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Otter forgives campaign loan from self, plus raises $85K over past six months

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has reported raising $215,369 in campaign funds since Jan. 1, spending $163,088, and ending the reporting period with $129,209 in cash on hand. But both the contribution and spending figures are pushed up by the forgiveness of a $131,000 loan Otter earlier made to his campaign; that’s shown as both a contribution from Otter, forgiving the loan, and an expense for the campaign, paying it off. Without that, Otter reported raising $84,369 in campaign contributions in the first six months of the year, with the largest donations $5,000 each from Monsanto Corp., Riley & Associates of Hayden, and rancher Harry Bettis. The spending figure, without the loan repayment, is just $32,088.

The upshot: Otter, who’s said he’ll run for a third term as governor in 2014, raised almost $85,000 in campaign money over the past six months and forgave his own campaign loan, leaving his campaign debt-free with $129,209 in the bank. You can see the full report here.

Meanwhile, while state schools Superintendent Tom Luna says he’s planning to run for a third term, he reported raising only $4,750 in the last six months, with all the donations coming in the final week of the filing period. His biggest donations were $1,000 each from CenturyLink PAC, from Raul Labrador for Idaho, and from Allen Noble. Luna carried over $16,077 from earlier to make an ending cash balance July 1 of $20,827, but also reported $24,500 in outstanding debt, putting his campaign fund in the red. Oddly, that debt amount is reported in Luna’s summary, but not listed in the detail as either new or carried-over debt; his campaign treasurer didn’t immediately return a reporter’s call to explain. Luna reported no campaign spending in the past six months; you can see his full report here.


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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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