Idaho politics: Republicans fight one another

Judy Ferro     [Published in the Idaho Press-Tribune on June 23, 2014]

No one should vote Republican this year.  Okay, maybe if your son or daughter is running, but that’s the only excuse.  I wouldn’t vote for my own brother this year.

I know, when the Republican politicians shoot themselves in the foot. Democrats should stay out of range—but it’s time to warn everyone to keep their distance.

Face it, when people turn against others who agree with them 95% of the time, they don’t understand the basics of leadership in a democracy.   I doubt many delegates to the recent Republican convention have even heard of their party’s Eleventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.”   There was a 1000-word resolution (at least it seemed that long—it seems to have disappeared from the Internet) calling for Republicans to eject Patti Lodge from the Senate for failing to reside in District 11 during the past three years.  It was defeated—the Republicans did tend to some business—but somebody was willing to hand Democrats that kind of ammunition prior to the general election.

Media reports indicate that the Republican convention fell apart because the uber-conservatives in charge sought to reject establishment conservatives’ delegations from Ada, Bannock and Power counties.

The 245-170 vote against Bannock County’s delegates would indicate that the “tin-foil hats,” as one Ada delegate termed them, outnumbered the real conservatives pretty heavily in the remaining 41 counties.

An article by credentials committee member Brent Regan presents a different view—Ada, Bannock, and Power counties failed to hold legal elections.  One only missed the time period, but a petition from more than 70 Ada County Republicans claimed that the new Ada County chair, Fred Tilman, presented a list of delegates and alternates at the re-org meeting and did not accept any nominations from the floor.  Many of those listed—and elected– were not even in attendance.

Regan doesn’t describe “tin-foil” hats against true conservatives, but supporters of honest elections against Otter cronies.   Of course, Regan is an uber-conservative who serves on the board of the Idaho Freedom Foundation and has spoken at Tea Party conventions, but he presents a good argument that the Otter faction resorted to illegal tactics.

All this is just the preface to the battle of the lawyers.  Rep. Raul Labrador told the convention that the current officers, including chair Barry Peterson, will hold their seats for another two years.  Lawyers for both the Idaho and National Republicans have disagreed and said that Peterson’s term of office ended June 14.  Peterson has countered with an opinion from former attorney general candidate Chris Troupis that claims Peterson is still chairman.

Some Republicans seem to like paying lawyers.

Personally, I’m hoping someone will explain why supposed economic conservatives paid $18,000 to rent the 7,000-seat Kibbie Dome for a convention of 500 delegates.   The money didn’t even go to any of their favorite campaign contributors.  Maybe they figured the vast space would make it possible to “divide and conquer?”  Or did they fear delegates would come to blows in a tighter space?

Last week Randy Stapilus pointed out that Democrats have fielded some very good candidates and campaigns during the last twenty years without breaking the Republican stranglehold on legislative and state offices.  “Idaho Democrats…need to talk about what’s holding them back — what keeps a large segment of Idaho voters from crossing over and giving their stronger candidates a chance… and what’s keeping many prospective voters for Democrats from participating at all…”

I’m glad he didn’t suggest we look to Idaho Republicans as role models.  The Democratic candidates I know would need personality transplants to be that  power hungry and self-centered

Published by Judy Ferro

Judy Ferro is communication director for the 2C Dems and a columnist for the Idaho Press.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *