It's getting pretty scary. No, not the Halloween ghosts and goblins adorning Boise homes, but those frightening campaign signs that trick-or-treaters will need to navigate. And if you have any plans to watch a television marathon of your favorite horror films, here's a warning that you'll also want to duck under the covers when the spine-chilling specters of A.J. and Butch haunt your screen. Be afraid, be very afraid.
The shadow of Election Day is upon us once again and, true-to-form, it has plenty of tricks:
- Some particular nastiness between Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff.
- A Balukoff TV ad featuring an Idaho educator who has never voted in Idaho.
- A sticky-fingered Otter, who took campaign donations from the operators of a private prison while his staff negotiated with the prison company.
- A laundry list of questions swirling around GOP state school superintendent candidate Sherri Ybarra, including her voting record (or lack thereof), her own education and even her marital status.
- A number of Statehouse veterans being ousted by their own party in the May GOP primary (Sens. John Goedde and Monty Pearce and Reps. Lenore Barrett, George Eskridge, Doug Hancey and Ed Morse).
It appears that the only treats this political season are going to the sales managers at local radio and television stations, who are reaping the benefits of what feels like a never-ending parade of campaign advertisements.
With just a few days left before all of this madness subsides, Boise Weekly sat down with Dr. Jasper LiCalzi, chair of the Department of Political Economy at the College of Idaho. You'll see LiCalzi's live analysis on KIVI-TV on election night, but we asked him to provide some insight into some of this political season's most interesting races. Additionally, we consider the political futures of some of Idaho's more colorful politicos and even look down the road to the 2016 presidential election.