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Greetings. This is my first visit to Daily Kos, and I look forward to spending the next hour with you to exchange some ideas and views. I know how the netroots pitched in for Jon Tester and Jim Webb last year, and I would like to win your support in my race to represent Idaho in the U.S. Senate.

Live blogging is an extension of my earlier campaigns where I have worked with constituents and shaken hands across Idaho.  My style is to meet Idahoans and listen to their concerns where they work, live and play.  In one campaign for Congress, I took 22 different jobs – for one week each - over 8 months. I worked in a nursing home, picked apples, worked on a logging crew, served in a restaurant, and so on.  Last year I shook 22,209 hands in all 44 counties of Idaho in a short amount of time.    

As I sit in my office in Boise, I am reflecting back on the one of the deadliest months of the Iraq War.  We have reached a point in this conflict where President Bush will only change course when his focus groups indicate he can no longer accuse Americans of being "chicken hawks" or his "swift boating" of congressmen won’t stick.

As a former US Army officer in military intelligence, I know that we can withdraw responsibly from Iraq.  President Bush unwisely rejected the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group.  When he had a chance to unite our country on a bi-partisan basis he chose division over unification. He chose to escalate the war rather than work toward ending it.

Therefore, we are not conducting a war based on principles of national security or defense.  We are conducting a war of crass politics in order to protect a president’s legacy.  This is politics at its worst, and the precious lives of our brave men and women are at stake.  

This situation is emblematic of what’s gone wrong with Congress over the past 7 years.  The executive branch has not been held accountable for anything.  The old Congress was complicit in undermining our privacy and freedoms.  

My philosophy of public service has always been "do right, risk consequences." In 1991, while serving my first term in Congress, I put my job on the line with a vote of conscience to support the Hamilton/Gephardt Amendment calling for increased diplomacy and sanctions before we went to war in the Persian Gulf. That was an early and clear example of putting what I felt was the right policy ahead of my political aspirations.

It is unclear in my race for the US Senate in Idaho whether the incumbent Senator will seek re-election.  I don’t think he will, but I have no firsthand knowledge.  We are told we must wait for that announcement.   Regardless, Larry Craig has been a rubberstamp for this delusional policy in Iraq.  He has asked no tough questions and demanded no answers.  Clearly, we need a new direction no matter who I face in 2008.

My State of Idaho is in transition.  Conventional wisdom about Idaho remaining a red state is dead wrong.  I feel strongly about this because I have seen the power of democracy work firsthand on these very pages. And I have felt the energy of Idahoans who are fighting to regain their state.   The future of our nation is in our hands, but only if we act.  

I am ready to act.  I am committed to changing the direction of our state and our nation.  Together we can make history together.  We can follow Colorado and Montana.  We can build on the successes in Idaho in the ’06 cycle, when voters elected six new Democratic state legislators (with others coming close) and many local officials. We can tune out the negativism of conventional wisdom and put our shoulders to the wheel.  

I look forward to hearing from you.  I ask for your support and I hope you will visit  


Originally posted to Larry LaRocco on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 10:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks (19+ / 0-)

    Thanks for stopping by.  You sound like you've got a good head on your shoulders, and I know I'll be cheering you on from the other side of the country as November '08 nears.

  •  Importance of Public Service (12+ / 0-)

    Congressman LaRocco,

    Thanks again for taking the time to share your views with the blogosphere in this open forum.

    I was wondering if you could briefly share how public service, such as your military service and work for Senator Frank Church, shaped your views and values, and impacted how you would serve as a U.S. Senator.

    Best of luck on your campaign!

  •  Glad you could join us, Larry (18+ / 0-)

    And I expect this will be the first of many visits to dKos in the coming months.

    I love your "Do right, risk consequences" approach. It reminds me a bit of our shared political hero, Senator Church and his principled, but often unpopular in Idaho, stances on Vietnam, on the Panama Canal treaty, etc.

    How would you apply that philosophy to the primary issues in politics today?

  •  Not an Idahoan... (12+ / 0-)

    But your diary title needs commendation.
    The simple, proper approach to life.
    Follow it passionately, please.

    Sorry to interrupt, as your future constituents deserve your time.

    "I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV."

    by zeitshabba on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:09:17 AM PDT

  •  Global warming... (10+ / 0-)

    What are your thoughts on dealing with global warming?  Do you support the cap-and-trade approach to reduce emissions?

    "I heard you and I will not forget." - Al Gore

    by 0wn on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:10:05 AM PDT

    •  Salmon vs. Carbon dioxide (9+ / 0-)

      According to last Sunday's Statesman, Idaho is one of the lowest emitters of carbon dioxide as a result of our dependence on hydro-power.  However, it has long been the position of many Democrats and liberals in Idaho that we need to breach the dams on the Columbia, in order to save what is left of our pacific salmon run.  As I see it, Idaho has vast open spaces which would be good candidates for wind and solar farms, which, ultimately, might allow us to get rid of the dams and retain our low-emission status.  What solutions have your proposed, and how do you plan to implement such solutions, in the event that you are elected?  

      "Win some, Lose some . . . and then there's that little known 3rd category." Al Gore, January 9th, 2007.

      by Jbearlaw on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:35:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  also an issue in Washington (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Serephin, high uintas, mcmom, Jbearlaw, 0wn

        It's particularly touchy here, where much statewide political power is west of the mountains.  Among many wet-side Democrats, the pro-dam viewpoint holds rather little water (heh! that one just came to me as I was writing it...).

        I'd like to be edified regarding the issue, particularly if there's some way to at least partially satisfy all involved.

        You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen
        Blogging at Peace Tree Farm

        by N in Seattle on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 12:00:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  welcome to dKos! (8+ / 0-)

    From the wet side of your neighboring state, I join an appreciable number of my fellow Seattlites who will be watching your campaign with great interest.  You know that mcjoan will make sure we're paying close attention!

    We don't have a Senate race in 2008, which means that we can follow what's going on with our neighbors to the east (and to the south, I hasten to add).  We'll be here to help...

    You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen
    Blogging at Peace Tree Farm

    by N in Seattle on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:10:18 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Rep. LaRocco (9+ / 0-)

    for coming to visit and talk.

    What do you feel should be the priorities of the US Senate in establishing a sustainable future for rural America?  Is it energy diversification, healthcare to help small businesses, education?

    I know the answer is all of the above and more - but what do you see as our priorities to establishing economic strength for rural areas of Idaho, Indiana, everywhere?

    •  This will be fun :) (11+ / 0-)

      Thanks for coming out to dkos, Mr. Larocco.  I really didn't want to miss this, and my internet connection went out at 11:50, so I rode my bike in the rain as fast as I could to the BSU Library[in order to use their computers] so I could ask you:  
         What are your thoughts on the Patriot Act?  Would you support the repealing of the Patriot Act?

    •  Sorry wasn't meant to be a reply. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I meant to hit 'post a comment', but accidentally must have hit 'reply to this'.  Darnit.  Hopefully, my question gets answered anyway.

    •  Rural priorities (15+ / 0-)

      First of all we need to wire Idaho.  We need expanded broadband connections in Idaho and other rural areas.  The percentage of hookups in urban areas is far greater than rural America.  

      Also, we need a healthcare system that allows small businesses to participate in small business purchasing plans across state lines.  It's a no-brainer and nothing has gotten done to help the economic engine of small businesses cope with rising health care costs.

      Also, we need to eliminate the scourage of Methamphetamine in our rural areas and beyond.  Idaho is hard hit and this issue needs a champion.

      It goes without saying that our resource industries are in transition.  They need help through stewardship contracts and sustainable forest practices.  I have worked hard on forest health legislation in the past and will continue to do so.

      Alternative sources of energy will help with global warming because of the resulting reduction in dependency on coal and oil power.  Also, it will help rural America as a strong economic driver.

      •  Great (4+ / 0-)

        Thanks for mentioning getting rural areas wired!  Such an important part of transitioning rural development.

        The reverance for FDR and the Democratic party in the 1940s and 50s in the South and rural West was due to FDRs expansion of electricity, rail, and affordable housing into these rural/poor regions of the country.

        And yes, allowing small business more avenues to cheaper healthcare to provide for their workers is key to sustaining local businesses over big-box retailers and minimizing drifting of people and resources away from small towns to urban sprawl.

        Thank you former Congressman LaRocco - hopefully soon to be Senator.

      •  meth (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Serephin, tmo, greeseyparrot, Jbearlaw

        when you say we need to deal with meth,how do you mean.more incarceration or better drug treatment programs?

        •  That's an important question (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Serephin, greeseyparrot, kurt

          particularly with the Dept. of Corrections requesting an additional 1 Billion dollars to house inmates in the next 10 years.  Drug Courts seem to have been pretty successful, and are in no small part dependent upon federal funding.  I assume you would expand drug courts, and seek to secure funding, but do you have any other ideas?  

          "Win some, Lose some . . . and then there's that little known 3rd category." Al Gore, January 9th, 2007.

          by Jbearlaw on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 12:04:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Simplest way to "wire Idaho" (5+ / 0-)

        would be to make sure that the FCC doesn't sell the 700 range to big networks, as it is contemplating doing right now.  Any thoughts on that?  

        "Win some, Lose some . . . and then there's that little known 3rd category." Al Gore, January 9th, 2007.

        by Jbearlaw on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:43:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Moral Courage (5+ / 0-)

    sometimes seems to disappear once folks get to Washington.  We've seen that very evidently in the recent past.  So, I am especially moved by your motto of "Do Right, Risk Consequences."

    May that motto guide you.  I've visited your beautiful state - it's one of the best kept secrets for out doors enthusiasts.

    Best of luck - I hope this community will help you along this journey.

  •  Environment (5+ / 0-)

    What are your views on Sen. Craig's support of federal subsidies to increase production of fuel from coal as was recently reported in the LA Times

    •  Corollary (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Serephin, Sychotic1, MountainGoat, 0wn

      To what extent to you intend to campaign on issues pertaining to climate change?  

      As I understand it, the Bonneville power co. "exports" a good deal of energy to the California power grid, again as a result of the dams on the Columbia.  Does Idaho have a future for power production, based upon wind, solar, and geothermal, and what proposals, if any, do you have to encourage those industries in Idaho?  

      "Win some, Lose some . . . and then there's that little known 3rd category." Al Gore, January 9th, 2007.

      by Jbearlaw on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:40:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Energy and the region.... (10+ / 0-)

        Idaho has been blessed with an abundance of hydroelectric power but the pressure on the system is getting very strong.  There are abundant opportunities for alternative sources of energy in Idaho.  This will be a terrific development for the environment and for the economy.  US Geothermal is based in Boise and is developing geothermal power in the Raft River area and just landed a nice contract with Idaho Power.  Idaho Power is diversifying its portfolio of power sources to include more altlernative sources.  This is a good thing.

        Idaho has rejected coal fired plants in the past (Sempra in Jerome) and will probably do so in the future.  The cap and trade plan is workable in my opinion.  

        So, solar and wind are also in the early stages in Idaho and will be developed more fully to create jobs and reduce carbon emissions.  Foodstocks can also be a source of energy using cellulosic sources.  

        We need to expand our horizons and get serious.  In our region, Congressman Inslee has been a leader in this field.  There is more to be done.  

        In Congress we can expand the production tax credit and the investment tax credits for these industries.  Right now they are not completely answering the situations on the ground with the developers.  

        Goldman Sachs has determined that green is good and they are backing many companies that are developing cutting edge technologies and applying them to our grid.

  •  Larry, do you anticipate being unopposed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Serephin, Sychotic1, mcmom

    in the Democratic primary and to what extent is the Idaho Democratic Party behind your efforts?  Many of us here at DailyKos supported Jon Tester in order to insure Montanans were able to pick their candidate rather than have outside "Democratic" forces do that for them.  What made it easy for me to support Jon was that I could identify with the fact that he came from the grassroots and represented the people of Montana.  

    •  Demo Primary (13+ / 0-)

      I really don't anticipate any opposition.  I have scoured the state with the old bench and the new bench and I believe I have solid support.  Former Governor Cecil Andrus and Mrs. Frank (Bethine) Church are supporting me.  I can't guarantee that this will be the case but I started early and Idaho Democrats reward hard work and commitment.  I can't speak here for the DSCC but I am told nobody is making inquiry about the race.  We'll see.  For now it looks like smooth sailing.  

      I am a very energetic campaigner.  Folks have seen my wife and me on the trail many, many times and they know we enjoy the interaction, meeting people, solving problems and listening.  

      In addition to reaching out the party faithful I have also reached out to the netroots in various ways.  My announcement was by webcast and I'm interacting with many across Idaho and the nation by blogging and holding town meetings on-line as we're doing today.  

      Yesterday, Senator Craig responded to my criticism of his inaction on the war so we're getting traction and reaction.

  •  Thank you for coming! (5+ / 0-)

    I hope things are going well on the campaign trail. Here's my question:

    In recent years the cost of college education has spiraled out of control. At my university in New Jersey, many of my friends have been forced to leave after 1 year because they can't afford to go, despite having good GPAs. Others have incurred vast amounts of debt that take years to pay off. What would you do as a US Senator to try and help college students get through without bankrupting themselves or their families?

    I hope you'll get time to answer. Thanks again, and keep up the good work!

  •  How do we create a western cyclone? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Serephin, carolita, mcmom, Jbearlaw

    Congressman, what's going on in Idaho, Colorado, and (unfortunately now) Wyoming is a great opportunity to shake up the electoral map in 2008.  How do you take disparate elections and turn them into a focused Democratic approach that makes the other side use resources in a region they take for granted?  Start thinking now.  Make your appointments with Senator Schumer (and others) to plan our a strategy that can be executed among several campaigns, and it will pay benefits across the board.

  •  Your candidacy will certainly pick up steam (7+ / 0-)

    People are excited about Idaho here, and you'll find plenty of support from across the country.

    You said:

    We are conducting a war of crass politics in order to protect a president’s legacy.

    The irony is that Bush's reckless and destructive behavior, which Republicans defend in the name of legacy-saving, are the very actions that will write his name in mud for all time. What a legacy.

    Good luck with your campaign!

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:14:35 AM PDT

  •  Brucellosis and federal lands (6+ / 0-)

    Quick question about federal lands, wildlife, and the ranching industry...

    As you know, here in Montana there's a lot of fuss about the proximity of brucellosis-infected bison in Yellowstone and the cattle in the neighboring lands. The issue reflects the conflict in the west between concern for wildspaces and wildlife and vital agricultural industries, such as cattle ranching. (Reflected in ID's concern about brucellosis in game-farm elk...)

    What's your philosophy about the federal government's role in protecting wildnerness? and do you have any suggestions on how to get us out of this mess with brucellosis in MT?

    •  Protecting our resources..... (11+ / 0-)

      Earlier I answered a question about my work with Sen. Frank Church.  I was on the floor of the US Senate with him the day the Senate passed the River of No Return Wilderness legislation.  I had helped him "on the ground" in Idaho shape that bill.  I was also helpful with the Gospel-Hump Wilderness and the protection of the St. Joe River in Idaho.  There is more that needs to be done in Idaho.  We have 9 million acres of roadless lands with no decision and no certainty.  Some like it that way.  I have tried in Congress to resolve that issue in the 1st CD.

      Actually, this was one example of my "do right, risk consequences" philosophy.  It was not an easy task and I took a lot of political heat for my efforts.

      The Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area was my legislation and it was signed into law by Pres. Clinton.  No legislation protecting Idaho's lands has been passed in Congress since I left.

      The Shooter Bull operations in Idaho need to be shut down by the legislature or by initiative as Montana did.  This type of "hunting" does not represent Idaho values.  

      More needs to be done to protect our valuable resources in Idaho and the West.  I will commit to you that I will work to get it done in a responsible way.

      Bruscellosis is a serious matter.  Our cattle ranchers need protection and the government can help.  Research is one way to combat this problem and it needs someone who will roll up his/her sleeves and get the job done.

  •  Thanks for stopping by Congressman. n/t (4+ / 0-)
  •  I guess I have another question as well. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Serephin, Sychotic1, neroden, mcmom, Jbearlaw

    And thankyou again very much for being here.

    What are your thoughts on Idaho's 'right to work' status?  Do you believe there is any way that we could repeal it?  How do you feel about Idaho business's hiring cut-rate labor and paying them 'anti-family' wages?

    •  labor/(so called) right-to-work (11+ / 0-)

      I have always been opposed to Idaho's right-to-work law.  It has created a race to the bottom for many working families in Idaho.  

      I have been active with groups working to repeal it but the requisite number of signatures have not been gathered to put the repeal on the ballot.

      I support an increase in the minimum wage.

      In my Lt. Gov's race in 2006, Jim Risch opposed ANY increase in the minimum wage.  He may be my opponent in 2008.  So, the working families of Idaho continue to get hammered on living wages and lack of adequate health insurance/care.  We can do better.  We will do better.

  •  Larry, have you gotten in touch with any other (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Serephin, tmo, mcmom

    prominent Western Democrats to help your cause? Possibly Brian Schweitzer or Jon Tester from Montana. Or Governors Freudenthal (WY) or Ritter (CO)?

    I'm becoming a big fan of you Western Dems, keep up the good work.

    Check out my new blog, dedicated to electing our boys in blue: An Enduring Democratic Majority

    by Skulnick on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:20:43 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for Running & Thanks for Coming Here (7+ / 0-)

    Although I'm some 2000 miles away from Idaho, that distance is relatively unimportant on the internet and in the political blogosphere.  From what I've heard about you so far, here on dKos and elsewhere, certainly plan to be giving you my enthusiastic support to the extent possible from my perch on the East Coast.

    I look forward to seeing you in the Senate come January 2009.  Best of luck!

  •  Preference for Democratic nominee next year (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Serephin, mcmom


    First, thanks for your responses last week at IdaBlue and NewWest.  My question this time focuses on your opinion regarding the current crop of Democratic candidates for the 2008 Presidential election.  Is there any one in particular that you would prefer to be working with after the November election when you are the next Senator to represent our state?

    •  Endorsements (0+ / 0-)

      Jim Hansen(you remember him, I'm sure) and Edgar Malepei(D-Pocatello) have both endorsed Obama.  Don't know if you knew this already, but just thought I'd put it out there.

    •  Democratic Nominee (0+ / 0-)

      I'm keeping my powder dry right now.  I won't be a delegate to the convention and I will concentrate and stay focused on winning the Senate seat in 2008.

      In 1992 I garnered 58% of the vote (140,000+) in the 1st CD in Idaho and in all of Idaho Bill Clinton received 137,00 votes.  The Independent voter in Idaho makes it happen.  

  •  iraq (5+ / 0-)

    would you have voted to keep funding the escalation in iraq with no end date.2-what would you do to help the people of idaho and the labor movement to help increase wages in idaho.sincerly james harris athol id.

    •  Will you vote to withdraw troops (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Serephin, Granny Doc

      if you are elected, and a Republican is elected President?  Will you use the power of the purse to fund withdrawal, or cut off funding if necessary?  

      "Win some, Lose some . . . and then there's that little known 3rd category." Al Gore, January 9th, 2007.

      by Jbearlaw on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:46:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Iraq (8+ / 0-)

      I believe we are making progress in ending the war but the pressure needs to be continually and daily applied to the Bush Administration.  I stated in my diary that we have entered a phase of this war that is cynical and really immoral by the Bush Administration.  Let's face it, members of Congress that want to be a rubberstamp for this failed policy in Iraq are now setting deadlines that coincide with election cycles --- not foreign policy or security policy considerations.  That's wrong and we must speak out on that.

      I probably would have voted to fund the troops, but I also believe we should have a debate on the original resolution taking us to war.  You use the word "escalation" and I use the word "escalation" but in different contexts.  The funding is for the troops on the ground.  The "escalation" is the failed policy.  We need to change the policy.  So, the pressure needs to be applied.  

      In 1991 I voted to expand our diplomatic efforts and increase sanctions on Iraq before we went to war.  It was the Hamilton/Gephardt Amendment.  It failed and we went to war.  The Persian Gulf War gave us confidence in our ability to have our way in this region.  The Bush Administration rushed us into the Iraq War on false premises and has kept us there because the president does not want to admit a mistake.  We must keep up the pressure and responsibly withdraw.

      •  pressure (0+ / 0-)

        you dont apply pressure buy giveing bush more money so more americans can die in iraqs civil know better larry.or at least you should .I could name off a number of respected milatery leaders who agree with me,but I know it wouldnt do any good.becouse your the one playing politics.quit being a dumb-ass larry, start being a leader again.dont shame youre self trying to win over idaho might win the election,but it could cost you your soul.sincerly james harris.athol idaho

        •  Dumb-ass (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrapin station84

          Thanks for you comments.  I will most likely be the only veteran running for this Senate seat in 2008.  There are many ways to apply pressure, cutting off funds to our servicemen and women is not the answer.  It's the policy we want to change.  Our brave soldiers need the best we can give them until we change the policy.  The focus should be on the architect of the policy, George Bush.  I am not content with his timetable and the Congress can continue to apply pressure until the architect admits his errors.    

          In these debates and actions there are many bites at the apple.  The Bush escalation is not the correct policy.

          •  glad you've got a thick skin (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            terrapin station84

            there will be worse name calling than this before it's all through.

            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 03:40:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  the troops (0+ / 0-)

            they arent giving the troops what they need now.I understand you want to keep pushing the lie that cutting the funding will some how leave the troops short on bullets or armor or whatever,like I said thats a lie you know it and I know it.stop hideing behind the troops larry.its not worth there lives just so you can make the republicans look last question larry.was attacking iraq a good or bad idea.

  •  Thanks -- you're what we're looking for (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Serephin, mcmom, Granny Doc, fayeforcure

    If we had 535 candidates who thought the way you describe in this diary, we'd be all set.

    Instead we get the Capitulation Bill, the Global Warming Promotion Bill from Boucher and Dingell, the CBC hosting debates on Fox News and backing William "I don't care about the rest of New Orleans, just use the National Guard to get my personal stuff out" Jefferson, and so on.

    -5.63, -8.10 | Impeach, Convict, Remove & Bar from Office, Arrest, Indict, Convict, Imprison!

    by neroden on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:37:36 AM PDT

  •  Welcome to Dkos, Larry (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Serephin, mcmom, Jbearlaw, Granny Doc

    Please keep us posted on your campaign as it unfolds.  And go kick some Republican butt in 08.

    A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. - Aristotle

    by DWG on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:44:47 AM PDT

  •  glad you're here to help fight (4+ / 0-)

    the 50 state strategy is what i like.  

    i live in Texas...  we're turning purple..  

    Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

    by hypersphere01 on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:48:46 AM PDT

  •  My Folks Live in Payette... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Serephin, mcmom, Granny Doc

    ...welcome to dKos!!!

    I'm ready for 2008! Where's a candidate?? :D

    by InquisitiveRaven on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:54:39 AM PDT

  •  How do we fix a broken political culture? (7+ / 0-)

    Thank you for joining us.  I ask the same question of each candidate, because I think it represents our fundamental task.

    Our political system is broken.  Campaign finance is institutionalized bribery, and a governmental-corporate-media elite live in their own hermetic reality, divorced from most Americaas' concerns.  We have little or no voice in our own government anymore.  Those who go to Washington bent on change are usually coopted in the get along to go along mentality.

    Two fundamental reforms seem needed to begin to change this:

    1. Public campaign financing
    1. Media deconsolidation and statutory enactment of the Fairness Doctrine.

    Other democracy-strengthening measures, such as non-partisan redistricting and ensuring the franchise, are also needed.

    What are your ideas on how to fix our political system, and what would you do to enact them?

    Just when you think they can't get any worse, you're not surprised to learn you were wrong.

    by Dallasdoc on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:54:57 AM PDT

    •  Fixing the system (3+ / 0-)

      I believe you are fixing the system through this interacton.  When you think of Jon Tester and Jim Webb you know the system is in transition.  When I am challenged about Idaho turning purple/blue I sometimes give the answer:  "Four words, Jon Tester, Jim Webb."  

      Everyone who dials up DailyKos knows how that happened and they yearn for more.  

      If Al Gore announced for president tomorrow how much money would he raise in 5 days from the roots?  It would be a staggering amount and instantly he would be viable.  

      The roots almost changed Idaho in '06 when Larry Grant came close to winning the 1st CD, a seat I held in the early '90s.  It was close.  The Club for Growth got scared and pumped another $300K into Idaho and sent Cheney to rescue the seat from a disastrous outcome.  

      We know it can be done if we hang in there.  

      There is a great responsibility on the part of candidates to reach out to voters beyond ads and truly listen to their concerns.  In 2006 I shook 22,209 hands in a very short period of all 44 counties.  The key is to "listen."  I am a bit dismayed that our debate in the presidential sweepstakes is not broader.  I am concerned about the high drop out rate in our high schools and the cost of that failure to our system.  Let's debate that and see how our next president will slow this downward spiral.  Let's get serious about competing with China on many levels.  How are we going to do that?  Health care.  This list goes on and on.  

      I will be part of the clean-up crew for our skyrocketing deficits and our failed foreign policies.  

      I like your idea of (true) independent re-districting.  Iowa seems to have gotten it right.  Tom DeLay had it all wrong.  

      The roots can really help smooth out the fundraising problems without jepoardizing our First Amendment rights.  

      •  Thank you for coming here and interacting, sir (2+ / 0-)

        We all have high hopes for progressive renewal in this country.  We all know too how high the barriers are, and how strongly the deck is stacked against real change.  

        Glad you like the independent redistricting idea.  Surely states will want to retain redistricting power, but the House could declare that they will not seat members from districts chosen by means other than those meeting certain criteria.  The House does have the power of choosing what members it will seat, as Vern Buchanan may yet find out.

        I thank George Bush for one thing:  he taught me that true active citizenship is vitally necessary in a democracy.  The people are sovereign under the Constitution, but if we don't grab that power with both hands it will continue to be stolen from us by the deceivers and distractors.  Our representatives, as a group, will not represent us until we demand they do so, and fire them if they don't.  

        We need leaders like you to bring our reality to the Washington bubble.  But we need to lead our leaders in the right direction.  

        Just when you think they can't get any worse, you're not surprised to learn you were wrong.

        by Dallasdoc on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 04:11:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I sure do wish we had more than an hour. n/t. (0+ / 0-)
    •  60 Minutes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrapin station84

      I hope to come back soon so we can rack up another 60 minutes together.  There will be interesting ebbs and flows in this campaign that we can explore together.

      •  It's a deal. (0+ / 0-)

        So far I am impressed with the level of candor you have displayed here and the positions you have taken on several issues.  Maybe next time we'll get around to my question regarding your thoughts on the Patriot Act?  I would like to be able to tell my friends that you are for the repealing of the Patriot Act.  It's a good selling point.  As Benjamin Franklin once said, "those who would trade their liberties for security, deserve neither".  Or something like that, anyway.  I realize that many of the Urban areas in Idaho are a given for us, but if I can generate excitement among my friends, it will build and grow and spread to rural areas.  Besides, 'Libertarian' Idaho is generally against invasions of privacty and affronts to liberty.  Just some thoughts. . .

        I will be visiting your site and making a donation on the next pay period.  And I don't make a whole lot, so consider that a compliment.

  •  Justice Department (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As an attorney, I've been following the justice department scandal pretty closely, and it seems clear to me that, regardless of whether Gonzalez resigns or not, there is going to be a very strong need for Congressional Oversight, and a thorough cleaning-out of the justice department as, if, and when we get a Dem president to go along w/a democratic congress.  I know that you are a sharp legal mind, and I wonder if you
    a) would like to serve on the Judiciary Committee? and
    b) have any thoughts you'd like to share on the politicization of the DOJ, and how poorly this reflects on our profession?  

    "Win some, Lose some . . . and then there's that little known 3rd category." Al Gore, January 9th, 2007.

    by Jbearlaw on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 12:00:04 PM PDT

  •  Larry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You've been a great defender of public lands -- what will be your top priorities as far as wilderness protection/designation in Idaho? Is there a way to reverse the Bush admin. decision to allow governors to "undesignate" wilderness?

    Also, your wife was my speech teacher in high school, one of the teachers I've ever had and I think she was instrumental in turning me into a democrat (she talked me into volunteering at dem headquarters in the '80 election). I hope you guys are loving life in McCall.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell" - Ed Abbey

    by frankzappatista on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 12:03:54 PM PDT

    •  Comment from Larry (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrapin station84

      The policy of designating the governor as the lead in recommending Wilderness areas is part of this administration's policy.  If the White House changes hands I would imagine the policy would change.

      I have tried in the past to create "certainty" on the ground within the roadless areas by legislating the solution.  When I attempted this strategy in '93 - '94  it was clear that many of the stakeholders would rather fight than work this out in a legislative comppromise.  

      I think the stars are more properly aligned now for a legislative solution.  Things will defintely improve once the locks are changed in the White House after the 2008 election.    

  •  Trade Policy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't believe NAFTA, PNTR China, and CAFTA hit Idaho as hard as it did other states, but what is your stance on trade policy and your ideas to prevent job outsourcing?

    •  Immigration is a big issue in Idaho (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Since we have a fairly large population of Latinos, in no small part due to our agricultural heritage.  

      Congressman, do you support the current immigration bill, or do you support an alternative of some kind?  

      "Win some, Lose some . . . and then there's that little known 3rd category." Al Gore, January 9th, 2007.

      by Jbearlaw on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 12:10:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WooHoo this diary made the rec'd list! n/t. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Parting comments from Larry (16+ / 0-)

    That hour went by in a flash.  I am typing on a borrowed lap top because my Internet connection went down just minutes before we started.  Therefore, I have been fumbling around a little more than usual, so I regret not having gotten to all of your questions.

    Thanks to mcjoan and the good folks at DailyKos.   I truly believe in the democratization of our politics in America.  This site is leading the way.  Just think of it.  Together we could make political history in Idaho and do it with netroots support.  We will add to the majority in the Senate and once again our government will be accountable.

    So, let's do this again.....soon.  

  •  Welcome from neighboring Utah! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle

    I have many progressive friends in the Pocotello area and I'm sure they'll be happy to support and work for you. Good luck.

    Shut it down is so yesterday. Now it's time to FIRE IT UP!

    by high uintas on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 12:16:52 PM PDT

    •  Friends in Pocatello (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas

      Please don't be bashful about dialing them up to spread the good word.  Bannock County will be a key area for me in '08.  The Dems did very well there in the last cycle and are very organized.  I plan on winning Bannock County and creating a buffer for tougher counties.  

      My wife and I spent a lot of time campaiging in Pocatello in '06. We made a lot of new friends and I shook a lot of hands there.  

      •  Sorry for the late reply (0+ / 0-)

        I will talk to them, I'm sure they are familiar with you already. They are very involved in Dem politics, they contribute time and money. Idaho Dems, like the Dems here in Utah, are a very hardy lot. You have to be.

        Shut it down is so yesterday. Now it's time to FIRE IT UP!

        by high uintas on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 06:50:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Internet havoc in Boise (10+ / 0-)

    As Larry noted above (and terrapin station84 as well), Internet service went down in much of central Boise just as Larry was getting ready to blog! Fortunately, I had a spare modem (props to Clearwire!!) that was still gettting two bars, so Larry was able to get online in time.

    Larry got a crash course in using a Mac and blogging at Daily Kos, all at once. Pretty impressive, I'd say!

    For more on Larry's campaign, see his website at And if you like what you see there - and what you saw here - please consider kicking in a little something at Act Blue:

  •  You'll have my vote. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

    by Boisepoet on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 12:50:39 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for dropping in ... (0+ / 0-)

    "Do right, risk consequences." That's been the basis of a lot of complaints on this site since the vote on the supplemental. It's good to hear it put so precisely.

    Just a comment:

    We are conducting a war of crass politics in order to protect a president’s legacy...

    It amazes me that anyone would still hink that what this administration is doing would in any way protect Bush's legacy, much less enhance it.

    noli, amabo, verberare lapidem ne perdas manum -- Plautus

    by fritzrth on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 12:55:45 PM PDT

  •  My brother-in-law worked for you ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brownsox, terrapin station84 the District office when you were Congressman previously. When I told him you were running again, he smiled. Good luck.

    •  Smiling is a good thing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, Dianna

      Please give my best wishes to your bro-in-law.  I had a great staff when I was in Congress.  They all shared my commitment to constituent services.  

      When I am in the US Senate my staff will be once again dedicated to serving all Idahoans, not just the far right.  I truly believe in the role of an ombudsman for solving problems.  

  •  Sorry I missed the chat! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I hope you get this, Sir!

    As a former resident of Idaho Falls, currently of Portland, OR, I'm watching your race with interest.  I was a huge fan of Senator Frank Church when I was young.  My Dad volunteered for his campaign in I.F. way back when.  I know that Idaho can put forth some formidable Dems.

    I wish you the best of luck in this endeavor.  We need more people in Washington who will risk consequences instead of fighting to be in the center of the pack, away from the "scary edges".

    Please know that if you can maintain the goal in the title of this diary, the people here at dkos will support you whole-heartedly.  

    (A nit-pick: The Home screen on your website is askew.  The top cut off just slightly.  It's not terrible, but it is noticable.  Success is in the details, doncha know. ;-))

    It's official, James Inhofe is a dumbass.

    by CJB on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 01:00:36 PM PDT

    •  LaRocco website (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CJB, Dianna, terrapin station84

      I agree about "details."  One of the beauties of starting early is that things can get fixed early.  I am currently re-doing the website so it is not so slow and will be extremely user friendly and interactive.  

      Thanks for your supportive comments about my approach to public service.  As it says on the website:  "It's not about those who serve, it's about those being served."  Put another way - it's not about my's about your job.  

      I will have ample time to reach the voters of Idaho in this 2008 cycle.  Today was a great step in reaching out and I will continue to do so.    

  •  Interesting factoid... (0+ / 0-)

    ... at least according to Wikipedia.

    If Larry ran against Jim Risch next year, that would be his third race against him. Aside from the Lt. Gov. race last year, he also ran against him in 1986 in a state senate race. Unfortunately, he lost both.

    Still, third time is the charm right?

    •  3rd time is a charm..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mcjoan, terrapin station84

      With enough resources we will win.  Risch raised sales taxes 20% in the special session of the legislature last August and it wasn't fixed in any way shape or form during the regular legislative session.  He broke his pledge to his good friend, Grover Norquist, by raising the taxes on working families.  Also, Risch doesn't support a penny increase in the minimum wage. Not one penny. I think that's immoral.  Here's something very scary.  Check out: I started late in '06.  That didn't happen this time.  We have time on our side and I will make the best use of it.  

      •  Here's a clickable link to what Larry cited above (0+ / 0-)

        The Gem State Voter Guide is a questionnaire issued by the fundamentalist wing of the Idaho GOP. Jim Risch is totally in its pocket.

        It also should be noted that after Dirk Kempthorne was named Interior Secretary last spring, Risch became temporary governor - the post from which he railroaded through the special-session tax increase Larry noted above. Risch also used state resources to campaign and refused to meet LaRocco in the League of Women Voters candidate debates.

        Space here to draw your own conclusions.

  •  Rolling blackouts in Idaho (3+ / 0-)

    This may have had something to do with our Internet woes earlier:

    A mistake during an annual safety drill at Idaho Power this morning led to blackouts that knocked out power to at least 75,000 people across Idaho, Idaho Power spokeswoman Anne Alenskis said.
    Idaho Power was practicing to prepare for an energy emergency when “human error” led to rolling blackouts just before 11 a.m. that affected pockets of customers from Blackfoot in the southeast to Riggins in the northwest, including some Treasure Valley residents, Alenskis said. She did not have details on exactly what led to the error.

  •  turn Idaho blue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    thanks for stopping by.  i beleieve your race will get lots of attention from the Blue West people as the election gets closer.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 03:37:59 PM PDT

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