Posts tagged: billboards
Billboards bashing Idaho legislators for their votes on a state insurance exchange have begun popping up in their legislative districts. Idaho Freedom Foundation chief Wayne Hoffman says the signs are part of his group’s lobbying campaign to get Idaho’s exchange repealed in the legislative session that starts in January, but others say the effort appears aimed at Idaho’s upcoming 2014 elections, in which every seat in the Idaho Legislature will be on the ballot.
“That looks a lot more like campaigning than lobbying to me,” said Jim Weatherby, Boise State University professor emeritus and a longtime observer of Idaho politics. “It’s not a traditional way of lobbying the Legislature to use billboards – in fact, I’m hard-pressed to give an example of that.” Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, who is among those targeted by name on the signs, said he views his local billboard – which is right near the hospital where he practices medicine – as an “effort to try to gin up a political opponent” for him in May’s GOP primary. “I think that’s what it’s designed to do, to be very blunt about it,” he said. “It’s political advertising.”
Hoffman, whose organization, a tax-exempt charity, is prohibited by law from engaging in campaigning, said, “We don’t get involved in elections – this has nothing to do with elections. It has to do with public policy.” He added, “They are a vehicle for lobbying lawmakers as well as the general public on an issue that will be before the Legislature in the 2014 legislative session.” Wood countered, “They push that envelope all the time.”
Two of the billboards have gone up so far; Hoffman said more are in the works. The first, in Burley, targets Wood, House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley; and Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert. The second, in Mountain Home, names Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry, and Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
An 8-mile section of I-90 in North Idaho has become the unlikely scene for a billboard battle over U.S. aid to Israel, now that a billboard in Coeur d’Alene criticizing U.S. military aid to Israel has prompted a second billboard to go up Tuesday in Post Falls celebrating the alliance. Spokesman-Review reporter Scott Maben reports that foreign policy feels out of place on the stretch of freeway, where advertisements normally highlight pickup trucks, lottery jackpots and tribal casinos.
The first billboard, which suggests the money would be better spent at home, also is upsetting to some in the area’s Jewish community, in part because it went up right before the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. You can read Maben's full story here at spokesman.com. Two groups that helped fund the differing billboards are engaged in similar billboard battles across the country.