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GOP lawmakers decry funneling of attack money between interconnected PACs as ‘money laundering,’ call for reforms

The thousands of dollars funneling between a web of affiliated PACs to target certain Republican incumbents has prompted some lawmakers to call for campaign finance reforms, the Twin Falls Times-News reports today. Times-News reporter Melissa Davlin reports that Magic Valley lawmakers like Reps. Fred Wood, Maxine Bell, Jim Patrick and House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke are decrying the transfer of money from the House Victory Fund, traditionally used to help incumbent Republicans, to GunPAC, which is targeting their colleagues, including House Majority Caucus Chair Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly.

"That’s not the only finance issue making some Republicans uncomfortable," Davlin writes. "GunPAC is one of four political action committees controlled by Lou Esposito, a Boise-based Republican consultant. According to campaign finance documents, thousands of dollars transferred between Esposito’s four PACs in the last month. Two of the PACs have the same treasurer, and three are located at 202 N. Ninth St. in Boise." There's nothing illegal about any of that, the Idaho Secretary of State's office told Davlin, but some lawmakers think there should be. “In some cases, it looks like money is being laundered,” Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, told the Times-News. “It’s been shifted from one PAC to the next PAC to the next PAC. I think that should be illegal. It certainly is, in my opinion, unethical.” You can read Davlin's full report here.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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