Democratic candidate Jerry Brady

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brady is so proud of his latest campaign finance report that he put out a press release, complete with a photo showing a happy Brady bringing his report in to the Secretary of State’s office.

The reason: He raised $145,155 in the filing period, which ran only from May 8 through June 2. His largest donations were from the Democratic Governors Association, which gave $10,000 each for the primary and general elections; and from Richard Hackborn of Meridian, who gave $5,000 for each contest (his first $5,000 contribution came before the current filing period). But the vast majority of the contributions were from individual Idahoans who gave less than $1,000 each; the finance report stretches for 26 pages. Brady said he raised money at twice the pace this period that his leading opponent, Republican Congressman Butch Otter, hit during the previous filing period. Of course, Otter’s raised far more money in total – more than $1 million. Brady has raised $318,000 so far this year, and has $380,000 in the bank for his campaign for governor.

Otter’s latest report isn’t in yet, but as of his pre-primary report, he’d raised $348,000 this year and had $419,000 in the bank.

Brady said his fundraising spurt shows the battle for governor is on. “I’m proud of the momentum our campaign has built,” he said, “and with this influx of money from middle class Idahoans, we will be able to deliver our message that Idaho is not for sale.” Brady is a former newspaper publisher from Idaho Falls who took 41.7 percent of the vote in 2002 to then-incumbent Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s 56.3 percent.


So long story short, I had to go out to Wal-Mart this morning to purchase a new garbage can for my bathroom. I guess I didn't have to go to Wal-Mart, but I did. And amazingly enough I ran into the last person on earth I ever thought would shop at Wal-Mart. I can't tell you who it was...we made an oath in the store to never reveal our identities, though in telling this story I realize I am revealing the fact that I was in fact in Wal-Mart.

For the record, I hate Wal-Mart. I've only been to the place maybe a half-dozen times by myself, I hate shopping and I especially hate shopping alone. One of my many trips out to Wal-Mart left me accused of purchasing questionable items, items that my Wal-Mart shopping partner had put in the basket and was surely across the store looking for more...come to think of it, she's a questionable friend. Needless to say, I avoid Wal-Mart.

This person I ran into happens to be one of the most die-hard Democrats I know. So, as I was pulling out of the parking lot, which if possible, I hate more than the store itself, I was thinking -- what if all the Democrats in the United States stopped shopping at Wal-Mart? Couldn't we put them out of business?

As soon as I find another store in P-Town that sells Diet IBC Root Beer, I'm breaking loose of the Wal-Mart bond.

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Local Happenings - An Abolition Campaign and Progressive Advocacy Training

I've still been slacking bad! Only three posts in all of January! I have, however, a plan to reinvigorate this little blog (just for personal satisfaction, and to be prepared if I ever do gather an audience). I am going to write a weekly piece commenting on current events, to be published every Friday. This week I'll have a piece about the State of the Union Address on Tuesday, so check back in two days for that. I'm also going to have plenty to write about as this semester of activism kicks into gear. There are Amnesty International meetings every Thursday (at 5:00 pm at The Flying M) and Idaho Progressive Student Alliance meetings almost every Sunday (at 5:00 pm in the Alexander Room, upstairs in the Student Union Building). Not this weekend, but the next, I'll be attending the United Students Against Sweatshops conference in San Francisco, so I'll have that to write about also. I'm also volunteering more- regularly at Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade imports store, and this Saturday night at the Snake River Alliance dinner. Some more major events for this spring:

  • Progressive Advocacy Training. The IPSA organizes this event every February. Progressive students from around the state will come together for workshops and actions on progressive issues. Some workshops this year: fair trade, amnesty international, coca-cola boycott, running for local office, understanding right to work, grant writing, and Idaho nuclear issues. The training will take place from February 17th through 20th. Email IPSA at for more information.
  • A Campaign for Death Penalty Abolition:
    In early December of last year the United States carried out the execution of Kenneth Boyd in North Carolina. But this was not just another execution. Boyd's execution marked the thousandth since the United States reinstated the use of the death penalty in 1976. Enough is enough. The United States is alone in the developed world as a nation that still practices this blatant abuse of human rights. Capital punishment is not a deterrent; is inherently racist; is the ultimate and irreversible denial of human rights; is not a reasonable administration of justice; has the very real possibility of killing innocent people; and is essentially murder by the state. Now is the time to speak out against this ongoing abuse of human rights. We cannot wait for another thousand executions to speak out. Amnesty International of Boise State University and Amnesty International of Boise High School are planning a campaign for abolition here in the Treasure Valley. We hope to spur debate of the issue in the community and reframe that debate in a manner which would reveal the practice as legitimized murder. Anyone is invited to join this crucial campaign for abolition. Come to Amnesty meetings to take part.
  • National Week of Student Action:
    Amnesty International of BSU is preparing for the National Week of Student Action to take place in early April. This year, we are putting our energy into saving women's lives by supporting the Treaty for the Rights of Women. This treaty seeks to end violence against women, ensure access to education and health care, provide equal protection under the law, and prevent other abuses of human rights. Basic human rights, right? Sadly, the United States still has not ratified this important treaty, even though more than 180 other countries around the globe already have. We will receive an NWSA action kit from Amnesty International USA in mid-February at which time the real organizing will begin. The week of action will consist of advocacy in the community to raise awareness and action aimed at urging the United States to ratify the treaty. Anyone is invited to assist us in participating in this week of action. We hope you can. Again, just come to the meetings to take part.

My New Class

Unfortunately, I can only be a part-time student. Hampshire College, as part of my deferral agreement, only permits me to attend Boise State University as a non-degree seeking student. So, the classes I enroll in now are purely for fun. Last semester I failed by picking an excruciatingly boring philosophy course. This semester, however, looks brighter. I attended the second session of an American government and politics course, taught by a Proffessor Shaw (who is writing a book about Reed v. Reed, which will have a forward by Ruth Bader Ginsburg... way cool). Even though this is simply an introductory course (probably covering much material I've already covered more than once), I'm excited. There is no textbook but rather five books that range in subject from the genocide in Rwanda to Bush's war cabinet to Brown v. Board (the one we are reading now). I overheard students behind me today during a break commenting on the Professor's teaching style. Rather than shoving a heaping of neatly organized facts down our reluctant throats, he is discussing real, momentous events to relate to us the essential concepts and ideas of American government. At least that seems to be the gist so far. These students were worried about exams and not gathering the correct true or false, multiple choice answers. If only they knew that education concerns the questions, and not simply the black and white answers...

Local Happenings - New AI Locale, MLK, and Ten Thousand Villages

First of all, sorry for such infrequent posts. I've been insanely busy lately. But it's good. As campus activism swings into action for this semester, blog posts will naturally become more frequent. That is what this blog is about, after all. Also, as I work on being less jaded about our country going to hell in a handbasket, I'll comment more on current events.

Amnesty International meetings have changed locations. We now meet every Thursday at the Flying M (corner of 5th and Idaho) at 5:00 pm. Join us please! We have exciting plans for 2006.

Don't forget about the MLK human rights celebrations. Visit for more information. If you want to learn more about Amnesty International, attend the workshop I'm teaching in the SUB's Farnsworth Room, Friday the 20th at 3:40 pm.

In other news, I finally volunteered for my first time at Ten Thousand Villages in Hyde Park. Ten Thousand Villages is an incredible fair trade organization. After some more experience working there I'll write a larger piece about my experience and the organization.

That's all for now.

Local Happenings - New Semester of Activism

I've been slacking lately. This is my first post since December 23rd. Without campus activism to write about and with all the holiday shenanigans, I just haven't had much time or much subject matter to write about (even though bad news never seems to stop; I just don't always have the energy to tackle those problems). Second semester at BSU begins next week, though, so blog posts will become regular once again. First of all, Amnesty International meetings resume next Thursday at 5:00 pm in the Foote Room of the Student Union Building. That is January 12th for those who, like me, haven't purchased an '06 calendar yet. We'll be discussing where our energy for this semester will be directed and formulating plans to visit Portland for the 2006 Amnesty International Annual General Meeting. On Monday, January 9th the Idaho Progressive Student Alliance will be meeting at 10:00 am in the lounge across from Moxie Java in the SUB. The Progressive Advocacy Training event will be discussed. Finally, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Celebration will begin on January 16th, a Monday, with a march to the Capitol Building. The human rights week continues until January 21st. On Friday, January 20th journalist and author Charlayne Hunter-Gault will give the keynote address for the week. She is known for being one of the first two African-American students to be admitted to the University of Georgia. You can access an entire schedule of events at

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