December 7, 2010

NOT Frivolous, Pay your own

Filed under: General — mary @ 4:56 pm

Kennedy wasn’t in court today.  Neither were the mayor or other council people.  The only one in attendance from city hall was Chief City Attorney Mike Gridley.  (you know, Mr. Shove it….)

There were two issues brought before the court:  The Challengers, Brannon/Kelso, were asking for a new trial, because certain evidence was not fully considered in the first trial.  There were many good points made by attorney Starr Kelso, but the judge wasn’t having any of it.  He denied the motion.

The second issue before the court was brought by both the City’s attorney and Mike Kennedy’s attorney.  They were asking the court to make Jim Brannon pay for their attorneys fees and court costs.  Mike Haman, the private attorney paid by the city to defend this case (who didn’t say much of anything the whole trial) was whining about how it was “frivolous” for the city to  be included in the case.  (Excuse me?  It was a City election and the law says the City is responsible!) At least Kennedy’s attorney, Peter Erbland stated right up front that he did not think this was a frivolous case at all, but then he went on to claim that Kennedy’s costs were “exceptional” and should be paid by the challenger.

The judge was having none of that either.  He said this was not a frivolous case and  basically that everyone should pay for their own choices.  He said there were many ways this whole case could have been handled—the city could have defended it more  and Kennedy didn’t have to do anything—so each will pay their own.  That seemed to make sense to me.

Now, tonight, at the 6pm meeting of the CdA City Council, Kennedy will be asking the mayor and council to use taxpayer money to pay for his TWO private attorneys in this case.  We’ll see how that goes.

You can go in person to the meeting, which is in the Community Room of the Library downtown, or you can do what I’m going to and tune in on Channel 19.  Get the popcorn ready, this will be high theatrics!


  1. Meanwhile, the City is decreasing the parking requirements for developers. Bigger buildings, fewer parking spaces. How can that end well?

    Comment by Dan — December 7, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

  2. What a drama! Ron Edinger was almost in tears! The Mayor agreed with him! Woody said this was a “butt ugly” situation! Al Hassell and John Bruning said we have to help Mike!

    The council voted to give Kennedy’s attorneys $69,660. Only Ron Edinger held back…but it was wildly disingenuous…he “abstained”.

    What a crazy, scripted, pre-determined piece of theater.

    And city attorney Mike Gridley never mentioned what Judge Hosack said this afternoon in court, that Kennedy did not have to get attorneys; that Kennedy was never accused of any wrong doing. Even when city council members asked Gridley about having Brannon pay the fees, Gridley didn’t divulge Judge Hosack’s opinion.

    Comment by mary — December 7, 2010 @ 8:58 pm

  3. I watched it too. I filmed some of it – but my battery finally went – and I especially would have like the crying moments. Breaktime must have been group hug time. Not to mention the extra million plus in the cities coffers because there are very few claimS

    Comment by Stebbijo — December 7, 2010 @ 9:07 pm

  4. On the other hand, the City did the right thing and postponed the new parking regs. Thanks to Susie for sitting through over 3 hours of meeting to make some very good points. The council listened. Good moment.

    Comment by Dan — December 7, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

  5. Oops, I wasn’t finished but it posted anyway. I wonder if the Senior Center will get their wanted emergency money for their nutrition program with some snowplowing and deicing so Mr. Panabaker will not have to worry about buying shoes with cleats to accomodate hauling around an oxygen tank? I could go on and on – but I am still trying to digest it all. I know one thing – that meeting was very biased and ugly. I wonder if Mike Kennedy will go pro se to the Idaho Supreme Court? If he loses or wins, he has yet, another tort claim – against the state – because, Mike Kennedy, after all, is just the innocent passenger in the car who happened to get in a wreck. Buckle up.

    Comment by Stebbijo — December 7, 2010 @ 9:32 pm

  6. Stebbijo, did you hear Mike Gridley say tonight that the city would now take over defending Kennedy at the State Supreme Court level?….Oh yes.

    And WHY did the city council not allow public input on this matter? Gridley was there saying all kinds of things that were untrue or half-truths, but no one could counter his argument.

    And is Ron Edinger as dumb as he seems or is it an act? He kept saying that all Brannon needed was a “SIMPLE RECOUNT”! I’m sure he must know by now that a recount would do nothing. All it would do is put the same paper ballots back through the same counting machine…no one questioned the machine’s ability to count. Brannon/Kelso were concerned about the ILLEGAL ballots, and the machine can’t tell which are legal or not.

    County Prosecutor Barry McHugh said holding an Election Challege was the proper choice. The Judge said it. The Sec. of State’s chief assistant said it too, as did one of the attorney’s for Kennedy, Peter Erbland.

    Is Ron really that out of touch with reality? Or does he just put on a good show?

    Comment by mary — December 7, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

  7. Mary, I heard way too much. What was funny though was when they were calling roll call – it sounded like the city clerk said @sshole instead of Hassell. I know – it’s bad but that is what I heard.

    I do remember that Gridley said that the city may represent and maybe one more attorney ? – also another one of his claims for paying off Kennedy’s private attorneys was that the city failed to defend Kennedy because he isn’t a trial lawyer and doesn’t have the staff to fight such a battle. I know …

    How Edinger ever got elected is beyond me. Sad – very sad.

    There was one woman who commented before the discussion – I guess that was our chance at public comment – if we knew the tort claim was on the agenda.

    I am no attorney, but I think an Idaho Supreme Cout case is a bust here because the judicial system stinks – I wish Kelso/Brannon would jump right into federal court with this UOCAVA crap and just go for it.

    Comment by Stebbijo — December 7, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

  8. $69,600 plus the $36,000 the city tried to get in court today is curiously close to the $105,000 Kennedy asked for. I hope Jim Brannon submits a request to the CdA city council for his legal costs. This taxpayer gift to Kennedy is total bull.

    Comment by doubleseetripleeye — December 7, 2010 @ 10:54 pm

  9. Not only do we have a Chicago like city council, we have a gaffe-a-minute buffon who rivals “Plugs” Biden in the person of Woody. Obviously a nickname derived from what occupies his cranial cavity. Woody should heed the old saw; “Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” I can no longer patronize Rustler’s Roost. I’m not putting any more money in the pockets of a moron who doesn’t get it. I know most of these other council-critters have businesses in the area as well. Any chance of getting a list of their businesses so I can avoid putting any money in their Pockets? Thanks.

    Comment by Will Penny — December 8, 2010 @ 8:03 am

  10. As Dan noted, I sat through the entire meeting to comment on the proposed parking ordinance.

    I was surprised to hear Mike Gridley’s interpretation of the election challenge and his failure to mention both decisions in today’s hearing. I might be wrong, but it appeared to me that there was an agreement to pay Mike’s bills long before last night. The mediation was just the final step in the process. So was Mike simply crying crocodile tears for the past months?

    And to think that this could have been avoided had the council questioned the canvas rather than applying the rubber stamp.

    Comment by Susie Snedaker — December 8, 2010 @ 8:17 am

  11. The explanations were ridiculous — Gridely painted the picture so they could all wrap their brains around the “fiasco.” I dare say, they actually may believe that Bill Gates will move to town, run for office, then lose by a thousand votes. However, because of the ‘loser sues winner law,’ Bill Gates with all of his money could sue poor people like Mike Kennedy, so he could have the city council seat. Seriously! But do not fear because Mike Kennedy is going to be the poster boy for poor election law victims and work to fix that law, so people like Bill Gates cannot just move to town and abuse the law.

    Comment by Stebbijo — December 8, 2010 @ 8:22 am

  12. I know, Stebbijo, wasn’t that the stupidest example that Gridley gave? Here’s Gridley’s story:

    What if some billionaire like Bill Gates came here and ran for office but lost by 1,000 votes…or maybe 2,000 votes (apparently Gridley decided to double it for more drama) and then Bill Gates was able to use his billions to finance an Election Challenge lawsuit and drive out the real winner…

    Oh my goodness, Gridley was in prime form. It was silliness. And the mayor and council were so rehearsed that they sat there without laughing at the absurdity of his ramblings.

    Comparing unemployed Jim Brannon’s very real 3 vote loss in our local council race, to billionaire Bill Gates losing an imaginary election by 2,000 votes? How dumb do they think people are?

    Comment by mary — December 8, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  13. Mary,

    To answer your last question, the Mayor and City Council have no respect for the people of Coeur d’Alene. The Mayor and City Council do not necessarily believe the people are dumb, but the Mayor and City Council count on the people’s demonstrated ignorance. Ignorance should not be confused with stupidity or dumbness. Ignorance is based on a lack of credible facts. The people in the City do not get credible facts, because our local and regional news media choose not to give us credible facts in a timely, coherent way.

    Here’s a simile that even Woody McEvers ought to be able to understand: The Press/press give the public an apple today. Two months later it gives us some flour. Next month it gives us a little butter. Two months later, a little sugar. Then the next month some cinnamon. The last month it gives us some nutmeg and water. Nothing more is forthcoming. At the end of several months, what does the public have? We have some separate unrelated ingredients which, because of the separation in time, the public sees as just that — individual ingredients. The ignorant public, lacking all the ingredients assembled together in one place at one time, never sees the apple pie.

    Comment by Bill — December 8, 2010 @ 9:28 am

  14. Stebbijo, as a regular poster here I resent being tarred with your blanket statements. And your regular use of gutter language. We are all lumped together by the opposition and this type of vitriol does not benefit this site. The entire judiciary isn’t crooked. Please try to be reasoned in your posts so they may benefit the objectives of this site.

    Did anybody doubt that Kennedys bills would be paid? I wonder how the CDA teachers whose pay and benefits were cut feel about this pay out. For all his poor little me cries, not one penny has ever come out of Kennedys pocket.

    Mary, as they continue to be re-elected and continue to get away with actions such as this, they think we are very dumb indeed. And the people who continue to re-elcet these eels are very stupid indeed. Those who disagree (and they are legion) but don’t bother to vote, give new meaning to simple minded. So be it…..

    Comment by rochereau — December 8, 2010 @ 9:34 am

  15. rochereau – what tarred blanket statements? My ‘gutter’ language makes a point – it’s emphatic and it gets right to the point. Vitrol? What I saw last night was vitrol. You are attacking the wrong person. Geesh — go complain to the Idaho Press Club.

    Comment by Stebbijo — December 8, 2010 @ 9:52 am

  16. Another example used by Gridley and the council last night was that Mike Kennedy was just a “passenger in the car”, meaning he was not responsible for the election problems. This was their way of justifying the payment of his legal fees.

    Ok, I’ll agree that he was like a passenger in the car. And let’s say the “car” was pulled over for driving problems and the driver had to go to court. Mike Kennedy might have been named as a person sitting in the car, but he would not be expected to get an attorney because he wasn’t driving! The driver of the election (the city of CdA) is the one who needed the attorney, and they provided one in Attorney Mike Haman. Mr. Haman was there to defend the city’s actions in the election.

    Mike Kennedy didn’t need to do anything. He was never accused of anything. And he certainly did not have to hire two expensive attorneys.

    Comment by mary — December 8, 2010 @ 9:53 am

  17. Several people have asked me if it’s true that, yesterday in court, the city defense attorney called Mike Kennedy “fat”.

    Not exactly. Attorney Mike Haman was responding to a comment by the challengers that Mr. Kennedy had not been an active participant in the court case and never sat up in the “Counsel Theater” (the area where the lawyers and their clients sit at a big table nearer to the judge.) Kennedy always sat in the back of the room.

    Haman said, in response, that we all know Mr. Kennedy is not a small man…where would he have fit?

    Comment by mary — December 8, 2010 @ 9:59 am

  18. I was just thinking about the city hiring a woman to work the ‘television’ side of the city – like trying to get streaming video ect. Anyone know more about that new job?

    Comment by Stebbijo — December 8, 2010 @ 11:08 am

  19. Stebbijo,

    No, that’s the first I’ve heard of it. You can be sure that before any announcement opened to the public, the selection would have been made. You can also be sure that any applicants considered would have been vetted for political reliability and loyalty to the City Council and Mayor and LCDC.

    Comment by Bill — December 8, 2010 @ 11:47 am

  20. Maybe her job will be to get the city council members ‘camera ready’ and give them some acting tips and pointers regarding their delivery. I think they actually forget they are being filmed. Mike Kennedy sounded like a TV Advertisement when he gave out his cell phone number and email address. I almost expected to hear him say, “Use your credit card now, there are only 50 left!”

    Comment by Stebbijo — December 8, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

  21. Thank you stebbijo. While I suspect it was unintentional, your answer was very amusing and in these times, humor is always a good thing.

    Comment by rochereau — December 8, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

  22. I believe Stebbijo is referring to the person who was appointed to the CDA TV committee. That is not a paid position as far as I know.

    Comment by Dan — December 8, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

  23. What I heard Tuesday is that this new city council videographer was being hired by SD 271 and that that same individual would work with the city government in the capacity as mentioned here. My question to myself was, “With such a budget shortfall, how can the school district afford such a luxury?” The school district wants a levy increase of 10 of Millions of dollars.

    Comment by Ancientemplar — December 9, 2010 @ 10:06 am

  24. Hey, I know where the school district can get $69,660.!!!

    Comment by rochereau — December 9, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

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