Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thank You for Your Vote and all the Support!

Well, I am exhausted!  It's nearing the end of the day and it is just about time to watch the votes come in.  I simply must thank all of the good and kind people who have helped me this year.  I can't thank everyone by name as it would inevitably mean me leaving someone out accidentally and that would be too tough to take. 

To all of the people who supported me with contributions, thank you so much.  To all of the people who allowed me to place a sign in their yard, thanks a million--nothing is greater than seeing a yard sign.

To everyone who volunteered their time in so many ways, thanks so much.  It has been an honor and pleasure.

Win or lose, Cynthia and I will be eternally grateful for the kindness we were showed every day during this blur of a campaign.  It has meant the world to us and we will always remember this.

The Honor of Running A Race on the Issues

Well, it is finally here--Primary Election Day!  It has been a furious and challenging race.  I would have liked to have offered my wishes of good luck to my opponent, but it is hard to respect a man who is no more than a puppet for two of political enemies.  How my opponent can feel like an independent man after the sleazy campaign he is ultimately responsible for is beyond me.

As for myself, I feel that if re-elected I will be in the best position of my career to get enacted, finally, legislation that will help the state of Idaho stem the costs that illegal immigration cost taxpayers every year.  The amount of media I have been afforded to better explain this complicated issue to people I believe has helped get this moved to the front of the agenda.  I feel my loss would be Idaho's loss.

I am also proud of a few other items that I have been attacked for.  I am proud to have voted for GARVEE funding that has allowed our dangerous roads to becomes safer.  YES!  I am proud to have helped serve the people in this way!

I am proud of the years of work it too for me to help the Idaho Legislature to pass the Kralicek Act, the law that gives a $100,000 lump sum payment to our police and firefighters families in the event of a career ending injury sustained in the line of duty.  While everyone always said it was a good idea, it took 5 years of hard work to make it reality.

Fighting a campaign cleanly and honestly is its own reward, of course.  I am proud of my record.  I am proud to serve the people of District 3 and of all Idaho.

Please remember to vote today and I once again humbly ask for your vote when you do so.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Remember to Vote Tomorrow--Endorsements from the NRA, Idaho Chooses Life and Kootenai County Republican Women

Voting is the greatest expression of freedom and the greatest duty that the people of America can have.  Groups of citizens gathering to offer their endorsements is also a welcome part of our political tradition.  I am so honored to have the endorsements of the National Rifle Association, Idaho Chooses Life and the Kootenai County Republican Women.  These are all well-respected important conservative groups and I hope the CDA Press, the Spokesman Review and Associated Press all take note and mention these facts.  If these help get more people out to vote, and for me, then this is even better news.

The advent of "Vote by Mail" has been an interesting development.  Without saying 'anything' is good if it helps more people to vote, I realize the importance of this new way to vote. 

We all have concerns about people voting who shouldn't--especially when they aren't showing up in person to have their signatures checked against the record.  I am pleased we enacted the Voter ID Act this year; people SHOULD have to prove who they are when they vote.

Still, the point of the blog post is to encourage everyone to vote.  We need a good and large representative sample at all elections, not just the people who are so very politically active.

Please remember to vote tomorrow and I humbly ask for your vote when you do.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

More Thoughts About Idaho Senate Mud-Slinging in District 3

Jeff Altus is a former legislator here in northern Idaho who served a very brief period of time.  He has written a vague but nasty letter about me and mailed it to local voters.  I will give Jeff one credit:  he had the decency to at least PAY for the letter to be sent out, as opposed to Rod Beck, who wrote another but refused to open his wallet in order to get it to the public.  Beck has no honor, but everyone who knows him in Boise knew that already.  Now the people of northern Idaho do too.  So much the better.

But Jeff's letter is hardly better.  It is filled with hearsay, rumor and just innuendo.  "I don't like Mike and I called A LOT of important people and THEY say they don't EITHER!"  What is this, Jeff?  Elementary school?  Grow up.  Name names if you are being honorable and truthful.  Your letter read like that of a teenager who couldn't get a job for the school newspaper.

I go to Boise each year and fight for the people of District 3.  I don't spread rumors.  My positions are well-recognized and I am thankful to have gained the endorsement of the Kootenai County Republican Women for doing so.  What groups are there in support of my opponent?  Only faded, blown-out former legislators who are living past fantasies of glory.

The Idaho Legislature is a place for serious people to argue serious issues.  This is who Mike Jorgenson is.  Some of these positions are difficult to take, particularly when your opponents bold-face LIE about them.  Such as the lie that Streamlined Sales Tax Project is a tax increase.  It is not.  It is a way for local retailers, owned by local men and women to get back on equal ground with out of state internet retailers that are killing local businesses.

But issues of TAX are very difficult for some people, especially Rep. Phil Hart.  Phil Hart has cheated and lied on his federal tax returns because he's an income tax 'objector' or 'protestor'.  If you don't pay for your fair share of taxes, you're a cheat.  No one likes paying taxes, but our schools and roads and state police depend on TAXES.  The secret is to make them as low as possible and as fair as possible.

But what would a federal tax evader with leins against his name know about fairness?  It's ok for me and you to pay taxes, and Phil Hart is quite happy about that. 

As for Jeff Altus, how about mailing out proof of what you're claiming to Betsy Russell or Mike Patrick at the CDA Press?  If not, you're signature says it all--Idaho House 1994-2000, i.e., former legislator now a loser, just like Jim Clark and possibly almost as soon, Phil Hart.

Throwing Mud in the District 3 Idaho Senate Legislature's Primary

I am proud of my record and tenure in the Idaho Legislature.  I feel I work very hard on issues that are important to the citizens of my district, as well as the people of Idaho.  Some of these issues are not popular with special interests groups and the elected officials who can be bought off by them.  I suppose this makes me particularly proud of my record, because I can't be bought off.  Illegal immigration is one issue I am proud to be "unpopular" about with my colleagues and with some lobbyists.  They often say, if you are not making enemies in politics, then you aren't working hard enough for the people who elected you.

But the mud-slinging that has been going on this past week by my enemies is different--all paid for not by my opponent, but by his organ-grinder Phil Hart has really disgusted me.  Phil Hart has taken the campaign contributions honest men and women have sent him and has spent it not fighting his own campaign, but to fund my opponent!

I received today a poisonous letter that was mailed, paid for by Hart for Legislature (as it admits itself) that was written by a discredited laughingstock who once served in the Idaho Senate.  In his letter he even admits to not even having met my opponent, but he nonetheless support his candidacy over mine.  Why?  He didn't like me while he was in office.

If it weren't so insulting to the voter, I would be the most insulted party.  I wonder if Betsy Russell of the Spokesman Review and John Miller of the Associated Press were mailed this letter?  Or was it meant to be sent only to voters in a dirty attempt to smear my name?

What has Rod Beck every done for the people of Idaho?  Unlike Rod Beck, I have never lost an election and judging from his vindictive personal letter it is easy to see why voters rejected him.  His manners are appalling and his relevance to any election in Idaho, particularly in northern Idaho, is and has been absolutely zero.  And he was so insincere in his desire to tell the people of District 3 his views about me, he wasn't even willing to spend his own money to send the letter.  Mercenary.  I wonder if he was paid to write it.

As for myself, I simply am campaigning on the issues:  fighting illegal immigration, fighting for the permanently injured police and firefighters who benefited from my hard work on the Kralicek Act in 2009.  I am very proud of my record and will stand on it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

30 Days to Go!

With about 30 days to go before Idaho's Primary Election on May 25th, I am feeling very confident about the status of my campaign.  I am out visiting local residents and businesses and what I am hearing is helping to inspire this sense.  Business is picking up and peoples' faith in the economy is growing again.

Coupled with the tough decisions we made in the Legislature last year and this year, I know we have placed our great state in the best possible position to be a leader in a revived US economy.  Only this past week our neighboring state of Washington passed a series of tax hikes that will only serve to make that state less competitive and to penalize higher earners for being more productive.

In Idaho, I am pleased to have voted repeatedly to make government fit the size of the peoples budget and not forcing the people to pay more when they could least afford it.  Right-sizing government is a fact of life now.  The less government spends, the more money is in the pocket of the citizens.

I am hearing this daily on my campaign walks and I know the decisions I helped make in the Idaho Legislature puts me four-square in line with the voters in District 3.

It is a pleasure serving my friends and neighbors and I ask for your support once again on May 25th.  It is now possible to vote by mail, so if this interests you, please take the time to fill out the forms you may have received already from me in the mail.  More will be following, in case you missed them.

You can also download the form from my website, which I encourage you to visit:  http://www.mike4idaho.com/.

See you on the campaign trail!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Primary Challenger Is Legally Unqualified to Oppose Me

My primary challenger has a lot of questions to answer, but I don't believe that he can.  He claims to be dedicated to Idaho and serving the Idahoan people in the Idaho Senate, but if he had been better liked, more respected or a harder campaigner, right now he would be living back home now in Montan and serving its citizens over there.

That's because my challenger ran for office in Montana in 2006 even though his voter registration says he's been living at the same address in Idaho since 2004.

Even though he was registered to vote in Idaho in 2006, he decided to go back to his native Montana and run for office again there, as a Commissioner of the Public Service Commission.  If he had won that race, he wouldn't be running for the Idaho State Senate right now; the term for that position is four years.  In fact, he may never have come back to Idaho again.

But he lost.

So now he's running for elected office in Idaho, except he never re-registered to vote in Idaho.  Idaho's laws are clear:  if you leave the state and register to vote someplace else, you lose your status as a Qualified Elector in Idaho.

If you aren't a Qualified Elector, then you can't run for elective office in Idaho.

So what does my opponent have to say?  He blames Montana for not telling Idaho he moved back.  He also blames Idaho for not making sure he re-registered because he said he told them all about it.

He said, she said.

It is only one person's fault for all of this:  my opponent.  I'm sure he would be rather running for RE-ELECTION today in Montana than running for the Republican Party nomination here in Idaho for our state Senate today.  Either way, he can't.  Like I said, he lost that election and he's not a registered voter here in Idaho.

I'm sure he's embarrassed by this and the additional information that will soon come out about this sorry matter, so in order to spare himself any further embarrassment, my opponent should do the honorable thing and withdraw his name from the ballot.

Let him spend some time here in Idaho and let him first get properly registered to vote and stop hiding behind excuses.  While he's at it he can explain why he decided to run back to home state of Montana and run for office there if what he really wanted was to serve the people of Idaho.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rathdrum Chamber of Commerce event

This afternoon I was fortunate to be able to address local business leaders at Rathdrum's Chamber of Commerce.  Every free-market conservative has to enjoy visits such as these.  While Idaho's economy is still sluggish, meeting with these men and women you quickly learn from where the coming expansion will sprout. 

I enjoy listening to their suggestions and concerns.  It's important to listen to their ideas and opinions and one of the areas we broadly agreed and that was warmly supported was my position on the improvements to Highway 95.

Hwy 95 used to be known state-wide as the road with the most deaths and this situation was justifiably outrageous.  As we all know, money is tight, but our infrastructure cannot be ignored.  Maintaining and improving our state infrastructure is a fit and proper role of government.  Government must do certain items for all the people that which the people cannot do for themselves.  Roads and bridges comes to mind in this respect.

I will always support the GARVEE road funding program because it was the only way Highway 95 was ever going to be improved, in my opinion.

Northern Idahoans deserve safe roads.  Northern Idahoan businesses deserve efficient roads that allow their workers to get to and from work in a timely as well as safe fashion.  Northern Idahoan goods and services depend on the improvement of Highway 95.

I was immensely pleased with the broad support I received during my visit today with business leaders for this position I have taken and of which I will always be proud.  The use of GARVEE funding is a credit to the Idaho Legislature and to the men and women in the majority that voted for it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Campaigning for the Idaho Legislature

Some of my colleagues in the Idaho Senate don't particularly enjoy campaigning and while I am not one of those types, I do understand it. There are many (most) thoughtful people in the Idaho Legislature, particularly in the Senate and while they make excellent public servants, it isn't always easy to go door-to-door or mix it up against opponents.

I thrive on being in the arena, fighting for my core beliefs and those of my neighbors. There is a lot of anger out there in other states and I admit I would find it difficult to serve in state's where there is so little common-sense conservatism present.

All the states to our west all suffer from over-government/too much government. Here in Idaho, we have (I believe) mastered the art of limited government while providing the amount of government required to meet the exploding population growth the state continues to enjoy.

Idaho is not like our sister states directly to our east. While those states enjoy the benefit of coal and oil royalties (which Idaho sadly does not), those states have not seen the sort of population growth that Idaho has. Idaho has more than double the population of Montana and the about that again over Wyoming.

Idaho is a shining beacon to those who want to enjoy a unique quality of life, but also want to stay firmly rooted in a modern, hi-tech, 21st century economy. This is great for Idaho.

As I knock on doors and chat with voters, I am amazed at how little anger there is directed at Idaho's government. The voters appreciate the leadership of Governor Otter, whom I have worked closely with over many years.

They appreciate the Legislature not voting to raise taxes this session. This was the wrong time to raise taxes on families and businesses--we must make government fit the budget of the people and not the other way around!

The voters appreciate the common-sense conservative approach I know I have always taken in the Idaho Legislature. I am proud of my service and I am absolutely enjoying my time out on the campaign trail. Listening to the concerns of my neighbors is Job One.

If you would like to visit with me or get involved in my campaign, please visit my website: www.mike4idaho.com.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

First Debate and Our Founding Fathers

I had a rousing day; not only preparing for the campaign trail, but engaging on it as well!

A noon debate with my opponent almost immediately became an American civics and history lesson that I and most others seemed to obviously understand.

Our Founding Fathers in their infinite wisdom designed a system of government that the world has marvelled of for more than 200 years.

Except my opponent doesn't think this is such a good idea anymore. He is no doubt wiser than Jefferson, Adams, Franklin--perhaps even Washington?

It seems he doesn't like the Senate here in Idaho. He thinks the House is better. Does he not understand we have two bodies in our Legislature? I must believe he does?

But then why, one asks, does he run for the Senate? If he wants to serve in Idaho's House of Representatives (where he may or may not be eligible to run, as opposed to his own native state, where he is barred from serving in the Legislature this year), then why hasn't he sought the seat of the vacating Jim Clark?

Jim Clark should have considered him as a substitute, seeing as he missed over 150 votes during this past legislative session. Jim managed to have his picture taken with Governor Otter after the session was over, but he found it troublesome to do the People's business DURING the session. 150 votes is an appalling number of votes to miss, but this is a different story.

No matter, my opponent is adamant that the system of government our Founders devised for us is simply no good anymore. Let me be clear: this is Idaho. In Idaho we respect the wisdom of the Founders. We believe in the separation of the powers in government. We believe in two houses of a legislative body: the House of Representatives and the Senate. We believe in the rule of law. We believe the system of government the Great Men created for us is worth honoring.

I am proud to serve the people of Idaho, where I was born, in our state senate and I am sure my friends and neighbors believe in the wisdome of the Founders as well.

It was truly a good day here in northern Idaho. A great start to my campaign and a great civics and history lesson. I will be reading a selection from James Madison tonight.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Back Home and Hitting the Campaign Trail

It has been wonderful to be home from a relatively short legislative session. It was actually the second-shortest session of the past 10 years. This proves that the Legislature can actually get the People's business done in a very economical time-frame if it has the tools it requires from the start. This year, we knew exactly what we needed to do and so we got down to business right away.

It is now Election Season and I am excited to be hitting the campaign trail again. I really enjoy this part of being a legislator: You have the best opportunity to get out and speak to everyone and hear what is on the minds of your neighbors and local businesses.

I know through my long experience in this area of Idaho what the people expect from government: lowering taxes, cutting wasteful spending, keeping the corrupt ways of Washington DC away from Idaho.

Please come along and speak to me if you see me out downtown, in the supermarket or even if I am out walking our dogs.

I have my first debate on Thursday, April 7th and I am extremely excited to tell one and all of my continued efforts at making government more efficient and new efforts to create good paying jobs here in Idaho.

I ask for your support!

Please visit my website: www.mike4idaho.com.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Moving to Boise 2x a Year...and More...

Last session I began writing a blog for my website which tried to portray the other side of the time spent being a legislator. There are genuinely amusing and fun things that do somehow manage to take place in-between the very long hours of work. They help make the effort more worthwhile and when the session is over, it is times such as these that you usually prefer to remember.

One story I am sure I will look back on far more rosily than I do now or did three weeks ago was the epic annual task of moving Cynthia and I down to Boise. Most people move home rarely in life. Cynthia and I do it twice a year, every year—in a manner of speaking.

Since I have been in the Legislature, New Year’s Day has become much different than in years past. The first day of the year is now the day we start taking down the Christmas decorations. We try to get that done in one day. We must because the following days are spent packing all of the things we want to have with us in Boise. We then have to prepare to more or less close up our house in Hayden Lake.

Fortunately, we have for the past four years rented the same house to live in Boise. We were lucky enough to find a retired husband and wife who retreat to warmer climes during the ‘harsh’ winter months in our capital. I note that the temperature as I write this is currently 49F.

Anyway, on the morning of January 4th we were packed and ready for the almost interminable drive south. The SUV was filled to overflowing with our belongings and we were about to set off when the telephone rang. Our Boise landlords were calling to apologize, but due to unforeseen circumstances they would not be able to rent us their house for another two weeks. I could scarcely believe it.

We unpacked the SUV and reluctantly retreated to our house. I made a series of telephone calls and decided to rent a hotel room for the period required and a few days later we packed it all up again and set off; though it took some effort convincing Cynthia that staying in a tiny hotel room for two weeks was a good idea. In the end, the maid and room service did the trick.

Nonetheless, we still ended up unpacking and repacking everything twice more, all within what turned out to be somewhat less than two weeks. Here’s hoping we don’t have any flooding or problems with the furnace before the end of March rolls around…