Friday, October 15, 2004

The Bannock Six

There are six Bannock County legislators: Sen. Bert C. Marley, Sen. Edgar Malepeai, Rep. Donna Boe, Rep. Elaine Smith, Rep. Allen Andersen, and Rep. Elmer Martinez. So what makes them special in comparison to the rest of the state legislators up for re-election this November? They are all Democrats. That's right, all six of Bannock County's legislative seats are held by Democrats. In a notoriously conservative state, the "Bannock Six" as they are referred to, are a Republican's worst nightmare.

As Bannock County Democratic Party Chairman James Ruchti put is, "There is a new era of Democratic politics in this state, and a lot of the thanks for that goes to these individuals." Two years ago when the six legislators became known as the "Bannock Six," there were only three democratic senators in the Idaho State Senate. Now there are seven democratic senators and sixteen democrats representing their respective seats in the House.

Here is a little run-down:
  1. Sen. Bert C. Marley-- state senator from McCammon, ID who took the seat of Sen. Lin Whitworth (who is running this election year against U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson) upon his retirement. Marley serves on the Finance/JFAC committee, the Judiciary Rules committee, and the Transportation committee. Marley also serves on the IEA Board of Directors (region 5). Bert is a high school teacher at Marsh Valley High School where he teaches World History, German, and I think Government. He happens to be one of my dear friends, was my bishop for a time, and taught me Mythology, German, and World History.
  2. Sen. Edgar Malepeai--state senator from Pocatello, ID who holds District Seat 30. (Marley is in district 29) Edgar is also an educator and so is his wife. He has served on the Commerce/Human Relations committee, the Education committee, and the Local Government/Taxation committee. Education is Malepeai's main focus.
  3. Rep. Donna Boe--state representative from Pocatello, ID of District 30. Boe has served on the Education committee, the Judiciary/Rules committee, and the Ways & Means committee. She is not an educator, but has seen the constant rise in tuition and hopes to focus the next two years on bringing that cost down.
  4. Rep. Elaine Smith--state representative from Pocatello, ID, District 30. Elaine serves on the Business committee, the environmental Affairs committee, and the State Affairs committee. She is currently working on increasing the hazardous waste transportation fee.
  5. Rep. Allen Andersen--state senator from Arimo, ID, District 29. Allen is also an old friend of mine. Allen ran for office two years ago seeing frustration with the education system and the schools that his kids and I grew up in. He is serving on the Agricultural Affairs committee, the Education committee, and the Judiciary Rules committee.
  6. Rep. Elmer Martinez--state senator from Pocatello, ID, District 29. Elmer, also a high school teacher, has quite an invested interested in the success of public schools. He is also concerned with health care. Elmer has served on the Commerce/Human Resources Committee, the Health & Welfare committee, and the Revenue/Taxation committee. (side-note: Elmer and I once got in a heated debate about the failures of the adoption and foster care systems, I didn't win!)

Anyway, to make a long post even longer I could comment on Lin Whitworth who is running against Mike Simpson for the U.S Representative Seat. I won't, but I would encourage you to check out his website. Lin's an awesome guy, down-to-earth, and tells you straight up how it is. He has an impressive record in the state legislature and would be a great asset in Washington. (That and I really don't like Mr. Mike Simpson for very personal reasons.) C.L."Butch" Otter and Mike Crapo are also up for re-election this year, but they don't seem to have very strong opponents. Such is the case in these conservative states. I'll hold out my campaigning until Craig is up for re-election.

Since maybe only one or two of you are even in my voting district this may not be helpful to you, but I wanted to express my appreciation to the Bannock Six who have continued to support my education and are just great individuals. Good luck to them---


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