Politicos Prefer Secrets Over Public Scrutiny

Dan Popkey reports in the DAILY PAPER that Idaho Democratic legislators are taking the lead from their Republican opponents and holding secret caucus meetings for the first time in 9 years.

They justify it, saying if the opposition knows what is planned, they could lose their chance to win on important issues.

Unfortunately this is nothing new in Idaho and is perhaps a growing trend to keep the citizens in the dark. Team Dave does it with the trolley folly (Desire named Street Car), Urban Renewal agencies bent on increasing their power and reach refused to allow the GUARDIAN into a meeting to craft legislation.

Cities routinely meet in secret to purchase real estate–Boise recently rushed to buy Stack Rock and Canyon County ag land owned by a former city fire marshall. It is legal to do it, but hardly mandatory. We would like to have seen a simple line in the purchase of the farm land for “natural filtering” of phosphorous that made the purchase “contingent upon EPA approval of the plan.” No way to even know about it until the deal was done.

A revision of the URBAN RENEWAL LAW being proposed to the legislature would eliminate without question any rights of citizens to vote on debt. Urban Renewal (CCDC in Boise) has no oversight whatsoever for spending the tax money it collects–none of the members are elected to the boards.

Even the video of the “strip hockey” was kept secret by the city on grounds of national security-type rationale. A judge will soon decide that issue.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. CCDC Needs to Go Away
    Jan 18, 2010, 9:38 pm

    It is time that the legislature pull the plug on renewal districts. They are self serving and specifically a way to go around voters. Call your legislators and tell them to shut down the renewal districts. That would be how they can best serve you and I the tax payers.

  2. It is time our elected/appointed officals stop treating us taxpayers as their personal piggy bank. Time to vote/remove them all from office. We can do better by replacing them with the unemployed.

  3. Let’s see the Idaho Supreme Court ruled UR Agencies are not the “Alter Ego” of cities but they are formed by the Mayor and City Councils and in most instances the mayors and city councilors sit on the boards and the agencies can be dissolved by the mayor and city councils. This sounds rediculous!

    UR agencies siphon off huge amounts of property taxes for a list of pie in the sky projects and have the temerity to tell us they don’t have the power to levy taxes. Huh! Oh I get it now …they just take it with no questions asked nor vote of the people. Then the cities and counties get to raise levy rates to keep their budgets revenue neutral which is also allowed by Idaho law.

    It is time to say bye-bye to this blatant ripoff of the taxpayers. The only fix necessary is immeidate (if not sooner) dissolution of these property taxpayer abusive entites all over Idaho. They have abused their power long enough and a more enhanced version is not necessary or wanted by this Idaho taxpayer.

    They have been playing “hide the ball” way too long and otherwise conservative Idaho taxpayers have trustingly bought into the scam.

    Urban Renewal is a tax shift of huge amounts of property taxes away from police, fire, schools, streets, and just about every other function paid for with property taxes and goes to a slush fund for the Lords of UR to spend as they choose with no oversight or voter acknowledgement of long term debt created by UR projects.

    It appears Sharon Ullman is one of the few elected officials willing to publicly denouce UR agencies and their taxpayer abuses.

  4. Democratic Party bumper sticker:


    What happened to that?

    Tax hikes instead of cuts is a shallow response to a serious problem in Idaho and the nation.


    Soon, the Dems won’t even have support from fellow Dems.

    Keep the doors open and lower taxes to help Idahoans remain informed and recover from a seemingly never-ending recession fed by underqualified and undereducated public officials out of touch with reality.

    Murphy is right that the unemployed could do a much better job of guiding this nation and its people out of financial disaster than those entrusted to do so and who do not.

    Think I’ll take a walk and reassess my political affiliations.

  5. It is time EVERY citizen, take the few moments required and speak to their neighbors and friends, make sure EVERY person you know is aware and takes that mindset to the polls…. Vote them ALL out!

    We would do better having grade school children making decisions for us than the current lot of CROOKS we have making laws today, here in Idaho and nationwide.

    AGAIN Lawyers making laws to benefit themselves is no different than having the fox guard the hen house. Lawyers should NOT be allowed to become politicians!

  6. ya right:

    Maybe Concordia Law School will churn out ethical lawyers. Until then, I suggest everyone in Idaho who needs a lawyer hire one out of state or act pro se. I’m serious.

    Also, until the Democratic Legislative Caucus reopens the doors to the so-called “People’s House,” my wallet will be closed tightly, my legs will be too tired to canvass, my arms and hands will be too tired to distribute literature, my support of them is withdrawn. I’m on strike!

  7. Holy Smoke, Did you read about the Former Detroit Mayor… I did know they could spend that kind of money without someone seeing it happen.

  8. Seeing red? Dearest political types that might be listening, but probably not. It’s the economy stupid!

  9. So when are we going to get the full story on the “trolley”? The fact that Republican controlled Idaho might want to bring public transportation into the 21st century doesn’t sound all that subversive. Or is this a cute little bus that takes tourists (what tourists?) to the Capitol? Please advise.

    EDITOR NOTE–Yes it is a novelty ride. The proponent is a Demo mayor. Seems about everyone else is opppsed–political or fiscal?

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: