October 28, 2015

Whoa, Governor!

Filed under: General — Tags: — Bill @ 7:08 pm

gambling-games1Idaho Governor Clement L. Otter churned out a press release today in which he called for the reinstatement of the historic horse racing/instant racing terminals in Idaho.

Our earlier OpenCdA posts expressed our views on how this entire debacle was propagated by almost everyone in state government except the janitors who clean the restrooms at the Capitol.

So while we agree it is noble to try and make whole those equine-related businesses who were financially damaged by a reckless Idaho Legislature, we want to say, “Whoa, Governor!” (more…)

October 19, 2015

Who Gets It?

Filed under: General — Bill @ 7:52 am

USSS BadgeSeveral skews agencies (Newsmax, Fox News, etc.) are reporting that presidential candidates Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson will soon receive Secret Service protection.  That is probably correct.

The skews agencies also imply that the Secret Service determines which presidential candidates get protection.  That is wrong.

Major candidates  for President and Vice President as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security are eligible receive Secret Service protection after the Secretary has consulted with the Congressional Advisory Committee (Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, and one additional member selected by the others).   Those candidates can decline protection if they choose.

Criteria have been established to assist the DHS Secretary and the Congressional Advisory Committee in their decision making (as of 2008). Candidates must:

  • Be publicly announced
  • Have some degree of prominence as shown by opinion polls
  • Be actively campaigning and entered in at least 10 state primaries
  • Be seeking the nomination of a qualified party
  • Have qualified for matching funds in the amount of at least $100,000
  • Have received contributions totaling $10 million

Hillary Clinton receives protection not because of her candidacy but because former presidents and their spouses are entitled by law to receive it for life or until the deceased president’s surviving spouse remarries.  Former president’s children receive protection until age 16.  The protection is offered to “formers” but can be declined.  Only former President Richard Nixon declined protection after he left office.

OpenCdA speculates that candidate Bernie Sanders does not yet meet one or more of the required criteria.  However, the President could still direct the Secret Service to provide him with protection.

December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Filed under: General — Bill @ 12:00 pm


June 22, 2014

Wise Words

Filed under: General — Bill @ 7:24 am

VinScullyOn June 18th, radio and television baseball broadcasting legend Vin Scully called the 19th no-hit baseball game of his career.  In today’s story headlined Vin Scully stays up to date with his no-hitter calls, Scully was asked the inevitable “Will you be back broadcasting next year?” question.

Scully responded, “”I don’t want to just be hanging on.  That’s why I want to watch my work and, if I’m worthy of it, continue.”

Wise words spoken sincerely and honestly.  We don’t think Scully would mind if public officials emulated him and practiced similar introspection and humility.

May 29, 2014


Filed under: General — Bill @ 7:27 am

Fact CheckThe image below was copied from a Los Angeles Times opinion piece online today.  Use your appropriate mouse button to enlarge the image.

Note the image’s caption identifies the three handguns as “Glock handguns. ”

Well, no.  While we are not firearms aficionados, we do immediately recognize the handgun in the upper right as being a Sig Sauer (very likely a P226), but certainly not a Glock.

Maybe before editorializing about gun control, Times writer Scott Martelle might want to take a handgun orientation and safety course.

(Mouse click on image to enlarge)

(Mouse click on image to enlarge)

ADDENDUM on 05-29-2014 at 2:30 PM:  We just followed the link to the entire LA Times op-ed piece and notice the word “Glock” has now been removed from the photo’s caption.  However, there is no mention of a correction in the op-ed.

January 13, 2014

Sunshine and Kept Promises in 2014 – Mary Souza’s Newsletter

Filed under: General — Bill @ 3:25 pm

01-12-2014 Souza Newsltr Title Graphic
Dear Newsletter Readers,

Happy New Year!  I have a feeling that 2014 will be a much better year, all around. Our new mayor, Steve Widmyer, along with the rest of the new council, were sworn into office last Tuesday… out with the old, and in with the new.  On that note, let me cover a couple of year-end decisions by the old mayor and council. File these tidbits under the category “Elections have consequences”.  Or maybe, better yet, let’s call it “To the victors go the spoils”: (more…)

October 26, 2013

Tutorial: How to Inflate Your City Salary

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Bill @ 9:02 am


Today’s Los Angeles Times reporting about the public corruption trial of Bell, California’s former Deputy City Administrator explains how DCA Spaccia and City Administrator Rizzo allegedly inflated their own salaries.

This is the kind of detailed, how-it-was done news reporting that educates voters and helps make it more difficult for corrupt public officials.   One of the best courtroom exchanges reported in today’s Times story could have applied here in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho:

 [Bell’s former Financial Officer Lourdes] Garcia said she assumed the city attorney had reviewed the council resolution that contained the vacation increases and that Rizzo told staff members that he would discuss changes with council members.

Did you assume the City Council was voting on things they never read?” Garcia was asked by Spaccia’s attorney, Harland Braun.

“Probably,” she said.

May 30, 2013


Filed under: General — mary @ 10:14 am

DSCN1096Dear OpenCdA Readers,

City Councilman Dan Gookin has called a Press Conference for tomorrow morning at 10:00am at the 3rd Street Boat Launch.  He will speak about the upcoming city elections, particularly the position of Mayor.  Please join us at the boat launch, which closes Saturday and will not open again until October.

Hope to see you tomorrow if you can get there,


May 5, 2013

Registering to Comment on OpenCdA

Filed under: General — Bill @ 10:01 am

Registration is required only to add a comment to a post on OpenCda.  Registration is not required to read either posts or comments.

To reduce the dramatic increase in automated (bot) registrations, OpenCdA is going to a manual registration.  Here are the steps to follow if you want to register initially or if you want to change your username or email address. (more…)

April 12, 2013

Here They Go Again

Filed under: General,The City's Pulse — mary @ 2:54 pm

Mary Souza’s Newsletter   -1

It’s been a long time since we talked about LCDC, and I know you’ll be thrilled to hear what they’re doing with your property tax dollars.  Our County Clerk,  Cliff Hayes, just released the yearly report of Urban Renewal money, so let’s look at LCDC’s portion:

More than $540,000 dollars in property tax that would normally have gone to NIC, went to LCDC instead.  And if you include all the urban renewal districts in Kootenai County, the total diverted away from NIC was almost $1million.  My, my, I bet the college would like to have that income right now.  Oh, wait, they do get their whole income because you and I and every other taxpayer in the County pay more on our NIC taxes to help make up for the million that goes to urban renewal.  (more…)

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