Super Tuesday, Food Tax & Wind

Today is Super Tuesday and Idaho Democrats are caucusing in every county.

At the Legislature, Monday was a busy day. A speculative grocery tax credit died in committee, an anti-abortion bill was introduced and a measure that will cut into immigrant’s ability to get drivers licenses passed the House with a heated debate. Also today, several interesting energy stories, PAC money in local elections and 2007 presidential fund raising totals for Idaho. As always, update your browser in a few hours to see if more stories appear.

GOP grocery tax bill dead, two more in the hopper. Meager jump in grocery tax credit fails in tax committee. Democrats want to take food tax off at the register over six years. Governor wants it targeted to the poor. Druzin in the Statesman. 5 D and 5 R join to kill bill. AP in the Press Tribune. Elephant in the room. Russell in the Spokesman.

Abortion coersion bill back. Nonnini bill would make it a felony to force a woman to have an abortion. Rep. John Rusche, a pediatrician: Why not protect women coerced into keeping a baby too? “In my practice in pediatrics, I encounter more coercion (aimed at women) not using contraception or getting an abortion.” Druzin in the Statesman. Also, another bill would encourage bars to post signs warning pregnant women not to drink. Ferguson in the LMT [subscrip].

Drivers license bill spurs longest House debate of session. Passes on largely party line vote. J. Wood: No one from Micron complained. Ferguson in the LMT.

Stone: A subpoena really isn’t necessary. Former Board of Ed president will talk to the Senate. Sen. Jorgenson: I’m not going to be satisfied until two or three members of the board are removed.” Gates in the Times-News.

Day care licensing bill introduced in Senate. Idaho dead last in child care protections. John Miller, AP in the Press Tribune.

When grizzlies attack. Bill would add grizzly bear to rancher compensation fund. If a griz eats your calf, state will pay up. Davidson in the Post Register [subscrip].

Realtors and Contractors busy on recent elections. PACs spend thousands on local races and don’t report it very specifically. Up to Eagle attorney to investigate possible electioneering in recent mayoral race. Moeller in the Statesman.

Romney pulled in $600,000 from Idahoans in 2007. Democrats only raised 14 percent of total Idaho presidential campaign contributions last year. Ron Paul and McCain also outraised Obama and Clinton. By a lot. Bolstad in the Statesman.

Boise gets one question in Clinton virtual townhall meeting. Are you too divisive? Clinton says she gets that a lot. Stewart in the Statesman.

Idaho County gets pitch from jail company. Ketchum-based prison contractor RMC wants $20,000 for study of new county lockup. Commissioner Skip Brandt: “All this hinges on what the legislature does this year. We’ll just have to watch what the legislature and the governor decide.” Rauzi in the Free Press.

Enviro groups sue to stop wolf delisting rule change. USFWS says a most a few dozens wolves will be shot under new plan, but environmental groups fear it will be used to decimate the population. Todd Adams in the Challis Messenger.

State’s largest wind project would power Nevada. 200 or so wind turbines in Twin Falls County vicinity could be spinning soon, but the first 200 megawatts of power from China Mountain are slated for a Nevada utility. Christensen in the Times-News.

Energy council appointee likes nukes. Jim Yost says nuclear power is ok, dam breaching is not ok. He has no money invested in germane power companies. Hopkins in the Times-News.

New trial for Lankford begins in Shoshone County. After two decades on death row. Attorney Chuck Kovis: “Mark Lankford has maintained his innocence from day one.” John K. Wiley, AP in the Press Tribune.

Newt at Borders. Gingrich will sign books from 2 to 3:30 Wednesday at Borders on Milwaukee.

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