Friday, May 18, 2018

Bee tummies, suspicious newspapers, the Mikes' bromance and other morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2018 at 9:25 AM

WSU assistant professor Jeni Walke inspects a honeybee hive on the WSU campus. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • WSU assistant professor Jeni Walke inspects a honeybee hive on the WSU campus.


Councilwoman Kate Burke wants to add more public bathrooms for the homeless.

NATURE | Can studying the stomachs of bees hold the secret to saving them?

| There's been another school shooting. Earlier this year, we assessed 47 ideas to reduce gun violence.


Garbage fee

At one time, the Waste-to-Energy plant won awards for safety. But after a terrible accident two years ago, regulators found 10 safety violations, and are charging Spokane $36,300. (Spokesman-Review)

Like a Bob Hope/Bing Crosby road trip movie, but with Mike Leach and Michael Baumgartner
Even though he's left the Senate, Michael Baumgartner is going to great lengths to hold one of Washington state's highest paid public officials accountable by going on a trip to Thailand with WSU football coach Mike Leach. (Spokesman-Review)

The Bonner County Daily Bee IS a real newspaper, though, I'm sure of that.
Columbia Journalism Review digs into the Idahoan, the strange pseudo-newspaper put out by conservatives in advance of the Republican primary. (CJR)

The latest on the latest school shooting
So far, eight are dead in Texas. (New York Times)

Nobody likes a tattletale

Was there an FBI source on the Trump campaign? (Washington Post)
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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Framed for murder, no place to pump breastmilk, Trump says deportees are 'animals' and morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2018 at 9:52 AM

President Donald Trump. - TOM BRENNER/THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • Tom Brenner/The New York Times
  • President Donald Trump.


A place to pump
A mother is suing a Spokane judge for failing to provide adequate space to pump breastmilk.

Everybody poops
Advocates say there aren't enough public restrooms in the city, and that presents a problem for homeless people.

Portland to Liverpool to Granada and back
Portland singer-songwriter Moorea Masa will play the Bartlett this weekend. Music writer Howard Hardee talked to her about her journey to becoming a hit R&B singer.


Framed and awaiting a death sentence
A black man awaits execution in a California prison. He was convicted of the brutal 1983 murder of a white family living in an affluent neighborhood east of Los Angeles.

But witnesses say the attack was carried out by three white men, and brown or blond hairs were found clasped in the victims' hands. Police also apparently ignored other evidence pointing to a convicted murderer released from prison shortly before the attack.

Now, Gov. Jerry Brown is refusing to allow advanced DNA testing that could show once and for all if Cooper is guilty or innocent. After reviewing the evidence and trial transcripts, experts say Cooper was framed by crooked cops. (New York Times)

'I'm calling ICE'
Hot shot Manhattan attorney Aaron Schlossberg lost his mind when he heard two restaurant employees speaking Spanish. His law firm has since been flooded with one-star Yelp reviews. (USA Today)

Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
  • How the U.S. immigration system is putting LGBT asylum seekers in danger. (Daily Beast)
  • Pakistan passed a transgender rights law. (Al Jazeera)
  • Idaho's Constitution still defines marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, despite what the U.S. Supreme Court has said. (Seattle Times)

Bould Ban
Boulder, Colorado's city council voted unanimously to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines within city limits. A radio and TV personality, along with the Boulder Rifle Club, have already sued the city. (Daily Camera)

No surprise here
During a roundtable discussion with California sheriff's, President Donald Trump referred to people being deported from the U.S. as "animals."

"We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in, and we're stopping a lot of them, but we're taking people out of the country. You wouldn't believe how bad these people are. These aren't people. These are animals," the president said. (The Hill)

Brown v Board and the judicial nominee who won't endorse it
Today is the 64th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision to desegregate public education in the U.S. Today is also when the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote to confirm or reject Wendy Vitter, Trump's nominee for Louisiana district court judge.

In response to a direct question last month, Vitter refused to say whether she agreed with the court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education. (Medium via Vanita Gupta)
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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Idaho GOP primary victor Russ Fulcher thinks Trump is a jerk, but says he can speak his language

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 5:26 PM

  • Daniel Walters photo
UPDATE: Steve Ackerman, Russ Fulcher's policy director, calls to clarify that Russ doesn’t, in any way, think the President a bad person.

“Driven personalities can come across as abrupt, but they’re actually people who want to get things done,” Steve Ackerman, policy director.

Basically, Ackerman says, Fulcher is saying, “I know how these people think.”

Last night, former Idaho Senate Majority Caucus Leader Russ Fulcher trounced his opponents, including former Lt. Gov. Dave Leroy and Coeur d'Alene-based state Rep. Luke Malek. Despite facing six other candidates, Fulcher won over 43 percent of primary voters.

That gives us an excuse to draw out an interesting exchange from a recent interview we conducted with Fulcher in Post Falls, where he explains how he thinks he understands Trump — and how he can use that to the district's advantage. 

When considering Trump, Fulcher draws upon his experience working with other business leaders as a former executive in the Boise-based semiconductor device manufacturer in Idaho. He names one leader in particular: a guy named "Steve Jobs," from a startup called "Apple Computers."

"At least, from our standpoint, he was really a jerk," Fulcher says. "His staff, anyone around him — it was fire him next, fire him next — if they didn't agree with him or really see the vision, it was just, next, next... very unpleasant to be around."

Commodore founder Jack Tramiel was the same way, Fulcher says.

"There is a certain type of person who is very, very driven, very, very smart, very, very vision oriented — they don't look at the world like you and I do," Fulcher says. "They see everything as a 'cost center' or a 'profit center.'

"In most cases, they have a personal life [that] is in tumult all the time. In most cases, they are not pleasant to be around. They don't have buddies, they don't have friends, per se.

"My perception is that that's Donald Trump," Fulcher says. "I think maybe, just maybe, I can speak his a language a bit."

That doesn't mean Fulcher is going to be Trump's buddy.

"He is never going to be my friend," Fulcher says. "He is never going to be anybody's friend."

Yes, he acknowledges, that's kind of sad.

"Steve was kind of sad," Fulcher says "His life was a mess."

But with guys like Jobs, he says, you couldn't argue with their effectiveness and their vision.

"[Trump] can't help himself in a lot of ways, because he sees stuff and he's got a skillset and growth for making things profitable," Fulcher says. "But the cost, personally, that comes with it is very, very high."

Sure, Fulcher knows he'd only be one out of 435 congressional delegates. He's not naive. But he thinks he knows how to talk to guys like Trump. It's all about the success of the corporation.

As an example, he role plays about how he would convince Trump to open up federal lands in Idaho to more state management, including recreation and judicious logging.

"Mr. President, there's a massive cost center in Idaho, that has the potential to be a state and federal profit center that is off the charts. Today, your expenditures and the contribution to the debt due to mismanagement or lack of management for resources is contributing X amount to a $21 trillion debt... I can take that red and turn it green in X amount of time."

That, Fulcher says, is how to speak "Trump."

Fulcher can't rely on discussions of recreation opportunities, saving Elk herds or preventing carbon emissions when trying to convince Trump to let Idaho have a larger role in managing federal lands. That doesn't move the needle for Trump.

"It's What?! What?!" Fulcher says, doing an impression of Trump's reaction to those sorts of arguments. "Whaddyagot? ... He's looking at this like a bottom line up, like every CEO. I won't say he doesn't care but — he doesn't care." Unless, Fulcher says, it has to do with profits or losses.

However, Fulcher says he and Trump differ significantly on style.

"It's 'launch the bomb and ask questions later,'" Fulcher says about Trump's style.

And yes, he clarifies when asked, he means that metaphorically.

"That's his style and it seems to work for him. I use Korea, as an example," Fulcher says. "Basically he tells this guy over there, look, 'I'm gonna decimate your country,' or something like that. But then again, look at him. If I can believe the reports, they're having conversations, they wouldn't have ever had! Would I have done that? No."

He also says he disagrees with Trump's views on DACA, a program that has protected some unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the country as a child. Though, he notes that Trump hasn't always been consistent on this issue.

“If I understand correctly, he's had circumstances where basically the president says — it’s almost a pro-amnesty message,” Fulcher says. “I’ve also heard reports ... where Trump says, ‘No amnesty, I’m going to throw them all out!' So, I don’t know which is true. But in terms of policy, I don’t think either is the answer.”

In Idaho, however, Fulcher notes, there's something to keep in mind. Idaho loves Trump.

"He's well over a supermajority of favorability in Idaho," Fulcher says. "With the Republican Party, it's just not that high."
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Mother sues Spokane County judge over inadequate breastfeeding accommodations

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 4:06 PM

  • Catherine D'Ignazio photo

A mother is suing Spokane County District Court Judge Richard Leland nearly two years after quitting her job as an accounting technician. Holly Schmehl says in the lawsuit that Leland did not provide her breastfeeding accommodations she was legally entitled to.

"It was OK if people walked in on you. That was the standard," Schmehl says. "That doesn't mean people were OK with it, but they just didn't fight it. The room was never free from intrusion."

The lawsuit filed in Spokane County Superior Court accuses Leland and Spokane County of violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires certain employers to provide nursing mothers with breastfeeding accommodations that are shielded from view, free from intrusion and are not a bathroom.

The lawsuit says Leland, acting in his personal capacity and not a judge, "repeatedly and unreasonably" prevented Schmehl from having access to a private place to pump breastmilk and questioned her about "her intentions to remain in the county's employment."

Leland declined to comment, citing the active lawsuit. Keller Allen, the attorney representing the county, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

In a legal claim (a precursor to a lawsuit) filed in February of 2017, Schmehl lays out the difficulty she had in finding a private place to to express breastmilk, including multiple instances of people walking into the room (or trying to) during the middle of a session.

The intrusions, coupled with pushback from Leland, Schmehl says in a previous interview with the Inlander, caused her to skip pumping sessions. Eventually, the amount of milk she was able to express decreased by half.

A year after Schmehl filed her initial claim, in February of this year, Spokane County announced the opening of a designated nursing room in the basement of the Public Works Building.

"The room has recently been remodeled to include two comfortable chairs, [a] sink, easily accessible electric outlets and privacy curtains," according to a news release from the county.

Jared Webley, a spokesman for Spokane County, says "the county is committed to helping mothers who are trying to find that work-life balance." He adds that in addition to the nursing room, the county has purchased a Mamava Lactation Pod, which is a free-standing booth moms can use to nurse or pump, similar to those found in airports and shopping malls. It's currently set up in District Court, Webley says.
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Idaho primary results are in: Little, Jordan will compete for governor

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 2:55 PM

Last night, polls closed in Idaho's primary, leaving us with a clear picture of the candidates each party will put forward in November.


  • Paulette Jordan
  • Brad Little

The open governor's race saw heated advertising among three leading Republican candidates and gathered national attention due to a potentially historic candidacy on the Democratic side.

With results in, former Lt. Gov. Brad Little gets the Republican nomination and former state Rep. Paulette Jordan has the Democratic nod.

Little comes from a long-time Idaho ranching family in southern Idaho, and served in the Idaho Senate for about eight years before getting appointed lieutenant governor in 2009, where he's served alongside current Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.

Jordan, who if elected would be Idaho's first female governor and the nation's first Native American governor, grew up in rural North Idaho and served on the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Council before serving as a representative for Idaho's District 5 House Seat A from 2014 until this spring, when she stepped down to focus on her campaign.

Meanwhile, in the open race for the U.S. House seat Republican Rep. Raúl Labrador opted to leave to mount his gubernatorial campaign, former state Senate majority caucus leader Russ Fulcher was the resounding winner on the Republican side, and real estate agent Cristina McNeil overwhelmingly took the Democratic vote.

For other races, check out the New York Times' interactive report with graphics that show county by county breakdowns in the major races, and a graph of the winners in the state Senate and House races. 
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Little and Jordan to vie for Idaho governor, more women behind bars and other headlines

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 9:29 AM

NEWS: Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington’s secretary of state say that their offices will cover up to $1.2 million in pre-paid postage for mail-in ballots in the upcoming elections in August and November.

MUSIC: The lineup for Gleason Fest in Spokane has been announced. This year’s headliners are Blind Pilot and Joseph.

NEWS: The number of incarcerated women increased 700 percent between 1980 and 2016, and Idaho has the fourth highest number of women behind bars.

NATION: Facebook is attempting some transparency after increased pressure and frustration over fake accounts and post removals.

Paulette Jordan hopes to unite Idaho as governor, drawing on her rural background.
  • Paulette Jordan hopes to unite Idaho as governor, drawing on her rural background.


Silencing the critics
Gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan wins the nomination for Idaho’s Democratic Party. Now, she faces an even bigger challenge. (Vox)
Brad Little
  • Brad Little

A Little goes a long way
And in OTHER news, Idaho gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Brad Little wins the nomination for GOP. “In case you did not notice, this was a pretty hard-fought campaign,” Little said last night. (Idaho Statesman)

Of course...
North Korea is threatening to withdraw from a summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The White House isn’t worried though. (New York Times)

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Governor and Secretary of State offer to pre-pay postage for Washington's primary and general election ballots

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2018 at 3:56 PM


Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman announced Tuesday that their offices will cover roughly $1.2 million in pre-paid postage for ballots that will go out to voters this August and November for the primary and general elections.

The two followed the lead of the King County Council, which put up $381,000 to pre-pay for postage on ballots for King County voters, who make up about one-third of all voters in the state.

Wyman asked Inslee to help provide postage money for ballots for the rest of the state to make things equitable for voters in the other 38 counties and make sure that people weren't confused by media reports of the move that would've only impacted King County ballots.

Wyman and Inslee plan to ask the Legislature in 2019 to refund the one-time costs for postage that King County has already put up, according to a news release.

It's always been free to turn in Washington's mail-in ballots at drop box locations, typically located in libraries and convenient locations in each county, but for those who choose to mail it in, a stamp has been needed in the past, and sometimes counties have had to cover additional costs when ballots were too heavy for a single stamp to be enough.

"This is about leveling the playing field and making elections equal for all citizens of Washington state," Wyman says in the release. "I want to thank the governor for his collaboration, and I look forward to working with him to get a bill passed in 2019 to make Washington the first state in America with permanent universal postage-paid voting by mail."

Wyman was in favor of the King County measure and has supported statewide postage funding proposals before.

If and when the 38 other counties choose to provide pre-paid postage on their ballots, the Secretary of State's Office will administer the money as a grant. 
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Idaho has fourth highest rate of incarcerated women as national numbers have skyrocketed

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2018 at 2:10 PM

Between 1980 and 2016, the number of women locked behind bars has increased by 700 percent, from 26,378 to 213,722, according to a new report by the Sentencing Project, a Washington D.C.-based research and advocacy group that works to reduce mass incarceration.
  • Courtesy of the Sentencing Project
In Idaho, women were imprisoned at a rate of 113 per 100,000 people in 2016, which is the fourth highest in the nation. The national average is 57 per 100,000. Washington state incarcerates 45 women per 100,000, according to the report.

The Sentencing Project suggests the increase is the result of "more expansive law enforcement efforts, stiffer drug sentencing laws and post-conviction barriers to re-entry that uniquely affect women."

Although the rate of imprisoned African American women has been decreasing since 2000, in 2016, the rate of African American women was twice as high as white women: 96 per 100,000 compared to 49 white women per 100,000.
  • Courtesy of the Sentencing Project
Another report by the think tank Prison Policy Initiative, which is also advocating to reduce mass incarceration, identifies women as the "fastest-growing segment of the incarcerated population." A major driver of that growth, the report says, is the proportion of women held in local jails. Whereas twice as many men are locked in state prisons as they are in local jails, incarcerated women are split almost evenly between jails and prisons.
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Idaho ads get nasty, Seattle scales back Amazon tax, 58 killed in Gaza and morning headlines

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2018 at 9:55 AM

Congressman Raúl Labrador - GAGE SKIDMORE
  • Gage Skidmore
  • Congressman Raúl Labrador


Big Little Lies

Lt. Gov. Brad Little is calling Congressman Raúl Labrador a liberal on immigration. It’s not remotely true. We look at the evidence.

Seattle shaken
The Seattle City Council decided to scale back a proposed tax on large companies after facing significant pressure from Amazon and local businesses. The tax was approved on Monday.

Two bridges too far
BNSF wants a new bridge over Lake Pend Oreille. But that isn’t sitting well with environmental groups.


New schools, and fast

Spokane Public Schools might ask voters to decide on a bond measure that would advance the schedule for three new middle schools. (Spokesman-Review)
  • Chris Bovey

Bike to work Week
The city has come a long way int he past decade, but Spokane has a farther to go yet if it wants to improve its "bike scene," writes Spokesman-Review reporter Nicholas Deshais. He considers improvements the city could make. (Spokesman-Review)

Deadliest day since 2014
At least 58 protesters were killed in Gaza by Israeli troops after protesting the United States’ Embassy relocation to Jerusalem. The violence is the worst the region has seen since 2014. (New York Times)
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Monday, May 14, 2018

Little ads calling Labrador a liberal on immigration may be the most dishonest of the Idaho governor race so far

Posted By on Mon, May 14, 2018 at 5:34 PM

Not only does Labrador not support welfare benefits for illegals, he helped tank a Congressional immigration deal because of his opposition. - BRAD LITTLE AD
  • Brad Little ad
  • Not only does Labrador not support welfare benefits for illegals, he helped tank a Congressional immigration deal because of his opposition.

Lt. Gov. Brad Little wants you to believe that his opponent in the governor's race, Raúl Labrador, is a "liberal on immigration."

It's a claim that's absurd on its face for anyone who has been paying the slightest bit of attention to the immigration debate in the last five years. And it's a tactic that has been used, unsuccessfully, against Labrador before.

Nevertheless, Little — generally considered far more moderate than the far-right Labrador — has leveraged multiple ads dedicated to arguing that Labrador is soft on illegal immigration.

The ads are ubiquitous enough to be appearing on the TV in a coffee shop in Spokane.

Sure, there have been a lot of suspect ads in this race.  There have been ads, like the one from Tommy Ahlquist saying that Labrador sponsored “zero bills that have become law," that are wrong on the specifics but get at a reasonable underlying critique. (During his eight years in Congress, Labrador only had three bills he sole-sponsored become law in some form — and he ultimately ended up voting against the final version of two of them.)

But these Little ads may be worse: They're an example of cherrypicking a few statements or votes — some over a decade old — in order to try to make the case that Labrador supports welfare and amnesty for unauthorized immigrants, despite Labrador dedicating much of his Congressional tenure to opposing those two things.

Little also makes similar accusations about his other opponent, Tommy Ahlquist. Now, it's easier to get away with making claims about a relatively unknown politician without a record. But Labrador has actually served nearly eight years in Congress. We can actually look at what he's done. And it sure as hell ain't liberal. Let's just take the last two years as an example. 

Labrador introduced the Davis-Oliver Act. It's named after Michael Davis Jr. and Danny Oliver, law enforcement officers who were killed by a criminal who'd been twice deported. It was a broad bill that sought to punish so-called "sanctuary cities," give Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents the ability to carry firearms, called to hire 12,500 ICE officers, increase legal screening of the visa system and handed the states and localities the power to enforce federal immigration law on their own.

Here's the headline op-ed take from the Hill: "Davis-Oliver Act would make Trump's immigration agenda law of the land."

“Let’s call it what it is: This is President Trump’s mass deportation act,” moderate Republican Rep. David Cicilline, said according to the Spokesman-Review. “And it is based on a notion that immigrants endanger our lives.”

“This bill not only makes our communities less safe, but it really does change and will change the very character of our country,” he said. “We are better than this.”

He introduced the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act, a spin-off from the original Davis-Oliver Act, which would allow the deportation of members of criminal gangs, like MS-13, even before they commit deportable offenses.

Finally, he's been a sponsor of the Rep. Bob Goodlatte's Securing America's Future Act, an immigration deal that's endorsed by far-right groups like Numbers USA — the group that brags it "has been at the forefront of mobilizing grassroots opposition to every amnesty proposal since 1996 — and the Center for Immigration Studies. It's a deal that would not only crack down on sanctuary cities, it would attack the practice of "chain migration" and actually reduce the amount of legal immigration.

The far-right like the plan. But the left? The pro-immigrant National Immigration Forum panned the bill.

Democrat Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham called the bill the “Mass Deportation Act,” referring to it as a "hyper-partisan" bill full of "nativist policies" that "would rip apart communities through mass deportations."

More moderate Republicans haven't liked Goodlatte's bill.  But Labrador does. Because, right now, he's not a liberal on immigration. He's not even really a moderate. He's a conservative.

So with the bulk of the recent evidence suggesting that Labrador is an immigration hardliner, how does Little make the case to that he's a liberal? He reaches back years — often over a decade.

Little's case rests on four cherry-picked claims.

1) That Labrador, as an immigration attorney, defended illegal immigrants accused of committing crimes. Set aside the fact that defending people being accused of crimes is literally in the job description for many lawyers, the most recent case cited was 15 years ago — and tells us nothing about how he actually legislated.

2) That Labrador said that Mitt Romney encouraging unauthorized immigrants to "self-deport" was a mistake. Indeed he did.

But you know who else objected to the term "self-deportation," in much more harsh terms than Labrador? Donald Trump. And these days, Labrador praises Trump's harsh rhetoric on immigration.

"Some of his rhetoric was strong because people were missing the point about what's important with immigration reform," Labrador told the Inlander last year.

3) That Labrador supported amnesty for 11 million illegals. In 2013, Labrador was part of the "House Gang of Eight," a group dedicated to striking an immigration deal.

Back then you could still make the case that Labrador was more moderate than many of his fellow Republicans on immigration. He said as much in a Washington Post interview.

But even back then, Labrador was opposed to anything he considered straight-up "amnesty." He's repeatedly cited the example of Ronald Reagan's amnesty as one of the Republican president's biggest mistakes.

And he also came out firmly against a special path to citizenship for those who violated the law knowingly. In fact, Labrador dropped out of the House Gang of Eight, effectively tanking an immigration deal. Since then, Labrador has been a staunch opponent of more moderate Republican proposals on immigration reform.

"The mistake that the Democrats make, and especially the mistakes that our Republican leadership made, is thinking that all the American people care about is giving some pathway to the 12 million people," Labrador told Frontline last year. "No, our party doesn't worry about the 12 million people. They worry about feeling less secure in their homes, less secure in the economy."

4) That Labrador “voted for welfare for illegals."

Yes, way back in 2007, Labrador argued passionately against an Idaho bill that specifically banned unauthorized immigrants from receiving welfare benefits. But Labrador has maintained that was because the federal government already restricted illegal immigrants from receiving welfare.

But since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Labrador has become much more concerned about that issue. In fact, the entire reason Labrador left the House Gang of Eight was he was so starkly opposed to unauthorized immigrants receiving government assistance for health care.

In other words: Not only does Labrador not support "welfare for illegals," he destroyed a potential immigration compromise because he's so opposed to that. 

Last year, the Inlander did a deep dive into Labrador's history on immigration. In particular, we were interested in how he had changed in the decade since his comments at a City Club of Boise discussion in 2007.

Back then, he cited the DREAM Act — a bill intended to give the children of certain illegal immigrants as one of two reforms that Congress could do that would help "millions and millions and millions of people."

Indeed, when Labrador first ran for Congress, back in 2010, you could make a case that Labrador was a moderate on immigration. (Here's Dan Popkey — back when he was a reporter instead of Labrador's press secretary — asking a very pointed question based on that premise, accusing Labrador of "pandering" on immigration.)

Labrador's opponent, Democrat Walt Minnick, even tried to hit Labrador from the right on the issue, running ads an Atlantic writer called "ugly" and "racially tinged."

Now, Little, with the reputation of being more of a moderate than Labrador on many issues, seems to be trying to use a similar playbook. But the record of the last five years shows just how weak that argument is.

Today, Labrador says he'd never support a version of the DREAM Act, even in exchange for more border security.

"I'll never trade any kind of amnesty for anything," he told the Inlander.

Labrador has strenuously objected to the suggestion that he might have changed his views. Instead, he argues that the political landscape changed. That a bill that may have made sense during the Bush administration became unworkable after Barack Obama and the Democrats' behavior made a compromise — in his mind — unworkable. Labrador says his principles and framework was always the same. And Minnick's former campaign manager, John Foster, agrees.

And if Labrador actually has changed his views on immigration, it's been in one direction: to the right.

Brian Tanner, a Twin Falls immigration attorney who'd worked with Labrador occasionally when the congressman was still practicing law, told the Inlander that he saw Labrador become much more conservative on immigration.

"At the beginning, he made that choice: 'I wanted to help immigrants.' This isn't something you step into because you want to make gallons of money," Tanner said. "He's way more hard-line now than he was. No question... He's now lockstep with Trump."

And Tanner offered one reason why that change could be:

"Attacking immigrants is politically popular," Tanner says. "It has been from the beginning of time."

In their endorsement of Brad Little, the Idaho Statesman and the Idaho Press-Tribune both endorse the lieutenant governor, noting that's he's more moderate than Labrador, a trait popular with newspaper editorial boards but not necessarily Idaho GOP voters. So, yes, it's understandable that Little wants to find a way to muddy the waters on who's more conservative.

Both newspapers also praised Little for being "honest" and "genuine." But when it comes to being honest and genuine about Labrador's immigration record?

Not so much. 
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