Democrat defeated in Congressional race, tries to collect unemployment



Former state senator says she thought she earned unemployment benefits as a Democrat in GOP-dominated Idaho

Idaho Statesman: Former Sen. Nicole LeFavour’s application for a $155 weekly unemployment check has been denied after the state objected to her claim.
The Boise Democrat represented the left-leaning Democratic North and East ends from 2004 to 2012 before leaving the Legislature to challenge GOP Congressman Mike Simpson last year. Simpson won with 65 percent of the vote in November.
LeFavour, 49, said she delayed applying for unemployment benefits while she lived off savings and began work on a memoir about her service as the only openly gay legislator in Idaho history. As her financial situation deteriorated, LeFavour said, friends urged her to see if she was eligible for the 26 weeks of benefits from the part-time legislative job that pays $16,116 annually.
I just needed it for a short time, things are getting tight,” LeFavour said Tuesday. “I mean, I worked there for eight years and a couple people said, “You know, if you’re in that circumstance, you should try.”
Unemployment claims are confidential under federal law. But after LeFavour confirmed that she had applied, Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill said he — as the administrative officer of the state Senate, LeFavour’s former employer — contested the claim, which LeFavour filed April 5.
“My concern was much broader than just this individual claim,” said Hill, a Republican from Rexburg. “If she qualified, then what about all the other legislators who got redistricted out or decided not to run or got beat in the primary or general election? Are all of them eligible for unemployment?”
In short, no.
Elected officials in Idaho, including legislators, are ineligible for unemployment insurance. Idaho workers are eligible only if they have been involuntarily laid off, quit for cause or discharged for reasons other than misconduct, said Idaho Department of Labor spokesman Bob Fick.
Told of those standards, LeFavour said she believes she had good cause to quit. “I mean, honestly, serving as a Democrat in a tiny minority for eight years in that place, I think there’s a finite amount of time that a person can do it and still do it well,” LeFavour said.
Of her voluntary decision to leave a safe seat in the Legislature for a longshot run for Congress, LeFavour said, “If we’re serving the people of Idaho and it seems that another position might help us serve them better … it would make sense that after eight years in the Legislature I would run for higher office.”
LeFavour has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s from the University of Montana. For years, she’s worked part-time as a summer writing teacher and said she’s never made more than $22,000 a year.
She’s working on a chapter of the book she hopes will earn an advance payment from New York agent Rob Weisbach, who has represented best-selling authors including Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Whoopi Goldberg and Ellen DeGeneres.
LeFavour said Weisbach contacted her because he was attracted to a story of bravery, akin to author clients who have written survival stories after living through 9/11 and a California plane crash. “It was kind of odd, I thought, that he would ask me,” she said, ”but it’s been really fun working on the memoir.”
Last year, LeFavour and her longtime partner, Carol Growhoski, broke up. LeFavour said she moved out and that the two are trying to sell the North End house, which would provide money for LeFavour to buy another home. “I’ve been living off what was supposed to be a down payment,” she said.
Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Kenck said he understands LeFavour’s frustration as an Idaho Democrat. But he said her view that she quit for cause is unwarranted. Kenck, a business agent for 25 years for the Teamsters and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, said a worker who quits qualifies for unemployment benefits only when he or she faces a hostile, discriminatory or unsafe work environment.
“Serving in the Legislature as a Democrat is difficult, that’s why we relish taking on the job and that’s why we’re working hard as a party to get other legislators elected,” Kenck said.
House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, served with LeFavour and said he agrees politicians should not receive unemployment payments. “It’s unfortunate that she has some financial issues, but it makes me uncomfortable to think that elected officials, when they were defeated or chose not to run, would have unemployment insurance coverage,” Rusche said. “It is difficult being in the minority, but difficult jobs happen all the time.”
She has a master’s degree and has never earned more than $22,000/year? Sounds likes she needs to look for a full-time job instead of trying to milk the taxpayers.

Please follow and like us:

Share and Enjoy !

0 0
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jane P.
Jane P.
7 years ago

Everyone wants to be on the “dole”.

7 years ago

I guess those two degrees from Berkeley and U. of Mont. aren’t worth the paper their written on . What did you take up in college ” SPACE ” ?

7 years ago
Reply to  japoa

“…SPACE?” Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!
Hey, wait a minute! Don’t denigrate degrees from those schools. Like pages from the islamotard’s “Noble Poo’ran,” they make for fine toilet paper, lol! 😉

Auntie Lulu
Auntie Lulu
7 years ago

Thank goodness someone put the brakes on her plan. That is so incredibly stupid of her to think that she can choose to leave one elected position to run for another (higher paid) elected position–and then when she looses, she gets a “payout.” The people of Idaho are far better off without having her to represent them. It is shameful that with that much education, the pinnacle of her earning success was $22,000. She might consider being the poster child for being an “educated idiot.”

7 years ago

Another fine example of the left’s intrinsic parasitism. It is only a natural progression for the progressives in office to come around to the entitlement paradigm of their main constituants, you know, the one they have been hard at work cultivating amongst the liberal electorate. A process so circular as to render the average hard working, tax-paying, dyed-in-the-wool conservative who has to foot the bill, dizzy and disoriented. The dog chases it’s tail, or rather, the donkey?
Freeloading, Democrap Jackasses! I’m glad she got denied. Auntie Lulu said it best above, “educated idiot.”