Eye On Boise

Otter, Allred both loaning $$ to their own campaigns

Both Gov. Butch Otter and his Democratic challenger, Keith Allred, are making big loans to their campaigns in the final days of the race, the AP reports. While Otter loaned his campaign $206,000 on Thursday, Allred will report on Tuesday that he and his family have loaned his campaign about $115,000; the campaign had no debt as of its last report Sept. 30. Otter spokesman Ryan Panitz said the loan is part of the millionaire governor's original strategy and will be used to promote the GOP candidate on TV, among other advertising forms. Allred spokesman Shea Andersen says the campaign will continue spending money to help overcome Otter's advantage in name recognition; click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

Otter, Allred make loans to their Idaho campaigns
By JOHN MILLER, Associated Press Writer

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho gubernatorial candidates are reaching into their personal funds, loaning their campaigns hundreds of thousands to help them saturate Idaho voters as they head into the home stretch of the Nov. 2 election.

Idaho Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter loaned his campaign $206,000, according to an Idaho secretary of state report released on Monday. Democrat Keith Allred will report on Tuesday that he and his family have loaned his campaign about $115,000.

Otter spokesman Ryan Panitz said the loan is part of the millionaire governor's original strategy and will be used to promote the GOP candidate on TV, among other advertising forms.

Allred spokesman Shea Andersen says the campaign will continue spending money to help overcome Otter's advantage in name recognition.

After 30 years in Idaho politics, the Republican governor is well-known throughout the state as he seeks a second term, while Allred faces the challenge of introducing his candidacy to many voters for the first time.

"At this stage of the game, resources are spent on advertising to spread the message about Keith Allred," Andersen said. "Our experience has been, the more people are exposed to what Keith is all about, the more support we draw from across the spectrum."

So far this year, Otter has raised more than $1.2 million, including this loan, to run against Allred, with Allred bringing in more than $800,000.

But it's not a record, at least not so far.

By mid-October 2006, for instance, Otter had raised more than $2 million in his bid against Democrat Jerry Brady to be Idaho's next governor. Brady raised more than $1.3 million.

Otter won four years ago, with a 52 percent to 44 percent tally.

Panitz said the governor plans to retire his personal loan as quickly as possible after next month's election, using campaign funds raised from his supporters.

Idaho doesn't have laws requiring candidates to disclose their personal wealth.

But when Otter served three terms in Congress, he reported assets between $3.9 million and $12.2 million. He earned much of his personal fortune as an executive with J.R. Simplot Co.

Allred is a former Harvard University professor whose family owned ranches and land in central Idaho's Blaine County.

In other recent contributions reported by the campaigns since Oct. 17, Allred has brought in an additional $35,000 from supporters, while Otter has drawn about $19,000.

The candidates will report their fundraising activity from the Oct. 1 to Oct. 17 period on Tuesday.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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