Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Red State Blues

It was a bittersweet victory for progressives in Idaho. We took control of the House, and it appears we may have control of the Senate as well, but Idaho's Democratic candidates did not fare so well.

In the 1st Congressional District we had a very strong contender in Larry Grant. His contender, Bill Sali is one of the most conservative members of the Idaho legislature. During an argument on the floor this year Idaho House Speaker Bruce Newcomb of Burley, a Republican, was quoted saying, "That idiot (Sali) is just an absolute idiot. He doesn’t have one ounce of empathy in his whole fricking body. And you can put that in the paper."

Sali won last night by 10,000+ votes.

U.S. House - District 1 - 452 of 470 Precincts Reporting
Name Party Votes Pct
Sali, Bill GOP 111,669 50.04
Grant, Larry Dem 99,687 44.67
Olson, Dave Ind 6,592 2.95
Hedden-Nicely, Andy UNT 2,823 1.27
Smith, Paul CST 2,379 1.07

U.S. House - District 2 - 428 of 482 Precincts Reporting
Name Party Votes Pct
Simpson, Mike GOP 115,410 62.76
Hansen, Jim Dem 61,629 33.51
Forth, Cameron Ind 4,568 2.48
Hedrick, Travis CST 2,298 1.25

And we had a good shot at the Governorship as well and lost that too. All told the race was much closer than usual in this very red state.

Governor - 880 of 952 Precincts Reporting
Name Party Votes Pct
Otter, C.L. Butch GOP 218,750 53.19
Brady, Jerry Dem 179,365 43.61
Richardson, Marvin CST 6,585 1.60
Dunlap, Ted Lib 6,582 1.60

There were small victories. State Representative District 17B, the district I worked heavily in 2 years ago to win for Sean Spence and ended up loosing by 7 votes, Sue Chew won easily for the Democrats. We picked up several House seats around Boise.

And we are progressive in one key important backward way. We don't have electronic voting machines! We even have hundreds of people manually checking the ballots for hanging chads! How hip is that?

In fact, many things about Idaho remained constant:
  • We hate gays. HJR2 added even more wording around marriage to a code that already forbid gay marriage in Idaho. Some day our children will look back at laws like this with the same disgust we view slavery, suffrage and racism.

  • We hate taxes. Proposition 1 failed, which attempted to direct fund exclusively to public education. Funding education!? My word! What a waste of our tax dollars educating our youth!

  • We hate outsiders. A campaign funded by a wealthy New York lawyer to rewrite takings laws and negate zoning failed to pass (this is the one good thing in this list).

  • We're stupid. Idaho voters gave their support through an advisory vote for Jim Risch's move to transfer property taxes to sales taxes. This results of course, for everyone who isn't a millionaire vast increases in taxes. But with some careful wording Idaho voters were too stupid to realize that "property tax relief" only applied to Potlatch and Simplot.

To wrap-up, Idahoans confirmed that they are homophobic, taxophobic, xenophobic and downright stupid. But alas, hope springs from the most unlikely of fountains. From the New York Times this morning:

New York Plans to Make Gender Personal Choice
Article Tools Sponsored By
Published: November 7, 2006

Separating anatomy from what it means to be a man or a woman, New York City is moving forward with a plan to let people alter the sex on their birth certificate even if they have not had sex-change surgery.

Under the rule being considered by the city’s Board of Health, which is likely to be adopted soon, people born in the city would be able to change the documented sex on their birth certificates by providing affidavits from a doctor and a mental health professional laying out why their patients should be considered members of the opposite sex, and asserting that their proposed change would be permanent.

Applicants would have to have changed their name and shown that they had lived in their adopted gender for at least two years, but there would be no explicit medical requirements.
More (after advert splash)

Here's the loophole my gay and lesbian friends. (I know, I know, it requires one of you reverse gender. So it's a little complicated, sorry about that.)

But wouldn't it be worth it to apply for a marriage license in Idaho?

After all, you would legally be a man and a woman. Married in what our newly-elected Governor triumphantly labeled this morning, "The reddest of the Red States."


Mike Boyd said...

We fared much better in Maryland. Good riddance to Erhlich - be it reinstating black bear hunting (in Maryland?), the death penalty, or messing with higher ed, we'll be better off without him (and his smug, self-satisfied attitude). I remember when he was in Congress, and I wrote to him regarding oil drilling in ANWR. His response cited the increase in caribou around the Prudhoe Bay drilling site as proof that such an endeavor posed no problems (he was citing oil company propoganda that left out the fact that the population increase resulted from oil workers killing off most of the area's predators).

I was even pleased that in the House of Representatives race that was between a Democrat and a Green, the Green party candidate got almost 20% of the vote.

The Virginia marriage vote is truly disturbing, particularly since it wasn't even close. Still waiting on the finalization of the Webb/Allen race - some funny attack ads on TV from those two during the past month or so!

Brent said...

More Facts on our Newly Elected Officials:

* Our new State Controller only has a GED

* Our new Superintendent of Public Education home schooled all his children