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September 25
Beware the Durst 'resignation:' I was so grateful to read that Branden Durst appeared to be stepping down as superintendent of Priest River Schools after a brief but vexing and tumultuous tenure that I, like many pundits, failed to thoroughly read the letter he submitted today to the West Bonner County School Board and the general public, via what was once Twitter. Reasonable people bravely hoped the man had an epiphany ... That he saw the errors of his ways and was ready to atone. On second reading, I fear it's not so. By Mike Weland
September 23
KCRCC’s “vetting” scam: Yes, I’m back at it after a wonderful summer of family celebrations and travel. It has been great to ignore the political angst and focus on what is truly important in life. We are so blessed to live in Idaho! But now we are approaching the election season again. The November 7 elections will include city councils and school boards, but not NIC, as they are next year. By Mary Souza
September 22
Extreme right-wing radicals stick together like flies on a dead fish: Brandon Durst and other members of the radical Idaho Freedom Foundation must be defeated. Durst is a long-time member of IFF, serving as their senior analyst for education policy. Senator Scott Herndon is a charter member of the Idaho Freedom Caucus and is Idaho’s top ranked senator, according to Idaho Freedom Foundation. Durst, Herndon and the IFF saw WBCSD as their test cast to dismantle a public school district. By Tony McDermott
Correcting lies in Perez letter: During last week’s signature gathering, Michael Perez came up to me, introduced himself as the author of a letter to the editor in the Bonners Ferry Herald claiming that “the vast majority of funding (of Reclaim Idaho, the main grass-roots citizens group supporting the Open Primaries Initiative) comes from out-of-state Democratic Party interests.” I said that was wrong, and he replied that he had “done the research” to back up his statement in his letter. By Clarice M. McKenney
September 21
Closed primaries deprive vets of voting rights: According to the VA, there are nearly 128,000 military veterans in Idaho. We represent nine percent of Idaho’s adult population, which is one of the highest rates in the U.S. Some Idaho vets come from families that have been here for generations, and some settled in Idaho after their service. We are as diverse and independent as our fellow Idahoans and care deeply about this great state. By Todd Achilles et al
September 20
The battle for the soul of the Idaho Republican Party has been joined: Those who keep abreast of Idaho politics are aware that there are presently two major factions of Idaho’s Republican Party. There are the traditionalists, who have a conservative outlook but believe in reasonable, problem-solving government. Then there are the upstarts, who seem to believe that government is inherently bad, unless it is serving their narrow interests. By Jim Jones
September 19
It's National Voter Registration Day: September 19 is National Voter Registration Day. In my opinion, because one in four American citizens is not registered to vote, every day should be voter registration day. I learned first-hand leading Boundary Team of volunteers getting signatures to qualify the Open Primaries Initiative for the ballot in November of ’24. Before any Boundary County signature is qualified, the voter must be registered in our county. By Clarice McKenney
September 14
No, Dorothy, the Open Primaries Initiative is not a liberal plot: Dorothy Moon, the head of the dysfunctional branch of Idaho’s Republican Party, has declared war on the Open Primaries Initiative. She’s made false claims that it will be confusing to voters, give rise to voter fraud, turn Idaho liberal, reduce voter turnout and destroy the Republican Party. The initiative is modeled after the Alaska system which worked very well in last year’s elections. By Jim Jones
September 13
Good to see GOP support of Open Primary Initiative: I'm glad to see the long list of Republican supporters for the Open Primary Initiative. That underscores GOP or Government of the People. In his Farewell Address, George Washington warned of two grave dangers to the US. One was political parties having too much power. By Mary Ollie
Idaho GOP disappointed in so-called Republicans: It is with great disappointment that we address the statement made today by former Governor Butch Otter, in which he expressed his support for the Reclaim Idaho initiative, a radical leftist push for ranked choice voting and a blanket top-four primary in Idaho. It is essential to recognize the ramifications of such a statement. Idaho Republican Party
September 12
Lies or truth? Which will prevail? This is a fight. The radicals have so declared. No logic or reason or common sense will dissuade them. The rational have one slim hope left; the elections process. November 7, 2023, and November 5, 2024. Stand and vote resoundingly against authoritarians, against the MAGA promise of fascism. Or let liars prevail. By Mike Weland
September 10
Open primary for Idaho: Imagine going to an Idaho Primary election, where regardless of your political viewpoint, any registered voter could vote for any candidate on the ballot. Republican, Democrat, Independent or Libertarian – all on the same ballot! We could vote for Republicans for some offices; Democrats for others, if we choose. That would be more in line with the beliefs of our first president, who warned of political parties gaining too much power. By Don Jordan
September 7
GOP defends truth and childhood innocence against woke culture: We all feel that summer is coming to an end, and fall is nearly upon us. School has begun, temperatures are finally coming down, and apples are ripening on the trees. But just as sure as the leaves change color, so too will the banners of Boise turn to an unrelenting parade of rainbows. “Pride” is more than just a month these days, it’s the fifth season! By Dorothy Moon
September 5
Bonner County voters show how to stand up for public education: Having followed public affairs in the Gem State since 1966, I have always believed that most Idahoans are practical people who appreciate and support reasonable, pragmatic political leaders. They generally can see through those who seek to gain political power by stoking fear and outrage, which is the hallmark of the dark-money supported Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF). By Jim Jones
September 1
Should the integrity of an election be questioned? "9B.News -- Should the integrity of an election be questioned or not? It can’t be both," Tom wrote. "Why is it that a democrat can question it and not see a day in court, but when a republican questions it, they get prosecuted? I feel like you are very one sided and not trying to see both sides of the spectrum." Thank you for writing, Tom, and I say absolutely! A contested election should be challenged. And they have been all down through this nation's history, by both parties. By Mike Weland
August 28
Bad news keeps coming for the extremist branch of the GOP: The past few weeks have not been kind to the Dorothy Moon faction of the Idaho Republican Party, which has taken over party control since the GOP primary was closed in 2012. Reasonable Republicans have chafed at censures handed out for not going along with extremist ideas, the extremist structure has had to deal with the growing popularity of the Open Primaries Initiative and the extremists’ newly-elected Attorney General has suffered some remarkable defeats in federal and state courts. By Jim Jones
Consider signing Open Primaries Initiative: The Idahoans for Open Primaries initiative is finally out in the community for signatures, thanks to our Supreme Court taking a strong stand for clear and accurate language. I have to say, I’m excited. Look, primaries everywhere aren’t particularly high turnout most of the time (we’re no exception). But if you do go to the trouble of voting in the Idaho primary, you can only vote in one party’s primary. And that’s the problem for me; I like political independence. By Hal Gates
August 25
Sign the Open Primaries Petition: Are you tired of minority rule? We here in Idaho, especially here in the north, are aware that whoever wins the primary election will go on to win the general election. Most of our elections go unopposed by a diversity of parties, for a myriad of reasons. If you are registered as unaffiliated, you are no longer allowed to vote in the Republican primary. All of this guarantees low voter turnout and minority rule. By Sylvia Humes
Fair warning to public school patrons across the Gem State: The Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF) may be coming to your school district to carry out its publicly-proclaimed goal of getting the government out of the business of educating our kids. Just witness the disintegration of the West Bonner County School District (WBCSD) in Priest River at the hands of an extremist-controlled school board. Keith Rutledge and Susan Brown were elected to the school board in 2021 with IFF’s support. By Jim Jones
August 24
Republican primary debate highlights party strength: Republicans have never been afraid of debating the issues. Unlike the other side, which conspires to silence and censor anyone who disagrees with them, Republicans embrace the marketplace of ideas. By Dorothy Moon ... Rebut part doh: :I do my best to filter lies, even in opinion pieces, but there are times, such as this, when the lies are so blatantly ridiculous I feel compelled to publish. By Mike Weland
August 23
Idaho GOP denounces persecution of Donald Trump: The unjust targeting of President Donald J. Trump for political reasons has raised significant alarm. It is evident that the principles of a fair and transparent electoral process have been greatly compromised, as President Trump has become the victim of unlawful and corrupt investigations and indictments aimed at curbing his campaign for President. By Dorothy Moon Elections don't protect the indicted ... a rebuttal by Mike Weland
August 20
What the 2022 Alaska elections can tell us about ranked-choice voting: The Dorothy Moon faction of the Republican Party enlisted Sarah Palin to speak in Idaho Falls on August 19 about the supposed evils of ranked-choice voting. Palin’s 2022 loss of her statewide race for Congress should provide a ray of hope to the vast number of reasonable, pragmatic Idaho Republicans who feel they have been pushed out of their party by Moon’s narrow, super-committed extremist branch of the GOP. By Jim Jones
August 13
Who's to fill the menial manual jobs if we won't? We have to find a way to fill these menial jobs no American wants to do with American workers. I therefore and with all due respect propose that all U.S. citizens, from all walks of life be required, beginning at age 18, to serve one year in any branch of the U.S. military following basic and advanced training; serve two years in an entry-level governmental public service position or two years doing one of the jobs migrants risk their lives and often die for trying to come here to do. By Mike Weland
The American tragedy of Lahaina, Maui: The horror unfolding before our eyes in Lahaina, Maui, in America’s 50th state, has now become the largest loss of life due to a wildfire in U.S. recent history. The loss is not just an Hawaiian loss. It’s truly an American loss and a foreboding event providing a cautionary warning for the rest of rural America today facing unchecked wild fire risks. By crafting forest management policy for years through the lens of so-called “environmental consciousness,” America has curtailed and erroneously inhibited wise management of America’s national forests. By Darrell Kerby
August 10
We must stand up and say 'enough:' People assume by my writings since 2015 that I hate Trump and conservatives and Republicans. But they miss the message I've been trying to convey for years; let's stop this hyper-partisan inane destruction. Let's shut down and shut up the contingent fomenting self centered politics and "wokism." Let's stand up and say "this is enough." Bring the pendulum back toward center, where the focus is again on issues rather than personalities, where the objective is public service rather than self aggrandizement. By Mike Weland
A law firm should not malign the judge for its own bad lawyering: The publicist for Attorney General Labrador recently maligned federal judge Lynn Winmill for his July 31 decision prohibiting the AG from prosecuting doctors who refer patients to other states for abortion pills and services. Labrador sent an opinion letter to a legislator on March 27, saying that Idaho doctors could be charged with a felony for doing so. For reasons unknown, Labrador withdrew the letter seven days later. By Jim Jones
August 8
Why is the bleacher fund nickel and diming me? ... It's not: "I am so confused," a reader responded when I posted my BFHS Kenny Mendenhall Stadium Bleacher Fund graphic to Facebook Sunday. "I thought the school levy ran on the campaign argument that school sports were not going to be funded if the people didn't vote yes for a levy? Now that they got their Levy where is the funding for school sports???? More money. More money. More money!!! My pockets are empty. Everyone is nickel and diming me!" By Mike Weland 
GOP fixing primary gaffe: During the last legislative session, Secretary of State Phil McGrane pushed legislation to move the presidential primary from March to May. Unfortunately, the bill was poorly drafted and what it really did was to eliminate Idaho’s presidential primary entirely. Despite this flaw, the governor signed the bill, which disenfranchised every Idaho citizen from expressing their preference for the nominee for the general election in November. By Brent Regan
August 7
Four things you can do to fight against the American Library Association: Our local libraries have been treasured community spaces for learning, research and connecting with others ... a haven where children can safely explore and learn. Sadly, today’s libraries differ from those we grew up with. The American Library Association, led by a self-professed Marxist, has embraced a radical agenda that undermines the traditional family values of the communities they serve. From the Idaho Freedom Caucus
Let Jim Woodward know we need him: Most Idaho voters value truthfulness. Idaho State Senator Scott Herndon lied about our excellent incumbent state senator in the primary campaign, and with the help of his out-of-state financial backers, Herndon replaced Senator Jim Woodward, and Herndon’s unethical behavior in office has been jeopardizing our democracy ever since. By Clarice McKenney
Why are taxes buying equipment for private company? Boundary Ambulance, you are a private company paid for by the residents of Boundary County. A few years back, didn’t your company quietly spearhead a drive for a multi-million-dollar 24/7 facility behind the armory? At residents expense of course. Didn’t you recently receive a new ambulance from Commissioners? Haven’t commissioners voted to furnish that same new ambulance? By Rosanne Smith
August 2
A hard question, to nobly save or meanly lose, placed in our hands: "I find that hard to believe beings I've never seen one story about the sleazeball con man in office now," Erik Olson wrote me today on Facebook. "No.. its Trump this and Trump that. You seethe with hate and rage when it comes to him. Anyone reading your opinions can tell. It erodes your journalistic integrity. Do better." By Mike Weland
July 31
Idaho's legislators mock constitutional mandate on education: It is long past time that the Idaho legislature lives up to its constitutional duty "to establish and maintain a general, uniform, and thorough system of public, free common schools.” It is time now for our legislators, all of them, to stop bickering and just get to the clearly mandated job at hand. It is time to shut up on the unfounded idiocies of "parental choice," "CRT" and "woke," to end the cavalierly insistent notion that the burden of public education in each school district belongs on the shoulders of local taxpayers. It does not. By Mike Weland
July 24
Sign a property owner's right: It's time for the billboard to be changed, says one of the local residents and Trump haters in last week's Herald. Well I disagree. The correct time to remove the billboard identifying this as Trump country is when the owner of the sign wants it removed and not a minute before. It's a private sign owned by a private individual on their own private property and expresses sentiments of their own which no one else has to agree with. By Bob Vickaryous ... Comment added
In response to Brent Regan: Brent Regan mischaracterizes several things in an attempt to discredit me, as well as local Republicans and their conservative events. And when I say “mischaracterize,” I really mean he states falsehoods. Regan’s column itself is perplexing. Regan suggests public accountability is “blackmail.” All Republicans should take note Regan uses the term “so-called Republican” as though traditional Republicans are not, in fact, Republicans. By Christa Hazel
July 23
Be unbiased, Mike, tell both sides of the story: I was asked of late when I'll start writing about the "Biden crime family" the same way I go after Trump, and I very much appreciate the question. I will start by asking who it is who called it the corrupt Biden Crime family? Whose administration's DOJ began investigating? Whose sycophants are now holding congressional hearings to uphold the allegations but presenting zero evidence? Who has been indicted? By Mike Weland
Preserve our freedoms, return to open primaries: I have lived in Boundary County since 1979 and until only 12 years ago we had open primaries here. Idaho citizens had always been able to vote freely for candidates of any party based on their qualifications and accomplishments, which is especially important for local positions. But in 2011 our leaders closed our Idaho primaries. And since then Idahoans have been restricted to vote in the primaries for only candidates of the same party affiliation. By Georgia Earley
July 22
Giving voters choice undermines the extremists: Idaho Republican Party Chairperson Dorothy Moon doesn’t like the open primary initiative for good reason: Giving the broadest swath of voters a choice over who governs in the Gem State is going to send a lot of GOP extremists — Moon in particular — back to political exile. If passed by the voters next year, the measure would replace the closed GOP primary — which puts most of the political power in the hands of a sliver of registered Republican voters. By Luke Mayville
July 21
My turn: I would like to thank Ken Carpenter for his many years of service to our community. Yes, the pro-Trump billboard needs to be changed. Common sense values have always been our hallmark. Donald Trump has served as a cancer on the soul of America. That is given. What bothers me more is how the leadership, elected officials and rank-and-file members of the Republican Party, in large numbers, are willing to follow him right over the cliff. By Gerald Higgs
'Republican' is a brand: The Idaho Republican Party is in the midst of a shift from the established power elites to the grassroots base. The reason for this is simple; the voters have had enough abuse. Whether it’s forced medical mandates, exposing children to harmful material in our libraries, cancel culture, embarrassment on the national stage, video surveillance on every corner, trampling of our fundamental rights, denial of due process or drag queens waving their diaphanously covered genitals in children’s faces, good Idahoans have had enough and are demanding an end to the abuses. By Brent Regan
July 20
Unprecedented cultural and political upheaval grips the nation: It’s a new day in America, and the rapid shift of our culture and society is deeply concerning. This past week, we witnessed a surprising turn of events at the box office. A classic summer blockbuster had its opening weekend overtaken by a film exposing child sex abuse and trafficking. "Sound of Freedom," a movie shedding light on the horrific child sex trafficking trade, triumphed over the latest installment of the iconic Indiana Jones franchise. By Dorothy Moon
July 18
Leveraging power with much ado about nothing: It seems that an off-the-cuff snarky remark made over a decade ago has been picked up and magnified by Idaho extremist -- "we've never seen a conspiracy theory we don't like" outlets. Words of alarm are spreading faster than herpes through a whorehouse as groups from the Idaho Freedom Foundation, the Idaho wingnut fraternity known as Idaho Freedom Caucus (with the nonlocal DC address), and the very local Boundary County Watchman are sounding the warnings. By Mary Ollie
The extremist branch of the Idaho GOP tightens its grip on power: Despite the fact that Idaho is a Republican stronghold and will likely remain such for the foreseeable future, the group that calls the shots for the party, that wields power over who gets elected, is a small bunch of extremists. GOP chair Dorothy Moon and a group of like-minded culture warriors are working diligently to tighten their control over the entire Republican Party apparatus. By Jim Jones
Who gets tax breaks in Idaho? The Idaho Legislature grants over $3-billion in tax breaks each year. This is larger than the state’s annual education budget. In 2020, I co-sponsored a bi-partisan project with former Representative Rick Youngblood (R-Nampa) to review these tax breaks (referred to as “tax preferences”). Tax breaks per se are not the problem. The problem is they are never reviewed. By Steve Berch
July 15
What illness has infected our government? How is it possible that our nation's Grand Old Party, founded in 1854 by anti-slavery activists who opposed the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which allowed for the potential expansion of chattel slavery into the western territories, has fallen so far away from its founding principles? How is it possible that the party of Lincoln, founded in truth, has today become the party of extremists who embrace lies? By Mike Weland
July 13
Kari Lake Joins the Idaho GOP for an exciting event: Idahoans are buzzing with excitement as renowned journalist and Republican political figure Kari Lake prepares to join the Idaho Republican Party at a highly anticipated event in Meridian on Friday, July 28. With a distinguished background in journalism and a passion for grassroots involvement, Lake's appearance serves as a catalyst for energizing local grassroots Republicans. By Dorothy Moon
July 11
It's all about education and health care: The last survey results are in and the overwhelming concern is about the defunding of public education and health care for women and children. That’s not too much of a surprise as education is in the news everywhere; especially here in North Idaho. North Idaho Voter Services is all about electing qualified candidates to serve on our community boards.
July 10
Why file a lawsuit over deceptive initiative titles? It is said that you can’t judge a book by its cover, which often turns out to be true, but you have to read the book to learn the truth. However, if the cover is the only thing you ever see, it can give you a false impression as to the content of the book. The same thing happens when voters are asked to sign an initiative petition. The titles, which Idaho law requires to be true and impartial, may well influence whether voters will add their signature to the petition or vote for it on election day. By Jim Jones
July 9
May the rational stand and be heard: A cult leader is always a charismatic and narcissistic individual willing and able to convince a group of followers of the "truth and sanctity" of their contrived moral precepts and to nefariously engender a sense of belonging, security, acceptance. Those enthralled by or complicit in propagating the blandishments of the cult leader can be defined as belonging to or being in a "cult," a group of people brainwashed to enrich or empower their leader. By Mike Weland
July 8
The dark deception behind privatizing public education: The 2023 legislative session is over, but one must step back to see the bigger picture. One clear observation stands out: there are powerful forces out to destroy Idaho’s public education system. As a member of the House Education Committee, I specifically focus on Idaho’s education landscape. To see how these forces are trying to privatize public education, you need to connect the dots. By Steve Berch  ... Comment added
July 6
Labrador’s shoot-first style does not serve his or Idaho’s best interests: Idaho’s new Attorney General seems to envision himself as a crusading law enforcement officer, cleaning up the government with a shoot-first-ask-questions-later style. In actuality, his brash, guns-blazing behavior is contrary to his role as the lawyer required by law to represent state agencies. It is also violative of lawyer conflict-of-interest rules and will likely prove costly to the State of Idaho. By Jim Jones
Newsom’s visit to Idaho foreshadows the fight to come: The ideological chaos that has consumed California and other coastal liberal states is steadily creeping inland. This past week, California’s Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom visited Boise to stump for Joe Biden and his destructive democrat policies. Gavin Newsom’s visit to Boise is a foreshadow of the fight that is to come. By Dorothy Moon
July 4
Let us stand firm; we are all of us equal: On this day 247 years ago, the 13 United States of America declared their independence from the governance of England, saying that governments derive their powers by the consent of the governed. That when any form of government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of the people to abolish it. By feats of arms, this nation's ties with England were severed, new constitution adopted, a new nation born. By Mike Weland
Bonners Ferry, Idaho
Mike Weland, Publisher

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