Are Ability AND Integrity Impossible For Politicos?

We often hear the lament, “I am not voting because it is always the lesser of two evils.”

A story in the Saturday DAILY PAPER by reporter Katy Moeller seems to enforce the evil issue. Seems that Ada Coroner Candidate Dotti Owens “forgot” about criminal charges for fraud and a bankruptcy when she completed a candidate form for the paper.

Ada County lawmen, including Sheriff Gary Raney and local police chiefs endorsed Owens over former deputy sheriff Michael Chilton. Chilton spent most of his copper career as a jailer for Ada County. Owens has been a deputy coroner.

The STATESMAN has to be commended for its election coverage which earlier revealed that Mayor Dave Bieter had met individually with candidates for the Ada County Highway District, asking them to get rid of the director…all in the spirit of working together of course.

Then there is Sherri Ybarra the candidate for Supt. of Public Instruction who can’t remember a divorce, what degree she is working on, or other items from her past.

It isn’t just women either. The race for Guv is not without charges of cronyism and illicit campaign contributions to Butch Otter from the private group recently ousted from running the state prison. Former Canyon prosecutor John Bujak has dodged criminal charges for a couple of years now and his gubernatorial candidacy is considered that of “spoiler.”

Hold your nose when you vote and if you have a bottle of hand sanitizer, be sure to use it after you vote, but please vote.

NOTE: The GUARDIAN doesn’t endorse candidates and no conclusions should be implied by this post.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Dave.. look into the house of Bujak and you will still see some nefarious goings on.

  2. In a word: No

    The 1st step we should take is to make a “No Lawyers” rule. Lawyer are like weeds in a lake. The 2nd step is to have term limits. Because it takes time to build corrupt networks. Additional a ten year lifetime cap on elected office. The 3rd is to have no benefits and very little pay. So they have to work and pay taxes like their subjects do. The 4th is real-time electronic approval/recall voting via the internet. If more than 50% dislike they get the boot.

    Lastly, we don’t need most of these “people’s-representative” positions any longer. Let me explain: If we can buy a car and manage a brokerage account via the internet… we can surely also give direct input and voting on legislative and administrative issues.

    BTW: Why is it called public service… these snake-oil salesman are just a bunch of takers helping themselves to our money.

    One of the guys running really talks it up about how smart and successful he is?!?! It that is true, then why would you want this piddly little job? Snake-oil!

  3. We need a “none of the above” box for each race.

  4. Robert Karinen
    Oct 26, 2014, 10:30 am

    Voters need to take note of the coroners race. This office is about qualifications. Dotti Owens is a registered death investigator who has investigated over 1000 death. Mike Chilton has investigated zero deaths. He has continually misrepresented his qualifications for the job and refuses to open his personnel records because of his troubling history. Both the sheriffs office and Chief Masterson have publicly expressed their grave concerns. Listen to the following.

  5. Rod in SE Boise
    Oct 26, 2014, 11:12 am

    Well, if it is a choice of the lesser of two evils, you should hold your nose and choose the lesser evil.

    Zippo forgot public financing of election campaigns. That may be the most important reform.

  6. If Raney endorses them then I am voting for the other person!!!

  7. Robert Karinen
    Oct 26, 2014, 7:15 pm

    That’s to bad Frank. This is a position that requires specific technical knowledge and training. This position should not be elected. Until then it is up to voters to research a candidates credentials. Ada County can’t afford to get this one wrong.

  8. Zippo recommends term limits… and Idaho voters approved term limits twice! In both instances, our all-knowing “elected representatives” patted us on the head and rescinded the newly-passed initiative, explaining to us that they are far too valuable to be replaced.

    Career politicians are a pox on our system of government. They no longer represent their constituents but instead are entirely focused on maintaining that career path, padding their government pension, and voting in a way that won’t alienate the deep-pockets.

    The only way for us to affect change is to vote ’em out, and that’s why I almost always vote straight VTBO (Vote The Bums Out). Please join me – we really CAN change things! (And then vote the next bunch out after 2 or 3 terms, before THEY start thinking of it as a career.)

  9. At the federal level it’s well beyond lacking of integrity. They are doing the same things the East German StaSi used to do. We would be foolish to think it’s not possible at the local level too.

    Read in the NY Post today about the CBS reporter who dared to be independent from her Obama media handlers.

  10. Zippo,

    While I think that you have a number of valid points, your first step (no lawyers) makes the rest of your post difficult to take seriously. You stereotype a group of people based on their educational background because, I’m assuming, you have had a negative personal experience with an attorney. Following that logic, should I be able to say that another step should be “no engineers”? I say this because I have had a few experiences with some engineers and find that they can’t grasp simple concepts in a strait-forward matter I recognize their technical expertise, but find it irrelevant because of my personal experience with engineers.

    Also, note to THE GUARDIAN: don’t think anyone is fooled by your disclaimer of not endorsing candidates. The stories you post and the self-proclaimed slant you write with makes obvious that any candidate who agrees with or supports Team Bieter will be opposed (even if not explicit).

  11. Bieter begone
    Oct 27, 2014, 1:58 pm

    I think people of integrity in the political world are vilified because they don’t pander. They don’t tell people what they want to hear so people find a reason to hate them instead of looking at things rationally.

    An honest person isn’t corruptible and won’t share the public goodies with cronies and assorted hangers on.

  12. Robert Karinen
    Oct 27, 2014, 2:44 pm

    Mike Chilton is refusing to participate in a public forum tonight at the Sheriffs office using claiming it is ‘rigged’. Public officials who refuse to face voters do not bode well for transparency.

  13. chicago sam
    Oct 27, 2014, 3:26 pm

    Your editorial is not complete without mentioning that Gov. Otter didn’t know the State police were not investigating the “gladiator school” for over one year and now the FBI has taken over or the millions of dollars the State will eventually be required to pay for the sex scandles at the juvenile facility in Nampa. At least one of the staff is already in jail and another has confessed. And yet we are told all is well.

  14. BB: The USA has 5-7% of world population. 25-30% world economy. 65% of the world’s lawyers. They are also 90+% in the US House and Senate. Weeds in a lake! BTW: The lawyers are helping the government to implement StaSi like policy. A policy so wrong that even the liberal media is starting to switch teams.

    As for the Governor’s race. Apparently Butch is a bit sensitive about letting the prison run wild. Butch’s radio ad says he “asked for an investigation” Huh?? So the Governor asked for an investigation and didn’t get it? A good investigative reporter (If Idaho had one) would find out which of the State coopers told the Governor no and why.

  15. Zippo,

    While I’m sure you’ll never understand your logical fallacy (formally known as affirming the consequent), for the rest of the readers, following your same logic, a better argument would be banning old white men from congress:

    Over 90% of Congress is male;
    Over 95% of Congress is white;
    The median age of of member of Congress is 53, while the average age of the US population is 33.

    Finally, you are wrong regarding the number of lawyer lawmakers. While proportionately high compared to the percent of the US population (6%), 45% of the members of Congress are lawyers. Thus, the problems you set at the feet of lawyers should really belong to old, white men.

    Break the spell of Fox News…

  16. Editor, We know that Butch is loaded with the family money. But what’s this I hear about the challenger also being loaded?

    Rich guys sometimes do make good leaders, but I’d like to see more ordinary folk in office. By doing so things like the tax code would be just a few pages. When we elect a lawyer or CPA we get someone who really enjoys producing red-tape and hiring his friends to do studies.

    BB, Thanks for affirming all but one of my numbers. 45% is still very high and not at all representative of the population.

    As you pointed out I made several good suggestions for cleaning up public office. Perhaps we should start with term limits and no benefit… and branch out from there.

    BTW BB: I could beat you at chess too.

  17. We did term limits once.. and got overruled by the career politicians that we keep electing.

  18. zippo
    AJ’s wife is part of the Skaggs family… as I am told?

  19. Z, I said you had “valid points,” not “several good suggestions. You proved me correct in my prediction that “you’ll never understand your logical fallacy.” I find your proposed solutions basic and one dimensional.

    You’re not even on my level.

  20. So.. AJ and Butch have one thing in common (if the Skaggs link is true). They were both smart enough to marry into money.

  21. Been to Balukoff’s house, between him and his wife they are worth tens of millions. I’ve seen far more fancy decorated homes in Surprise Valley by folks making 100-200k a year. Not sure what they plan to do with all that cash.. Oh wait, they donate it to build gigantic lecture halls at Boise State, educational facilities at ISU Meridian, etc.

  22. chicago sam
    Oct 30, 2014, 7:24 am

    Otter’s horse barn is way bigger than most houses

  23. soccergr8, Is there more than one house perhaps? How about corporate jets? Expensive horses and artworks?

    I think rich is good. I plan to get more rich today. HOWEVER I dislike deception.

    The Democrat’s public bashing of the rich is bad. A rich Dem running for office as a man of the people is deceptive and a sign of deceptive things to come if elected.

    The political/media bashing of the rich is an important part of the greater plan of distraction and deception directed at the American people. The middle-class is being reduced to rubble by this partnership between our corporate & political scum.

    Our education professionals are on board with it too, teaching divisive victimhood and distraction topics instead of topics needed to compete advance and succeed.

    Both parties have their favorite distraction tools and neither party sees the average person as anything more than a squirrel turning a wheel. It’s why it’s so important to clean the professional politicians out of office… they should be representing the people… but we all know neither party does that.

    BTW: In DC, the wealth of the Dems is greater than the wealth of the Repubs.

  24. As the guy who ran against Dave Bieter in the last election, I was very proud of the over 4000 votes I received. However I was discouraged to find that less than 27,000 people actually voted.
    For a city that has over 200,000 this was something I felt embarrassed about.
    I spent no money at all on my campaign, none. But I was still able to make every candidate forum (Dave didn’t come to any) and met a wonderful assortment of people.
    If I am still in Boise come the next elections, I will attempt to run for Mayor again and perhaps this time I will do more than stand on a corner with a cardboard sign asking folks to vote for me.
    I still believe that elections can be ran honestly and without negative campaigns. I hope to prove that next election cycle.

    Cheers! Now get out and vote!

  25. Zippo
    I did notice that one of Idaho Republicans made the 10 ten wealthiest

  26. Please don’t dismiss Mr. Balukoff as an elite out-of-touch tycoon. I’ve known him for 20+ years… because my kids went to school with his (in public schools!), I’ve worshipped with him on Sundays, and I’ve toiled alongside him at community service projects. Frankly, I was surprised when I heard the estimates of his worth, because he does NOT live the millionaire jet-set lifestyle.

    (Well… okay… he and his wife both drive a Lexus… and he wears those “elite” bowties…)

    A.J. and Susie are incredibly generous with their bounty. I’m sure he’d invite Boise-area people to a function they’ve sponsored for many years – the Hymns of Thanksgiving free concert, the Sunday before Thanksgiving. (They’ve been sponsors since the beginning. One of many gifts they share – often anonymously – with their fellowcitizens.)

  27. Foothills Rider
    Oct 30, 2014, 5:38 pm

    Big ZZZZ
    What exactly is “more ordinary” folk? That’s one load of undefined subjectivity if I do say….

  28. It should not be surprising that a candidate for coroner has a skeleton in the closet.

    EDITOR NOTE–Well done Bob! You are welcome to contribute more wisdom.

  29. Just finishing an interesting book detailing the art of behind the doors sneakery. “Sins of the Father”.

  30. I believe bikeboy has the correct perspective.

    I’ve little doubt that AJB is a good guy and has good intentions. I also believe that AJB thinks he knows what’s best for everyone. And this last point is his failing.

    We don’t need people to follow their personal internal guidance or agenda. Or their nationally directed political agenda. We need representatives to gauge public opinion and do what the majority wants.

    None of us needs or wants arrogant people convinced of their superiority to do what they think is best for us. The concept of “serving the people” has be corrupted by pathological narcissists, and it’s time to change back to true representation.

    In spite of this obviously correct logic, we will still elect Hillary and similarly corrupt individuals… it’s one of the great mysteries of the universe.

  31. We should admire fairly earned wealth. We are a capitalist society. Try to accomplish nearly anything without resources, and see how far you get.

    I am pleased that we have two very capable, industrious, and ostensibly honest gubernatorial candidates.

    And, Bujak is not among the two.

    It is pompous, sanctimonious, and hypocritical of Bujak to harangue about “the good ole boys” and cronyism.

    Even though he has avoided criminal conviction, his actions related to the Nampa prosecutions, were, at the very, very least, highly unethical!!

    The Idaho Legislature passed the Idaho Public Corruption Law, informally dubbed the “Bujak Law”, in response to his capers, inside dealing, lack of ethics by a county public official, and other highly scurrilous conduct.

  32. I DO “dismiss” joe balloonkopff as nothing more than another hairy reed (albeit pudgier), whom also scammed too much money through too many “No Personal Liability Corporations (LLCs), in a dorky bow tie.

    Being an Idahoan and growing up here I found out long ago that the only ones who stick together closer than shyster lawyers are mormons, birds of a feather and all that. . .

  33. If you need to resort to the junior high school ploy of making fun of someone’s physical appearance or name, your opinion is totally without merit.

  34. And prior Nampa Mayor Tom Dale:

    Tom Dale was bounced out of the Nampa Mayor’s Office by Nampa citizens displeased with his management of that fine city.

    He overspent the taxpayers’ money, he lacks judgment, and his police department and prosecutors treated me unfairly, as they racketeered to attempt to pass a $46 Million jail bond, that voters had already decisively rejected twice!!

    Now, Tom Dale is running for Canyon County Commissioner, after he helped John Bujak stiff Canyon County out of $300,000 or so that he netted, on top of $250,000 per yr in so-called “Salary Bumps” for the CCPA staff, plus his $108,000 salary and bennies as Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney!!




    Public Corruption??


    Obstruction of Justice??

    Disguised Bribery???

    Its all there!!!

    Do not vote for Tom Dale!!!

    Do not vote for John Bujak!!!

  35. Isn’t it refreshing that a person like dh would voluntarily put his/her ignorance and bigotry on public display? God bless the Guardian for letting even the doofuses have a voice!

    Even a “low information voter” would quickly observe that “mormons” DO NOT stick together, at least in politics!

    – Balukoff (who is VERY physically fit, by the way) is running as a Democrat, which in all honesty caused some eyebrow-raising among his fellow Mormons. That, all by itself, disproves dh’s assertion, since Mormons tend to lean GOP.

    – Famously-Mormon Mitt Romney flew in to kiss babies and shake hands and campaign for Balukoff’s Catholic opponent, Butch Otter.

    – If Balukoff loses, it will likely be on account of heavily-Mormon eastern Idaho voting for his opponent.

    EDITOR NOTE–Nicely done, Bikeboy!

  36. ability AND integrity?
    I think it is possible Guardian.

    Maybe we should all go on a witch hunt to find those people and celebrate them.

  37. Not sure if THE GUARDIAN is working on a story or not, but it appears that the popular opinion is against the way that the bike lane issue and the parking puck issue was handled as illustrated by the bag packing by Jaurena and (to an admittedly lesser degree) the rejection of Arnold as Judge. I believe this is also an endorsement of team Bieter’s policies.

  38. Looks like I get to keep my Gun, Bible, Beer, and Money for a couple more years. Bonus, I get to watch the two years-long eviction of the O’Bummer tribe from DC. If only Bush had not passed all those StaSi laws I could feel a little better about America today. (Snowden’s movie at The Flicks in 10 days)

    Idaho elections went as expected, however the GOP had best stand up a more electable governor candidate for next time. 53% against a liberal in Idaho is much too close.

    And Butch, I’m still waiting for Kempthorne’s “temporary” sales tax increase to come back down. Tax and spend RINOS abound in Idaho. How about you clean up the party a bit this term before graciously hanging up your political hat.

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