Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Real Mid-Term Elections

As some of you may know, next week the BYU-I College Democrats will be holding officer elections for next semester. Over the last month or so I have been asked numerous times, both by members of the club and by others, whether or not I was going to run for a position.

My answer has consistently been the same, I would be happy to serve in any way the club members would like me to, but I will not nominate myself for any positions. I would like to take this chance to explain why I feel that way.

It’s not an issue of commitment. I have attended just as many, if not more, meetings this semester as any other member (and I include the current officers in that category). I am the only active member of the club who contributes regularly to this blog (Peter has been so busy this semester with other obligations that he can rarely make it to the meetings anymore, which no one blames him for, but the fact remains). I don’t think anyone could rightly question whether or not I would fulfill the responsibilities of any of the offices.

However, the club doesn’t just need someone who will “do the job”. While it has survived its first year back on campus that is no guarantee that it will survive it’s second. What the club desperately needs right now is leadership. It needs leaders who can build it, guide it, and forge it into a lasting presence here on campus. Anyone can manage it, but it needs dedicated people who are committed to the Democratic ideals to make it great.

That is where the problem lies. No matter how active I am, no matter how many submissions I contribute to this blog, the fact remains that I am neither a Democrat nor a liberal. I don’t know that I can contribute the level of energy, enthusiasm, and leadership that the club needs. The club needs people who truly believe in liberalism, and the Democratic party to build it, while I am happy to help in any way I can, I don’t think I am what it needs or requires.

That being said, if in a week the members decide they want me to fill an office, then I will do so to the best of my ability. I just hope that people more qualified than I will step to the plate first.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I Am Thankful

I am thankful to live in a country where we have leaders whom we elect, and some who run but aren't elected, who desire and strive to improve our communities, our state, and our country.

I am thankful that we have colleges and universities where we can go and learn more about ourselves, our world, and learn that the only limits that exist are those that we create in our own minds.

I am thankful that I attended Ricks College and BYU-Idaho for three years. It was at Ricks/BYU-Idaho where I grew up and started to overcome my demons. It was at Ricks/BYU-Idaho where I was taught that it is not only okay to think outside of the box, but thinking outside of the box is necessary in order to believe in the teachings of the Church.

I am thankful for professors at BYU-Idaho and Idaho State University who believed in me and made me believe in myself. These professors have changed my life and I shall never forget them.

I am thankful for my teachers in elementary school, junior high, and high school who overlooked my many shortcomings to reach out to me and care for me. These teachers were bright spots in what was often times for me, a very dark world.

I am thankful for the ISU College Democrats club. This is a club that provided an avenue to meet some of the greatest people I have known. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as President.

I am thankful for my friends and family who love me despite my imperfections, shortcomings, and horrible personality traits. Though I try to be a good person who is sensitive to the feelings of others, I still come up short far too often. I make a promise here and now to work hard every single day to be a better person.

I am especially thankful for my best friends, because they are the ones who I lean on when I am struggling, weak, and totally insecure.

But I am most thankful for Jesus Christ. There have been friends who have come and gone, but He always remains, our constant friend. He understands us better than any other person could.

What are YOU thankful for?

Friday, November 10, 2006

I couldn't resist

Yeah, figure out your own rationalization for this on a political blog. It's too cool!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Utterly Horrified

I am proud that people across this country elected so many Democrats and we now have control of the House and the Senate.

I am utterly horrified that Jana Jones has lost. If you have a child in an Idaho school, be prepared, Tom Luna is a danger to public schools.

I am proud that Pocatello voters, in District 29, elected Diane Bilyeu and James Ruchti to office. I am deeply saddened that Allen Anderson lost. I would love for a Ken Andrus supporter to tell me what makes Ken Andrus a better representative, because there isn't one reason I can think of. I was at the Bannock County courthouse all night awaiting results that didn't come until around noon. I was able to help "count" ballots at 9am because the voting machine was rejecting some ballots still. It was awesome having an advance knowledge of what precincts had just been counted, were being counted, etc...and I happily reported this knowledge to Diane Bilyeu throughout the morning. Being next to Diane when she found out she won, though there will be a recount, was an honor and I shall never forget it. I will also remember congratulating Radene Barker with a hug as she won the Treasurer's race. Democrats swept the county races here in Bannock County and NO ONE predicted that, all of the Democrats won their respective county races by at least 1000 votes.

As happy as I am for James, Diane, Radene, and for the many Democrats across this great country, I mourn for my state because we didn't seize the opportunity to better Idaho by electing the better candidates, and every Democrat running at the state and federal level in Idaho was better.

Jana if you read this, and I hope you received my email, you did Idaho proud with your 32 years of service to education. Your service, dedication, knowledge, and kindness is second to none. I am not sure what your plan was in case voters elected the unqualified Tom Luna, but I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. 215,905 knew you were the best candidate. That number will only increase as Tom Luna begins his destruction of public education.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Let us be humble in victory, and gracious in defeat.

With my party no longer in power in Congress (I don’t think anyone really expects for the GOP to pull a victory out of Virginia), I find myself in an interesting situation. This is the first time since I started to pay attention to politics that I can remember the Democrats controlling Congress (I didn’t pay attention to politics until ’95). While I do not have previous personal experience in the matter, here are a few thoughts of mine on the situation.

First, I don’t think that this is really going to change much in our country. While taxes may fluctuate, student loans and minimum wage may increase, and gun control may again rear its head, I really don’t think things will be drastically different. I have heard members of my party lamenting of the stupidity of people in voting the Democrats into office, and of the impending doom that it will bring to America. That seems silly to me, much of my childhood (’84 until ’94) was spent under a Democratic Congress’, and it really wasn’t that bad. I don’t expect this one to be any worse.

Second, I think that this could be a very good thing for both parties. I say that with two reasons in mind. I think that this will give the Democratic Party the leadership experience they need if they are going to take the White House in ’08. Regardless of whether one wants them to, I think we can all agree that it is better to have people leading and running for office who actually have leadership experience.

Further, I hope that Democratic control over Congress will spark change in the Republican Party. The Republican Party has wandered far from the ideals of small government, responsible spending, and states rights that it championed not so long ago. I hope that this will act as a catalyst for a back to basics conservatism, and party leadership reform.

Finally, I hope that both sides realize the situation they are now in. If the Republicans do not work with the Democrats and vice versa, there will be gridlock. Neither party can now enact legislation without some measure of cooperation from the other. This means that either nothing will get done, or they will be forced to compromise. While I don’t expect the rhetoric to lessen, or for both sides to go on back packing retreats and hot dog roasts together; I do hope that some of the bridges that have been burned by partisan politics might be rebuilt.

Really, we will just have to wait and see, but I faith in what this country can accomplish if we really want to.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Getting desperate

Below is the latest tactic Republicans in Idaho have been using to "Get out the vote". This is a release from Brady for Idaho Governor.


BOISE, Idaho -- According to a healthcare professional in the Boise area, local Republican campaigns are using unethical voter coercion tactics to gain votes in local senior care facilities.

The healthcare professional, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of professional fallout, says he/she has witnessed Republican campaign volunteers entering senior care facilities—including the Boise Samaritan Village—and distributing Republican literature, verbally coercing mentally unfit seniors into voting for candidates, and even filling out absentee ballots with or possibly for these patients. She first heard of the activity in early October.

The healthcare professional was alarmed to hear from patients who had voted absentee—including a 95 year old woman suffering from dementia—despite not knowing who the candidates were prior to voting. The patients expressed confusion as to what had happened or who they had even voted for.

The healthcare professional pointed out that there are adult protection laws in Idaho that prevent just this sort of coercion and exploitation of seniors. Democratic party officials are currently investing the legality of these tactics and will be releasing a statement.

Friday, November 03, 2006

And now for something completely different.

While this doesn't really have anything to do with state, local, or federal politics; I saw it and thought it was hilarious. I justify it being posted by attributing it to office politics. Yeah, that's it...



I think values like the ones expressed in this commercial is what has put Jerry in the lead in this governor's race.

A recent poll commissioned by the Idaho Business Review and KTVB has Jerry in the lead by five points with a margin of error of +/- four points.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Brady gets the nod from conservative paper

The Times-News, a notoriously conservative paper, has endorsed Democratic candidate Jerry Brady for Idaho Governor. Read the story here.

This endorsement is symbolic of the fact that people of all political ideologies are moving towards Jerry. He's not pro Republican or Democrat. He really is for Idaho.