Challenger C.T. “Chris” Troupis came out swinging against Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden tonight as the two met in a televised debate, accusing the third-term official of being “weak” and having “lost his way.” “Perhaps decades ago, he had the right vision, but his weak actions show that he’s been caputured by the immense power of office,” Troupis declared. “Time and again he’s chosen to side with the government rather than the people.”
Wasden, like Troupis a Republican, countered, “It’s important to distinguish between rhetoric and reality. You need to have an Attorney General who will tell you what you need to know, rather than what you want to hear. The one who will tell you the whole story, not just the part that can be manipulated to one’s political advantage.”
Troupis pressed for repeal of Obamacare, taking over federal lands within Idaho, and limiting all of Idaho’s state endowment land investments to timber land. But Wasden said none of those are within the legal or constitutional power of Idaho’s Attorney General.
“This is in fact a fight for the heart and soul of the Republican Party,” Wasden said. “There are two factions, and to not recognize that is to not understand what is really going on here. There are some mainstream, rational folks, and there are some folks that are on the edge, and that’s just how it is. And so I do hope that the rational thought comes through. … That is the context in which this election is occurring.” Troupis countered, “I think I’m right in the mainstream.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Tonight’s debate was the first in a series of nine “Idaho Debates” leading up to the May 20 primary election; on Friday night, candidates for state controller will face off at 8 p.m., and for state treasurer at 8:30. The Idaho Debates are co-sponsored by the Idaho Press Club and the League of Women Voters of Idaho.