November 2016 Treasure Valley Voters Guide




Welcome to our Voter Guide for November's local races, bonds and levies, as well as the presidential election. Compare candidates' views on the issues side by side and create your own ballot, which you can then print or email.

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Canyon County Sheriff

Incumbent: Kieran DonahueTerm: Four years2017 salary: $88,753

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  • Candidate picture

    Kieran Donahue
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Robert Muse
    (Con)

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Biographical Information

Why are you running?

What are your top three priorities?

What is the best solution for addressing crowding at the Canyon County Jail?

Idaho lawmakers set new standards this year for how sexual assault evidence kits are processed. Was the new law necessary, and how will it change how your county handles such kits?

What is your philosophy toward crime and the work the sheriff does?

What kind of relationship should the sheriff have with county commissioners? What, if anything, would you do to improve the current relationship?

Have you been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a misdemeanor or felony or had a withheld judgment? If so, what, when and where?

Have you or a company you owned filed bankruptcy? If so, when and where?

Age 58
Education Executive Certificate, Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Idaho State University 1985-1997 University of Alaska Fairbanks 1989-1991
Prior political experience I was elected to the Office of Sheriff in 2012. I am very involved in legislative issues and have previously testified at numerous legislative committee hearings on issues that directly affect law enforcement. In addition, in 2006 I helped frame legislation on the Idaho Criminal Gang Enforcement Act addressing gang recruitment in the state of Idaho. This legislation was passed and signed into law by Governor Otter.
Civic involvement Currently serve as 2nd Vice President—Idaho Sheriffs Association and serve on the Jail Standards Committee and Operations Committe; President—Family Justice Center Foundation of Idaho (Funding Arm of the Family Justice Center of Nampa); Serve on the National Sheriff's Association Domestic Violence Committee*, Crime Victims Committee*, Juvenile Justice Committee* and Government Affairs Committee*; Founder / Chairman—Man Up Crusade-National Public Awareness Campaign on Domestic Violence; Executive Board Member—Joint Terrorism Task Force, Salt Lake Division-Boise FBI; Executive Board Member—Oregon / Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Board of Directors—Idaho Representative; Committee Chairman—Technical Advisory Committee, College of Western Idaho Law Enforcement Program; *Appointed by the President of the NSA.
Years living in Idaho Born and raised in Idaho. Last 23 yrs in Canyon County
Family Wife, Jeanie and three daughters, Kiera, Ashley & Kelsea
I have a strong commitment to progressive law enforcement that is proactive and not just reactive. I have over 12 years of experience with the Sheriff’s Office and have held a variety of positions with the Office including Detention Deputy, School Resource Officer, Detective, Gang and Drug investigator as a Task Force Officer with the FBI and have held CCSO Administrative positions of Captain, Chief Deputy and Sheriff. As the highest law enforcement officer in the county, I understand and believe that the Sheriff sets the standard for all others to follow. It is not enough to just hold office. The Sheriff must be engaged in all aspects of the issues that affect the county whether those issues are initiated here in our local communities, in the region around us, the state and the nation, or internationally. The Sheriff has numerous statutory requirements including the operation of the county jail. I have a complete understanding of those duties and the unique challenges we face. My professional relationships with local, state and federal law enforcement partners, is paramount in continuing to drive down crime rates and ensure we continue to make public safety a priority.
The first priority of any local, state or federal government official has to be public safety. All else revolves around that basic principle. Our citizens rely on us serving them in a manner that reflects our commitment to their safety in their homes, their place of business, their schools and their recreation. If we as government do not focus on public safety as a priority then everything within our communities suffer. Secondly, the Sheriff’s Office has to be able to recruit and retain qualified individuals. Law enforcement has a very high standard of parameters that individuals must meet when applying for a position with our Office. Currently we are making progress in hiring new employees and it is imperative the public and Board of County Commissioners understand the importance of paying adequate salaries to hire and retain quality employees in the law enforcement field A third and immediate priority will be to get the tax payers to fully understand the tremendous financial implications and detrimental consequences of not addressing the jail needs of Canyon County.
In order to solve the overcrowding issue in Canyon County we must look to the future by conducting a true, professional and accurate long-term needs assessment of this county. We must take into account that when the current jail was completed in 1991 we had approximately 90,000 people living in our county. Today we have over 200,000 people living here. In every culture, increased growth brings increased crime. We cannot sit back and believe that the problem is going to go away. Nor can we sit back and believe that adding on to a poorly designed and poorly built facility will suffice. We are strongly supported by the Judiciary and the Prosecuting Attorney’s office in utilizing Alternative Sentencing programs to accommodate our needs. Currently, my office oversees approximately 1,200 individuals on alternative sentencing programs like pre-trial, electronic monitoring, Sheriff’s Inmate Labor Detail (SILD), etc. The best approach at this time is to continue to put the taxpayer’s money into a Capital Investment Fund and look to build an adequate facility in the future that will accommodate the growth we are experiencing today and the growth we will experience in the future.
Canyon County Sheriffs Office has had protocols in place for some time regarding the submission of sexual assault kits through our Field Services Division and our Crime Lab. We exercise due diligence in submitting kits through proper procedural guidelines by adhering to best practices provided to us through forensic services. The new law is basically a refinement of the protocols and best practices that we already have in place, therefore, our office will not see a significant impact by the new law.
As a Constitutional Officer and Sheriff, I continue to collaborate with my local, state and federal executive partners to continue to take a very proactive approach to crime and gang violence in our communities. There is not any one law enforcement agency that can combat this issue alone with any hope of success. It absolutely requires a unified effort to be successful through the sharing of local, state and federal resources and manpower. We will continue to work closely with the Treasure Valley FBI Metro Task Force, the Caldwell Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit, the Special Investigations Unit of the Nampa Police Department, the FBI and the United States Attorney's Office as well as the United States Marshal's Service of which I have two detectives permanently assigned, to combat crime in our communities. Our continued collaboration with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the prosecution and sentencing of individuals who commit violent acts in our communities is paramount in removing this element from our streets. My extensive experience as a deputy, as an investigator and as an executive law enforcement officer uniquely qualifies me to continue to fight crime in our area.
There should be a strong working relationship between the two entities while understanding there will be differences of opinion. Neither entity should loose their ability to compartmentalize their opinions and beliefs on individual issues thus preserving an environment where each side can disagree but move forward collectively in finding solutions to short and long term problems. The relationship between the county sheriff and the county commissioners should be one of pro-active and cooperative management of government business. Each entity should respect the statutory, expressed and implied powers of the elected positions that each represents. The statutory obligations and requirements of the sheriff differ from those of other elected officials. In essence, the expertise of the sheriff and his staff should be recognized and deferred to by the commissioners in matters of law enforcement, jail operations, dispatch services, warrants and civil process, etc. Ideally, the two elected offices would work together to find solutions to emerging and long term problems and issues that will best represent and protect the tax payers interests and prioritize public safety.
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Age 63
Education Academic Achievements •2015 Pending Doctorate Public Administration Course completion •Doctorate Thesis “ Cellular Lead Intelligence Probation Monitoring” •2012 Master’s of Science degree in Public Safety Leadership •2008 Master’s of Science degree in Human Social Services Specialization Criminal Justice •2006 Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice wit Honors •United State Air Force Community College Specialization in Police Security Services Technical Achievements •Master’s of Science degree specialization: Addictions and Mental Health Certificate •Idaho POST Academy and Law Enforcement Certificates •USAF Security Police - Global Terrorism Response and Nuclear Security Academies Career and Real Life Achievements •Current Real Estate Agent •Current Consultant and Supervisor - (15 years - Security Services) •Current Bail Bond General Manager for Civil Contract Enforcement and Interstate Fugitive Recovery Agent - (10 years - Licensed State Bail Agent) •Idaho Peace Officer (2 years - Deputy Sheriff – Letter of Recommendations) •USAF Security Police (2 years – DD214 Honorable discharge) •USAF Nuclear Protection Anti terrorist Ground Combat Academy - Camp Bullis Texas •Vehicle and Recreational Sales with Service Management - (10 years) •Adult and Juvenile Psycho Social Rehabilitation - (2 years – Medicare cases)
Prior political experience I welcome republicans, democrats, libertarians and independents to contact me. Prior accomplishments include running for sheriff in 2012 the message was sent by 21,000 voters they believe in the constitutional sheriff concept that Sheriff Mack has described. This has always been my moral belief and guiding ethical principle since starting on this course of correction. I have been protecting and serving this oath for a constitutional sheriff candidate. I stand next to my constituents and put myself on the line to protect them from city, county, state, and federal abuse.
Civic involvement 2014 National Freedom Award nomination and certificate received for hiring local veterans, Bail surety bond legislation, numerous youth activities, advocacy for open public lands and use. President of the Idaho Bail Coalition, President of Southwestern Idaho Desert Racing Association, and an American Motorcycle Association Representative. 3 years as football coach at Nampa Christian with Matt Campbell and others and supported the Nampa Christian Sports complex.
Years living in Idaho Since 1989.
Family Wife Linda, Son Karl, (deceased), daughter Ariel, and son James. 5 grandchildren, Brother, sister, daughter and son in laws. Many nieces, nephews and cousins.
The Canyon County Sheriffs Department badly needs new, full-time leadership. Morale in the department, I’m told, is at an all-time low. Deputies say the sheriff is frequently away from his job, attending out-of -county functions such as rodeos, bull riding events and other activities. He has also conducted his Man Up Crusade private foundation work during working hours and — much worse — has pressured department personnel to do likewise. This serious ethical lapse ultimately led to a year-long Idaho State Police criminal investigation sparked by concerned deputies and others within his department. In the end he was not prosecuted. As significant as his poor judgement in misusing county resources,failure to prevent two jailhouse deaths and the lack of foresight to block the escape of five dangerous prisoners — a far worse failing is Donahue’s apparent lack of appreciation of the Bill of Rights and the United States Constitution. For example, he discouraged issuance of concealed carry permits, and when he first ran for sheriff listed himself as an ATF agent, and a federal marshal, two positions not exactly friendly.
1 . Accountability…… Integrity first. A willful process which promotes efficiency and effectiveness. I would seek the best personnel for key positions in the department who have broad experience and public support. I intend to ask Commissioner Craig Hanson to be the new chief deputy of the jail. Then I will ask Parma Police Chief Ericsson if he would serve as Chief Deputy of Patrol and/or Investigations. Ericsson has broad public support, receiving the second highest vote count for sheriff in the Republican primary. 2. If elected I will recognize and reward excellence among department employees, emphasizing “service before self,” integrity, efficiency, and respect for protections enshrined in the Bill of Rights. 3. I will seek to hire responsible and qualified military veterans for the jail and initiate reforms in a number of areas such as probation, work release programs, illegal immigration deportation, warrant arrest booking, pretrial services and jail intake classification. How do we get it done now?
A new classification process to determine security risk and threat of each inmate. Move administrative offices, and other low security operations to the work release (tent) jail area. This would free up room for new inmate dorms and cells within the secure building.Transfer all administration office administration from the rear ground floor to the tent jail. A longer term solution would be expansion of the existing jail after approval of a $20 million bond by taxpayers. There is no reason why the current jail cannot be inexpensively expanded in a safe and efficient manner in contrast to Tom Dale and Sheriff Donahue’s $50,000,000 plan for a PRIVATE regional jail which they proposed during a 2012 debate. Lead legislation for the following reforms in the Idaho Criminal Justice system Reform ……. Probation. 60% failure Reform……. Work Release Program with job corp option Reform……. Self Surrender Warrant Arrest Booking including book and release Reform ……. Pretrial Services cost and expenses to defendant and Regulated Private Bail Enforcement Agents Reform..……Illegal Immigration Deportation Reform……. Jail intake classification Process Build a new socioeconomic pay scale for employees
It is important that the gathering and preservation of evidence be standardized according to strict procedures. Evidence that seems to be favorable to victim or suspect should not be destroyed by law enforcement officers. According to the principles of our Constitutional Republic; who is responsible for keeping the Government in check and invading privacy? Madison said the people can safely rely on the disposition of local legislators to erect barriers against the encroachments of the Federal Government. Therefore, it is the duty of all States to keep the Federal Government in check. The Sheriff is absolutely an integral part of maintaining the balance of power between the States and Federal Government.
As the top law enforcement officer in the county, it is the sheriff’s responsibility to be aware of any serving of warrants and arrests by city, county, state or federal officials within his jurisdiction. It is their responsibility to notify the sheriff of their intentions. (Doing so is safer for all involved.) The sheriff is duty-bound to stop any unconstitutional actions such as door-to-door gun confiscations, illegal seizure of property or other violations of civil liberties. Had the sheriffs intervened in Waco, or Ruby Ridge, and recently Nevada, Oregon for example, those horrific tragedies might have been prevented these deaths of our people and due process could have had the chance to prevail. Jefferson warned us that Washington DC would at times become “venal and oppressive.” If this were to happen today; who would the people in our county be able to turn to for peace, safety, and protection? The Sheriff. My sworn oath as Peace Officer and Military Veteran are to serve the natural law that created the constitution of the Republic and protect the United States and Idaho Constitution with truth and honesty for best practices that include integrity and service before self.
It is the sheriff’s responsibility to to work closely with the commissioners. In any relationship there will be disagreements. Both parties should work for the benefit of the people, not poison the well with pet projects or unethical use of county services not approved by the taxpayers.This current Sheriff Donahue does not support 2nd amendment for concealed carry without a permit but also had chosen to close the administration to issue conceal carry permits. I would never allow this to happen on my watch.A Willful process which promotes efficiency and effectiveness with a new volunteer Citizen Review Board and Sheriff Posse to monitor and provide ideas for restoring the Bill of Rights to defendants and inmates and constitutional protections forgotten….I must eliminate the deaths from medical malpractice and escapes that currently occur and present a clear and present danger to defendants, people and community. I would never remove the work release as this Sheriff attempted to do in the last 3 years

I have read the Constitution and have studied what the Framers of America intended. I have studied the Declaration of Independence and I know what the purpose of all government is. I will only enforce laws that coincide with the Constitution. I take my oath seriously and I will not violate it for anyone. In the process of apprehending a resisting and fleeing felon as a licensed Idaho Bail Agent, I discharged a firearm with rubber bullets within the Nampa city limits on July 18, 2014, captured the criminal and turned him over to police authorities. Instead of being grateful for the capture of a gang member with state and federal drug and weapons charges, I was given a misdemeanor summons for illegal discharge of a weapon within Nampa city limits. The ordinance itself was a violation of my second amendment rights and was issued by a Nampa detective with the permission of the chief who later resigned. After $10,000 in personal defense costs, the charge was dismissed and I pleaded no contest on a charge of inattentive driving.
Old news. Yes. 19 years ago chapter 13 to repay debts and discharged after payment Wife suffered 2 vehicle injuries to back and neck for medical expenses.