Lots of Bill Sali news to catch up on so lets get right to it.
Word came yesterday that Sali has pulled out of a debate scheduled to be broadcast live on Idaho Public Television this Sunday, citing scheduling conflicts. The debate was sponsored by the League of Women Voters, the Idaho Press Club, and Idaho Public TV who, according to Betsy Russell, president of the Idaho Press Club, had offered to let Sali pick any other time that weekend to accommodate his schedule.
Sali spokesman Wayne Hoffman says that's impossible:
Sali’s schedule on that Saturday is booked up with a radio interview, a parade, a gun show and other campaign events. “The whole day’s been blocked up,” he said. Hoffman said Sali has “some kind of a meeting he was supposed to be attending” on Monday morning in Washington, D.C., so couldn’t debate on Sunday evening. “Congressman Sali wishes it would work,” Hoffman said. “There’s nothing I can do.”
Interviews, parades and gun shows take precedence over debating an opponent on the issues. Sounds like excuses from someone whose record on the issues may not be all that impressive. Sali's primary opponent Matt Salisbury was understandably disappointed saying, "I think the people deserve to hear more."
Last week in a debate hosted and broadcast on KTVB, Salisbury, an Iraq war veteran, questioned Sali's non-vote on a bill providing funding for traumatic brain injury rehabilitation programs. Sali's response was that he thought he had voted in favor of the legislation. Later, when asked by KTVB to explain why the Library of Congress recorded him absent, Sali responded that it must be a computer glitch and has evidently asked the Library to investigate.
In other news, keeping with his past record of infusing an intolerant interpretation of the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom (Hindu prayer and Muslim congressman are dangerous and weren't envisioned by the Founding Fathers) into his public policy positions, Sali has signed on as a co-sponsor to a resolution asking that the President designate 2008 as the "National Year of the Bible."
A portion of the text:
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the President is encouraged –
(1) to designate an appropriate year as `The National Year of the Bible’; and
(2) to issue a proclamation calling upon citizens of all faiths to rediscover and apply the priceless, timeless message of the Holy Scriptures which has profoundly influenced and shaped the United States and its great democratic form of self government, as well as its rich spiritual heritage, and which has unified, healed, and strengthened its people for over 200 years.”
As That's My Congress puts it:
Apparently, the people supporting this resolution have let the Bill of Rights slip their minds. The Bill of Rights clearly forbids the government establishment of religion, yet the resolution encourages people to rediscover the Bible as “Holy Scriptures”, and provides special recognition to the Christian religion for an entire year that other religions have not received. If that isn’t government establishment of religion, nothing is.
Finally, read Bill Sali Fan's interpretation of Sali's unsuccessful efforts to thwart a planned Mexican consulate in Boise and Democratic nominee Walt Minnick's very successful temporary fuel price relief event held last week.