County Fair & Candidates

After working at the Democratic booth at the Canyon County Fair last week, I thought I’d look over earlier writings about the fair and share the ups and downs over the years. .

Searching, I found thank yous to volunteers and summaries of data gathered, but nothing about the amazing moments that make great memories.

So I’ll settle for capturing a bit of this year’s experience.

This was the first year we had a straw pool for 20 Democratic presidential candidates.

Now we had a straw poll in 2008, but only eight candidates. Democrats stopping by the booth asked questions about the one or two they didn’t know–and I finally learned pronounce “Kucinich.”

This year people were more apt to stare at the pictures of lesser known candidates–perhaps trying to call up a memory–and finally shrug.

What they wanted to talk about was who they liked and who they thought had the best chance of winning–and they were seldom the same.

 Most obviously felt under pressure to do it right this time. A progressive will draw more Democrats to the poll; a middle-of-the-roader, more independents. Or not?

And don’t we need someone with experience?

 The straw poll gave volunteers an opening to invite people to watch the televised debates with other Democrats at 6 p.m. tonight (Tuesday 30 July) and Wednesday.  (Tonight’s is at 111 N. 11th Ave in Caldwell; tomorrow’s, #204 inside Nampa’s First Street Marketplace, 1224 1st St.)

 The big draw at our booth, however, was the petition calling for a minimum wage question on a future ballot.

 Even people who started their working lives making $1 an hour stated it’d be hard to live on $12 an hour these days, much less the current minimum wage of $7.25. One man mentioned that 50 years ago he earned enough to pay his way through the College of Idaho; that’s impossible today. A woman spoke of her twin granddaughters’ struggles to afford a place to live.

Not everyone, however, supported an increase. One business owner seemed determined to see us take down the sign.  She said she couldn’t stay in business and pay her help $15 an hour. (The current initiative asks for $12 an hour during the fourth year.)  I could sympathize with her–some months my husband’s shop manager took home more than he did.

One volunteer’s answer was to ask when we should have stopped raising the minimum wage.  Would $6 be better? Four-fifty?

One woman on social security feared that prices would rise if workers earned more. She refused to believe studies indicated higher wages were more apt to bring greater business volume than higher prices

And a man who bid on nine homes before finally getting to the rise in Idaho’s home prices were caused by Washington’s minimum wage increase, Somehow, I doubt that the poorest Washington wage earners getting an extra dollar or two an hour–still not enough to afford an apartment–has pushed the price of Idaho houses up $40,000.

More likely, we’re seeing millionaires, finding stocks overpriced, grasping for profitable places to put their new tax refunds. I hope someone is doing a study.

Most Republicans ignores us, but some wanted to talk. This year a young man asked, “Why do people choose to be poor?”

They what?

Does anyone choose to be ill or lose a spouse or to raise their grandkids?

Some make obviously bad decisions, but I don’t know their thoughts. Were they choosing to be poor? To escape pain? Or did they never believe they could be addicted?

Thanks to all who stopped to talk–it’s good to know people are thinking.

Note this editorial by Judy Ferro published by Idaho Press – 2019

Multiple Choice

Just what do Marianne Williamson, John Delaney, and Wayne Messam have in common?

If you can answer that, you are better informed than I was three days ago– so I’ll make it easier.

It’s the same action that Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Julian Castro have taken.

They have all declared as Democratic presidential candidates. (Adding Joe Biden might have made the question seem easier, but he hasn’t declared.)

According to Ballotpedia, 16 “notable” Democrats have declared as candidates. There are usually two to seven. Sixteen ties the Democratic record, set in 1976 after Gerald Ford replaced–and pardoned–President Nixon.

And there’s still time for more candidates to step forward.

Although the Republicans had 17 declared candidates in 2016, they limited the first debates to those polling in the top 10. Even that number appeared out of control at times, with some candidates getting no attention and others shouting over speakers.

Warned by the Republican experience–and facing a possible field of 20 or more candidates–the Democratic National Committee has decided they don’t want more than 10 candidates on stage at once. Rather than leave many out, however, the June and July debates will be divided over two nights.

Last month the DNC announced that candidates can qualify for the debates either by getting over 1 percent in three DNC-approved 2019 polls or by getting donations from 65,000 individuals, including at least 200 each from 20 different states.

If more than 20 candidates qualify, a combination of the two measures will be used to decide who participates.

These are significant hurdles, but they might not thin the field much.

March alone had 15 approved polls. Ten candidates have already polled over 1 percent at least three times: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Jay Inslee, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg, and Kirsten Gillibrand.

A March 20 article in the Daily Beast revealed that Andrew Yang has passed the 65,000 donor number. “Now, Yang…has tweeted about South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, imploring his followers to support their campaigns.”

In an interview, Yang explained, “.. the more people trying to solve problems that are on a national stage the better.”

Buttigiegand did reach the donor numbers last week.

John Delaney, who represented Maryland for three terms in the U.S. House, has personally pledged to donate $2 to charity for for each new donor, even those who donate only $1. Moreover, the donor gets to choose the charity from 11 options.

Yes, Delaney is a millionaire.

Sixteen is a lot of candidates to evaluate, and chances are, those of us in Idaho won’t get a chance to see many of them in person. Julian Castro made a Boise visit and people got a chance to gauge his stands, humor, and demeanor first hand. Many candidates, however, are already concentrating on Iowa and New Hampshire.

Wikipedia has a helpful “cheatsheet” with pictures showing candidates from several parties under “2020 United States presidential candidates.” Another page, “Political positions of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates,” has charts showing candidates’ stands on issues in 14 categories, i.e. healthcare, border issues, economics, etc. Unfortunately, many of the entries are “unknown” as of yet.

Democrats are fortunate to have candidates with different political views, backgrounds, and areas of expertise vying to lead.

It’ll be truly great if they can work together to make a strong governing team.

Now, it’s our job to find the time and energy to learn about each one.

Note this editorial by Judy Ferro published by Idaho Press – 2019

Democrats needed!

LEGAL NOTICE NOTICE OF CANDIDATE FILING DEADLINE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT Declarations of Candidacy for the district offices listed below must be filed with the appropriate district clerk/secretary no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 22nd day of March, 2019. Such declarations are available at the district offices listed below or at the Canyon County Elections Office at 1102 E. Chicago St., Caldwell, Idaho. Individuals who run as write-in candidates must file a declaration of intent no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 8th of April, 2019 (45 days prior to the election). Such declarations must be filed with the district clerk/secretary. DISTRICTS & OFFICES: Canyon Hwy. District No.4 Sub District Commissioner 15435 Hwy. 44 Seat 3 Caldwell, ID 83607 Golden Gate Hwy. Sub District Commissioner District No. 3 Seat 3 500 Golden Gate Ave. Wilder, ID 83676 Nampa Hwy. District No. 1 Sub District Commissioner 4507 12th Ave. Rd. Seat 3 Nampa, ID 83686 Notus-Parma Hwy. Sub District Commissioner District No. 2 Seat 2 106 S. 4th St. / PO Box 719 Parma, ID 83660 Kuna Library District Trustee 457 N. Locust / PO Box 129 2 Seats Kuna, ID 83634 Lizard Butte Library District Trustee 111 3rd Ave. W. / PO Box 60 Seats 1 & 2 Marsing, ID 83639 Wilder Free Library District Trustee 207 A. Ave. / PO Box 128 1 Seats Wilder, ID 83676 Dated at Caldwell, Idaho this 14th day of March, 2019 CHRIS YAMAMOTO, Clerk of the District Court March 14, 2019 1876997

Appeared in: Idaho Press Tribune on Thursday, 03/14/2019

Politics: Meet your candidates

by Judy Ferro

I’ve actually had two voters—both professional women—tell me they had never met a candidate before.

Both times I wanted to come up with a funny line. Maybe, “You mean today, right? You haven’t met one yet today?” Or “Funny, you look pretty normal.”

What I did say was simply, “Meeting candidates isn’t difficult–they work pretty hard at meeting you.”

I’m hoping that you all met a few candidates over the Fourth of July weekend. They were in parades, at booths, on stages—and one or two might have found your favorite lake or fishing hole. You can even find candidates in your own backyard. When Dan Romero was running, his granddaughter—about six years old—visited every Fourth of July barbecue in the neighborhood and came back with three invitations for grandpa to “meet and greet.”

Campaigns may seem low-key from now until the yard signs come out after Labor Day, but the candidates are out there talking with voters. For instance, yesterday Shirley Ringo, former state senator and current candidate for the U.S. House, joined district 12 senate candidate Heidi Knittel in talking with folks at Nampa’s Messenger Pizza.

Gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff has invited Facebook fans to a conference call Tuesday from 6 to 7.

Wednesday District 10 candidates Travis Manning and Leif Skyving are teaming up for a meet-and-greet at the Bird Stop Coffee House, 718 Arthur, Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

And those attending the Canyon County Democrats’ fundraiser Saturday will get some one-on-one time with a number of legislative and state candidates. The picnic at the home of Les and Mary Peck starts at 5 p.m. and includes a barbecued pork dinner and live auction. (Call 454-8742 for information.)

In coming weeks you may chat with candidates at the Canyon County Fair or while waiting in line at a rodeo breakfast. Expect to find them cooking hamburgers and hot dogs at Labor Day celebrations and helping out at Caldwell’s Indian Creek Festival.

And don’t be surprised if one or two show up at your door.

Do meet the candidates. Voting for one you haven’t talked with is a like buying clothes from a catalog—sometimes you get what you wanted; other times the fabric is too flimsy or the color all wrong. You can’t tell everything from one or two visits, but you can get a better idea than from a web page or flyer.

Arrogance and a patronizing manner are real turn-offs.

No candidate should simply recite portions of the campaign speech when talking to you. The speech has to be fairly canned—the candidate wants a clear message—but be wary if he or she doesn’t listen and respond to questions.

You want a candidate who looks at problems honestly and discusses nuances. Few issues are good versus evil; many are good versus good.   Understanding the balance can be more important than agreeing with you 100%.

And I personally look for candidates with a sense of humor who don’t take themselves too seriously.

Most important, expect a candidate to be truthful. When my nephew asked one state senator why a bill hadn’t passed, he blamed the Democrats for killing it. Andy was quick to reply, “All four of them or a particular one?” (Yes, we were down to four Democratic state senators at one point.)

And logical. Cutting spending doesn’t increase jobs and making contraceptives less available doesn’t cut abortions.

Be a good citizen and give candidates the courtesy of a job interview. Idaho deserves the best.