I live in Idaho. I came here when I was 14, when my father took a position at Boise State University, teaching Theatre. After living in Arkansas for some years I returned home in 2010 to work as co-campaign manager for the Democratic primary campaign of my friend Cherie Buckner Webb. We won that primary with 79% of the vote and she won the seat also by a large margin that November after taking on a real campaign manager. Cherie lives in one of the few districts in Idaho that consistently does elect a democrat, but the work was hard, nevertheless, and she never let any of her staff forget that it takes constant work, dedication, integrity, and committment to win-- even in District 19, Idaho's "liberal" enclave. The work goes on in the State Legislature.
Today I began a journey with my sister-in-law and friend Jody Bickle as she went public with her write-in campaign for Idaho State Representative, Legislative Seat A in District 23. If she can get 50 people in D23 to correctly write her name on their democratic ballot, she can go up against long-time a incumbent in this conservative district, Rich Wills, in the general election in November. I joked all day that they call it D23 because there are only 23 Democrats in region. It isn't that funny of a joke, since the recent re-districting drew careful outlines around the population centers in the area like Buhl (pop. 4122) and Twin Falls (pop. 44,145) so that no possible wild groups of unruly democrats might threaten to run a sucessful campaign.
downtown Mountain Home, the main population center for the district and near Mountain Home AFB
Right now the Idaho Legislature isn't really a two-party system -- Democrats holding 7 out of 35 seats in the Senate, and 13 out of 70 seats in the Legislature. Because of severe and debilitating cuts to education, and our recent prominence in the National News due to a propose pre-natal ultra-sound bill and the related shocking comments by Sen. Chuck Winder (see Huffington post article) there are four write-in campaigns being prepared this month. I am proud to be friends with three out of the four citizens who have come forward to take on this challenge: Victoria Brown in Canyon County d11, James Mace challenging Winder in d20, and Jody Bickle in D23. I am also taking campaign portraits for those races and several others.
I am acting as campaign manager for the Primary write-in race for Jody, and if the soreness of my feet and head tonight are any indication, it is going to be a difficult and exciting six weeks until May 15. By that time we must have found the elusive 50 dems in D23 and persuaded them to approach the ballot box with pen in hand to write in Jody Bickle's name and give us a shot at the general election in November.
So, I'm putting this blog to work. For my own sanity, and to record the incredible travels we will be making across the backroad and rural farmlands of one of the most beautiful areas of the state, I plan to document -- mostly in photos, our progress.
Here are the first photos from today. And here, for the curious, is a little information about District 23 (9374.8 Population per sq. mile: 4.9.) -- yes you read that right square miles 9374.8. OMG! On the map you can see how the district has been neatly cut out to exlude those teeming liberal metropolises of Buhl and Twin Falls.
fields near Grandview, late afternoon
barely spring branches
irrigation ditch at dusk near Grandview
w whistle pigs in a vacant lot in Mountain Home