Brent Regan, who presides over the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, isn't afraid to attach his name to criticisms of any kind. We appreciate that about him.
Our editorial of last Friday took legislators to task for refusing to allow debate, never mind a vote, on an important bill that would require reasonable disclosure of finances for anyone seeking city, county or state offices in Idaho. Candidates would have to disclose:
• Primary employer and job title;
• All entities they own or serve as an officer;
• Every entity that has paid them $5,000 or more in the past year;
• All the boards on which they serve;
• Their spouse's name, employer and occupation.
Brent didn't care for that. Here's what he posted in the editorial's comment section:
Since “transparency” is universally good and “sensible” then the Press should print the above list of disclosures for all Press employees. No? Why not? Afraid that some nut job may use that information to intimidate or threaten? Exactly.
Emphasizing that there are significant differences between private jobs and public office that Brent might not recognize, the job of newspaper editor probably falls in the realm of public figure, so in the spirit of Brent's reaction, here's the editor's reply:
Nut jobs have always used whatever they can to try to intimidate me. I've had direct threats on my life four times in 38 years as a journalist, and more threats to my livelihood than I could count. Shortly after I moved here and started dating the woman who would become my wife, a polite, local, anonymous caller repeatedly urged me not to date her because of her Persian background. He called her a half-breed and insisted he was no bigot because his wife was a half-breed too — but his wife was acceptable because her background was European. Welcome to North Idaho, huh?
Just for fun, Brent, here's Mike Patrick's financial disclosure.
The Hagadone Corp. dba Coeur d'Alene Press pays the entirety of my salary as managing editor. I didn't earn $5,000 or more from any other source in the past year. (I didn't earn 50 cents or more from any other source other than my 401(k)). I own no entities and serve none as an officer. I am currently not serving on any board, but do personally assist Press Christmas for All, Tesh, Inc., and the Inland Northwest chapter of Boy Scouts of America in their major fundraising drives. My wife, Sholeh, works for The Hagadone Corp./Coeur d'Alene Press as an independent contractor (columnist for The Press and editor of Northwest Mining & Timber).
That's it. That's what the financial disclosure bill would have required of Mike and Sholeh Patrick had Mike been running for office.
And you know what, Brent? It didn't hurt a bit.