I got to listen to candidates Jim Hansen and Craig Cooper in Gooding on Friday night, and this is what I heard.
Jim Hansen has a general overarching theme, which is “Everything is for sale.” Our politicians now are so beholden to campaign contributions and corporate leaders that they have put up pretty much everything for sale. Example: the new Medicare drug prescription bill was sold off to the health care industry.
Jim at first comes across as a bit rumpled. I think that was due to the casual sweater and the brushy mustache. He was a smooth talker and knows what he was talking about. I hope he can counter the concern that former Gov Batt once stated. “Democrats won’t win if they keep nominating Boise trial lawyers.”
Jim was right that part of the problem with Idaho Dems is a defeatist attitude. “We can’t win, so why try.” This is guaranteed to lead to defeat. I hope he can generate some excitement. He is limiting donations to $100, and is taking no PAC money.
Craig Cooper spoke about his three simple rule, which he is making the theme of his campaign. They are 1) Tell the Truth; 2) Fight for Families; 3) Follow the Constitution. These sound to me like pretty good ideas, but they also came across to me as points he just picked that he thought would sound good.
He is an oceanographer from Idaho Falls and looked pretty sharp. He was articulate, but tended to shout. I felt like he was yelling at me. He will gain polish as he proceeds, and I encourage him to work in a bit of humor. He was asked about flag burning, and he said how he deplored it and it offended him but he had to defend the right to free speech. He ended up spending a few minutes talking about a pretty peripheral issue. He might be better off just saying something I saw on a bumper sticker; “You have the right to burn the flag, but please wrap yourself in it first.”