Saturday, April 09, 2011

Power Struggle in Washington; Idaho Legislature Insults Independent Voters

INDEPENDENT VOTERS AND THE PARTISAN FACE-DOWN


IDAHO LEGISLATURE

  • Idaho Legislature finishes ‘difficult’ session (Betsy Z. Russell, The Spokesman-Review) Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, called the session as a whole “tough” and “disappointing,” and said he didn’t like the way the debate over school reforms implied “that teachers are the problem.” He also objected to the Republican Party’s move to close its primary elections, saying, “I think we’ve disenfranchised independent voters.”
  • Public to pay for GOP suit - Lawmakers vote $100,000 to pay attorney fees (Betsy Z. Russell, The Spokesman-Review) “I have to point out, we’re paying $100,000 for the Republican Party to sue the Republican Legislature, defended by the Republican secretary of state, in order to close primaries in Idaho – I just think this is so bad it’s comical,” said Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise… Keough said, “I remain disturbed that even while in essence shutting out the public, they asked the public to pay for it.”
  • What Idahoans got from the Legislature (By Ben Botkin - Magic Valley Times-News) Loser: Independent voters, who will have to declare a party affiliation to vote in primary elections, or be classified as unaffiliated voters. Political parties can decide if they will accept ballots from unaffiliated voters.

EDUCATION REFORM
Can a New Schools Chancellor Fix Education Reform's Image Problem? (By Anna Sale, WNYC/It's A Free Country) Walcott called himself "just a guy from Queens" who went to public school and started his career teaching kindergarten. He said he's visited hundreds of schools, "held the hands of students and talked with the moms and dads." His call-and-response with students at City Hall felt warm and natural, where Black had come off as stilted and uncomfortable.

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