A few thoughts on a few, somewhat random, topics...

The Dietrich hazing story has gone national. The horrific story out of Magic Valley’s Lincoln County concerning hazing of and sexual assault on a black student by three white football players has gone far and wide.  For instance, I’ve seen the story in the New York Times and Washington Post and a host of Idaho and Utah publications.

The three young men have already been charged by the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, and a civil lawsuit recently filed by prominent Idaho attorney Keith Roark focuses on the local school district and seeks $10 million in damages.

Expect this situation to draw lots of continued press attention, locally and nationally, as the criminal and civil actions move forward.

Trump getting national bump. National polls show Donald Trump is rising versus Hillary Clinton.  The latest Fox News poll has Trump up 45% to 42% nationally.  The latest CBS/New York Times national survey has Clinton up by six points, 47% to 41%.

The reason is that Republicans are coming home to Trump while Clinton is struggling to corral Democrats with Bernie Sanders still in the race. 

Interesting higher education statistic. President Rick Aman, recently appoint the permanent head of Idaho Falls-based Eastern Idaho Technical College, shared with the Idaho Falls City Club some interesting statistics:  There are seven community colleges in Wyoming, 14 in Montana, 17 in Oregon, and 33 in Washington. Currently, Idaho only has three. 

Idaho’s number might go up one if EITC converts to a community college.  There is a local task force exploring that possibility.  Implementation would require a public vote in at least parts of 4 local school districts.

Trump still is just odd. As anyone who reads my column knows, I think Donald Trump is plain weird.  That was on ample display last week at a rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

He directly accused popular Republican New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, on her home turf, of “not doing her job”, claiming she was falling down on economic policy and falsely asserting she was seeking to admit Syrian refugees.  He was apparently miffed that she hasn’t endorsed him and chose not to attend his local rally.

Martinez is well respected nationally and locally, serving as head of the Republican Governors Association.  And, she is one of the highest-ranking Republican Hispanics, known for her electoral success in a Democratic-leaning state.

Martinez’s press secretary rapidly fired back: ”The governor will not be bullied into supporting a candidate until she is convinced that candidate will fight for New Mexicans.  Governor Martinez doesn’t care about what Donald Trump says about her.”

Chalk New Mexico up as another state that Trump will likely lose in November.  Of course, it doesn’t help that Trump doesn’t know how to pick his battles.

Steve Taggart is an Idaho Falls attorney specializing in bankruptcy (www.MaynesTaggart.com).  He has an extensive background in politics and public policy.  He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..