Pictures from the press conference...  

Posted by Jessica in , , ,

Well, it's almost over...  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

I took my comprehensive exams today. I feel pretty good about how I did. I didn't think I would remember so much and felt most of my answers were comprehensive enough to answer the question but not to the point where I am just blabbering. I tested on 5 out of my 6 core classes. I answer one question per class and had 6 hours to complete the exams. In case you are wondering what these 5 classes are, they are; Research Methods, The Administrative Process, Public Policy Analysis, Public Personnel Administration, and Organizational Theory and Bureaucratic Structure. I skipped the Grantwriting question which just requires writing a grant.

So, when I turned in my five large blue books, I was given a case, and I have two weeks to do a case study and then I turn it into my graduate committee who read it and then I orally defend my case study to them.

Oh yes, I don't know how I did on my exams until they are graded, and I don't expect that to happen immediately. You aren't given a letter grade, just a "Superior", "Satisfactory", or "Unsatisfactory."

I shall keep you updated. Thank you all for your support, your prayers, and your best wishes. Now if I could only find a job post graduation...

The Press Conference.  

Posted by Jessica in , , , , ,

It has been a year and a half since I last spoke at a press conference, so I was a little bit nervous for this one. There were at least 4 camera's there recording footage to possibly show on the news, someone from the Idaho State Journal was there, but I am not sure if someone from the Idaho Statesman was there. There was also a gentleman from a radio station. Pretty good turnout.

After the press conference, where I spoke and a lady from SNAP spoke, Mary Grant, I was asked by channel 6 and another channel, to give an interview, which I did, of course. It's always nerve wracking giving interviews because they edit most of what you say and can edit you in such a way as to make you look bad, like an idiot, or who knows what else! Many of the questions were profound and issues I hadn't really formulated responses to. What I said on camera in those interviews was as raw as you can get. There were questions that forced me to reflect back on a period of my life that seems like eons ago. It's painful and troubling to bring yourself back to a place, a hell in every sense of the word, but it is, and was, necessary.

I have a responsibility to speak out. Not just for myself and my sister, for friends and family, but for the untold number of victims who not only suffered in silence, but now try to heal in silence-still handicapped by feelings of shame, embarrassment, fear, etc...

Getting to a place where you are comfortable talking about your own personal hell is not easy and it takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, but the main reason I am able to do it is because I MUST do it. I stated recently that one day I will have children and they will go to church and I don't ever want to look back at this period in my life and know, or think, I didn't do enough.

I've been debating with myself on whether or not I want to post what I said at the press conference. I haven't made up my mind yet. Though shared publicly with many cameras, microphones, legislators, and other audience members, somehow it still feels intensely personal and something I have only shared with those I love deeply. But maybe the words themselves isn't what is so personal, maybe it is the emotions I felt and feel...

With that said, I must attend to my studying as tomorrow morning I take my comprehensive exams. When you read this and if it is before 5pm on friday (though I hope to be done before 5), please say a prayer for me. I've been carrying the world on my shoulders and I am feeling a bit weak and terribly weary.

More Drama at ISU and Tomorrow!  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

Well, I'm pretty nervous for the press conference tomorrow, though my best friend is coming with me to show support. I have such awesome friends, I am very lucky. I'll make sure and post any pictures I take and let you know my thoughts about it all tomorrow.

Today, I was sitting in the student union building and someone from the Idaho State Journal approached me and asked me if I had read "the letter." I hadn't and had no idea what he was talking about. So, he handed me a hard copy of this and I read it. Looks like there are still some issues between the ISU Administration and some of the faculty. Will the drama ever end?

Be There or Be Square.  

Posted by Jessica in ,

This thursday at 11am in front of the statehouse in Boise, a press conference will be held. SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, will be holding the press conference to speak about House Bill 125. I have been asked to attend and to speak. If you are in Boise, or close enough to make the drive, please come. You need not be a survivor of abuse, just someone who gives a damn.

You can email me with any questions, concerns, pieces of advice, or even hate mail, because it's been a while since I got some. I'll be making the drive from Pocatello and anyone is welcome to get a ride, though I'll be heading back to Pocatello soon after the press conference.

Jam Packed Life.  

Posted by Jessica in , , , , ,

So today I need to turn in a research project I was given for my internship. So I've been working on that this weekend, and I'm not quite sure I should divulge what I've been researching...but it's been interesting...

I've also been finishing up my presentation I am set to give in around 10 hours on the prison industry. I need to remember that it is a Communication Management class and not a Political Science class nor is it a Sociology class, so I should keep my political and sociological opinions to myself!

I've also been working on this paper that will be peer reviewed this afternoon in my policy class. I started out looking at the role the media has played in the public opinion of the Iraq War. However, I have changed it to look at the relationship, or lack thereof, between 9/11 and the Iraq War. Without introducing you to several policy/public administration terms, this is going to be an academic paper and not something I'm pulling from my arse!

I also have a resume and cover letter due in the class where I will be giving my presentation.

AND, I've been trying to study for my comprehensive exams that take place this friday.

For those who may have an interest in my relationship with the Mormon Church; I did attend sacrament meeting today. I have a relatively new friend who offered to go with me to my ward's sacrament meeting. I'm still pretty shocked she offered to go. I don't think her kindness knows any limits. I texted her to tell her that I owe her "big time" and she invited me over for dinner. Thanks, Liz.

I am a huge fan of C.S. Lewis's quote that says to a Christian, there is no accident/coincidence in people meeting and becoming friends. I truly believe that and I am grateful for the friends I have and the roles they play in my life.

I also want to blog about the Mormon Church finding my sister and I when we left no paper trail for them. They found my sister today and me a few months ago. How? I do not know. I think it might remain a mystery for a very long time.


Posted by Jessica in , ,

I have been pretty busy with studying for my comprehensive exams that I take this next friday, finishing up a presentation I must give on Monday (on the prison industry) and paper that I need to have reviewed by my peers on monday (my paper I have mentioned before about the Iraq War and the role the media has played-though I have decided to go in a different direction), as well as a research project that is part of my internship and that I need to have have complete by monday. So, I think that adequately explains my lack of political commentary or commentary period. Wish me luck on my comps and keep praying for me!

In case you are wondering  

Posted by Jessica in , , ,

why I am inactive in the Mormon Church. I point to exhibit one:

"Republicans stupid? No, the only thing that is stupid is that people like you will sell your soul and your ideals to the left. I'm not sure if you've ever thought through the Dem's proposals on a lot of things . . . but they are the most anti-american people that I know. Weather it's bigger government, ridding the world of sexual inhibitions (which I was shocked to see that you endorse! Can we say expelled from school?) or the destruction of the American Dream, they are trying to turn America into a Socialist country. Blake, I too agree that Bush is a bit too liberal for my liking. BUT, I support the war on Terror. I support freedom, as I'm sure that you do to.

"So Jessica, umm . . . do you support having Soul Force come to our campus? Sounds like you arranged the thing ..."

Before I get the lecture on the members being imperfect and the gospel being perfect, let me stop you. It isn't that simple, for one, and it's awfully hard to ignore people demeaning you, making broad and gross generalizations, and being downright cruel. And I don't like being told how to vote!

But thanks for the comment, Chad Reiser!

ISU Campus Politics  

Posted by Jessica in

Boy, have some people got a lot to learn about campaigning and campaigns on ISU's campus. I did my own negative campaign against a group of people running (Orange Party) and have now created a whole list of people who hate my guts.

I am writing about this now because I was just on my Facebook and was looking at various groups that were created on there and there was one called something like, "Bengals for a smear free runoff". So they (the group members) were calling my literature smear as well as the literature the executive ticket I supported created. The one piece they hate was simply a comparison sheet that this executive ticket created. And they hated all of my literature, which is a compliment, so thank you.

Anyways, I was asked to join the group and then kicked out for my behaviors or something. I had a good laugh about it. Funny thing is that I was asked to join after everyone knew what I was doing and only kicked out for pointing out that some candidates supporters were running over signs in a golf cart. They said it was a rumor. Uh, not when you hear it from the witness who promptly reported it.

So if they kicked me out they must've been intimidated and not secure in their beliefs to address my points, even though they could just delete my comments, which they did before they kicked me out.

I guess they only respect you if you try to buy someone's vote with food, if you take credit for things you opposed, and if you have no message, or, to put it more simply, if you provide no ideas on what you want to do for students if you win.

Quote of the campaign trail for 2008!  

Posted by Jessica in ,

"We know from our previous experience that when this happens you have a choice, you can go cower in the corner and hide, or you can be tough and go out there and stand up for what you believe in. Both of us are committed to the cause and we're committed to changing this country that we love so much, and we have no intention of cowering in the corner."
-- John Edwards, quoted by the New York Times.

Oh Boy.  

Posted by Jessica in

“We just hope they leave without doing any more damage.”

-Senate Republican aide referring to the Bush Administration


Posted by Jessica in

My opinion, copied and pasted from a Facebook wall post I left for a friend:

I like Edwards WAY MORE than any of the other candidates. But his wife's cancer has returned and while he is stating his campaign will resume, I don't know if that will be still be true in the future.

Personally, I like Hillary, I just don't think she is electable at this point in time. While she is painted as a total liberal, she is actually very moderate and I think she is way too much of a politician, ala Mitt Romney. I also get the politician vibe from Obama.

I guess I like Edwards because he doesn't come across as a politician as much as he does as a human being who truly cares for humanity.

I like Gore somewhat, but he is now coming across as a one trick pony-global warming.

And Edwards is hot-that's gotta count for something.

Does Mike Simpson support the troops?  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

I've been accused of not supporting the troops so many times, at least I didn't vote to send "unarmored, untrained, unrested (and even, Salon and the Hartford Courant tell us, wounded and mentally unstable) troops to Iraq.

"In a recent vote, the Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee unanimously opposed requiring that the troops sent to Iraq be properly prepared for their mission and protected with armor. Again." From: Daily Kos.

So, who are the offenders?

Alabama: Robert Aderholt
California: John Doolittle and Jerry Lewis
Florida: Ander Crenshaw, Dave Weldon and C.W. "Bill" Young
Georgia: Jack Kingston
Idaho: Michael K. Simpson
Illinois: Mark Steven Kirk and Ray LaHood
Iowa: Tom Latham Kansas: Todd Tiahrt
Kentucky: Harold Rogers
Louisiana: Rodney Alexander
Michigan: Joe Knollenberg
Mississippi: Roger Wicker
Missouri: Jo Ann Emerson
Montana: Dennis Rehberg
New Jersey: Rodney Frelinghuysen
New York: James Walsh
Ohio: Ralph Regula and David Hobson
Pennsylvania: John Peterson
Tennessee: Zach Wamp
Texas: John Carter, John Culberson and Kay Granger
Virginia: Virgil Goode and Frank Wolf

I am actually quite surprised to see Simpson's name on this list. When he came to Idaho State University last month, the very first thing he pointed out was how he had gone against party lines to vote with the Democrats, even when the Democrats were the minority party, and he even provided examples -note, I am being semi-sarcastic in this paragraph-.

However, during this same speech, he also said 99% of Americans have the beliefs of the Republican Party. I'm afraid that when he said this, I laughed way too hard and attracted some attention, but come on, who knew Simpson was such a kidder!

But in all seriousness, this is very disturbing and reminded me of a post Cameron made on his blog about the idea of supporting the troops. Maybe we need to decide, once and for all, what supporting the troop means and how we can all do it, whether we serve in Congress, blog, go to college, and/or work.

Quote of my LIFE, and maybe yours...  

Posted by Jessica in

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, do not matter, and those who matter do not mind." - Dr. Seuss

Quote of the the last 4 years.  

Posted by Jessica in

"In the secret of my heart I am in perpetual quarrel with God
that He should allow such things [as the war] to go on. My
non-violence seems almost impotent. But the answer comes
at the end of the daily quarrel that neither God nor
non-violence is impotent. Impotence is in men. I must
try on without losing faith even though I may break in
the attempt." Mahatma Gandhi

Running for Office?  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

I don't think I blogged about what Jackie Groves Twilegar said to me at the Frank Church Banquet. If I did, I apologize.

"How's my favorite blogger doing?" Jackie

"Good, how are you?" Me

"Good. Are you going to run for office?" Jackie

"-laughs-Um, no." Me

"In two years?" Jackie

"I think the best role for me is to work behind the scenes." Me

"You should run!" Jackie

Ok, that wasn't the conversation verbatim, but it is as close as I could get. First of all, I am very flattered that Jackie thinks I should run, but I don't really know if I should...ever. I've had several people approach me the last year or two and ask. I don't think that's because I am this great, charismatic, and intelligent woman, I think it is because I am involved and go to a lot of trainings for campaigns and candidates. I just wanted to share to I could give some of you a good laugh!


Posted by Jessica in , , ,

Last night I think I had my fill of the politics on ISU's campus. I have spent countless hours the last few weeks involved in student elections-including one day where I spent 17 hours on campus soliciting votes for two people I supported (the first day of voting). The next day I only spent 12 hours (the last day of voting)! Anyways, I think I may be burned out and I am experiencing some other things (hurt feelings) related to the issues on campus that I don't really want to write about. So, upon talking to my good friend, I think I may start focusing on my studying for my comprehensive exams which take place next friday. If you pray, pray for me!

Sunday night I only slept 2 hours and spent a lot of time on ISU's campus on monday and then I finally came home around 9:30pm and fell asleep around 11pm and then I woke up around 1am and now, here I am, not able to fall back asleep. My mom says I have weird sleep habits. Maybe she's right.

I may also be having issues with sleep as my best friend is moving next week to Boise, another one of my good friends is still pissed that I support outing Larry Craig, and I truly feel as though I am so out of place and out of whack right now (I value consistency and stability and I am lacking those two things in certain areas of my life), I am not sure which way is up and which way is down. I need to do what I do best and that is detach myself from the bad and focus on school, my internship, and finding a job post graduation.

Of Liberals and Conservatives.  

Posted by Jessica in , , ,

Does this blog title make any sense? Anyhow, for the past few weeks I have spent more time than usual with some Republicans. Though I live in Idaho, most of my friends and acquaintances are Democrats, a few are Socialists, and a few are independents. Unfortunately, this has made it far too easy to demonize Republicans. Without having multiple human faces to attach to the Republican ideology, I've caught myself, far too often, strongly disliking Republicans (except for family members and a few friends who I love and adore). I have forgotten that there are Republicans who care about the poor, who don't advocate torture, who are concerned that the War in Iraq was a big mistake, who aren't happy with George W. Bush, etc...and many of these Republicans I've spent time with even voted for some Democrats in November!

I've been thinking lately about a small transformation that has taken place the last few weeks as I've spent more and more time with some great Republicans. I've found myself less hardened-meaning when someone tells me they are a Republican, I won't automatically write them off as stupid, because many Republicans aren't stupid. Hell, I was a Republican for 21 years and while I feel that I am more informed, more mature, and more educated than I was as a Republican, many Republicans are far more informed than I, their maturity exceeds mine by leaps and bounds, and I can't even begin to approach their intelligence and education.

I guess what I've learned is that it is important that we try to surround ourselves with diversity. Not just a diversity of race/ethnicity, sex and gender, religious preference, sexual orientation, educational levels, socioeconomic status, and anything else we can imagine, but political beliefs.

I've found this keeps me more honest, more focused and in a place where I continually analyze what I believe and why I believe it.

So, my Republican friends, I thank you.

"Mankind will endure when the world appreciates the logic of diversity."

Indira Gandhi

PostSecret of the Week!  

Posted by Jessica in

A new feature I want to do on my blog is "PostSecret of the Week." I hope all of you visit PostSecret each week (warning, there is often times nudity depicted in one, or more, postcards posted on the blog). I won't, necessarily, post a secret from each week's new batch, just a secret I enjoy and/or one that resonates with me. With that said, here 'ya go!

On Repeat  

Posted by Jessica in

Read My Mind-The Killers

Peace and Movies  

Posted by Jessica in ,

Tomorrow in Pocatello, at Caldwell Park at 6:00pm, we will gather to rally for peace. Caldwell Park is located behind the former building that housed the Super Save. It is located on Center street between 7th and 8th street. I may be asked to speak, as I did a few weeks ago at our Peace Vigil, but I'm unsure. I do know a few people will speak about peace and perhaps a call to action will be made. If you are in Pocatello, or nearby, please come! Email me with any questions.

Lastly, instead of creating another post about a few movies I saw, I want to just add my thoughts here. I saw The Departed last night and really enjoyed it. The night before I saw The Illusionist and loved it so much I watched it again the next day which is unheard of for me. The reviews weren't as good I think they should be, as it was compared to The Prestige, but I love Edward Norton and think he is one of the best actors around (if you haven't seen American History X, you must see this movie ASAP!). The weekend before, I saw States of Grace, the sequel to God's Army. These are movies about Mormon missionaries and their experiences in the "field"-the LA mission. I love God's Army, but States of Grace wasn't as good, in my opinion, which, from what I've heard, is the opposite of what most people think. I also saw Stranger Than Fiction, which was okay. The second half was much better than the first half and I believe I saw another movie, but I can't remember which one.

I also recorded JFK, which was shown on television. I had seen 3/4ths of it a few weeks ago and LOVED it, so I wanted to record it and watch the whole thing. Kevin Costner is a fabulous actor. Speaking of which, I watched Field of Dreams last night and I am wondering if you can ever get sick of that work of art.

I was up until 8:30am this morning because I was watching some movies and am trying to beat the classic Nintendo Zelda game on my Nintendo DS. Whoever says video games aren't addicting are people who have never played! So this can partially explain why I saw a few movies in the last day.


Posted by Jessica in ,

This morning at People and Politics in Pocatello, a local legislator told the crowd that the conservative Republicans in the legislature have been harassing the moderate Republicans. The harassment has been so bad, for some, that one is resigning in three weeks and another is also wanting to resign, but it sounded like that wasn't confirmed yet.

It's quite sad when one feels so harassed by one's own party that they consider resigning, and they aren't being harassed for being foolish and making stupid decisions, they are being harassed for being a voice of reason!

This is shameful and Republicans in Idaho ought to do something about it.


Posted by Jessica in

I'm glad that you too make mistakes. It shows the essence of your humanity much more than any of your daily good deeds. I love you so much more for it than if you were an ideal, yet cold and inhuman person whose judgement never failed.
-- FH

Is the mightiest sword
Forgiveness of those you fear
Is the highest reward
When they bruise you with words
When they make you feel small
When it's hardest to take
You must do nothing at all...
-- Jane Eyre.

I would build a bridge a hundred meters long,
To see the other side of what I did wrong,
Well you say you don't hate me, but I guess that I'm scared,
That with a river between us, you'll no longer care.
-- Marc Gunn, The Bridge

I really really really want to write about  

Posted by Jessica in ,

this. But I think I should keep my mouth shut. For those of you who know about my story, I'm sure you can surmise how excited I am and how much more vindicated I feel.

We've still got a ways to go, but in Idaho, this is huge.

UPDATE: Apparently one of the sponsors said on the floor that one of the bill's was a "prayer from the soul of a child" or something equally powerful. Any way I can read what was said on the floor in regards to either of the two bills passed yesterday?

Do Hypocrites Deserve Protection?  

Posted by Jessica in ,

As many of you know, Dan Popkey of The Idaho Statesman, has spent the last few weeks trying to find information about Larry Craig's homosexual activities. From what I have heard, rumors of Larry Craig being gay date back many many years, but it has always been just a rumor.

Several months ago, Mike Rogers, a gay man who has outed a few gay politicians, went on the Ed Schultz show and said that Larry Craig was gay and that he had spoken to a few men who had sexual relations with Larry Craig. However, none of these men came forward and this rumor stayed a rumor. Nevertheless, Mike Rogers stated that he was willing to go to court over what he had--interesting...

With the outing of gay politicians, a debate rages on-is it okay to "out" people? You have two dominant thoughts-no, it is NEVER okay, not even when the politician does everything he/she can to discriminate against gay people, and yes, it is okay when you are outting someone who is like Larry Craig-someone who has done everything asked of him to fight against granting gay people equal rights.

Today this argument occurred between a friend and I. She is gay and feels it is not okay to use someone's sexual preference to "bring them down." Generally, I would agree. However, I don't believe in protecting someone who has lived their life as a hypocrite and participated in actions designed to malign and marginalize a segment of our population.

But is the argument really that simple? Does it come down to protecting someone versus bringing them down? What are your thoughts on outing?

Frank Church Banquet Weekend  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

I previously wrote about the blogger's breakfast, which was awesome, but rushed, as a few of us headed to the training provided by the State Party. The training was spectacular! Without giving it all away, let's just say that David Domke and Crispin Thurlow were fantastic and I think everyone that attended was pleased with the training. Lest I appear way too vague, let me share with you one of the most memorable things we learned. As Democrats we sit under a wide tent. There are many types of Democrats and one doesn't have to agree with every aspect of the party platform to be a Democrat. However, even though we claim to be a party that resides under a big tent, many Democrats, myself included, have often focused on the differences between Democrats, rather than the similarities. I think most Democrats would agree on a few core issues, but when it comes to gay marriage and abortion, we tend to find a lot of differences in how we believe. However, Domke and Thurlow reminded us that we are still, depsite our differences, 80% allies. This is something I will have to repeat to myself constantly if Hillary Clinton gets the nomination!

After the training, we had a few hours before the banquet. So the College Dems went and visited some of the hospitality suites. Potential future candidate, Rand Lewis, had a suite, as well as Larry LaRocco, the IBEW, and the Idaho Democratic Women's Caucus-I think I am leaving someone out...the suites were fun and I was suprised to see Jana Jones, my favorite Idaho Democrat. Jana was there with her husband, former campaign manager and Marilyn Howard, one of the most amazing women we have here in Idaho.

So the banquet started and we took our seats and had some awesome food and great entertainment. However, it was a bit long and a lot of people left before Congressman Inslee spoke. Congressman Inslee gave a relatively short speech and soon after the banquet was over. Also during the banquet, the State Party showed some videos which I thought was a fantastic addition to the night.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the weekend and I want to say thank you to the UTU for buying the College Democrats a table!

Coming Soon  

Posted by Jessica in , , ,

-Some posts on the Frank Church Banquet weekend

-A post about Fiasco, by Thomas E. Ricks

-A post about presidential scandals

-A post about my idea on how to address and fix(?) teacher and nurse shortages

-A post about The Children's Center and other mental health clinics/agencies and how I feel they are getting rich off of Medicaid and how this needs to stop

-A post, or several, on the Democratic candidates for President and maybe a post about the Republican candidates, including some thoughts on Mitt Romney

-And a post about the loss of free speech on college campuses

Quote of My Life!  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

"You have to have been a Republican to know how good it is to be a Democrat."

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

With the exception of  

Posted by Jessica in ,

sarahbellum, I've had some mighty rude visits from Utah Democrats. Sarah, thank you for being kind. I've forwarded you Rob's emails. I've also sent an email with his comment on a blog post I made several weeks ago.

I guess I am going to have to leave the moderated comments feature on because I can't trust that an unmoderated comments feature will not be abused. How sad.

And I just can't believe how vicious Democrats are. Especially Democrats that are LDS. And really, how do people have so much time to spend to harass me? I'm a nobody in Pocatello, Idaho!

I guess I should take this all as a compliment. None of these people have met me and clearly none of them have googled me or know anything about my story, aside from the small details I provided recently. Ah well.

Since I'm such a coward, I'll continue trying to improve the world in my cowardly ways.

Quote of the Day!  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

And last but not least, a big thank you to A Seattleite in Idaho
because as a member of our youth, she is also our future. We
need the youth to participate, challenge, and help change our
country, and this Pocatello student is truly a leader of her

Thank you, IdahoRocks, you just made my entire year with your comment!

Tom Luna's Budget  

Posted by Jessica in ,

Cameron wanted me to comment on Luna's budget request and JFAC's budget appropriation. JFAC essentially gave Luna all that he asked for with the exception of, if my memory is correct, more money to fund dual-enrollment, as well as a few other things...?

Teachers will be given a 3% pay raise, money will be given to help teachers pay for more classroom supplies, money will be given to improve textbooks, and money given to assist students who are struggling with the standardized testing-these are just a few things.

My first thought after reading this editorial was that I am glad Tom Luna is trying to fulfill his campaign promise of pumping more money directly into the classroom. My next thought was that of course the legislature would try to give Luna all that he asked for, he is one of them! Now I am not saying his budget was given respect solely because Luna is a Republican, but I think that helps and it helps more than we realize. I do know many Democrats liked his budget as well and though I am no expert, I find nothing seriously wrong with the budget (besides the dual-enrollment screw up).

Some of you might be surprised to read this, but I don't think Tom Luna will be a horrible superintendent. Having barely won his race, having the entire teacher's union watching every move you make, having fired 19 people in the State Department of Education and having 7 more resign certainly provides some incentive to not do anything too controversial.

But here are my top 3 concerns:

Dual-enrollment should be a top priority for this state. Having lost 9% of its enrollment the last 2 semesters, ISU is left wondering what must be done to keep students at ISU. I firmly believe that strengthening the dual-enrollment system and funding it fully would help all Idaho universities. JFAC was not happy with Tom Luna's budget as it related to dual-enrollment. They said it needed more work. So now we need to wait another year for this state to completely address the problem of losing high school graduates to Utah universities.

My other concern, and one I addressed with Luna's policy advisor, was a merit pay system in Idaho. Should good teachers be rewarded? YES! But the best teachers I ever had all did things that cannot be measured. You can't always measure success and you can't always measure the impact a good teacher makes in a student's life.

Tom Luna has made good and safe decisions so far, but will that continue? He advocates school "choice", but what does that mean exactly?

So bravo, Mr. Luna, on a pretty good budget, and bravo to JFAC for not fighting with him over some important budget allocations.

Just In Case...  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

Just in case some of you don't read up on the comments, I want to say thank you to Cameron, Bubblehead, and my mom, who all left very nice comments.

One commenter, whose comment I rejected because they lack the knowledge necessary to make an accurate assessment of the situation, pointed out that I made the first criticisms of Rob. Yes, I did. Rob and I exchanged a few emails and while he was still on his soapbox preaching to stupid 'ole me, I blocked his emails. I don't need people telling me I don't support the Democratic Party and I certainly don't need people acting like they are perfect and boy, isn't this Jessica stupid for wanting to bring the ISU College Dems to an event in Utah that would cost the club less money? I have the emails, you can email me if you want to read them and keep in mind, I am extra sensitive to how middle-aged men talk to me. I can't imagine why!

So I blocked his emails. I didn't expect to hear from him until he tracked my blog down and started commenting on an old blog post. The emails led me to believe this guy was/is an asshole, tracking down my blog and commenting on an old post was creepy, as well as the time he spent trying to prove how much better of a Democrat he is (isn't this man busy enough saving the Utah Democrats, working, being a husband and a father? He really has the time to hound a 25 year old woman?). I said Rob was a coward because I had thought he left an anonymous comment, but it wasn't him, it was Darrell Johnston. So I take back the coward remark, but not the other two. Darrell told me to look in the mirror, which I took that to mean that Darrell is passive-aggressive and wanted to call me three things without having to do it outright.

Lastly, I'm sure Rob has done a lot for Utah Democrats. I've googled the man. But maybe he should extend his good works to young women in Idaho who send a nice email inquiring about events the Utah Democrats are holding.

Get a Life?  

Posted by Jessica in ,

I have two Utah Democrats who, I guess, have the time to harass a young Idaho Democrat. One also said I was a coward, creepy, and an asshole. Those insults didn't hurt, because I don't know a single person in my life, even people who don't like me, who would call me any of the aforementioned. How do these two men find the time to harass someone via their blog? Can't they at least spend their time improving the Democratic Party in Utah? And one of them, I know, is a member of the Church.

I have two frequent visitors to this blog, both LDS, and both men, Bubblehead and Cameron, who are incredibly kind and gracious, and both of them, I know, are Republican. Maybe those two Utah Democrats can take a lesson from two Idaho Republicans in how to treat a young woman and one who experienced harassment from a grown man for 10 years of her life.

And maybe, Darrell Johnston, you can google me and learn a bit more about me before you call me a coward. I don't know you Darrell, but you better wise up before you call me a coward. Placing my daughter for adoption after carrying her for 9 months in my stomach wasn't an act of cowardice, nor the act of a coward. Suing an organization to make a difference in how they deal with cases of child abuse wasn't an act of cowardice, nor the act of a coward. Pissing off just about every student power player at my university in order to do what I felt was right, wasn't an act of cowardice, nor the act of a coward.

So please get a life, Rob and Darrell. Certainly you both have better things to do than to harass a child abuse survivor and a woman in Idaho who is doing her best to leave this state better than she found it.

Political Heartbreak  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

The first time I experienced political heartbreak was in November of 2004. Unlike many Democrats, I really really really liked John Kerry. Actually, I loved John Kerry. I think he would have been a wonderful president, he would have surrounded himself with wise advisors and made incredible appointments.

I next experienced political heartbreak this last November when Jana Jones lost. To a lesser degree, my heart broke for Allen Anderson and a few other Democrats who lost.

But thursday night I experienced a different political heartbreak. On wednesday and thursday, 1,006 students voted for the ASISU Executive Office ticket that has lied to students, participated in acts of cronyism, assisted with the throwing out of ISU's previous constitution in favor of a new one with fewer safeguards and checks and balances. This ticket was part of a party which sought to take away student voice and representation and then pretend as if every good idea related to Reed Gym was their own.

I am ashamed and horrified that fellow students elected a ticket which had no original idea of their own, which couldn't react to true allegations and instead labeled the allegations "hateful", "negative campaigning", and "smear", which resorted to having no true message to offer students until a week before the runoff, and even then the message was inaccurate and laughable. I am ashamed and horrified that ISU students were tricked into voting for this ticket because they were offered donuts, candy, cookies, hot chocolate, nacho's, and baked potato's.

But I am relieved that 978 other students saw through the lies and tricks. As someone said thursday night to me, "you are a Democrat in Idaho, you are used to this." He was right, but it doesn't make it any easier.

Quote of the Day  

Posted by Jessica in

"God does not require that I succeed, only that I do what I can." Mother Theresa

Blogger's Breakfast  

Posted by Jessica in ,

I'm happy to report that the Idaho women liberal bloggers were well represented with Red State Rebels, Idaho Rocks, The Sniff Test, New West, and We Have Failed in attendance to meet and discuss Idaho politics, and we also were privy to some scoop from Jill at New West. Lest you get too excited, I can't divulge what we discussed in regards to the scoop, not until at least one media outlet reports on it first, sorry Cameron and Bubblehead.

I felt pretty out of place. My political commentary has been pretty limited. I figure if people want to read a blog about Idaho politics written from a liberal's perspective, they have many great blogs to choose from. If they want to read about ISU, my whacked out life, some Idaho politics, the College Dems, national politics, and occasionally watch a music video or scene from Family Guy, they can check my blog out. I don't want to beat a dead horse and blabber on about something unless I feel I have a unique perspective to offer and something fresh to bring to the table, but don't hold me to that. Anyways...

Aside from feeling out of place, I felt good about the Idaho liberal bloggers out there. We have some incredibly smart and talented women who care a lot about Idaho.

I'm sorry, I bet this is terribly boring to people who weren't at the breakfast, and I wish I could share all that we discussed, but I can't and won't, not until the right time.

Well, I have a midterm tomorrow and lots of campaigning to do in the next two days. I'll try to get a post written sometime in the next day or two and if you are in Pocatello, I'll be in the paper. They asked me a question that will be in the ISJ, nothing big.

Frank Church Banquet and Other Things  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

I wasn't able to blog this weekend from Boise as I didn't have very much free time and the internet access at the Doubletree Riverside was...not great.

I have lots to blog about, including: the blogger's breakfast saturday morning, the training during the day, the Banquet which had many "omg" moments, the overall relationship or lack thereof, between the College Dems and the rest of the Democratic Party in Idaho, a recognition of people who continue to amaze and inspire me, and a trip next week I will be making to the Capital. But rather than make one long post about everything, I will break it up this week and blog about each topic separately.

Before I end this post, if you live in Pocatello, I hope you can participate in some of the peace events on the ISU campus monday-wednesday:

Tomorrow night, Common Ground, will be giving a free concert at Frazier Hall at 7pm.

Tuesday night, a documentary about troops returning home from war and not being taken care of will be shown (7pm Little Wood River Room in the SUB) and wednesday (same time and place as tuesday) it will be shown again, followed by a peace vigil on the ISU Quad (around 8:30) and then a "Peace Party" put on by the College Democrats in the Bengal Cafe from 10pm-12am-FREE FOOD!

If you have any questions about any events, drop me an email or leave a comment on here.

Headed to Boise!  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

Today, me and a few other College Dems are headed to the Frank Church Banquet in Boise. This will consist of more than just a banquet. There are lots of meetings, trainings, some hospitality suites, a "Generation XYZ Pre-Funk event" and the Idaho Democratic Women's Caucus Breakfast.

I've been very reluctant about going because I want to stay here and help the Knapp/Olson ticket some more, but I told them I would help them as much as I could in Boise. The College Dems who are going are big Knapp/Olson supporters, so we will brainstorm some ideas to help them next week...


Posted by Jessica in

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite friends, Krista! You're even more ancient! ;)

How's It?  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

I haven't been active in the Mormon Church in almost 5 years. In those five years, I have attended only a handful of Church meetings. However, there was a time when I went to church with my best friend and her husband a few years ago when I lived in Idaho Falls and they lived in Shelley.

It's incredibly hard to go to church alone, especially when you feel so isolated and alienated already. But I'm just full of excuses about my church inactivity, so I'll leave it at that. This leads to me to an interesting thing I attended last night. A fireside. Those who are Mormon and those who are familiar with the Mormon Church will recognize what a fireside is. You go to a meeting which consists of a speaker or speakers. They usually speak about a certain topic or sometimes just something related to church. This particular fireside was a missionary fireside and was geared towards non-members. I was invited by someone I HIGHLY respect and she knows I am inactive in the Mormon Church.

The feelings I have had when I have gone to a church meeting during my inactivity are wide and varied. There are two feelings, however, that I overwhelmingly feel. One is a feeling unfamiliarity. I haven't been active and haven't been very spiritual in the last few years so going to a church meeting and partaking in something spiritual is very unfamiliar. The other feeling is a feeling of coming home. I was born and raised in the church and was very active until I was 21 years old, with a summer and semester of inactivity in those 21 years. During many of my experiences in these random meetings I've attended, I feel as though I have never left.

Not sure if this makes much sense. I am very glad I went to the fireside, there were some specific messages offered that are extremely relevent to my current life and I'm thankful I was there to hear them. Thanks, Liz!