Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey reports today that Idaho Power Co. has joined forces with the libertarian Idaho Freedom Foundation, with both the utility and its CEO listed as sponsors of the group's upcoming annual banquet. “Idaho Power is the only old-guard sponsor,” Popkey reports. “The three other corporate backers are Internet Truckstop of Fruitland, DJM Sales & Marketing of Garden City, and Molitor & Associates, a small Boise-based lobbying firm.”
The power company also is a leading force in the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, the state's biggest business lobby; oddly, the Freedom Foundation earlier this year helped kill an IACI effort to push for a state-run health insurance exchange. Idaho Power officials wouldn't tell Popkey why they're signing on with the group; you can read his full report here.
Idaho Power's move follows Avista Corp.'s controversial effort during the GOP primary election to target two longtime GOP lawmakers from North Idaho, unsuccessfully backing their tea party challengers. The utility that serves North Idaho fell short in the effort; Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, and Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, easily defeated their challengers.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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