Elections give me a kick

Elections give me a kick 

I get excited about elections. 

I like being part of a team working to make a difference. Something about being in the company of people who care about the things I care about makes me feel alive. And the team this year has been friends–old and new–and it feels good.  

But I don’t get to vote today.  I don’t live in a city or the right districts or zones. Local elections are by locale.

 So, if you haven’t voted yet, check what’s on your ballot by going to ‘voter lookup’ at https://www.canyonco.org/elected-officials/clerk/elections/ in Canyon County or ‘View my ballot’ at https://adacounty.id.gov/elections/view-my-ballot/ in Ada. And, while you’re at it, double check where you vote. Canyon County only has a fraction of its usual polling places open.  

And I’ll stay involved by exploring other election developments. .

A friend recently asked if Idaho laws allow a PAC to accept $10,000 toward a campaign. The answer, of course, is yes. Although a local candidate may accept only $1,000 per election from an individual or company, donations to an independent PAC, one that doesn’t coordinate with a candidate, are not limited. 

The Sunshine report that prompted the question shows that Concerned Citizens of Caldwell has received $9,000 from Lifetouch Clinical Services of Caldwell and $10,000 from HMH Construction of Nampa. The PAC has already reported spending over $5000 in printing and postage in support of John McGee for Caldwell mayor.  

Lifetouch Clinical Services is totally owned by Matt Durham, the head–and perhaps sum total–of Concerned Citizens. HMH is a major contracting firm run by John Odom. It builds large commercial buildings like banks and car dealerships.

And that’s all that I know; perhaps all that we’ll ever know. 

In another development on elections, the Idaho Commission on Reapportionment released a new map yesterday–the first since it began hearings. 

Canyon County is spliced and diced.  

Wilder and Parma are joined with Payette and Washington counties. The area south of Lake Lowell is joined with Owyhee and southern Ada counties. (Definitely not a plus for our Canyon residents, but a gain for Owyhee County. Its current district extends to Mountain Home.)  Notus and Middleton are joined with the Star area of Ada County. (An improvement over the current district that nearly circles Nampa and Caldwell.  And Ada County gets a region south of Ustick as a district line extends down Can-Ada while the county line moves east to McDermott Rd.   

Caldwell is again one district and Nampa, two. 

It hardly seems fair that any candidate from an area as populated as Canyon County should have to campaign north to Washington County or clear across Owyhee County. It also seems likely to make residents of Wilder, Parma, or south of the lake feel distant from the county party organizations.  

There’s a reason that the commission would draw such lines. The courts won’t accept a map with too many counties divided between districts. But six Idaho counties–including Canyon and Ada– have populations large enough to include several districts. So, extra cuts to these counties doesn’t create more black marks when the maps do go to court. So, a bit of Ada County is added to Canyon, another bit to Gem, and a big chunk of less-populated acres to Owyhee

Will this be the map? It’s open to comments–and an Ada County friend claims it will mean fewer Democratic districts. 

The Commission hopes to make its decision soon. 

And, by this time tomorrow, there may be a runoff election to get excited about.    

Published by Judy Ferro

Judy Ferro is communication director for the 2C Dems and a columnist for the Idaho Press.

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