Idaho Democrat rebuffed in bid for jobless benefits

BOISE, Idaho — A former Idaho state senator has been rebuffed in her bid to win a $155 weekly unemployment check that even her own party doesn’t think she is owed.

The state rejected Boise Democrat Nicole LeFavour’s application for the money that she sought after leaving her $16,611 annual job in the Legislature in 2012 to run for Congress, the Idaho Statesman reported Wednesday.

Elected officials aren’t eligible for unemployment, according to Idaho law. Employees are eligible only if they have been involuntarily laid off, quit for cause or discharged for reasons other than misconduct.

State Democratic officials said LeFavour exercised poor judgment.

Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Kenck said somebody who quits qualifies for unemployment benefits only when he or she faces a hostile, discriminatory or unsafe work environment.

“It makes me uncomfortable to think that elected officials, when they were defeated or chose not to run, would have unemployment insurance coverage,” added House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston.

After she applied for assistance earlier this month, Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, a Republican from Rexburg, objected. As the top senator, he leads LeFavour’s former employer and was worried about the precedent such payments could set.

LeFavour, the state’s first openly gay lawmaker who ran unsuccessfully for Congress against Republican Mike Simpson last November, said she has fallen on tough times. Friends urged her to at least try to get benefits, she said.

“I worked there for eight years and a couple people said, `You know, if you’re in that circumstance, you should try,”’ LeFavour said.

LeFavour hopes her financial fortunes rebound. She’s working on a book that she hopes will earn an advance payment. Her agent, Rob Weisbach, has represented best-selling celebrities Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Whoopi Goldberg and Ellen DeGeneres.

“It was kind of odd, I thought, that he would ask me,” she said, “but it’s been really fun working on the memoir.”

More in Local News

Within an hour, 2 planes crash-land at Paine Field

One simply landed hard and went off the end of a runway. Another crash involved unextended landing gear.

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Foundation awards grants to Arlington schools

The Arlington Education Foundation on Nov. 13 presented a check to the… Continue reading

Snohomish County firefighters head to California for 18 days

They’re from Fire District 26 in Gold Bar, Getchell Fire and Fire District 7.

State commission reprimands Snohomish County judge for DUI

Judge Marybeth Dingledy had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a day in jail.

Driver arrested after car strikes pedestrian in Everett

The pedestrian was crossing the road near 12th Street and Broadway. He was injured.

Active Casino Road volunteer honored for work

Molina Healthcare recently honored Jorge Galindo, from Everett, as one of its… Continue reading

Over $12K raised to InspireHER

InspireHER, a local organization that encourages female empowerment, raised over $12,000 at… Continue reading

Most Read