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State GOP convention: ‘Victory for taxpayers,’ ‘Moscow mess’ or ‘laughing stock’?

State Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, is praising the tumultuous GOP state convention in Moscow over the weekend as a “victory for taxpayers.” Meanwhile, as GOP leaders and activists from the various factions struggle with the fallout of a convention that failed to elect a new chairman, adopt a platform, or pass any resolution or rules changes, former state senate Majority Leader Rod Beck, R-Boise, said, “I’m calling it the ‘Moscow mess.’” Beck said, “None of this has been a clean way to do things.”

Barbieri, in a blog post this morning, said, “Taxpayers should be rejoicing that finally top down policy is no longer the norm in the Idaho Republican Party.” He said he viewed the Ada County delegate selection for the convention as “knowingly in gross disregard of the Party Rules.”

“THIS TIME, there were appropriate ramifications,” Barbieri wrote. “Rather than suffer through a protracted and torturous parliamentary struggle, the convention, again by majority vote, adjourned at the time set in the published agenda. The officers stay the same. The policy stays the same. There is still hope for Idaho taxpayers tired of the 'central control' advocated by the centrist Republicans.”

Another view was offered by frustrated Valley County GOP delegate Robert Lyons, Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey reports, who sent an email to fellow delegates calling for a mail-in vote for party chairman. “All of us went to Moscow to get some work done and have our votes count,” he wrote in his email. “The leadership should be absolutely ashamed and adjust the rules for this never to happen again. Nothing was accomplished but to be the laughing stock of Idaho." Popkey’s full post is online 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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