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UPDATE 5/19/10

Political observers could see this one coming a mile away.

Too much time on the Nintendo and X-Box can be detrimental to legislative efficiency.

Stephen "Steve" Kren Jr. earned the Idaho Press-Tribune endorsement two years ago, but with this warning: "We expect him to flex his political muscle more this term. If he doesn’t, he’ll need to be replaced," reads  todays IPT editorial.

Hi, my name is Steve Kren, I am your Representative from District 13. I am a small business owner, and committed to making government as efficient as my business. To pull out of this economic mess, we need business owners and citizens of Idaho keep as much of their money as possible. That is why I am committed to lower taxes and a strong proponent of legislation that supports family values.

reads the Facebook page  Steven Kren for Idaho.

The endorsement article, details how Kren's opponent, Christy Perry, outshines him.

The IPT wrote:

Voters gave him another chance.

The junior lawmaker got involved — and made mistakes. Kren unsuccessfully co-sponsored several key pieces.

Are legislators only effective if they successfully sponsor a law? No. Some build laws and some are the architects or framers. And some are effective because they kill bad legislation. Kren has been praised by some of his fellow lawmakers for doing just that. He’s also been the one who points out flaws voiced by others.

Unfortunately, Kren has lost credibility. He’s not confident with his speaking skills and can’t clearly articulate his views or he isn’t sufficiently informed.

In his endorsement interview he suggested that parents could pay user fees to help offset education cuts. This would violate the state’s constitution.

He also believes the state should explore programs so nonviolent offenders can be released and pay for special monitoring programs to make room for the violent criminals. Good idea, but already in place.

Kren, unfortunately did not take the time to present his best side in the  Q & A posted online at

A smart politician makes sure his answers meet high standards when it comes to grammar and proper word choice and that they clearly outline his position. He didn’t.

Here are a couple of snippets;

First I want to say thank you to the citizens of Dist 13 and Canyon County for allowing me to serve them as there State Representative for the past four years. My wife Kalah and I love Idaho and Canyon County. I am a Canyon County native, being born and raised in Nampa gives me a understanding of how local taxes effect you. Knowing the struggles in our local economy and how business in our community our making it through these tough economic times, also, I am Vice-President of my family business in Nampa.

Doesn't a comma come after an introductory expression such as "First?"
Is "State Representative" a proper noun that needs upper case?
Kren has been "there" state representative?
I am a Canyon County Native (complete sentence) right?
Being born and raised in Nampa ... begins another complete sentence, right? There are such comma splices throughout Kren's essay.
Take another look at the sentence "Knowing the struggles in our local economy and how business in our community our making it through these tough economic times, also, I am Vice-President of my family business in Nampa."

We will let you edit/interpret/judge that one yourself.

Kren goes on to say:

"I have three children and over the past 4 years I have made education my top priority, (Really? Hey Steve, you need a period here, not a comma) now the public school system has to stretch the tax payers dollars to ensure the children of Idaho receive a quality education, (ditto) I have an invested interest (Steve, the expression is "vested interest" ... read much?) in our public schools and will fight for student achievement and a quality education in Idaho" (you mean a quality education such as the one you are demonstrating?).

These missteps, along with a not-so-stellar legislative record, make Kren the weakest link among Canyon County’s delegation.

The piece continued:

We’re not sure he takes the job that seriously. Kren missed more than 50 votes. He says as a father of two and another baby born five weeks ago, he missed some votes so he could go to the doctor with his wife. Understandable. And if that were the only gaffe, no problem.

They also mention how:

Kren has had four years to cement himself firmly in the Canyon County delegation. But he’s simply not stepping up.

With the Idaho Republican Primary election one week away, it is a good time to track accomplishments, or lack thereof, of incumbents.

Steven Kren, Jr. "after two full legislative sessions and working on his third is still like a fish out of the water, clearly in a league that is not his own," read a story called Nampa’s Jr. Representative, still stumbling, on The Unequivocal Notion blog in January of 2009.

How much leeway do you give a legislature? How much time do you give them for on the job training? ... there comes a time when Idaho needs qualified, knowledgeable legislators making decisions that will affect everyday Idahoans. Kren, like so many others in Idaho’s legislature just isn’t that type of person.

Kren, the son of a Nampa City Councilman, initially ended up in the legislature as the result of an appointment by Governor Butch Otter, to fill an abruptly vacated space.

On December 15, 2008 Idaho Press Tribune managing editor Vickie Holbrook debated our 43rd State Blues entry about Representative Kren: the one where we called him "Canyon County's Republican Ticking Time Bomb."

The writer suggests that Nampa's Rep. Steve Kren (Nampa, 13B) may be the next politico who does or says something — dare I say it — stupid like we've seen in the past year from some of Idaho's elected officials ...

Holbrook wrote of our prediction.

Sure, Kren was kind of snarky when he said "I wish she would have given him more money, it might have made it more competitive"

to the Asssociated Press regarding a donation to his Democratic opponent's campaign ... from the wife of our Republican governor.

Holbrook continued:

But to compare his comment to the antics of Sen. Larry Craig, Canyon commissioners Matt Beebe (who said he knew he had Americans working on his house because they were all white men who looked and spoke like him) and Steve Rule Read about Rule's racism toward Michelle Obama here, and Rep. Bill Sali is pretty lame. Of course, we all have a right to our opinion, but I'm not sure that suggesting that Rep. Steve Kren is a 'ticking time bomb' is fair. ... To be fair, he's no longer a freshman and Canyon County eyes — including Democrat challenger Bryon Yankey and his supporters — will be watching closely to see what he does for local folks.

What a difference one month can make.

On January 22, 2009 in an entry called:
Kren aims to change F&G rule, but not before ... Holbrook wrote:

... just put yourself in the Legislature for a moment. Maybe you are a representative. And maybe your've got some residents in your district who have a beef about something. So you decide to fix it. Sounds like this you are doing exactly what we elected you for. But ... if you wanted to change rules in a particular agency, wouldn't you at least review your plan with key people in that agency? Even if you figure you won't get the support of that group, it just makes good sense. It's called communication. Come on Steve, learn from this lesson.

What exactly did Kren do (or not do)?

Betsy Russell, on her blog at the Spokesman Review, elaborates: Kren got himself

peppered with questions today when he proposed legislation in the House Resources Committee to limit so-called "super hunts" mostly to state residents, allowing only 10 percent of the permits to go to non-residents. That's the case already for most controlled hunts, but the super hunts are a special program in which about 40 tags are raffled off each year, allowing the winners to choose from any valid open hunt in the state.

According to Russell:

Kren said about 30 percent of the winners have been out-of-staters, and that's gotten folks in his district grumbling. "People feel that Fish & Game is working very hard to attract non-residents, that they're getting preference over residents," Kren said. "I think it's important that Fish & Game works hard for the sportsmen, and understands that it's the residents of the state who they work for."

Kren, who said he's entered the raffle himself "a couple of years" since it began four years ago, never checked with Fish and Game before introducing the bill.

"One gripe I had about the Idaho Statesman and the Idaho Press-Tribune endorsing Rep. Steve Kren was that they both acknowledged his weak performances as an appointed two-term representative," continued Chris, blogging on The Unequivocal Notion. "Everyone knew that Kren, after two sessions still had a lot to learn, he was still behind the curve."

So was Kren the next Idaho Republican politico to do or say something -- dare I say it -- stupid?

At the Idaho Press Tribune, Holbrook later that she would take a wait-and-see attitude: "Yes, we endorsed Kren and we'll have to see how it all shakes out."

A little shaking was done in the May 11, 2010 Idaho Statesman:

Kren has had a disappointing second term. He co-sponsored the texting bill but pushed a counterproductive effort to gut air-quality law. Fortunately, Kren's colleagues saw through the blatant play to Canyon County emissions testing opponents, and scuttled the bill.

How many legislative sessions has it been for Kren now, four, right?

Is Idaho Press Tribune endorsement for this race coming out within a few days?

Originally posted to 123idaho on Tue May 18, 2010 at 04:48 PM PDT.


With inept Republicans like Steve Kren

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