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Eye On Boise

Some reactions to the election lawsuit

Some interesting reactions to the filing of the lawsuit by 72 Idaho Republicans who want the state’s GOP primary closed to all but registered Republicans:

From Keith Allred, Harvard professor and head of The Common Interest, a citizens group: “There’s obviously a schism within the party on this. … Those who are really pushing to close the primary don’t trust the Legislature. … This suit is bad for Idaho. The evidence is clear that when you close an open primary, we get representatives who are less reflective of the people. … They will be more ideologically extreme.”

From Kirk Sullivan, Idaho GOP chairman: “There’s two different opinions to it, there are people who think we should have an open primary or have a closed. We haven’t taken a poll of people who claim to be Republicans. There are certainly two sides, and people have strong feelings about it. … The state central committee did vote for it, 88-58. … There were a lot of proxies in there, so there were not 88 people in there who voted for it.”

From Idaho Senate Democratic leader Clint Stennett: “This Republican ‘purity project’ shows that the center has been forced from power in that party. Idaho is being governed from the far right. Idaho Democrats are now at the center – we are the party of the Idaho independent voter.”

From Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa: “That’s really the question they’re trying to ask, you boil it all down, who is a member of which party? You have to be a member of our party, is what they’re saying, to vote in a Republican primary. Seven hundred thousand of us are registered now without party affiliation.”

From lawsuit lead plaintiff Rod Beck: “I invited the chairman of the party to be a participant in the lawsuit. He respectfully declined. I would prefer that the leadership of the party would support the overwhelming grass roots effort and support of the party.”

Check out my full story here.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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