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 …

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Politics: ALEC limits Idaho legislators

by Judy Ferro

At the recent District 10 town hall, an attendee asked the three legislators if they had accepted funds from ALEC, an organization commonly regarded as “the voice of corporate special interests.”

All three answered no (though Sen. Jim Rice did defend ALEC).

That would be significant if ALEC donated to candidates, but it doesn’t.  ALEC doesn’t reveal who it supports any more than it reveals its corporate members or the bills it writes.

It might be better if ALEC did operate that way; Idaho law would limit …

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Idaho legislature: Minimum wage, Medicaid expansion Drama Continues

by Judy Ferro

I may seek the screenplay rights to the suspenseful drama now unfolding in the legislature.

It’s got comic relief. After voting to prohibit cities and counties from limiting the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam containers, Republicans were hopping to reconcile the proposed state dictate with their much-vaunted, though often ignored, support of local control.

Hey, States have pre-empted local control for decades—look at water quality and tax policies.

And —if we let cities make rules, we’ll have patchwork of policies.

(So Republicans are only pro-local …

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Legislature: Minimum Wage Proposal Dead

by Judy Ferro

A proposal to increase the minimum wage in Idaho was introduced—and shot down—last week.

According to the Spokesman Review, Sen. Maryanne Jordan and Rep. Mat Erpelding, both Boise Democrats, proposed raising Idaho’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour on July 1, 2016, and to $9.75 a year later. “The minimum wage for tipped workers would rise from the current $3.30 an hour to $3.80 an hour…After that, both would be adjusted annually based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.”

Nampan Curt McKenzie, chair of …

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Economy: Higher Minimum Wage Means More Jobs

by Judy Ferro

True or False: Increasing the minimum wage destroys jobs.

If you answered false, you have 600 economists agreeing with you.  That many joined in signing a letter saying it isn’t so and advising the Federal government to increase the minimum wage.

About 17 states have banked on the economists being right and have adopted higher minimum wages.  The Center for Economic and Policy Research studied the 13 states who raised the minimum wage in January 2014 and found each had higher employment growth.  Some of the …

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