Friday, November 15, 2013

Candidates should follow Ysursa’s lead


    We are sending out an SOS about the Idaho secretary of state’s office. The eventual departure of Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, who announced his 2015 retirement Friday, could create a breach in the lineage of integrity of that position that stretches back for well more than a half-century.
    The previous occupants—the late and much revered Pete Cenarrusa, who died last month, and Edson Deal (who died in office in 1967), who made the controversial decision to rehire the staff of his Democrat predecessor—never considered it a partisan bully pulpit. They set a standard that Ysursa, Cenarrusa’s longtime election chief, has upheld since 2002 when he was elected to the position.
    We think the people who believe they can fill the shoes of secretary of state should take full advantage of the next 13 months by taking notes on the way Ysursa goes about the job. When he leaves office a year from January, we hope his successor will have studied Ysursa’s knack for providing service in lieu of partisanship, fairness instead of favoritism.
    This isn’t just our view. Ysursa is respected by the majority of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. That’s because he has managed the delicate issues of campaign finance and running elections with professionalism instead of politics. He has served Idaho on the Land Board with a long-term eye during frequent storms of shortsightedness.
    Among the rare criticisms we have heard regarding Ysursa are that, at times, he is too impartial toward his own Republican Party—which is precisely the impartial posture he should have.
    Jim Weatherby, an emeritus professor at Boise State University, articulated our concern about successors in our story about Ysursa’s announcement: “I think it should be noted that there could be a more partisan person elected,” Weatherby said. “Deal, Cenarrusa, Ysursa—they were all nonpartisan and even-handed.”
    We will be watching closely as candidates join Lawerence Denney, a Republican legislator and former speaker of the House, who announced his intention to run for the secretary of state office last month.
    We’re just a few short months from the May 20 primary and less than a year away from the general election. That gives candidates plenty of time to begin forming plans to emulate those who came before.
    We hope they, and the electorate, get it right.

    The Idaho Statesman, based in Boise, published this editorial on Nov. 12.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2024 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.