U of I, and likewise, a minuscule fraction of the money each made in the scam.

By far the most complete and comprehensive history of the entire sordid mess is contained in the book, “Boise’s Watergate”, by “Deep Throat II”, which is available online or at local bookstores. And don’t miss the first 11 chapters of the book available for free at Deep Throat II had access to genuine inside sources and has compiled the entire horror story to date, with updates as warranted on the website.

Of course, the events, spanning a number of years and involving the Idaho legislature and leadership of both houses (at the time), are far too numerous to recount here. Suffice it to say that crimes were committed, most of which will go unpunished. Who is actually paying the price for the fiasco? Students and employees of the University of Idaho, and – as always – you the Idaho tax payer.

And, by the way, should you require the services of a couple of high-priced, highly experienced attorneys, Eiguren and Miller are only a phone call away.

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Posted in Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Taxes | No Comments »

Guest Post: Governor Signs Ultrasound Bill Into Law

March 30th, 2007 by Halli

From Idaho Chooses Life

Parental Consent was not the only pro-Life victory this week. Governor Otter also signed HB248 into law, which requires abortionists to specifically offer women undergoing abortions a chance to see an ultrasound image of their baby prior to ending his or her life.

During committee debate on the legislation, Planned Parenthood and other so-called “women’s advocates” tried to label the idea “cruel” and “insulting to women”. The paternalism of the Abortion Lobby has never been more prominently displayed: Better for women not to know exactly what they are doing.

But the truth is, women often come to know exactly what they are doing – after it is too late. This helps explain the phenomenon of repeat abortions. Many women who get pregnant a second time after aborting their first child are confronted with the moral certainties they may have evaded the first time. What about this life makes it a “baby” when the other life I carried was just a blob of tissue? Reality can be a demon.

Idaho is not alone in expanding the parameters of “informed consent”.

Mississippi has a new law much like Idaho’s. And the South Carolina legislature is right in the middle of considering a bill that would go a step beyond the Idaho law. It would actually require that a woman look at an ultrasound picture of her baby before an abortion could be legally performed. This legislation has received quite a lot of national attention.

Some have wondered whether a solid requirement will survive certain legal challenges. But South Carolina’s Attorney General, Henry McMaster told the media that he believes the proposed law is both constitutional and good public policy. In fact, he seems quite anxious for the certain fight. We will monitor developments there for you.

While Idaho’s ultrasound law is fairly simple and straightforward, it could well have a dramatic effect on abortion rates in this state.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Guest Post: Liberals Wage Campaign Against Speaker Denney

March 29th, 2007 by Halli

From Idaho Chooses Life

For those outside the Boise media market – this discussion may be a bit puzzling. But please pay attention: The games at play in the capitol city hold great consequence for you and your family.

Yesterday, the Idaho Statesman published a guest opinion by former governor Phil Batt. In it, he recounted the glory days when speakers of the Idaho House were “paragons of fairness”, and chastised the current Speaker of the House, Lawerence Denney, for his heavy hand in punishing those who did not support his bid to hold the speaker’s chair.

This is not the first shot at Denney. The Statesman and their liberal minions in the legislature have been waging a campaign of whine for sometime now – accusing Denney of being hard on those endangered RINOs still left in the House. Outgoing Rep. Bob Ring, for instance, was featured in a lengthy article in which he described his days of darkness under that brute, Lawerence Denney. Some of Ring’s whackiest ideas were not even being considered by the Legislature, and that must be Lawerence’s fault.

Ring even claimed that he was denied a chairmanship on a panel where there is already a sitting GOP chairman with greater seniority. In Ring’s twisted and self-centered view, Denney ought to have stripped Chairman Block of her committee and given it to him – at least if Denney was “fair”.

Both Ring and Batt are full of dribble and guilty of avoiding the underlying facts in order to better deceive Idahoans into thinking that some right-wing fascist has suddenly seized control of the Legislature.

Both gentlemen are unabashed social liberals. Both are supported by the ACLU for their liberalism on issues like abortion and gay rights. So let’s establish one fundamental consideration: They both dislike Denney because he is an unapologetic conservative. But rather than have the guts to come clean and accept the consequences of their unpopular views, they hide behind rhetoric designed to mislead people into thinking that the democratic process has somehow been repealed by Speaker Denney. Instead of humbly accepting the simple fact they are grossly outgunned by conservatives in the Idaho Legislature, they would rather blame and malign the Speaker for their failings.

But these guys and their co-conspirators at the Statesman editorial board also deceive on another level.

We have just survived the tenure of one of the most heavy-handed speakers in Idaho history. Bruce Newcomb was famous for his temper tantrums and threats against lobbyists, members of the public and other legislators. I witnessed many of these outrages first-hand, and suffered a few personally. The contrast between the Denney and Newcomb temperaments could hardly be greater.

But, of course, the central difference is the ideological complexion of the two speakers. Batt and the Statesman were undisturbed when former legislator David Callister endured years of abuse at Newcomb’s hands – because Callister was a conservative. And no outrage was expressed when Newcomb abused his authority by stripping Bill Sali of his chairmanship because Sali would not kow-tow to Newcomb’s liberal agenda. I don’t remember any Batt speeches from on high when Newcomb punished Rep. Tom Loertscher for years because he had the audacity to challenge Newcomb.

The most ironic and unfair part of this whole fabrication is that Denney has taken quite a lot of heat from conservatives – both in and out of the Legislature – for his refusal to punish those who failed to support him for speaker. He retained Bill Deal as chair of the House State Affairs committee, despite the fact that Deal ran against him. He kept Max Black on as chair of the Business committee, even though Black was a chief lieutenant for Bill Deal. The list goes on.

I’ve probably said too much already, but it is just too hard to sit back and watch a fine man like Lawerence Denney repeatedly and unfairly maligned.

More importantly, voters around Idaho must tune into the fact that there is a carefully orchestrated media and political campaign underway to revive RINO numbers in the Idaho Legislature. These stories and moans from the likes of Phil Batt and Bob Ring are an attempt to lay the foundation for a moderate resurgence in next year’s legislative primaries. Like many notorious liberals – Hillary Clinton comes to mind — these gentlemen and their allies in the media do not want to talk about issues and results, but “process”. It is a strategic misdirection that works all too often.

– David Ripley

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Oops, Marty – The Experts Agree with Tom Loertscher!

March 28th, 2007 by Halli

No legislation, hearing or news conference rivaled the uproar caused by a simple question uttered by the chairman of the Idaho House State Affairs committee during a hearing for a bill which would have drastically restricted and regulated day care facilities.

The offending words: “What can we do to keep mom at home?”

You would think that Rep. Tom Loertscher, the chairman in question, had just yelled “FIRE!” in a crowded theatre.

Just when we thought Rep. Loertscher might have to be burned in effigy for his insensitivity, The Today Show and some leading experts show up on the scene. The news? Children fare better when cared for by their parents.

Oh, wait a minute – in the interest of full disclosure, children placed in daycare have larger vocabularies in 5th grade than children cared for at home. However, by 6th grade they display far more behavioral problems such as fighting and arguing. To hear child psychologist Neil Bernstein’s words for yourself, watch the video.

Those who displayed such volatile, near-violent reactions to Rep. Loertscher’s common-sense question reveal themselves as parents teetering on the brink of paralyzing guilt over sending their own children to daycare (and as possible daycare children themselves). Feminists and other self-proclaimed experts told them their children would actually be better off if they didn’t stay home with them all day. All that mattered was “quality time” with their children, not “quantity”.

Sorry, folks, the experts lied. Maybe you should have listened to your grandmother instead of Gloria Steinem and NOW. And while you have grandma on the phone, ask her why so many students are nearly unmanageable in our schools, why there have been such increases in teen pregnancy and teen crime over the last couple of decades. She probably has some pretty pithy ideas on the subject.

So, unless your goal is to produce children who cuss out their 6th grade teachers with highly creative phraseology, don’t outsource their upbringing.

Time to answer for ourselves: “What can we do to keep mom at home?”

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Posted in Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Rep. Tom Loertscher | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: Idaho Has New Parental Consent Law

March 28th, 2007 by Halli

From Idaho Chooses Life

Yesterday, Governor Butch Otter signed SB1082 into law. This legislation restores to Idaho families the rights and protections of Parental Consent before a teenage girl can get an abortion.

We are grateful for the Governor’s signature on this bill – which took effect immediately.

Our best estimate is that this law will go unchallenged in the federal courts. During testimony in the Legislature, the Abortion Lobby was unable to identify a single potential legal issue – even from Judge Lynn Winmill’s perspective of what the U.S. Constitution says. And, in fact, they run a substantial risk if they file suit and are found to have abused the courts by raising questions already settled.

Idaho’s new law is modeled on one adopted by the State of Arizona. The good people of that country share the burdens of living in the 9th Circuit – and have had nearly the trouble we have in finding the magical prescription required by that band of hardy liberals. But they have done it, and we will build upon their success in providing basic protections for Idaho daughters.

This year’s success is the fruit of much effort by many fine people. The history goes back to 1997, when Idaho Family Forum began shopping a Parental Consent bill to the Legislature. That next year, we worked with heroes like Dennis Mansfield and Nancy Bloomer to secure passage of a law – only to see it vetoed by Gov. Phil Batt.

With the election of a new governor in 1998, Bill Sali spent many years in the legislature and in federal court helping us craft and defend legislation which would not only pass the scrutiny of a liberal judiciary – but one which would be effective at protecting girls, their babies and the principle of parental authority over our families. Today’s success is built upon the great sacrifices and leadership Rep. Sali laid down over six sessions of the Idaho Legislature.

We wish to thank Rep. Tom Loertscher (R-Iona) and Sen. Russ Fulcher (R-Meridian) who picked-up Sali’s mantle to get the job done this year. Their leadership and skills made this a relatively painless lobbying effort, and it was a privilege to work with them.

And, finally, we thank you – our friends and supporters. Without your prayers, phone calls and financial support, we would not be in this position. It has taken great faith and perseverance to continue the fight for parental consent, and we are grateful for your patient sustenance of this ministry.

This new law is far from perfect. But it is a firm platform from which to build.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Rep. Tom Loertscher | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: House Highlights 26 March 2007

March 27th, 2007 by Halli

While I was serving my active duty in the Army, it seemed like our company thrived on the rumor mill. There was a rumor to fit almost every occasion, but most of them applied to when we would be finished with our training and headed home. I remember getting my hopes up several times the worst of which was flying directly over Salt Lake without stopping while on the way to advanced training. As it pertains to the Legislature it was more than a rumor it was a target date.

We saw the big red veto stamp of Governor Otter a couple of times this week confirming strong rumors that he would be vetoing the grocery tax credit bill. He really meant it when he said that the legislature should not try to pretty it up too much. Now it becomes a battle of wills and strategy to determine the fate of the issue for this year. The Governor is stuck on targeting the credit and the legislature favors an across the board approach. The question that is in the minds of most House members is whether or not he is willing to compromise and if not are there the votes to override the veto.

The smoking ban in bowling alleys fell prey to the veto as well and is a bit reminiscent of the Govern Otter of yesteryear. He did take a jab at the legislature by calling it “social engineering” in reference to several legislators that called his tax credit bill the same. But in a larger sense it reminds me of the time Governor Andrus left town and Otter, then Lieutenant Governor, vetoed the twenty one year drinking age legislation. His other stated reason is that it interferes with private property rights, which I think to his mind is the real heart of the issue. Again to override or not override, is the question.

Rumor has it that we are about to see the so called closed primary bill again, this time coming from the Senate. State Affairs in the House having already had two false starts on the issue, it was decided by leadership to have it begin in the Senate. I haven’t seen the bill yet but again rumor has it there has been a meeting of the minds. Even though most committees’ work has been concluded in the House, State Affairs is officially standing by to consider what might reach us from the Senate.
Most of the budget has been set now with just a few things left for the House to consider, After the big to-do about the Lottery budget last week, a new bill came to us and it passed the House overwhelmingly. I voted no. One definition I have heard of the lottery is that it is a tax on those that are bad at math. About the only two budgets left are the public schools budget and the GARVEE (debt for roads) bill. Schools are still in the Senate and the GARVEE bill was returned to JFAC. In total, a mere billion and a half dollars left to appropriate.

Whatever else is out there for us to consider still remains in the rumor mill. It is rumored that the Governor will veto some more bills, even some budgets. How is it that old line on TV show Hee Haw went? “I’m not one to be going ‘round repeating rumors, so you’d better be listening close the first time.” I’ll do you one better. I’d rather not even mention them once. Well, maybe just one. Rumor has it we should finish by Wednesday.

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Posted in Education, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Property Rights, Taxes | No Comments »

Guest Post: Otter Signs Parental Consent Bill

March 27th, 2007 by Halli

From Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho Governor Butch Otter today signed SB1082 – legislation to restore a Parental Consent Law for teenage girls to get an abortion.

“This is a tremendous victory for the families of Idaho. We fully expect this law to go unchallenged in court,” said David Ripley of Idaho Chooses Life. “With the bill’s emergency clause, this law is now in effect. Hopefully the days are past when Planned Parenthood and others can prey upon Idaho’s daughters.”

Idaho Chooses Life has been involved in the fight to secure a Parental Consent Law for the past ten years.

“Today’s victory is the result of many fine people over a very long time,” Ripley added. “We wish to thank Rep. Tom Loertscher and Sen. Russ Fulcher – who championed this year’s effort. But we look back on the many heroes of this battle, particularly the sacrifices of Rep. Bill Sali, going back to the 1998 session of the Idaho Legislature.”

Ripley also singled out the office of Attorney General Lawrence Wasden for their many hours of labor in reviewing the legislation.

Idaho has been without a Parental Consent Law since 2005, when federal District Court Judge Lynn Winmill enjoined Idaho from enforcing the law because of his concerns over the notification of parents in the event an abortionist performed an emergency abortion on their child.

As a result, teenage abortions have been on the rise in recent years.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Rep. Tom Loertscher | No Comments »

The Face of Idaho Democrats

March 27th, 2007 by Halli

Hateful. Divisive. Intolerant. Profane. Bigoted. Obscene. Exclusionary. Name-callers.

Who comes to mind when you read those terms? If you subscribe to the brainwashing promoted by the “drive by media” you might think I am speaking of Republicans or conservatives. But you would be wrong. I am speaking of those who express themselves on a website arrogantly titled “43rd State Blues: Democracy for Idaho”. (You can do your own search – I refuse to link to this reeking codswallop.)

If this is the face of Idaho Democrats, we’re in worse trouble than anyone suspected. Filled with epithets, hatred, bigotry and invitations to conservatives to surf elsewhere, western Democrats reveal themselves for who they truly are. Their plans for our state are truly chilling, and make Stalin’s Communism look mildly inviting. Their unabated and ill-expressed hatred for all people and things conservative should inspire a few more concealed carry permits, home security systems and the hiring of body guards. Yes, I believe this pap is capable of inciting violence against conservatives. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And who is this Tom Paine? He certainly bears no resemblance to the founding father by the same name. That gentleman is spinning in his grave as you read. This Tom is no patriot. He is a statist, a socialist, and one bitter man.

“Democracy for Idaho”? Yes, as in the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”. That would be North Korea.

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Posted in Politics in General | 10 Comments »

Modified Closed Primaries = Open Primaries

March 27th, 2007 by Halli

A modified closed-primary bill is back on the table in the Idaho legislature. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, thanks to a group called “The Common Interest”, the bill would allow “independents” to vote in either Democrat or Republican primaries.

This would appear to give us the status quo, with a few extra hoops for the Democrats to jump through. Since Democrats almost never have primary races in Idaho, they will simply register as independents and retain the ability to vote in either primary, depending on their party interests.

You doubt Democrats vote in Republican primaries? We have proof. Be sure to read this post as well. They have many compelling reasons to do so, and the large number of “moderate Republicans”, also known as RINO’s (Republicans in Name Only) in our legislature bears witness that they do. Remember the letter I have in my possession from the Blackfoot County Democrat chairman thanking her fellow Dem’s for defeating the more conservative Republican in the Republican Primary. She also wrote a letter to the editor of the Blackfoot paper instructing Democrats exactly how to vote in the Republican Primary.

And why would county clerks lobby heavily for vote-by-mail, a huge change in voting protocol, yet protest that requiring party registration and (partially) closed primaries will so inconvenience them that the change isn’t possible by the 2008 elections? These supposed public servants are nothing more than bureaucrats seeking to increase their power and lighten their workload, at the expense of our state constitution and the secret ballot.

And who is “The Common Interest”? Another group of Democrats seeking another “front” behind which they rally self-disenfranchised Idaho liberals. Every time this group is mentioned, the out-of-state academic credentials of the founder are touted. I remain unimpressed. So what?

Bottom line: the new bill really is no change from the status quo, which allows Democrats to vote in Republican primaries. It is merely window dressing that makes no substantive claim. And yes, you poor, overworked county clerks, it will make more work for you, without any of the promised benefits. So go ahead and protest this one, but prepare to open your arms to a real closed primary law.

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Posted in Idaho Legislature, Politics in General | 2 Comments »

Guest Post: Texas Lawmaker Proposes Paying Women to Give Birth

March 27th, 2007 by Halli

From Idaho Chooses Life

It has struck some as a somewhat coarse and impolitic proposal: Republican State Senator Dan Patrick has introduced legislation in Texas that would pay women considering abortion a $500 stipend to give birth instead.

In a news conference last week, Sen. Patrick said he believed the money might help persuade a woman to give birth and then put the baby up for adoption. His proposal would offer any woman going to an abortion clinic the $500 option, to be paid no more than 30 days after the baby is born and given up for adoption.

Planned Parenthood immediately decried the proposal as “very cynical and insulting to women.” Heather Paffe, Political Director of Planned Parenthood, went on to assert, “It is insulting to think women would make that kind of decision so easily.”

Well, Ms. Paffe may want to assume a posture of offense – but the truth is that some women are fairly casual about abortion. They have been trained to so think because of decades’ worth of propaganda from Planned Parenthood and NARAL. We are constantly told by these merchants of deception that a baby is not a baby – but a collection of “fetal tissue” or the “byproduct of conception.”

Beyond those issues, some may think Sen. Patrick’s proposal strange. But several western European nations have begun offering just such incentives to encourage the live births of the next generation. France and Russia may be leading the world in creating an economic package to help create enticements for women to give their children life; demographic data suggests that the very survival of these nations may depend upon how effective those economic incentives are.

Sen. Patrick confesses that he doesn’t have any idea how much his proposal would cost. But, he argues, the point is not the cost – but the saving of a human life: “We have approximately 75,000 babies aborted in Texas every year,” Patrick told the media. “Here’s an alarming statistic: In most of our counties, we have more abortions than the biggest district in that county has high school graduates.”

Alarming indeed.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

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