November 17, 2012

2009 Election Contest Lawsuit Appeal Decision

On Friday, November 16, 2012, the Idaho Supreme Court filed its decision affirming the trial court’s decision in the 2009 Coeur d’Alene election contest lawsuit.  Here is a link to the Supreme Court’s decision.

In response to OpenCdA’s request, appellant Jim Brannon provided this prepared statement.

Thanks to the efforts, diligence, and integrity of Jim and Christine Brannon, Starr and Matt Kelso,  and the many volunteers who donated time, money, and labor beginning November 6, 2009, many flaws in Idaho’s election laws and many failures of duty by city, county, and state public officials have been exposed for public scrutiny.  To the extent those flaws either have been corrected by the election of new officials or legislative action, the election contest lawsuit served to benefit all legal voters in Idaho.  (more…)

September 5, 2012


Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 6:39 am

When the Idaho Supreme Court convenes in Coeur d’Alene (City) on September 19 to hear the oral arguments in the 2009 election contest lawsuit Brannon v. City of Coeur d’Alene et al , one of the issues on appeal is whether Senior Judge Charles Hosack “erred in dismissing the [Brannon] claim of malconduct,  refusing to permit the complaint to be subsequently amended to assert a claim of malconduct, and  holding that there was insufficient evidence in the record to find malconduct.”

I believe Judge Hosack ruled incorrectly and that there was sufficient evidence already in the record to have proven malconduct committed by the City and Kootenai County (County) if the Court had allowed the complaint to be amended.

Malconduct” and the information supporting my opinion that it took the form of frauds against voters and candidates in the 2009 City election are explained in detail in my paper titled Malconduct in the 2009 Coeur d’Alene City Election(more…)

July 30, 2012

2009 City Election Contest Lawsuit Update



The Idaho Supreme Court has notified the parties’ attorneys that oral arguments in the 2009 election contest lawsuit appeal (Brannon v. City of Coeur d’Alene, et al) will be heard Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at 11:10 a.m. at the Kootenai County Courthouse.

October 7, 2011

Keeping Our Elections Honest and Accessible

Today the Kootenai County Clerk’s Office sent out a press release titled Some Absentee Ballot Requests Show Confusion About Eligibility.  In that release, County Clerk Cliff Hayes revealed that for the upcoming November 8 cities and fire districts elections, his office has received almost 1500 requests for absentee ballots.  Of those requests, 469 were rejected because they were from voters whose residence address places them outside a city and in a fire district which has no contested races.

Some people will probably just ask, “So, who cares?”  But more timely and appropriate questions might be, “What difference does it make?” and “How did he know that?”  (more…)

September 27, 2011

On Appeal — The 2009 Coeur d’Alene City Election Contest

Coeur d’Alene attorney Starr Kelso has filed his opening brief appealing the First District Court’s (court) decision in the November 2009 Coeur d’Alene City election contest lawsuit.  The brief was filed with the Idaho Supreme Court (Court) on behalf of Appellant Jim Brannon.  A link to the entire brief is provided near the end of this post.

Before going to the brief, however, readers should first understand that an appeal brief is not written as entertainment reading for the general public.  It is a road map to guide the Idaho Supreme Court justices through the 2,676 pages of documents in the trial court record, 111 exhibits consisting of 563 pages, 876 pages of trial transcript, and transcripts of numerous other hearings held before and after the trial.  Much of that information is available to the justices during their preparation and deliberation.  Readers expecting the appeal brief to give them the complete picture of every detail will be disappointed.  (For more detailed information about the case as it developed, see my February 2011 report titled  The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Election Contest Lawsuit – 2009-2011.)

This current post with the link to the appeal brief will identify the ten issues raised on appeal and then briefly try to explain each issue. (more…)

February 11, 2011

Follow Your Money

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 12:27 pm

[Today’s Coeur d’Alene Press article headlined City will not fine Brannon was a diversion, erroneously implying former City Council candidate Jim [Brannon had evaded complying with Idaho campaign finance law.   If the City of Coeur d’Alene had decided donations to help pay Brannon’s election [contest lawsuit expenses were a campaign contribution, readers would have immediately realized that the $69,660 of our tax dollars the City Council [gave to fellow Councilman Mike Kennedy on December 7, 2010, was a campaign contribution.  The City’s decision reported today was to protect [Kennedy from that scrutiny, [not relieve Brannon of a non-existent obligation.

[Here is the story behind today’s Press story. (more…)

February 7, 2011

Coeur d’Alene Election Lawsuit 2009-2011

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , , — Bill @ 7:20 pm

Since Jim Brannon’s lawsuit contesting the November 2009 Coeur d’Alene city election was filed in Idaho’s First District Court on November 30, 2009,  the public has been kept almost totally in the dark about every aspect of that matter.  Our local newspaper, the Coeur d’Alene Press, and our regional newspaper, The Spokesman-Review, have failed miserably to fulfill one of any daily newspaper’s principal responsibilities:  Provide the public with accurate, timely, complete information we can understand so we, the people, can exercise our responsibilities to oversee and evaluate the conduct of our public officials.

In February 2010 I began keeping notes and researching the court filings and other public documents.  It has been an ongoing effort resulting in the paper titled The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Election Contest Lawsuit – 2009-2011.  There are hyperlinks to other material embedded in the paper.

As Dan Gookin would say (correctly!), it’s clunky.  It is divided into logical sections with headings describing the section’s content.  I’ve tried to base the content on the questions I believe people would like to have answered by credible newspapers.  In the section titled “Major Issues of Statewide Importance,” I’ve tried to identify the larger issues legislators will have to address.

One promise I can make:  After reading this, you will have a better understanding of the election contest lawsuit than Coeur d’Alene’s mayor, city council, and city clerk.

December 21, 2010

Holding Coeur d’Alene Officials Accountable

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 6:49 am

Sunday’s Coeur d’Alene Press ran an article intended to explain why the City Attorney handles some legal issues in-house and contracts others out.  The article was headlined The rising cost of litigation.

The article clearly stated the City’s in-house legal team’s “daily responsibilities” included, “…  ordinances, meetings, contracts, personnel and other issues.”

Finally!  City Attorney Mike Gridley acknowledges it was his responsibility to properly oversee the City’s election contract with the County which resulted in the very costly election contest lawsuit and the City taxpayers having to pay for the personal attorneys for Gridley’s good buddy, Councilman Mike Kennedy. (more…)

July 17, 2010

Who Decides When Violations Matter?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 9:37 am


Here is a link to Friday’s Coeur d’Alene Press article headlined Affidavit:  Many ballot irregularities.   Please read the article carefully.  Further in the post is my affidavit with exhibits filed with the District Court in the Coeur d’Alene election contest (CV-09-10010).  After looking at both the article and my affidavit, here are some questions you may wish to consider asking of your elected state representatives and senators and your mayor and city council:


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