Last week, Idaho shocked the nation by electing its first Democrat to Congress since 1994, Walter Minnick. Minnick defeated incumbent Bill Sali on a platform of job creation, sensible foreign policy, and environmental stewardship.
But now Minnick wants to add one more plank to that platform: copying everything that Utah Congressman Jim Matheson does…
Congressman-elect Walt Minnick says western and northern Idaho voters who chose him over one-term incumbent Republican Bill Sali need only look one state southward to see how a Democratic lawmaker can be effective in a largely GOP state.
U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, has won five times by focusing on constituent services — and by appearing to break ranks with leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on votes including October’s $700 billion bailout.
Like Matheson, Minnick is a Harvard University graduate. And like Matheson, Minnick has vowed to reach across the aisle to his Republican counterparts.
He and Matheson ran similar campaigns, each reluctant to emphasize Democratic ties. And Matheson invited Minnick to join the “Blue Dog Coalition,” about 50 fiscally conservative House Democrats, according to the group’s Web site.
Minnick has promised that his first act once sworn into office will be covering his copy of the Congressional Record with Matheson's name, and occasionally with the name "Walter Matheson."
Anyway, it's appropriate that these two will be working closely together, since Idaho and Utah are more alike than ever. For instance, Idaho residents donated $400,000 to the Mormon Church's efforts to outlaw same-sex marriage in California. And scientists working jointly at the University of Idaho and Utah State University recently cloned a mule.
Their follow-up project, apparently, was cloning a Congressman.
Tags: Bill Sali, House of Representatives, Idaho, Jim Matheson, Mormon, Utah