Irrationality speaks before Yuletide

The latest letters republished from the Coeur d’Alene Press with discussions

It always has to happen that some of the ugliest letters get published near the holidays and sadder still when they are published in a season for “treating people with more kindness,” at a time of charity and good will. Here then are the latest—couldn’t they have waited to do their shrill shrieking at another time—sets of tirades?

Election: Time for accounting

Contributions received by or on behalf of a candidate to pay for a post-election lawsuit to challenge or uphold election the result are subject to reporting requirements and contribution limits.

Please, don’t take my word for it, because the preceding sentence was written by none other than Timothy Hurst, the Chief Deputy of the Idaho Secretary of State.  I found it in a letter that was sent to the Coeur d’Alene city attorney, Mike Gridley, earlier this year.  In other words, when the city of Coeur d’Alene gave Mike Kennedy $69,000, they were knowingly and deliberately giving him a campaign contribution in excess of the $1,000 limit.

On page nine of the Idaho Campaign Disclosure Manual, the rule is clear.  It says “Current officeholders are considered Candidates until the Candidate filing deadline for the next election for his or her office.”  In other words, Mike Kennedy is a candidate, and will remain a candidate until the next election for his seat.

The only way the city can argue that the $69,000 was not a campaign donation is that they claim they are just settling a lawsuit.  This claim is dubious at best, but if the city is right that this convoluted scheme is by some fluke legal, it would be a loophole, it would be a loophole you could drive a freight train through.  Let’s look at a future election use for a minute.

“Gee, Senator, I sure would like to help you more, but that pesky law says I can only give you $1,000.  Wait! I just thought of something!  Just have your campaign sue me for some silly reason, like I didn’t hold a big enough fundraiser for you at the country club last week, and to settle the lawsuit, I can give your campaign $50,000.  It worked for the city, so it will work for us!”

And to think that some people still wonder why the city’s nickname is “Corrupt d’Alene.”

Larry F. Spencer

Kootenai County


What the author refers to is the Jim Brannon versus Mike Kennedy lawsuit. Jim Brannon who ultimately lost the election by about 5 votes and essentially sued to overturn the election.  End result of the lawsuit?  That he lost the election by three votes.  His appeal, I do believe was also thrown out.  However, Jim Brannon is obviously not the only sore loser, so are those who helped him promote the lawsuit in the first place, including the above author, Larry Spencer.  Quite frankly, I’d like to know just who gave Mr. Spencer the permission to look through someone else’s mail?  That could be a problem if the above-named attorney for the city Mr. Gridley, didn’t provide that info himself.  Not sure just how legal it would be for Spencer to admit to looking at such mail if he just happened to leave out of his published letter of 22 December 2010, whether he had permission to obtain, read, and then quote portions of the letter in question, or not.  This was a post-election lawsuit, one that was intended to overturn the results of the vote count.  Seems to me that it was only right that the city of Coeur d’Alene help pay Kennedy’s legal bill just because there are some disgruntled people out there who couldn’t be satisfied with the results and certainly hit the taxpayers of Coeur d’Alene hard with bringing this essentially worthless lawsuit up in the first place and  wasting everyone’s time over something truly silly, a vote count that didn’t change much when it was finally brought before a judge.  Isn’t it time to drop this matter and move on?  Not if you are Larry F. Spencer and insisting on spoiling everyone’s holiday cheer with a particularly nasty letter to the editor.

One more thing, I’ll grant that a person in an elected position could be considered a “candidate” until the next election deadline (that is if he runs for re-election), but a lawsuit to overturn election results and bring about the desired result of putting Jim Brannon into the elected position in the Coeur d’Alene City Council instead of Mike Kennedy, what should we make of the contributions to assure the filing of his lawsuit, plus the taxpayers’ $$$ for that lawsuit to even be heard?  Jim Brannon after all, would be considered as much a candidate for the council position as Kennedy himself. Should we then call the amount of money spent on the lawsuit well into the excess of that thousand dollar limit “campaign contributions” also?  I will bet you that Brannon’s attorney, Starr Kelso, Spencer and etc. would never argue that point for their own side.  “Corruption,” after all, is that guy over there, not me. Now for the next letter from an acknowledged “TEA Partier:”

Rants: Respect others’ opinions

This is regarding the irrational rants in the Opinion column recently.  If things had been done right, all these reversals and oustings would not have taken place.  The criticisms and outrage aimed at Conservatives and particularly the Tea Party, are an example of the attacks.

These groups are made up of people from every aspect of the country, working, unemployed, retired, professional, left-leaning and right-leaning, Christian and non-Christian.  Everyone has seen their gatherings.

This whole thing began and gained momentum out of dissatisfaction of two years of broken promises and out of control government spending.  We all saw the signs those people were waving.  Just because “they” weren’t violent and nasty doesn’t mean “they” weren’t serious.  It showed at the polls, and will again if the people who were elected this time don’t do the job they were chosen to do.

The anger, vitriol and out-right hatred doesn’t advance the cause of the person expressing it, no matter what level of education they’ve achieved.  It only diminishes the person, causes others to turn away from their viewpoint and regard them as radicals.

Lori White


I’d like to remind my readers that the “TEA Party” whom Ms. White would like to “justify,” did not “begin” and grow in momentum once they saw the “results” of two years of “broken promises” and “out of control government spending.”  Quite the contrary, the “TEA Party,” and all the ugliness that is now associated with it began after Obama became the president-elect of the United States.  Unfortunately, Ms. White’s letter isn’t all that honest.

The movement that would comprise a percentage of unemployed to protest “out of control government spending” that literally is being done on their behalf:  you have to be kidding me!  The stimulus package to bring this nation back toward the long hard slog of recovery and begin improving the retirement packages of people over 60, but they protest the very tools used to that end.  And briefly, yeah, I saw the signs:  “No pubic option!” when it came to proposed changes in health care.  Robert Herold in “The Inlander” who spoke to a fellow on the golf links, a fellow who had no problem demonstrating his desire to be willfully ignorant.  A “TEA Party” float that was depicted months earlier showing President Obama as a “slave driver” of a young white male.  Billboards  that depicted Obama as in “cahoots” with both Hitler and Lenin(?) that were disgusting as hell.  Seems to me that when the “TEA Party” itself chooses to jump off the cliff and in doing so, they leave a bad impression in the minds of others, they are the ones who should truly be regarded as radical.

Oh, and Ms. White, have you been paying attention to the news recently?  You know, where the GOP pre the 2 November 2010 election promised a government of the people and who would work to reduce the huge debt that has as of now quadrupled in size because of the tax cut deal they cut with “that socialist” Obama.  Or the obstructionism of Senator Coburn who has made it plain that politics comes ahead of “the people” when it comes to free medical care for the first responders of 9/11.  Are you proud of your vote, Ms. White?  And didn’t the GOP only provide sufficient reason for utter criticism even before the new Congress convenes in January?  Those who criticized you and your votes aren’t the “radicals.”  No, you are, and your letter proved it.



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