Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Losing a good one

By John Foster - Tuesday, June 03, 2008 at 07:53 AM

Before getting into politics in 2007, I spent more than a dozen years as a journalist. One of my first paying gigs was writing for the Boise Weekly, and as a result I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for that paper. (Even tried to buy it once, but that’s another story.)

So over the last couple years I’ve enjoyed watching my friend Shea Andersen first write for and then edit that paper, and take it to a whole new level of political coverage. Under Shea’s tenure, the Weekly has become a must-read for political news—particularly coverage of the legislature. While I was editing the Idaho Business Review in 2006, Shea’s coverage of the Grant/Sali race was second-to-none.

I first met Shea when we were both working newspapers in New Mexico, and we got to be friends when we both found ourselves back in Boise. As a fellow journalist, he was a trusted resource, competitor and confidant. When I moved over to the “other side” he cut me no slack, but artfully managed to maintain our friendship.

Last week’s cover story was the Shea’s last for the Boise Weekly. It is a fitting goodbye—all about the shifting political landscape of the Mountain West.

“The new demographic profiling, known as microtargeting, helped Democrats dig into voter rolls and find advantages they didn’t know they had, and helped them make targeted appeals to niche voter areas. The online political magazine Politico said that effort expanded that state’s Democratic voter rolls by some 15,000 residents.”

“It’s a system that Republicans have used to great effect in campaigns past. In 2004, the New Mexico re-election campaign for President Bush showed off a phone bank campaign system that paired niche voter segments with volunteers who had similar backgrounds. If they were going to be targeting a list of voters who had identified themselves in previous elections as, say, Vietnam veterans, then the campaign would find volunteers with a similar background to reach out to them.”

“And it worked. Although New Mexico was a true swing state in 2004, Bush nonetheless beat Democrat John Kerry there, despite the support and endorsement of New Mexico’s popular Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson.”

Shea is headed back up to Ketchum to serve as editor of the paper that first brought him to Idaho, the Mountain Express. It’s a loss for the Treasure Valley—we’re saying goodbye to one of our best political reporters, someone who wrote for a paper everyone identified as “left-leaning” but who nevertheless managed to play it straight and earn respect from all sides.

Good luck, Shea. From me and from everyone on the Minnick campaign. 

Monday, June 02, 2008

A roundup of recent campaign news

By John Foster - Monday, June 02, 2008 at 11:49 AM

Here are a few news stories you might have missed last week:

- Minnick Campaign Event Sends Message to Congress, Idaho Statesman, 6/2
- ATF confirms Sali had nothing to do with change of slogan, Associated Press, 6/1
- Minnick invites Sali to join him at series of Town Hall meetings, KIVI.com, 5/28
- Sali, Minnick claim momentum after Primary Election victories, KTVB.com, 5/28
- Is Sali vulnerable in Idaho?, The Politico, 5/28

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

An invitation to Bill Sali: Let’s talk to voters together

By John Foster - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 02:54 PM

Walt held a press conference today to offer Bill Sali the chance to collaborate on a series of town hall meetings in the First Congressional District.

Click here to read the press release.

Here’s a quote from today’s event:

“Bill Sali and I may disagree on many issues, but I hope he agrees with the belief that voters deserve every opportunity to share their concerns and hear from the candidates,” Minnick said. 

Here is the tentative schedule, but it may change at Sali’s request should he accept the invitation:

Proposed Minnick/Sali Town Hall Forums

Nampa - Civic Center - July 5
Post Falls - library - July 11
Moscow - TBA - July 18
Lewiston - Williams Conference Center - July 19
Caldwell - College of Idaho - July 26
Eagle - Nazarene Church - August 8 or 9
Coeur d’Alene - library - August 15 (afternoon)
Sandpoint - community hall - August 15 (evening)
McCall - high school - TBA
Meridian - United Methodist Church - TBA

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Press release: Sali plays politics before Memorial Day ceremony

By John Foster - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 10:32 AM

We just issued a press release about an e-mail from the Bill Sali campaign that went out moments before Sali spoke at a ceremony honoring our nation’s veterans.

Moments before the Congressman spoke to a crowd of veterans and well-wishers at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, the Sali election campaign sent out an e-mail urging people to vote for him in the Primary Election.

“Sali is not a veteran, which I presume accounts for such a shameful lapse in judgment,” said Adam Harris, Minnick’s campaign manager. “Sali made a political pitch against both his primary opponent and against Walt Minnick, both of whom are veterans. That is unacceptable, especially as it was apparently timed to coincide with what should be a solemn ceremony to honor those who gave their lives for freedom.

The full release is available here

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Listen to Walt’s interview this morning

By John Foster - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 08:57 AM

In case you missed it, Walt was interviewed for about 15 minutes this morning on Boise station KFXD by hosts Jon Duane and Chris Kelly.

They have a copy of the interview available on their website. Visit www.KFXD.com and scroll down the page to hear the interview. 

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