Marc C. Johnson

Marc C. Johnson

Marc C. Johnson is a former Idaho broadcast journalist and was a top aide to Idaho Gov. Cecil D. Andrus. His most recent books include "Mansfield and Dirksen; Bipartisan Giants of the Senate" and "Tuesday Night Massacre: Four Senate Elections and the Radicalization of the Republican Party."

Three U.S. senators play baseball, including JFK as catcher

John F. Kennedy, Montana’s Mike Mansfield and what real political leadership looked like

By: - November 28, 2023

Nov. 22 was the 60th anniversary of the assassination of the 35th American president, John F. Kennedy, a “cruel and shocking act of violence,” as the Warren Commission called it, “directed against a man, a family, a nation, and against all mankind.”  Montana Sen. Mike Mansfield, a close friend of the murdered president – they […]

U.S. Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho

The Last Honest Man: Idaho Sen. Frank Church’s legacy and the American intelligence community

By: - May 31, 2023

On the Sunday before Idaho’s four-term United States Sen. Frank Church lost re-election more than 40 years ago – the date was Nov. 2, 1980 – it was clear that Church, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, early opponent of the Vietnam War, champion of the Wilderness Act and investigator of the vast […]

Jason Kessler

After Patriot Front arrests in North Idaho, meet the new ‘Conflict Entrepreneurs’

By: - June 30, 2022

“It is clear to us based on the gear that the individuals had with them, the stuff they had in their possession and in the U-Haul with them, along with paperwork that was seized from them, that they came to riot downtown,” said Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White. It’s not every day you see a […]

Republican senators

“The more things change …” U.S. Senate’s debate on the filibuster and civil rights is nothing new

By: - January 31, 2022

When in the late spring of 1964 the United States Senate defeated the longest filibuster in Senate history and passed the landmark Civil Rights Act, the Senate’s majority leader Mike Mansfield called the matter of insuring fundamental rights to all Americans – the right to fair treatment in accommodations and employment, for example – “the most divisive issue in […]

Idaho Capital Building in Boise

Same song, 2nd verse: In a way, Idaho’s political history is repeating, but this time it’s worse.

By: - January 3, 2022

Forty-eight years ago this week, Republican President Richard Nixon signed into law the Endangered Species Act, a landmark piece of legislation that, as Nixon said, gave our government tools to protect “the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed.” This most unlikely environmental president, a guy who walked the beach in […]

Sal Celeski with video camera

Remembering a true Idaho broadcast news pioneer who ‘practiced journalism in all the best ways’

By: - October 25, 2021

For a time in the 1970s and early 1980s, Idahoans who cared about government and politics, and who would lead the state after the next election, had a standing weekly date.  They tuned in at 6:30 p.m. Fridays to KTVB to listen as Sal Celeski and a panel of reporters on his weekly “Viewpoint” program […]

Mike Mansfield with President Harry Truman

Mike Mansfield, the Saturday Night Massacre and rubber chicken in Idaho

By: - June 20, 2021

When the United States Senate recently failed to end a Republican filibuster and consider creation of an independent commission to investigate the details of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, it was just the latest example of how profound partisanship frequently paralyzes even the most reasonable – and broadly supported – […]

Idaho State Capitol building in Boise.

Idaho’s resistance to fund full-day kindergarten goes back decades

By: - April 6, 2021

Before his retirement 10 years ago, Greg Culet served for more than 30 years as a magistrate and district court judge in Idaho’s 3rd Judicial District, a sprawling six-county swath of southwestern Idaho. From family law cases to felonies, Culet observed thousands of defendants from behind the bench. Over time he observed one immutable reality.  […]