Eye On Boise

TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2012, 2:10 P.M.

‘GunPAC’ taps House leadership $$ to target gun shop owner, vets’ advocate, and House leader

Here's the weirdest thing about the now-unfolding House Leadership Victory Fund/GunPAC story: Campaign finance reports show that all the House Leadership Victory Fund's fundraising and spending this year has gone to GunPAC - $10,000, 100 percent of its spending during the period (the leadership fund raised $9,000 during the reporting period). GunPAC has released a list of 40 endorsements in legislative primary races, including the challengers of six incumbents, three in the Senate and three in the House. The three House incumbents: Reps. George Eskridge, R-Dover, and Christy Perry, R-Nampa, and House Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts R-Donnelly.

GunPAC, headed by GOP activist Lou Esposito, claims to be all about promoting gun rights. But of the three House incumbents it's targeting, one, Perry, owns a gun store; and another, Eskridge, is a military veteran who's championed military and gun issues. The third, Roberts, is the treasurer of the very Victory Fund whose money GunPAC is using to try to defeat the three.  

Esposito said, "Basically GunPAC's all about 2nd Amendment and 2nd Amendment rights, but there's also the other parts of it at play. You can't look at that just in a vacuum and say, well, are they just right on the gun issue and wrong on other things where we're losing either personal liberties or we're getting taxed to the point where it's hard to put food on the table and other things." Esposito said the group's chairman is Stu Carty, and the only other one of its four board members he would name was Gerry Sweet; he also said Sweet wanted to make it clear that he dissented from the decision to target Perry.

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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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