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State GOP convention under way in Twin Falls

Reopening the Idaho Republican Party's closed primary and dismantling federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency are among 16 proposed resolutions up for consideration at the state GOP convention in Twin Falls this weekend, the Associated Press reports. The proposals have been submitted ahead of the Thursday-through-Saturday confab, and include abolishing the federal departments of Energy and Education and the EPA. Meanwhile, the Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that leaders from Idaho's 44 counties have one request for Republicans meeting this week in Twin Falls: Rethink the policy of having closed primary elections. The Idaho Association of Commissioners and Clerks sent a statement urging Republican party leaders to go back to an open primary; members blame the the closed primary ― and its requirement that voters register with the party before getting a GOP ballot ― for record-low turnout statewide.

Twin Falls Times-News reporter Melissa Davlin has a report here on Thursday's platform discussions, which included a narrow subcommittee vote to keep a “sound currency” plank, and another to get rid of the phase “naturally born” that preceded the party’s definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman; that descriptor could exclude transgendered people and people born with certain medical conditions. The discussions continue today and Saturday. Davlin reported that subcommittee head Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, said Thursday's discussions went well, even when she disagreed with the vote outcome. “I was pleased with the civility and discourse,” she said.

Convention activities today include a general session, updates on redistricting and school reforms, and a speech tonight from GOP Gov. Butch Otter.


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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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