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Kempthorne, Brady and Adams vie for Governor

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Dirk Kempthorne (R)

    Republican Governor Dirk Kempthorne, looking to keep his seat in Idaho’s statehouse, says his four years in office have been years of progress: “bringing more jobs to rural Idaho; our elementary school students scoring higher in reading; putting more (meth) drug dealers behind bars; cleaning up nuclear waste at INEEL; awarding scholarships... and giving tax cuts to working Idaho families."

    And despite hard economic times for the state, Kempthorne says, “Idaho is positioned to be one of the first to recover.” He says Idaho is the third leading state in creating new jobs.

    Kempthorne believes he has made “tough decisions” that have resulted in a balanced budget while providing increased funding for what he calls his “highest priority – public education.”

    Kempthorne was a senator for six years before being elected as Idaho’s Governor in 1998. Prior to his senate service, he was mayor of Boise.

    In the field of education, Kempthorne has posted a list of accomplishments on his website, www.dirk4gov.org.  They include: $100 million increase in state funding for public education; a reading initiative that resulted in a 20% increase in reading test scores in Idaho third grade students; the awarding of 10,000 America’s Promise scholarships to Idaho graduates; and a teacher salary schedule that has, “the highest growth rate in the nation.”

    “For Idaho, the future is bright,” he says. “We’ll ensure Idaho is a place where we raise healthy, happy and well-educated children; where we live and work in communities safe from crime and drugs; and where solutions to our economic, environmental and social challenges are based on individual responsibility, mutual understanding and common sense.”

    Kempthorne says he works to protect state’s rights, and cites Idaho’s wolf and grizzly bear management plans, aimed at de-listing endangered species and turning management responsibilities over to the state, as examples of this commitment. “The environment...” Kempthorne explained. “As I travel throughout the state, I’m so proud when I see the folks of Custer and Lemhi Counties and how you’re dealing with these Federal requirements. Fourth and fifth and sixth generation Idahoans … you wonder if it’s your land anymore because of all these requirements. That’s why we established the office of species conservation. Over the next four years, our objective will be to successfully complete the de-listing of wolves and the Yellowstone grizzly. We will continue to adamantly say to the Federal Government, do not bring in another experimental population of grizzly bears.”

    He is, perhaps, most proud of the strides he says the state has made under his leadership in the economic arena, despite a nationwide recession. He says the creation of 40,000 new jobs in Idaho ranks the state third in the nation, and that increases in Idaho wages place it ninth in state rankings. But best of all, he says, is that his leadership has enabled the state to provide 40 tax cuts or incentives, and “zero tax increases.

    “You cannot tax your way out of recession,” he said. “Instead of standing and bemoaning and saying, ‘woe are we,’... we’re saying we’ll go forward. These are tough times, but tough times never last, tough people do. And we are tough people.”

Jerry Brady (D)

    Michael Brady, a personable, young, mental health worker from Massachusetts, has been traveling the highways, the byways and the back roads of Idaho, stumping for his father, Jerry Brady, who’s running on the Democratic ticket for the position of Governor of Idaho. If voters decide to turn the governor’s office back to a Democrat, it won’t be the first time a Brady has held the office. Jerry’s great-great grandfather, James Brady, was Idaho’s governor in the early 1900’s, and was one of the first politicians in this state to fight for a woman’s right to vote. “That’s symbolic,” Michael said, “of what my father has always tried to do. He’s an incredible man.”

    Jerry Brady was born and raised in Idaho. He graduated from the University of Idaho, then attended U.C. Berkley’s college of law. After law school, Brady joined the peace corps and spent time in Africa. “I don’t want to cue the violins, but this was a real defining moment in his life. Dad’s not your typical, feel-good liberal,” Michael added. “But he’s a very progressive guy who makes things happen. He’s incredibly focused.”

    After the peace corps, Brady became one of Frank Church’s top legislative assistants. “Dad can go just about anywhere in Idaho and start telling stories about barnstorming (in that area) during the Church days. When you listen to him talk about Idaho, he just gushes. He absolutely loves this state.”

    Brady Sr. did a stint in Washington as an attorney, running a successful practice, but walked away from it all when his grandfather died, and he returned home to take over the family business which  includes a television station and the Idaho Falls Post Register.

    “Dad didn’t go looking (to run for Governor),” Michael said. “Cecil Andrus asked him to run.” Andrus, one of Idaho’s most respected Governors, says, “Idaho needs leadership,” and that Brady has the skills to, “put Idaho back on track.”

    “Dad was outraged by the holdbacks on education money,” Michael said. “Education is the engine that inspires young people and makes the economy of a state flourish. There were so many other solutions than cutting education.” Brady, in fact, disagrees with the Governor’s decision to cut spending across the board. “There’s a lot of human suffering that comes along with these cuts,” said Michael, “and some will cost us more money in the long run.

    “My dad has a plan,” he added. “He spent hundreds of hours looking through the budget. Right away he’d nuke the investment tax credit, and that would save us $38 million. Even Reagan got rid of (this credit) at the federal level back in the 80’s. We don’t need to take books out of children’s hands in order to give corporations a tax break,” he said.

    Brady has also said he would go after the estimated 40,000 Idahoans who don’t file tax returns, which costs the state approximately $105 million, he says, in lost revenue.

    Most importantly, however, he wants a comprehensive performance review run on all state agencies. “We don’t need to be buying new cars, or flying chartered aircraft,” Michael said. “Other states have done this and found ways to save at least 7 or 8% in their budget.” Bottom line? – up to $40 million dollars.

    “Dad doesn’t look to re-invent the wheel. Other people have faced our issues, and he researches to find out how they solved their problems. And he has a plan how to make things work, with ideas and solutions that serve every citizen of the state, not just the fat cats.” His plan, in fact, runs to eight pages and can be found on the Internet at bradyforidaho.com.

Daniel L. J. Adams (L)

    Daniel L. J. Adams, running on the Libertarian ticket for the position of Governor of Idaho, might well be a ghost candidate. There's no mention of him on the official website of the National Libertarian party as a candidate; no mention of him on the Idaho website of the Libertarian party as a candidate; and no information to be found in a search of the Idaho Statesman website. How can someone manage to run for Governor without a mention in even Boise's daily newspaper?

    When all other information sources fail, ask a friend. That's what I did, when I sent an email to my favorite, local Libertarian, Lon Woodbury of Bonner's Ferry, who operates the website www.ruralnorthwest.com.

    Lon had an interesting story to tell about Mr. Adams and his political career. Seems this illustrious gentleman has a few warrants out for his arrest, and is therefore "hiding out" in his home in southern Idaho. Makes you kind of wonder about the electoral process up here in the Pacific Northwest, doesn't it?

    The Libertarian party itself organized a write-in campaign against Mr. Adams in the primary election; a campaign that was unsuccessful, given that Adam's name is on your ballot. So now it's up to the voters of the great state of Idaho - want to elect your first governor to potentially preside over office from a jail cell?


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Landon Otis

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