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Sisyphus

Excellent work. Wayne? Any response?

Rob

Wow. That is some good investigative work. I too am looking forward to the response. Thanks.

Julie Fanselow

Excellent reportage, MG.

As the writer of one of Idaho's oldest blogs - and as a paid staffer for two campaigns (Larry Grant last year; Larry LaRocco at present) - I have been very careful to tell people who pays my way.

As far as I'm concerned, Hoffman has the right to blog anonymously as a citizen during his "off" hours. (And we as his fellow citizens also have the right to know he's doing this, given his day job, so thanks.)

But if he's blogging anonymously on a political site from a government facility (even on a personal computer) during typical work hours, he's stepped over a line.

IdahoRocks

Once again, MG, you prove to be one great investigative reporter! Is is Hoffman? On government time? Well, I am biased, given how many times I've found Republicans clearly involved in unscrupulous behavior, and so, I err on the side of believing that Hoffman may well be committing a big NO-NO! Of course the quote about "small government, lower taxes and [emphasis on families]" was enough to make me gag, given how Republicans have raised taxes by giving tax cuts to the rich, built up the single largest big government dictatorship since Hitler took over Germany, and whose emphasis on the family seems to also involve the likes of inviting male homosexual prostitute Gannon into the Washington Press Corps., and White House!, and giving him priority over senior Washington Press Corps member Helen Thomas. Geez, if that's not a bunch of slimey Republican values I don't know what is. So, I remain skeptical of Republican innocence....

Bubblehead

Good investigative work, MG!

IdahoRocks -- what do you have against male homosexuals? Both you and morialekafa seem to be implying that male homosexuals shouldn't be allowed to be part of the DC press corps with your constant references to Gannon. And I'm pretty sure that China was a bigger government dictatorship that started up since 1933 than the current U.S. government.

Adam Graham

MGR, the time stamps shouldn't be taken to prove anything. Most blogging software allows you to edit the time stamp. I often blog ahead posts the night before or I'll a post in the morning and it will appear in the afternoon. I'll also advise you that Congressional staff don't have jobs that can be described as 9-5 in any sense of the word, and are not always "in the office." (particularly when we're talking about a press aide) and there are numerous ways of accessing the Internet without the use of government computers.

The substance of the story, I won't comment on. I respect all of our Idaho Conservative bloggers and trust that everything will be addressed by the Idahoan appropriately and in due time.

chris

What I find amusing is that he seems to label Press Releases as "Guest Posts", like Craig or Simpson actually cares that some guy has a website in Idaho.

Kind of reminds me of the whole "Grassroots GOP" thingy; these people would really be helped by the employment of a dictionary.

MountainGoat

Well Adam, I wouldn't expect anything else from you. Also, thanks for the lesson on time-stamps and the work habits of press aides...very enlightening.

Really now, that bucket has to be getting pretty heavy about now, no?

------
Really appreciate the acknowledgement everyone; my hat's off to the tipster, though.

Adam Graham

My knowledge of the employment habits of Congressional Aides from a combination of experience with said aides and study of their job.

MountainGoat

Uh, okay....

sharon fisher

Hoffman also headed up or was spokesman for Young Republicans while he was working for the state in Ag, which I thought was pretty dicey of him.

MountainGoat

Yep Sharon, he's currently the vice chairman. I had to laugh when I checked out the Idaho YP website. They have a page with a bunch of links but the only blog listed is The Idahoan.

http://www.idahoyr.us/Links.html

W. Lane Startin

Ah, nothing like creative use of whois and online directories. Great work!

Alan

Nice work MG. I love this kind of stuff. Wish I could do it.

I was looking over the rss feed link and saw the email address of hoffmail@cableone.net. Another clue that Hoffman is behind The Idahoan.

IdahoRocks

Just to clarify for Bubblehead, I have nothing against male homosexuals (or any other homosexual) but the Republican and Bush administration hypocrisy when it comes to gay rights and family values should be exposed for what it is. Also, prostitution is illegal in D.C. no matter who participates. And in the White House, no less! Give me a break....

Bubblehead

Kevin Richert has some info he found out: http://www.idahostatesman.com/richert/story/123153.html . Hoffman admits he registered the domain name, and contributes, but implies there are others who also contribute. Interestingly, all the posts are by someone logging in as "The Editor", which means that either all the contributors have the same log-in (unlikely), or Mr. Hoffman just lied to (or "mislead") Kevin Richert.

MountainGoat

Yeah, I just saw that...very interesting.

news junkie

It will be interesting to see how Hoffman digs out of this one.

Sali should demand full disclosure of what's going on.

Sisyphus

So what do we know about this guy from these facts? He knowingly flirts with his ethical obligations. Whether he was writing obviously biased pieces on Democrats when he was a Statesman reporter, compromised his governmental job duties by advocating for not one, but two, Republican campaigns, or provides content anonymously while spokesperson for your Congressman. He seems to know where the lines are and gets as close as he can.

This raises many other questions. Has he crossed a line? Does he plant stories anonymously only to get confirmation for a plan of action by his boss from the very story he planted? That's precisely what the administration did in validating the Iraq War decision and WMDs. Libby dines with Judy Miller, gives her anonymous tips about WMDs, the story is published citing senior government officials, and the next day Cheney is quoting the New York Times confirming there are WMDs in Iraq. Its time we got back to a reality based media and enforcing these ethical rules would be a good first step. But the bigger overarching question is why would any government leader keep someone who draws such scrutiny?

Bubblehead

Sisyphus might have a good point, except for the fact that Rep. Sali really doesn't have any power whatsoever as a bomb-throwing freshman in the minority party. So what if he chooses a "plan of action" based on something his press secretary wrote in a blog? He'll still be on the losing end of a 411-8 vote even if he follows that "plan of action". (Sorry, but I'm just chuckling at the concept of Congressman Sali putting together a "plan of action" as if whatever he does means anything in the grand scheme of things.)

Bubblehead

Mr. Hoffman is offering to answer questions over at HBO: http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/hbo/archive.asp?postID=16664#more

I asked the first one.

sharon fisher

I looked over The Idahoan and noticed one entry (http://theidahoan.com/2007/07/15/psst-can-you-help-me-fool-the-public-thanks-much-.aspx ) making reference to repeated changes to Bill Sali's Wikipedia entry. If you go look at the entry, it's almost laughably one-sided, and if you click the discussion tab, there's a long, long (more than six month) history of some anonymous person going in and taking out anything negative. Is this Hoffman as well?

Traditionally, Wikipedia has frowned on this sort of whitewashing, to the extent of disallowing Congressional addresses from editing (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/03/AR2006020302610_pf.html).

MountainGoat

Good point Sharon. I just briefly looked at that post too but didn't have the time to spend looking in to it.

I'm interested to see if you get any reponse at HB Online.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Quotes For 2010

  • "The main thing is to keep everybody going down that road as we try to find the answers and solutions to all these problems. It'll be fun! We'll get it done." — Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R-Star) when asked in an Idaho Reports broadcast how the State House will handle making tough budget decisions this year, 1.29.10.

Quotes For 2009

  • "[Some politicians] wouldn't recognize the Constitution if it fell in their laps and called them Daddy." — Rep. Lenore Hardy Barrett (R-Challis) at a tea party tax protest.
  • "Just, you know, putting beans on the table." — former Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) when asked by Nate Shelman (670 KBOI) what he's doing these days.
  • "I said yesterday we hope and pray things will get better before they get worse. It's obvious to me some of you need to do a better job of praying." — Sen. Dean Cameron (R-Rupert), Joint Finance-Appropriation Committee co-chair on the grim economic forecast facing the committee.
  • “We’ve been called a lot of things but we’ve never been called sneaks before.” — Rep. Maxine Bell (R-Jerome) in a budget dispute with the governor's staff over legislators' computer funding.
  • "I’m not wearing rose-tinted glasses. But I am a glass-half-full kind of guy." — Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter attempting to remain optimistic while delivering tough economic news in his State of the State/Budget message.

Quotes For 2008

  • "I am not ashamed that we use a lot of energy in this country. It has made us the most prosperous Nation on the face of the planet. ... Using energy makes us prosperous." — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) during debate on an energy bill that, among other things, invested in alternative and renewable energy sources and repealed tax subsidies for large oil companies. (H.R.6899)
  • "If [Oversight Committee Chairman] Henry Waxman was interested in doing more than just showboat, we'd be there in a heartbeat. It's political grandstanding." — spokesman Wayne Hoffman explaining why Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) was absent from congressional oversight hearings into the financial crisis where, among other things, it was learned that AIG executives indulged in a lavish retreat a week after the bailout.
  • "You know what, campaigns are fast and furious, I accept responsibility that we don't have the right citation there, but the facts I stand by - we are correct about that." — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) reacting to a campaign commercial fact-checking report.
  • "There are people out there without health care, and we need to address that, but it's not as big of a problem as some people would make it out to be" — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) in a Lewiston, ID debate
  • "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power." — President Bill Clinton in a speech at the 2008 DNC
  • "To my supporters, to my champions, to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits, from the bottom of my heart, thank you." — Senator Hillary Clinton in a speech at the 2008 DNC
  • "The America that we know, that the founding fathers envisioned, will cease to exist." — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) speaking at the state GOP convention about the possibility of a Democratically controlled White House and Congress.
  • "Sometimes the problems have to get larger before you can solve them. We can still drive around the potholes, so they must not be big enough." — House Speaker Lawerence Denney (R-Midvale), explaining that lawmakers still need to be convinced about the extent of road maintenance problems before they'll agree to tax or fee increases.
  • "Those people that believe in shooting animals through the fences . . . ought to turn the rifle the other way." — Former Governor Cecil Andrus, at sportsmen's rally, decked out in full camouflage, urging opposition to "shooter bull" operations on domestic elk farms.
  • "GARVEE is like swallowing a raw egg - it seems to be one of those things that's really hard to stop in the middle of." — Rep. Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian), in comments on a package of transportation bills introduced by House GOP leaders at an emergency committee meeting.
  • "I'm a professional dairyman. I have milked and milked everything I can possibly milk." — State Police Maj. Ralph Powell, arguing that the state crime lab's bare-bones operation has reached its limit and now costs the state money as testing is sent to private labs.
  • "Idaho is ranked last in the nation in protecting the safety of children in day care centers." — Sen. Kate Kelly (D-Boise), in support of an unsuccessful move by Senate Democrats to force a daycare standards bill out of committee.
  • "This [anti-discrimination bill] is something we will propose every year until it passes." — Rep. Nicole LeFavour (D-Boise), responding to the latest BSU Public Policy survey in which 63 percent of Idahoans think it ought to be illegal to fire someone for being gay or seeming to be gay.
  • "I assumed it would be a bunch of radical college students, so to fit the part, I grew a goatee, got a revolutionary T-shirt and put on some ratty jeans." — Rep. Curtis Bowers (R-Caldwell) in an Idaho Press-Tribune opinion explaining how he disguised himself to uncover alleged communist plots.

Quotes For 2007

  • "Divorce is just terrible. It's one of Satan's best tools to kill America." — Rep. Dick Harwood (R-St. Maries) describing the work of the Idaho Legislature's Family Task Force.
  • "I am not gay; I never have been gay." Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) in a statement responding to news of his arrest and subsequent guilty plea to disorderly conduct after an incident in an airport men's room.
  • “Most of the hospitals in this country have Christian names. If you think Hindu prayer is great, where are the Hindu hospitals in this country? Go down the list. Where are the atheist hospitals in this country? They’re not equal.” — Rep. Bill Sali (R-ID-01) to the Idaho Press-Tribune editorial board in response to criticism of his views regarding Hindu prayer in the Senate.
  • "We are all Nintendo warriors today. Remember that game, that electronic game, a few years ago, push buttons zim, zam, boom and it was all over with? That is not the way you fight war, although we as a society have grown to believe that." — Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) during debate on an amendment to a bill providing for defense authorization.
  • "While we are Democrats and Republicans, in our hearts we are all Idahoans." — Sen. Clint Stennett (D-Ketchum), reaching out to Republicans while outlining the Democratic agenda for the 2007 legislative session.
  • "One of the hardest things we've had to do here is taking off our party hats." — Rep. Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian) on a proposal to restrict Idaho's primary elections.
  • "This is outrageous. The people of Idaho are entitled to have their representatives base their votes on the merits of a bill, not on who backed the loser in a speaker's contest." — Former GOP Gov. Phil Batt responding to accusations of political retribution taken by House Speaker Denney (R-Midvale) on other members.
  • “There was one of those six projects that was removed altogether. Why? Because the senator and the representatives from that district were from the wrong political party. We need to take a step back" — Sen. Dean Cameron (R-Rupert) to the Senate when debating the GARVEE bill.
  • "I'm prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself." — Gov. Butch Otter, speaking to a hunters' rally at the Statehouse.
  • "To get a kick out of smoking industrial hemp, it would take a cigar the size of a telephone pole." — Rep. Tom Trail (R-Moscow), downplaying the relation between hemp and its cousin marijuana
  • "I guess I would just make a plea saying we need the money. You know we need the money on roads." — Rep. JoAn Wood (R-Rigby), on proposed bill to collect gas tax from sales on Indian reservations.
  • "No one wants to carry the canoe bill." — Rep. Eric Anderson (R-Priest River), agreeing with Gov. Otter that non-motorized boats should also pay registration fees, but noting any such proposal will be a tough sell.
  • "I don't think we should let the threat of a lawsuit force us to implement something that's not well thought out." — Abbie Mace, Fremont County Clerk, testifying against a "modified-closed primary" bill being pushed by GOP leaders.
  • "There's a lot of things that I pointed out in my State of the State (address) that haven't passed. Unfortunately, I can't think of one that has." — Gov. Butch Otter, addressing reporters on the legislative session so far.
  • "I say let's have a hearing and take our clothes off and go after it." — Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, trying to get lawmakers to print his bill.
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