News » Citydesk

Mapping City Council Races

Boise orange-green divide


At first glance, the detailed returns from this month's City Council elections show a city split east from west, generally along Cole Road. But a closer look complicates that generalization.

First, there is Vern Bisterfeldt, who fended off two opponents, winning every precinct in the city, all 81 of them. Vern transcends Cole Road.

Then there is Maryanne Jordan, who lost only one, Precinct 27--in far west Boise south of Eagle and McMillan roads--to Lucas Baumbach, 106 to 92. David Webb pulled in 41 votes there.

So Jordan also managed to win supposed "conservative" votes on both sides of Cole.

View Larger Map

So why does the TJ Thomson-David Litster map, which you can view at, appear so divided? Thomson and Litster did the most outreach to voters and got the most press, so we can see roughly where they spent their time on the map. But their impressions of city politics probably align with their personal politics to some degree, so the east-west divide represents more than mere electioneering, as we have seen in recent legislative and other contests.

One other factor complicates the picture: So few of y'all voted, that it makes it hard to draw too many conclusions.

Speaking of electioneering, Idaho's Congressional delegation remains united against health-care reform, with Rep. Walt Minnick showing his cards and voting against the Affordable Health Care for America Act, hedging his bet that the Senate will produce a bill that he likes better.

Idaho legislators, meanwhile, are a bit tougher to peg.

As citydesk correspondent Mathias Morache found at a recent legislative health-care task force meeting:

Idaho lawmakers and lobbyists agreed at a Nov. 4 panel that it was too soon for Idaho to take action on federal health-care reform proposals.

The agenda focused on whether or not Idaho should opt-out of a government-run health plan, whether Idaho, like Arizona, should consider amending the state Constitution to allow citizens not to participate in a government-run plan and what could or should be done about health care in Idaho.

David Irwin, director of communications of the Idaho AARP office doesn't think state constitutions should be tampered with lightly.

"High prescription drugs costs are forcing many to choose between filling a grocery cart and filling a prescription," said Irwin. "AARP recently stated that Idaho is on a crash course for a health-care disaster. A public option funded by premiums could allow the growing ranks of the uninsured a viable and affordable option."