Election Central

Patterson gone to ground: Will he show at GOP meeting seeking his resignation?

Republicans in West Boise have set a meeting Tuesday to consider a one-page resolution calling on Rep. Mark Patterson to resign immediately. The District 15 GOP Committee agenda sets aside time at the start to “discuss his intentions regarding his legislative seat.”

But it’s been almost four weeks since Patterson has spoken to the media and an unanswered question remains: Will Patterson show up to defend himself?

In the immediate aftermath of a Nov. 10 Idaho Statesman story about his twice having been charged for rape, the freshman Republican reacted aggressively with criticism of the Statesman and Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney for revoking his concealed weapons license.

The day the story ran, Patterson alleged his accuser in Florida had recanted in a tape-recorded confession, but Patterson never produced the recording. Patterson pleaded guilty in 1974 to assaulting the woman with intent to commit rape, receiving a withheld judgment and served two years’ probation.

On Nov. 13, he told conservative journalist Ben Swann he wasn’t backing down and would return to the 2014 Legislature with a gun-rights bill opposed by Raney in 2013 that Patterson alleges prompted Raney to target him for retribution and ridicule. Raney denies that claim, saying he was simply following up on a tip that Patterson had failed to disclose his withheld judgment and was stripped of his license for lying on his application.

Then, in an interview taped Nov. 15 and aired on 580 KIDO Nov. 18, Patterson told host Kevin Miller he’d been slandered and was considering suing Raney. Patterson appeared on KIDO with one of his two Boise lawyers, Alexandria Kincaid, chief counsel and public relations director for the Idaho Firearms and Accessories Manufacturers Association and a partner of the Northwest Gun Law Group.

Since then, Patterson has not surfaced publicly, to my knowledge. My emails to Patterson and Kincaid have not been returned. Patterson’s other lawyer, Wade Woodard, said Kincaid “has been hired by Mark to work with media.”

I’ve phoned and emailed Kincaid Thursday to ask whether Patterson would like to reply to allegations by Sen. Fred Martin, D-Boise, his District 15 colleague, who has said Patterson hates women, has frightened members of the District 15 GOP Committee and is unfit to serve.

I also asked whether Patterson intends to defend himself at the Tuesday meeting and whether he plans to serve in the 2014 legislative session, which begins Jan. 6.

Kincaid’s assistant told me her boss was on the phone and unavailable to speak with me. “She says she has no statement at this time,” the assistant said. If I hear back from Rep. Patterson or Ms. Kincaid, I’ll update this post.

Patterson did speak privately Wednesday with 670 KBOI’s Nate Shelman, who has told listeners that Patterson should not resign. Shelman invited Patterson on Wednesday’s program shortly after its 4 p.m. start. Shelman said Thursday that Patterson told him in an off-the-air phone call that “he wanted to set the record straight.” Shelman said he told Patterson he had some questions for him, including about the rape charges and his license application.

Shelman said Patterson wanted to know in advance exactly what questions he would be asked. “I told him he wouldn’t know that till he joined me on air,” Shelman said. “He then said he had to get to a doctor’s appointment and probably wouldn’t be able to hold. I reminded him I’m on-air till 7 p.m. He never called.”

Click here to hear a podcast of Shelman’s show. Take a listen at 31:30 of the first segment.

 

 

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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Posted in Election Central, Idaho Politics