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HucksOnline Blogos — 10.23.14

Oct. 23, 2014 4:23 p.m. - Updated: 4:47 p.m.

Former legislator Bert Marley, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, responds to a question from the audience during an education forum at the old Harding School Wednesday night. Marley is running on the ticket with gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff, with arms folded to the left. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, Oct. 22): 7901 page-views/4915 unique views

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Bond: An R Voting Straight-Ticket D

Oct. 23, 2014 3:59 p.m. - Updated: 4:08 p.m.

At the Wallace Street Journal, chief ranter David Bond, a second-generation Republican, tells why he's voting straight-ticket Democrat this year in Idaho elections, beginning:

“Being a second-generation Republican – Dad served the 6th District of Washington State as an “R” in the House for many terms, and was deemed a “troglodyte” by that state's (also Republican) governor for his obstinance over raising taxes and his opposition to motorcycle helmet laws (“If the fools want to kill themselves, why is that our business?”) — this is a tough thing to say: We are pulling a straight Democrat lever come next month's county and state elections. Apologies to Butch and Lori Otter, who we respect and admire: If we thought our vote would matter we would throw it Butch's way. But the reality is that loonies are running the asylum, and it's time to kick the (expletive deleted) out. Never in Idaho politics has extremism so suffused Idaho's governance.” Full rant here.

Question: Can you be an Idaho Republican and vote straight-ticket Democrat?

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Balukoff Addresses Ed Forum

Oct. 23, 2014 3:46 p.m. - Updated: 4:17 p.m.

A.J. Balukoff, Democratic candidate for Idaho governor, and Coeur d'Alene Councilman Dan Gookin are shown at an education forum featuring Balukoff and his running mate Bert Marley at an education forum at the Harding Center on 15th Street Wednesday night. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

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UI BB Picked To Finish 7th In Big Sky

Oct. 23, 2014 3:36 p.m. - Updated: 3:37 p.m.

Despite missing the postseason the last two years, the Eastern Washington men’s basketball team is has been picked to finish second by Big Sky Conference coaches and third by the media, the conference announced Thursday. Big Sky newcomer Idaho is picked seventh by the coaches and eighth by the media. Defending champion Weber State is picked to repeat at the top. The coaches selected Eastern Washington second, followed by Northern Arizona and Sacramento State/Jim Allen, SR. More here.

Question: 7th? I thought UI would dominate in a lesser division. What's happening here?

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$$$ Flies In Last-Minute Ad Buys

Oct. 23, 2014 3:14 p.m. - Updated: 3:18 p.m.

It’s that time, the period shortly before the election when things happen quickly. Campaign contributions or independent expenditures of $1,000 or more now have to be disclosed within 48 hours. There are three independent expenditure notices thus far: The “American Comeback Committee Idaho PAC,” which is affiliated with the Republican Governors Association, has reported spending $33,645 on Monday for literature/printing in support of Butch Otter and against A.J. Balukoff, all paid to Paces Direct LLC in Atlanta, Ga.; the RGA already has run two TV ads in Idaho attacking Balukoff/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Other Eye on Boise stories today:

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Goedde: Why I’m Backing Otter

Oct. 23, 2014 2:38 p.m. - Updated: 3:09 p.m.

In an op-ed piece at Coeur d'Alene Press Online, state Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, writes:

As a former local school board member and Chairman of the Idaho Senate Education Committee, I have worked to improve education for all of Idaho's kids. And, I have always measured that improvement against results. Recent results tell us that Idaho students are not only doing better, but on a national comparison are doing quite well. Idaho's eighth graders tied for eighth in math and tied for 15th in reading. The number of high school students taking college courses doubled in just one year. Idaho's “go on” rate has improved as well as the number of Idahoans attaining a post-high school degree or certificate. So I was surprised and disappointed that in light of all this good news, A.J. Balukoff chose to run such a negative campaign about Idaho and specifically our schools. More here.

Question: Balukoff told Huckleberries this PM that his goal in running for governor was to bring public awareness to the state of education in Idaho. Do you think he's done that? Or was Otter addressing problem before Balukoff entered race?

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Huckleberries Interviews AJ Balukoff

Oct. 23, 2014 1:30 p.m. - Updated: 2:29 p.m.

Democrat AJ Balukoff is shown during gubernatorial debate earlier this fall at the Coeur d'Alene Library. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

  • Huckleberries: What's the A.J. stand for?
  • A.J.: Anthony Joseph. My father's name was Anthony, my mother's name was Josephine. When I was born, my father was in the Navy, so they would write letters to one another. They didn't want to call me Tony because that's what my father was called. They didn't want to call me Joe because that's what my mom was called. So they called me A.J. And it stuck.
  • Huckleberries: Win or lose, what long-term impact will your candidacy have on the state of Idaho?
  • A.J. One of my main goals in getting into the race was to elevate discussion & attention of public education, to where constitution said it would be. I've done that. Even Butch & (Lt. Gov. Brad Little) are talking education now.
  • Huckleberries: What is something you know about North Idaho now that you didn't know when campaign began?
  • A.J. I know a lot of people that I didn't know before. That's what has been fun on this campaign — meeting people from all over Idaho. As I've attended different kinds of events, like the Human Rights dinner here in Coeur d'Alene, I've enjoyed the great folks. I also know you can get a great ice cream cone at the Elmira Store.
  • Huckleberries: How can you be effective as a Democratic governor when GOP legislators will be working against you?
  • A.J. How effective has Gov. Otter been? Your question presumes that we're going to have trouble working together. I don't believe that's necessarily true. I've been going to the Legislature for 17 years that I've been on the school board, and I know a lot of legislators. We've been talking about the need to work together to solve problems to help people of Idaho. I'm not going to be elected to further a partisan agenda.
  • Huckleberries: Are you the type of guy that the Average Joe or Jane be comfortable having a beer with you?
  • A.J. Yeah, except being a Mormon, I don't drink beer. I'll buy them the beer & drink a root beer.
  • Huckleberries: Republicans try to paint you as an Obama acolyte. How do you differ philosophically from the president?
  • A.J. There's a big difference between an Idaho Democrat and a Washington, D.C., Democrat. Idaho Democrats are not liberal. I know in the ads they accuse me of being a liberal. I doubt there is enough evidence to convict me. I'm pretty moderate. A centrist. Funny when I read those (Republican Governors Association) ads that try to tie me to Obama. I gave money to Mitt Romney during the last election.
  • Huckleberries: What's with the bow tie?
  • A.J. I like bow ties. They're more festive. I know how to tie them. And I don't have to worry about the tie getting in my soup.
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Ybarra Gets National Attention

Oct. 23, 2014 1:22 p.m. - Updated: 1:24 p.m.

Sherri Ybarra's campaign troubles are getting national attention. At RawStory, Travis Gettys writes: “The Republican candidate for the top education job in Idaho has been caught lying about her education, endorsements, and marital history – but she’s still leading in the polls. Sherri Ybarra has claimed throughout her campaign that she expected to earn a doctorate in education in August, but she instead received an education specialist degree from the University of Idaho, reported The Spokesman-Review.” More here.

Question: So is Democrat Jana Jones doing a good job telling Idahoans why she's the better candidate? Or are Ybarra miscues obscuring her campaign, too?

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Burials Becoming Impractical

Oct. 23, 2014 1:19 p.m. - Updated: 1:30 p.m.

Red Cedar (RE: No room at the cemetery): Perhaps, but it seems to be a difficult selling job on the part of the funereal industry to convince people they should “inurn” their loved one's “cremains” in a paid spot somewhere, when it's much cheaper, equally convenient, and sometimes more romantic to scatter their ashes in some beloved spot, or just keep grandpa in a jar on the mantle. I think the phasing out of burial is partly due to our generation's general lack of a sense of place. People move around so much that they don't feel any tie to any particular part of the country, and a “family plot” is completely impractical when the family is scattered to the four winds.

Question: Burial or cremation?

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SR News Quiz — Oct.19-24.2014

Oct. 23, 2014 1:17 p.m. - Updated: 1:21 p.m.

Did you know you could win movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel simply by entering the Spokesman-Review Weekly News quiz? Test your knowledge of current events and put yourself in the running for Friday's drawings. You can take the News Quiz here.

  • Answer to Question No. 1: A tunnel for wildlife.
  • Leaderboard: RaynTim, Sibulsky, TLPoelstra & SFredrickson are among the 23 current finalists for $50 Davenport Hotel gift certificate this week. Contest ends at 5 p.m. Friday.
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