Running... From the Truth? -- If you've seen the recent TV ads for Jerry Brady, a candidate for governor of Idaho, it seems like something is missing. Hmmm... What party is this Jerry Brady in, anyway? That's right, the entire spot runs with no mention that Brady is a representative of the Democratic Party who hopes to topple incumbent Republican Dirk Kempthorne.
It's not that surprising when you consider that not that long ago, there were only three Democrats in the statehouse in Boise.
The oversight is a little surprising, since if you go to Brady's Web site, he takes the issue head on. Brady, whose family founded the Post Register in Idaho Falls, where he served as publisher, points out that half of Idahoans don't claim affiliation with any party, and that the Governor's mansion was home to Democrats from 1970-94.
55 percent -- That's the most current figure offered by Spokane Public Schools to describe how many of its students live in poverty. The Spokane Public School District is 50 percent poorer than the average district in Washington State.
Whither District 81? -- You'll notice we referred to "Spokane Public Schools" in the above item. That's because the district is trying to get away from being referred to as "District 81," which doesn't tell anyone much about who they really are.
(Don't) Go Zags! -- In recent weeks, the Spokesman-Review editorial page has zeroed in on Gonzaga U and its attempts to win state funding for parts of its new arena project. We know too well that opinions presented on pages devoted to them are just that, but how about a little clarification?
Misconception: The $1.5 million state grant GU sought could have been allocated to the West Central Community Center instead. Fact: No, this wasn't a social services versus basketball equation, according to State Rep. Jeff Gombosky, who worked on the funding package.
Misconception: Private institutions of higher education are not publicly funded. Fact: Federal and state dollars routinely make their way onto the GU campus, including $10 million in federal funds for the Foley Library and $2.6 million for the new science building.
Misconception: GU was rigging the deal so that the public would be kept out of oversight. Fact: The money for the arena hasn't been raised yet, says GU V.P. of Finance Chuck Murphy, so school officials were not getting ahead of themselves on the arena project; but they had to offer a plan for spending the state money within a year. Nobody, he says, was trying to pull a fast one.
Why torpedo an instance of the state sending some cash our way? Due, in part, to the bad publicity generated about the project, GU has turned down the money. Good news for competing projects, likely on the West Side.