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  • Writer's pictureBruce Mattare

Is There a Child Doing an Adult’s Job?

I had an interesting phone call today with, Kaye Thornbrugh, a reporter with the CDA Press. Apparently, somebody gave her a “hot tip” about me. The tip was that I happen to be a special deputy advisor to our Sheriff, Bob Norris.

What stands out is that I’ve been volunteering to work with Bob Norris since May 2019 and (after he became Sheriff) I continued my role as a volunteer. By making me a special deputy advisor it allowed me to discuss sensitive information with him. It’s never been a secret.

As your county commissioner, it’s even more important that I have a good relationship with him and ALL other elected officials. That’s how your county government works best.

Fast forward to August 2021 when I announced my candidacy for Kootenai County Commissioner. I made it a point to disclose this fact on my website (see here), so there was full transparency. It was and always has been a volunteer position.

I simply provided advice to the Sheriff about issues that affect the community, mostly through better communication. Nobody has ever tried to hide it, and there’s nothing controversial about it…until Kaye Thornbrugh was made aware of it.

During my phone call with her, she seemed fixated on some sort of nefarious activity, despite not sharing with me who gave her the “hot tip.” Her questions focused primarily on the topics discussed with the Sheriff (which are none of her business) and a conflict of interest because I’m now your county commissioner.

Idaho has a law defining a conflict of interest as being when an elected official takes an official action or recommendation where the effect being to the “private pecuniary benefit” of such person. It’s pretty clear that Kaye has no idea about this statute or what a conflict of interest really means. Otherwise, she wouldn’t ask questions implying there was a conflict.

While I am always happy to discuss issues with anyone in the county (including the Press), I do not care to engage with people who are on “fishing” expeditions, so they can play “gotchya” journalism. This is exactly how Kaye came across today and it’s not the first time I’ve seen this type of bizarre behavior from her.

Does the CDA Press Even Care about the Important Issues?

You have to wonder.

To put this into perspective, just look at Kaye’s 2022 front-page story crafted for the benefit of Teresa Borrenpohl, a Democrat political operative and candidate for office at the time. It was about her doxing accusation against me.

Everyone knows the true definition of doxing is to publish somebody’s home address with malicious intent. I did nothing remotely close to that. Instead, I displayed a picture of my opponent’s sign (a registered Republican) in this Democrat operative’s yard because she was doing his bidding online. It did not include a picture of the house or information about where the home was located. Nothing.

However, Kaye didn’t appear to care about whether I met the actual definition of doxing. To the contrary, she acted giddy, like a teenager, to write a story about a baseless accusation from a Democrat candidate who actively supported my Republican opponent.

Fast forward to today and now I’m dealing with Kaye again where she’s fishing for a story about a conflict of interest on a subject that, for all intents and purposes, is impossible to have a conflict. With her willingness to take on "Page Six" tabloid-like stories, she makes it hard for others to look at her seriously, especially about substantive issues within our community.

So Why Does the CDA Press Run These Types of Stories?

“A” for agenda.

You see, the newspaper appears to have become a narrative tool to shape the thinking of what few readers they still have. They do this using what's called the “FUD” method. It’s used to create Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about people within our community, often people they don’t like. They did it to me in Kaye's tabloid doxing piece and their editorial that supported my opponent.

Election season is upon us, so (sadly) I expect to see a lot more of these types of tabloid-like investigations and stories in the coming months. With respect to Kaye Thornbrugh, I’d ask her why she prioritizes drama and tabloid-like stories over real issues, and who are these "sources" she's listening to?

It appears a troubling pattern is beginning to emerge.

When I was in publishing you had to produce a good product that people wanted to read...and pay for. Sadly, the caliber of people I worked for are long gone in today’s publishing world. This is why in a community of over 100,000 voters, only about 10%, if even that much, read this rag.

With respect to me and my relationship with our Sheriff, I cannot emphasize enough how beneficial it is for a county commissioner to have a good relationship with him…along with all the others!

I certainly hope that Kaye Thornbrugh and the CDA Press aren’t trying to turn the virtue of me getting along with our elected officials into a vice.

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Jason Deegan
Jason Deegan
Oct 24, 2023

I believe this blog post qualifies as an "evisceration" of the CDA Press.

If only there were solid alternatives to get the hyper-local news so many people crave.

Catherine B
Catherine B
Oct 24, 2023
Replying to

lol-Hi Jason The CDA Pressitute is so bad & biased. There are some others in relation to local & state political news. We have the Idaho Tribune, The Peoples Pen unfortunately they are not as well known.


Oct 24, 2023

The Press is a T ball newspaper at best. Like the majority of so called print journalism in the world today, the Press is nothing more than a water carrier for the destructive and petulant left. Over the years they have on occasion employed bona fide journalist. However those honest and professional scribes quickly moved on once they realized the error of their employment choice. One only need observe the Press prior employment of Bill "Whimpy, I'd gladly pay you on Tuesday for a burger today" Brooks, as proof of the papers systemic incompetence.

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