Beware the great divider - Coeur d'Alene Press: Editorial

Beware the great divider

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Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 12:00 am

Partisanship is poisonous enough already, ripping America to pieces. Why would anybody want to pollute the political air even more?

Yet a political group is organizing fundraisers and mustering the Grand Old Party faithful for local elections, even though those elections are supposed to be non-partisan. The stated goal of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans is to put one of their proponents in every office - no exceptions.

Now, before anyone's tempted to lecture us on trickle-down economics or the value of charisma in high places, understand that we're not painting the RRs as any kind of enemy. Philosophically, there's a lot we agree with them on: namely, smaller government, lower taxes, more disciplined spending and distance from burgeoning unions in the public workplace.

But it's not an accident that local city elections are non-partisan. That's the way citizens want them, and that's the way they should stay until a majority of citizens demands to see an R, a D, an I, an L or an XYZ after candidates' names on the ballot.

One of the problems with political affiliations is that they don't really mean anything. Ken Howard, a well-known lawyer and Democrat who won a seat on the North Idaho College Board of Trustees - another non-partisan election - has steadfastly led the charge against NIC increasing property taxes this year. Howard is an elected official who studies issues intently and makes decisions based upon information, communication and understanding, not any political ideology. His performance as a trustee has been a pleasant surprise to many, including The Press editorial board, which endorsed his opponent.

When groups embark on a mission to raise the public's voting consciousness, that's laudable. But there's a better alternative to promoting candidates because they wear the same lapel pins. That's encouraging citizens to do their own research and discovery, which is more readily available in local races than state or federal.

Read the candidate profiles carefully ( Participate in any debates, forums or town halls created to share information on all of the candidates. Communicate directly with the candidates; many are in the phone book and/or communicate via email and Facebook. When you believe you've done your research, share your views with thousands of other voters by submitting candidate endorsement letters (275-word limit) to The Press.

Local, non-partisan elections are ideal for choosing the best individuals to represent you. We encourage everyone to turn out the lights on party politics.

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  • pearl posted at 5:38 am on Tue, Nov 22, 2011.

    pearl Posts: 10

    Thanks for bringing up the fact that the City of Coeur d'Alene Mayor and Council Members actively promote their political philosophy in their in-house elections. medical school personal statement

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 3:58 pm on Tue, Sep 20, 2011.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Non-Partisan Elections as written and described in Idaho's code is not about R or D as the R&D's would like everyone to believe. It's about the ability to have multiple candidates, maybe 3 R's 3 D's 3 I's and a S or No Label , on the same ballet for the same seat.

    Who are the Nitwits, that are Spinning "Non-Partisan Elections" into "No-Partisan Offices"? This is an illogical editorial, working on misconceptions of an election law, which only increases eligible candidates and removes Party Primaries. This Law allows for hidden Partisanship before being seated, which increases Partisanship divides after true partisanship is found out.

  • 5inPfs posted at 2:10 pm on Thu, Sep 15, 2011.

    5inPfs Posts: 702

    Far too many people hide behind behind a (D) or an (R)...and far too many vote based only on those letters.

    And then there is all those darn (I), (L), (C)s, and pesky (G)s and (S) name a few. You don't think they might hide behind an (R) to get elected in Idaho? That is so...jejune.

  • RL posted at 12:20 pm on Thu, Sep 15, 2011.

    RL Posts: 161

    If you're afraid to have a (D) or an (R) behind your're hiding something.


  • 5inPfs posted at 11:29 am on Thu, Sep 15, 2011.

    5inPfs Posts: 702

    Ditto Not4sale. Right down to the last period.

  • Not4sale posted at 10:49 am on Thu, Sep 15, 2011.

    Not4sale Posts: 143

    I agree with Mr. Patrick and the editorial board. Voting purely on party affiliation is just plain ignorant and lazy. Do your own due diligence and educate yourself on a candidates abilities, education and beliefs and then vote for the candidate you think is best suited to perform the duties of the position. Just because a candidate declares them self to be a D or an R does not necessarily mean they will endorse stereotypical platforms, especially in local politics and issues that affect our community.

  • RL posted at 10:19 am on Thu, Sep 15, 2011.

    RL Posts: 161

    "But it's not an accident that local city elections are non-partisan. That's the way citizens want them, and that's the way they should stay until a majority of citizens demands to see an R, a D, an I, an L or an XYZ after candidates' names on the ballot."

    WWWWW&H, Mike.

    WHO decided that the citizens don't want to know political affiliation?
    WHEN was that decided?
    WHAT was the reasoning behind the thinking that political (economic) affiliation wasn't important?
    WHY don't the "non-partisan" entities put it to a vote to see how the "majority of citizens" think now?
    HOW can you be sure of all of these broad unsubstantiated statements? Polling? Surveys?

    I for one want to see as much political info about candidates as possible. Stealth candidates operating at the will of powerful "Good ol' Boys" destroy cities.

  • LTRLTR posted at 9:10 am on Thu, Sep 15, 2011.

    LTRLTR Posts: 1171

    To The Late Lousis Nizer,

    Thanks for bringing up the fact that the City of Coeur d'Alene Mayor and Council Members actively promote their political philosophy in their in-house elections.

    To Cda. Press,

    Please see below and print an apology to our community.

    Winding Creek Group

    Organization: Political Consulting

    St Louis
    63005 United States
    202-386-6129 (Phone)
    Visit Website »

    Organization Type: Political Consulting
    About Your Organization: Democratic telephone voter contact as well as general strategic consulting firm.

  • ancientemplar posted at 9:02 am on Thu, Sep 15, 2011.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1187

    Mr. Editor, If you think in this day and age that any election, other than for "Fire Commissioner" is non- partisan, you must be living under a rock. Oh, I forgot, this is the Cd'A Press.

  • The Late Louis Nizer posted at 7:40 pm on Wed, Sep 14, 2011.

    The Late Louis Nizer Posts: 188

    Ward neglected to mention that both Kennedy and Bloem hired The Winding Creek Group from Washington, DC, to promote their candidacies. Their 2009 campaign finance reports reflect this. Who is the Winding Creek Group? It's website "About Us" page leads with this: "We admit it, we're partisan...we believe in the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates at every level from the Courthouse to the White House."

    Either Publisher Thompson and Editor Patrick are the stupidest people in Idaho (entirely possible) or they're part of the racketeers that have taken over City government. They own a few district court judges and now the prosecutor, and until the surprising last election, they owned the County Clerk.

  • Mary Souza posted at 7:07 pm on Wed, Sep 14, 2011.

    Mary Souza Posts: 792

    Jeff Ward, President of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, responded to this Press editorial in his weekly newsletter. Here's an excerpt of Jeff's response:

    "The Reagan Republicans is a local group of political activists who wish to see conservative candidates elected and endorse those we feel would well serve our community. We publicize our endorsements, knock on doors and make phone calls. We are not an arm of the national, state or county Republican Party and are answerable only to our local members. We find it funny that our local group is targeted for criticism for advocating Republican candidates for local office but two years ago when out-of-town Democrats big-wigs like former Governor Cecil Andrus, sitting Congressman Walt Minnick and Boise Mayor David Bieter infused partisanship into the Coeur d'Alene City Council race by strongly supporting fellow partisan Democrat Mike Kennedy, we did not hear even a peep from the Press."

  • inclined posted at 5:16 pm on Wed, Sep 14, 2011.

    inclined Posts: 682

    Sounds like a sot in their chair. Everybody knows partisanship is as natural as hiccoughs, and compromise, as a sneeze. And if principle is to die for, the radical, extremist, like the Colonist, did die and America was born. It’s people like you that muck up the landscape. You don’t know what partisan means.

    And don’t dare confuse extremist, political or ideological that are willing to sacrifice others(who by nature follow), using them as shields and holding them in bondage with power of tongue or the gun, with mature and age old weight of definable goodness, rule of law, and benevolent governing. But tell me what you thinking of Harry S. Truman and his decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan, and I will know about your sense of right politic.

    Someone has said, “Contrast conservative Barry Goldwater’s exhortation that “[e]xtremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue” with liberal Robert F. Kennedy’s observation that “[w]hat is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme but that they are intolerant.” Partisanship not only allows the minority voice to be heard, but requires it. Extremism, in contrast does not permit or allow for minority opinions – except when it is itself the minority.” Here then is the distinction. The people crying partisan, extremist, are precisely the people Kennedy defined as intolerant . When their view is not accepted as holy, those others are intolerant, partisan, extremist.

    And this nation lived and liberty had a chance because a stance, on principle of real truth, was no vice. In that pursuit of government of the people, by the people, and for the people, under God, at all levels of exercise, men are still obliged to die for what America was and still can be, The frame of mind to resist bad government exist here, in CdA, and is not trivial at any level.

  • Mary Souza posted at 9:58 am on Wed, Sep 14, 2011.

    Mary Souza Posts: 792

    I really dislike how the editorials are hidden away under their own category, where very few people take the time to find them and comment. Why not add them into the local news section with the tag of "editorial"? You do that already for some "opinion" pieces.

    Anyway, the city council and powers that be are an odd mix of Democrats and Republicans, all seemingly united by the politics of greed.

    I'm glad the Reagan Republicans are involved with local elections because they stand for smaller, more responsible government, honesty, accountability and transparency. THOSE are the important issues for me. Any group that wants to get out, put boots on the ground and talk with citizens about good local government, is helping us all.

  • The Late Louis Nizer posted at 9:57 am on Wed, Sep 14, 2011.

    The Late Louis Nizer Posts: 188

    Once again the Corrupt d'Alene Press shows its disdain for the exercise of free speech by citizens.

    How dare the Reagan Republicans come late to the "For Sale: Council Seats" dance and expect to be able to use the same tactics as the Democrats.

  • Time Is Short posted at 8:25 am on Wed, Sep 14, 2011.

    Time Is Short Posts: 183

    How about exposing the GOB enriching decisions of the local Win-Is-A-Win party..
    or would that put the Press on the opposite side of the Great Divide?

    You might have started years ago with the Library land that squandered in excess of a $$$ Half MILLION Taxpayer Dollars ...but that's all water under the bridge like the EdCor land and the winning philosophy of MayorB and here LCDC handlers.

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