- Bingo Barnes
- See if this sounds familiar: Vice President Mike Pence used a private email account to conduct public business when he was governor of Indiana. The Indianapolis Star reported Thursday night that Pence used his AOL account to communicate with his top advisers, including on matters of domestic and international security. The Star also reports Pence's email account was hacked last summer. In a September 2016 appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, Pence accused Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton of using a private server to "keep her own emails out of the public reach, out of the public accountability." Clinton's email server became a central part of President Donald Trump's election campaign, going so far as to suggest the former U.S. senator, secretary of state and first lady deserved jail time for using a private server.
Mike Pence discussed homeland security issues on a personal AOL account. And he was hacked. https://t.co/X5zScJ6Rm4— IndyStar (@indystar) March 3, 2017
- Environmentalists blew a gasket Thursday when, on his first day in office, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order overturning a ban on using lead ammunition on wildlife refuges. The ban was put into place by the Obama administration. Zinke also signed an order charging agencies under his office to "find ways to increase access to outdoor recreation" on public lands, The Hill reported.
- Idaho conservation and environmental advocates are gearing up for what should be a big rally Saturday morning: a demonstration of support for continued public management of public lands. Attendees will include Native American tribes, mountain bikers, hunters, firefighters and scores of environmentalists. Sixty-two percent of Idaho is comprised of public lands, including lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service. Rally organizers say they're increasingly concerned about lands being "under attack from private interests who want to turn public lands over to the states." The March 4 rally at the Idaho Statehouse gets under way at 11 a.m.
- Some Idaho Republican lawmakers say they have significant support to repeal the state's 6 percent sales tax on food, including 48 sponsors from the Idaho House and Senate. The proposal would include a two-year phase out of both the grocery sales tax and the accompanying grocery sales tax credit. Analysts say full implementation could see a net loss of $67 million to the state's general fund. A close examination of the proposal reveals its long list of co-sponsors doesn't include House Speaker Scott Bedke (R-Oakley), House Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R-Star) or House Revenue and Tax Committee Chairman Gary Collins (R-Nampa), putting into question the chance of the bill getting a full public hearing before the 2017 Idaho Legislature adjourns, possibly as early as the end of this month.
- The popular South by Southwest festival and conference series, which is about to kick off in Austin, Texas, is being called out by a musician who canceled his upcoming performance, accusing SXSW organizers of using performance contracts that threaten to notify immigration officials if artists perform "non-sanctioned" shows near the festival. Rolling Stone reports Felix Walworth, of New York-based punk band Told Slant, tweeted a screenshot of a portion of the performance agreement pertaining to immigration:
After looking through this contract sent to me by sxsw I have decided to cancel Told Slant's performance at the festival pic.twitter.com/rI2Xv0duJl— Told Slant (@Felixixix666) March 2, 2017