April 3, 2013

Not the First Time…

Kennedy4This morning’s Coeur d’Alene Press published a letter to the editor by School District 271 Trustee Tom Hamilton.  Hamilton’s letter was a response to a My Turn opinion column written by Adam Graves published in Saturday’s Coeur d’Alene Press.

In his opinion column, Graves criticized School District 271 trustees for not sending even one trustee to a fund-raising auction for one of the local schools.

In his response to Graves, Hamilton observes, “Knowing that formal invitations (likely printed by your firm) were mailed to several District Administrators, the board [SD 271 Board of Trustees] is left to assume that your failure to extend the same invitation to the trustees could only be an act of omission, deliberate or otherwise. Could it be that an opportunity to slander the board was your intent all along?”

Hamilton reasonably asks if Graves was trying to manufacture a situation that would result in an opportunity for them to attack elected officials.  This scheme has been tried before here in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  (more…)

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…)

October 20, 2012

Bloem: “… Bring the Facts”

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 9:58 am

Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Mike Kennedy

At the April 17, 2012, meeting of the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, City Council, citizen Frank Orzell addressed the Council regarding Recall CDA’s effort to recall Mayor Sandi Bloem, Councilman Mike Kennedy, Councilman Deanna Goodlander, and Councilman Woody McEvers.   During his presentation, Orzell stated,  “Fear of intimidation and retribution is another indication of the [city’s] dysfunction.  Small business owners and city staff have expressed their desire to sign our petition, but very often also talk about fear of reprisal, even loss of employment, and that is difficult for us to ignore.”

Here is the YouTube excerpt of Mayor Sandi Bloem’s response to Orzell’s concern about intimidation and retribution.  Note that at the end, Bloem states, “I believe there’s not one person sitting at this dais that would do anything of the kind [resort to fear or intimidation against those involved in the recall effort].  So I would appreciate it if you’d bring the facts.”

Okay.  Here are facts.  (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.

January 26, 2012

City Policy: Make It Up As You Go Along?

In my January 22nd OpenCdA post titled Policy Question, I asked, “What is the City’s written policy regarding reading citizen letters into the minutes of City Council meetings?”  The question was predicated on the City’s selectively and arbitrarily reading some letters into the minutes of the City Council meetings while rejecting others.

Today’s Coeur d’Alene Press article titled The letters of the law by Tom Hasslinger almost answers the question.  Almost, but not quite. (more…)

January 22, 2012

Policy Question


Here’s a policy question for the City of Coeur d’Alene:  What is the City’s written policy regarding reading citizen letters into the minutes of City Council meetings?  (more…)

December 12, 2011

Measuring Public Officials’ Performance

Sometimes elected officials’ performance of a seemingly small but statutorily required function can reveal much about their character,  competence, and diligence.

With that in mind, consider this.  Under the heading of “I.  OTHER BUSINESS,” the agenda for the regularly-scheduled December 6, 2011, meeting of the Coeur d’Alene City Council listed “1.  Acceptance of Canvassed Election Results.”  Here is a link to the YouTube video of that segment of the meeting.  Please pay close attention to the words and inflection, facial expressions, and gestures of the Coeur d’Alene Mayor and Council members.

Recalling comments the Coeur d’Alene Mayor and Council members made in the video concerning the conduct of the City’s election by Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes and his staff, now please read Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes’ letter of December 9 sent in response to the Mayor and Council’s conduct at their December 6 meeting .   (more…)

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…)

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