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Jim Matheson
  • New Congressman Has Huge Crush on Other Congressman

    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
  • And in Other News …

    Readers, you must be overwhelmed by the news cycle these days! It seems like every political event is a blockbuster – dramatic reconciliations at the DNC, surprise VP picks, the RNC overturned by a hurricane. Is no one in Washington simply proceeding with life as normal?

    Well, it turns out a lot of members of Congress are. To calm things down a bit, I’m happy to report on some highly mundane political activities of the past few days:

    - Rep. John Salazar (D-CO) attended the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.

    - Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) toured a building at Dixie State College, which for some bizarre reason is located in Utah.

    - Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) pumped gas for his constituents at a North Tampa filling station, and then presumably bought them some Slim Jims and Dr. Pepper at the little store.

    - Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) visited a sinkhole!

    Tags: House of Representatives, Jim Matheson