100 Influential Idahoans 2015. By Randy Stapilus. 2015. Softcover. 202 pages. ISBN 978-0-945648-26-0 List price $16.95.
Fourteen years after its last edition, Ridenbaugh Press has released a list of 100 influential Idahoans – and what makes them so influential.
Randy Stapilus, the editor and publisher of the Idaho Weekly Briefing and author of four earlier similar lists, has based this one on levels of overall influence in the state – and freedom of action and ability to influence development of the state – as of the start of 2015. The list was compiled chiefly in December 2014 and relied on input from a wide variety of publicly-involved Idahoans from the state.
Stapilus noted that the list is not an “honor roll” as such, but rather an assessment of impact and effectiveness, leaving aside the question of how positive the impact may have been.
He compiled four lists from 1998 to 2001, as a part of Idaho reference books published during those years. The new book, 100 Influential Idahoans 2015, is a 200-page book unto itself, with entries for each of the 100 (a few of which are double entries) and discussions of their effectiveness in the state. In 2003 he assembled a merged list of 50 influential Idahoans drawn from the higher-ranked and most-frequently mentioned people on the earlier lists; 17 of them appear on the new list of 100.
The list is led by Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke, whose impact in the legislative sphere and beyond has been large on a statewide scope since he won the office – by ousting his predecessor – in 2012.
Stapilus is a former Idaho newspaper reporter and editor and edits several publications at Ridenbaugh Press. He also is author of Paradox Politics (1988 and 2009), co-author of Governor Idaho (2005) with James Weatherby, the Idaho 100 with Martin Peterson, and the Idaho Political Field Guide (2014) with Marty Trillhaase.
From the introduction:
Influence is not the same as raw power. Various people on this list have certain types of legal, economic or organizational authority to make decisions and carry them out. A governor could call out the state military. A religious leader might make a determination that affects congregants’ lives. A business leader might open or close a factory. That kind of simple authority can be a part of influence, and a number of the people who do have that kind of authority tend to migrate toward the top of this kind of list.
But there are other kinds of influence, more diffuse and subtle. A person who simply draws the attention and interest of many other people, to some end purpose, has influence too. A person who has some authority, who is being closely watched by many people, and who has a wide range of potential action, is also someone of influence.