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Politics Is Tearing Us Apart, City, County, State, And National

Rather than jump at every stupid move by government, we have been reluctant to post much in the way of comments on recent political events…”no news if good news” reasoning.

Contrary to popular belief among some politicos, the GUARDIAN does NOT like to have a negative slant on every topic that comes along. However, we haven’t seen much to feel optimistic of late. Here are just a few of the reasons we are depressed.

–Legislators in the Idaho house in an attempt to get around that pesky Idaho constitution passed a measure that will give a tax CREDIT to folks who donate to private charter schools. What that means is if someone gives $1,000 to a private school, that amount is cut from their tax bill. In short, the $1,000 otherwise destined to the state general fund would would go to the private school at the expense of public education.

–Star City had concocted a deal to take over the debt for the Star Fire District and the lease back the station and fire engines. They glibly thought it was OK because it was an, “intergovernment transfer.” Truth is, the only way to dispose of public property is to hold hearings and have the governing body vote to declare the property as “surplus property, not used for a public purpose.” In short, you can’t sell public buildings out from under the public.

–Legislature didn’t like the pesky citizens voting down the three school measures at the election. Citizens gathered the requisite number of signatures to get the question on the ballot and citizens won. Legislators have now passed a new law that will make it all but impossible to get referendums before the voters. They want at least 6% of registered voters in rural counties to sign before the majority of citizens can vote. It would be nice if we had the same rules for state wide candidates to get on the ballot.

–Heavy trucks will be allowed on highways statewide despite opinions of truckers that highways in the northern part of Idaho will be damaged.

–Boise’s P&Z commission has pissed off the legislature over a parking garage so badly that a move is afoot to exempt the state from any scrutiny by the city.

–Boise’s Mayor Dave Bieter has appointed himself to the Capitol City Development Corp. (CCDC) to push his own agenda for development. They always claim the CCDC is not an “alter ego” of the city government–something which is getting more difficult to argue as Team Dave goes after more spending authority outside the local government arena. Seems that in a city of 220,000 there would have been at least one citizen worthy of consideration. (several readers have asked for comment on this)

–Despite repeated requests from the GUARDIAN, Team Dave will not reveal how many city elected officials and staff will be attending the Chamber of Commerce special interest lobbying session at Sun Valley in April. We estimate it will cost nearly $1,000 per attendee to spend citizen taxes in Sun Valley to learn how to attract visitors and business to the Boise Valley. Would these officials dedicate several days and thousands in public money to hear from the fire department unions, teachers, the Sierra Club, or–God forbid–citizens!

–If the average Joe has a beef with city hall in Boise, the best he can hope for is 10 minutes of face time with the mayor on a random Saturday. If you lobby for big business, hospital, or other interests, just pay your way to a gathering of politicos and they are yours for several days.

–Meanwhile in Washington the U.S. Senate stayed in session all night in some sort of maneuver they all admit will never be passed in the house, but it was a good political move.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Would recommend we re-read the fourth self-evident truth of our Declaration of Independence. Deals with what we are expected to do when government becomes abusive of our rights.

  2. And yet you still don’t mention the 20 million shift to sales tax of the personal property exemption, maybe you will benefit greatly, and the girl scout cookie sales tax exemption 400,000. Just where does the legislature think this revenue is going to come from? Does any really think there will be more jobs and growth in business due to the personal property exemption?

  3. “Team Dave” ? How about Dictator Dave instead? Of course he had to appoint himself to CCDC – he is determined to control as many agencies and as much funding as possible. Power mad, dictator wanna-be! And then of course, in a city of 220,000, there surely is no one smarter than Dictator Dave…probably not in the whole country. Ahhh, sarcasm Sunday.

  4. This permeates all entities of government. Empire building and secret deals are the norm Dave is no different than Raney who is no different than any member of the legislature. They all depend on the apathy of the average citizen Sharon used it to her advantage for how long? Until enough people get fed up and start voting with some common sense we are all doomed.

  5. Sun Valley junket – weren’t there council minutes showing that the council approved all of them going to Sun Valley? Have you seen an agenda for this little taxpayer-funded vacation? What could be so important that they have to hide away from the public eye to talk about it? Thought government meetings were supposed to be open to the public? Going out of town and charging a hefty fee is nothing more than a scheme to keep the average Joe away. Do they allow the local press to attend?

    EDITOR NOTE–I believe approval of travel is only for out of state travel. However, their spending for travel has jumped 27% in 2012 over 2011. HEre is the junket agenda http://www.boisechamber.org/cwt/External/WCPages/WCEvents/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=5513

  6. If they are all lucky they will be treated to a duet from the singing Mayors of Nampa and Caldwell at this conclave. Tom Dale is already scheduled to go and Nancolas has the time blocked out on his calendar.

    I wonder how many of these people would attend if the cost came out of their paychecks. OPM (other people’s money) is always easier to spend than paying with your own money.

  7. It is interesting to see how uncontested power evolves over time, in both the City of Boise and the statehouse… While some will howl at “dictator Dave” he and the coucil have done a lot of good things for Boise. At least in Boise, the people still do have a voice.
    On the other hand, in the statehouse, the people’s voice is ignored, even scoffed at. Only the powers behind closed statehouse doors know where they are taking us.

  8. And now the Chamber and Mayor are soliciting GBAD to hand over GBAD’s bank account to help fund the new “baseball” stadium since GBAD has decided NOT to build a new convention center. With the sleazy back-room politics in moving the Convention Bureau to the Chamber…the Chamber gets its hands on the $850K ITC grant…starts to bankroll Bieter’s pet projects…and Boise falls off the map even further. GREAT!

  9. Have you seen the antics up north? CdA looks like a circus.

  10. On the bright side, Idaho Legislature has passed legislation that would put the state’s Attorney General in charge of investigating county elected officials for open meeting law violations by county commissioners and other transgressions, including those by county prosecutors. Current law sets up conflicts of interest, requiring county prosecutors to investigate violations by county officials-including themselves.

    The legislation, now headed to the Governor for his signature, calls for the addition of one deputy AG and one investigator, at a cost of $212,600.

    http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/boise/2013/mar/25/house-passes-bill-put-g-charge-investigating-county-officials-crimes/

    About time!

    EDITOR NOTE–Do you think maybe, just MAYBE someone read the GUARDIAN when we called for such a law six months ago??!! Thanks for the tip.
    http://boiseguardian.com/2012/09/22/group-drops-another-bombshell-on-dynamis-ada-deal-law-should-allow-ag-to-investigate/

  11. The repeated, intentional violations of our constitution by our governments is to blame for “tearing us apart”. The only people who seem to be ok with these unprecedented violations are those collecting some kind of government benefit/handout/entitlement, or over-stuffed pension. They also complain about the “radical” concerns found on FOX and AM radio. Many of them know better but don’t want to rock their boat full of loot. I will not pity these fools when it all implodes. Have a look see at what happened to the government pension plan of the USSR. That will happen here if the greed does not stop. It is happening now in our most rotten cities. And also in that wonderland of economic and social nirvana, aka Europe.

    Lipstick will not fix this one.

  12. Rod in SE Boise
    Mar 26, 2013, 2:02 pm

    Zippo,

    I guess when you become 62 you are going to refuse Social Security and when you reach 65 you are going to refuse Medicare, even though you paid into them for decades. That’s what your “benefit/handout/entitlement” is. They may be entitlements, but they are not handouts.

  13. Rod, something tells me it will not bother you a bit to take more from the system then you paid in.

  14. Boy’s boy’s…..lets stay on topic

  15. Rod in SE Boise
    Mar 28, 2013, 11:36 am

    Zip, some people live longer than others, it all averages out. Some say that the federal government is just a large insurance company (SS & Medicare), with an army.

  16. The issue is one of Incompatibility of Office.

  17. Who owns the office holder… it’s not you, the voter.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/

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