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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: Mitt Romney

AdWatch: Otter’s final campaign pitch is endorsement from Romney

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has launched a new campaign ad in the final days before the election, featuring former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney endorsing him. Romney urges Idaho voters to “get out and vote,” and says, “What’s happening under Butch Otter ought to happen to every state, and you’re lucky to have this man as your governor.” The ad is running statewide both on TV and radio, Otter’s campaign said, including the Spokane broadcast TV market. Romney’s comments came during a campaign stop for Otter and GOP Sen. Jim Risch in Boise last week; Risch also has a new TV ad out featuring Romney’s endorsement. You can read my full AdWatch story here.

Hewlett-Packard CEO says firm’s Boise operation will grow, not shrink

Mitt Romney might have been the biggest name Wednesday at the inaugural Governor's Trade and Business Conference at the Boise Centre, reporter Zach Kyle writes in today’s Idaho Statesman, but Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman broke the biggest news: That H-P’s Boise campus will grow, not shrink, when the company splits.

“As we separate H-P into two companies, we will be consolidating sites,” Whitman said. “Boise is a site we want to build on. We want to bring people from other parts of the United States to Boise.” Kyle reports that the company recently announced that it will split into HP Inc., which will focus on personal computers and printers, and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, which will focus on software and services. His full report is online here. Click below for a report from AP reporter Kimberlee Kruesi on a campaign stop with Gov. Butch Otter and Sen. Jim Risch that Romney made during his trip to Boise; Kyle’s report also includes Romney’s comments at the business conference critical of the policies of President Barack Obama, who beat Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

Romney stumps for GOP candidates in Idaho

Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney stumped for Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, Sen. Jim Risch and Congressman Mike Simpson in Boise on Thursday, the AP reports, saying he was endorsing the three because they are good conservatives and because they were early endorsers of his presidential campaign. Romney said GOP-dominated Idaho is a good example of how conservative principles can lead to economic prosperity. “There are more jobs in Idaho and you see rising incomes,” he said. “If it ain't broke, don't fix it.” Romney, who lost to President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, also said he does not plan to run for president again; click below for a full report from AP reporter Nick Geranios.

Mitt Romney endorses Mike Simpson

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson's bid for a ninth term got an assist Monday when former presidential candidate Mitt Romney released an endorsement letter. Simpson faces challenger Bryan Smith in next May's Republican primary election. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, lauded Simpson as a “stalwart conservative leader,” accusing what he called “outside” groups of interfering in the race by backing Smith. Smith has won the conservative group Club for Growth's support in his bid to unseat Simpson. Like Romney, Smith and Simpson come from Mormon backgrounds. One flashpoint in this internal GOP duel has centered on which candidate likes President Obama's health care overhaul the least. Smith accuses Simpson of not trying hard enough to repeal it, while Romney described Simpson as a lawmaker who has “fought to repeal Obamacare.”

Sen. Nuxoll: Let’s drop it

Idaho Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, whose touting of a tea party plan to upset the presidential election results through an electoral college boycott got national attention after I wrote about it in my Sunday column, now says she's ready to drop the idea, which experts said was based on a misreading of the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“I floated an idea out there on November 19 about the electoral college,” Nuxoll wrote today in a message posted on Twitter. “Our country is a country of opportunity to discuss ideas and effect progress and change. I believe in less government, more opportunity and I will fight for that motto because of my love for this state and country and our exceptionalism. But there is no upside to division in our country now since we are all in this together. Some have rejected the idea, so lets drop it and continue on. To villify me because you don't like the idea is unnecessary.”

Sen. Nuxoll touts tea party scheme to flout presidential election results

A state senator from north-central Idaho is touting a scheme that's been circulating on tea party blogs, calling for states that supported Mitt Romney to refuse to participate in the electoral college, in a move backers believe would change the election result. Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, sent an article out on Twitter headed, “A 'last chance' to have Mitt Romney as President in January (it's still not too late).”

Constitutional scholar David Adler, director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University, said the plan is not “totally constitutional,” as touted in the article, but is instead “a radical, revolutionary proposal that has no basis in federal law or the architecture of the Constitution.” Adler dubbed it “really a strange and bizarre fantasy.”

Said Nuxoll, “Well I guess that's one lawyer.” You can read my full Sunday column here at

Demystified: Among the election’s winners, the Mormon church

Associated Press religion writer Rachel Zoll has an interesting story out suggesting that one of the winners of last week's election was the Mormon church, as, despite Mitt Romney's loss, the campaign prompted a new era of both learning about and acceptance of the LDS Church among many who'd previously been critical, including evangelical Christians. Click below for her full report.

Ann Romney to headline Meridian fundraiser

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― A fundraising committee for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says his wife, Ann Romney, will headline a reception next week in Meridian. The Idaho Statesman reports ( Ann Romney's first campaign appearance in Idaho is scheduled for Sept. 27 at The Club at SpurWing in Meridian, with contributions ranging from $1,000 to attend the reception, to $25,000 to serve as a co-host. The event will start with a VIP photo reception at 5:30 p.m. and the general reception is scheduled for 6 p.m., to be followed by a private dinner scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Organizers are asking attendees to arrive at least 30 minutes early to clear security. Mitt Romney's Idaho finance chairman, Travis Hawkes, says there will be no free events during Ann Romney's visit.

Both presidential campaigns head to Sun Valley for high-dollar fundraisers

The presidential campaign is on its way to Idaho, with both the Republican and Democratic candidates planning major fundraisers in Sun Valley - within a two-day span. Mitt Romney has a $1,000-a-head reception scheduled for the Sun Valley area on Aug. 3, possibly followed by a high-dollar dinner; Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey reported here on that event. And now it turns out that the Obama campaign will hold a high-dollar reception and dinner in Ketchum the previous day, Aug. 2, featuring Vice President Joe Biden.

The Sun Valley area is a target for national campaign fundraisers because of its high-dollar givers to both parties. Republicans have captured the lion's share of Idaho donations so far in the 2012 presidential campaign, with Idahoans donating $1.3 million so far to Republican candidates, and $287,229 to Democrats, according to the Federal Election Commission. Donations to Romney accounted for $970,147 of the GOP giving; 100 percent of the Democratic giving went to Obama.

For the Obama Idaho fundraiser with Biden, attendees can pay $250 just to attend the reception, $1,000 for preferred seating there, or $2,500 for a photo reception; supporters can become dinner co-hosts for $10,000 to $50,000. Romney's event will be his fifth Idaho fundraiser. Neither has announced any public events in conjunction with the fundraisers.

Luna named to Romney’s new 19-member Ed Policy Advisory Group

Idaho state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna has been named to a 19-member “Education Policy Advisory Group” by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. “I am proud to announce the support of this impressive group of policy leaders who are devoted to expanding educational opportunities for students,” Romney said in a statement. “Our education system is failing too many of our kids, and I look forward to working closely with these leaders to chart a new course that emphasizes school choice and accountability, the importance of great teachers, and access to quality, affordable higher education.”

Luna is the only state school superintendent named to the group; the other members all either work for private education companies, think tanks, universities or the federal government. Among them are K-12 education co-chairs Nina Rees, senior vice president for strategic initiatives at Knowledge Universe; and Martin West, a professor with the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Rod Paige, former U.S. secretary of education, was named a “special advisor” with the group; Luna worked for Paige under the Bush Administration.

Luna, in a news release sent out by the Idaho Republican Party, said, “I am excited to work with Gov. Romney to improve education across the country. As governor, he showed how states can truly put students first and raise academic achievement for all children. We have worked toward the same goals in Idaho, passing the most comprehensive education reform in the country to ensure every student can graduate from high school and go on to postsecondary education without the need for remediation. Now, we must make this is possible for every child in every state.”

Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey points out that three members of the Bush Administration who are are advocates of for-profit education companies join Luna on the new advisory group, and also contributed to Luna's 2010 re-election campaign; you can read his report here. Click below for the full Idaho GOP news release; you can read Romney's full announcement here about his advisory group.

Otter stimulus praise puts him at odds with Romney

Gov. Butch Otter on Friday offered begrudging praise for President Barack Obama's 2009 economic stimulus fund, saying it has helped complete highway projects in Idaho, create jobs and reduce the need for state gas tax hikes, reports AP reporter John Miller. Those comments appeared to put him at odds with Mitt Romney, who has the Idaho governor's backing for president and who says Obama's $814 million stimulus “didn't create private-sector jobs,” Miller reports. The apparent difference is notable because Otter is the Romney's Idaho campaign chairman; he introduced the former Massachusetts governor at Idaho's March 6 “Super Tuesday” caucus, where Romney beat Rick Santorum. Click below for Miller's full report.

Romney to Boise crowd: ‘I am the fiscal conservative’

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter introduced GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney at Romney's Boise campaign rally this afternoon. “Folks, this election is about your and my liberty,” Otter said. “We will turn out for that Idaho caucus. … We will turn out for the man that has the executive experience, understands that we are a free market, not a socialist country, that has been there and done that.”

Romney, who's come to Idaho to campaign for Otter in the past, told the crowd, “What a great state this is - you're lucky to live here.” He recalled a summer he spent working on an Idaho ranch near King Hill when he was 15. “I learned so much about cultivating corn and spring corn and irrigating corn,” he said. “I thought I'd never see the end of corn.”

Romney said, “I've got a note here in my pocket that says remind the people there's a caucus on March 6th. I think you know that.” To cheers, he said, “I need your vote, because I want to be president!” The crowd chanted, “Mitt, Mitt, Mitt.”

“It's a remarkable country that we live in, and what breaks your heart is to see how many people (are) having tough times right now,” said Romney, who criticized both President Obama and GOP rival Rick Santorum, who held a Boise campaign rally on Tuesday.

Among Romney's applause lines: “I think to create jobs it helps to have had a job” and “I am the fiscal conservative, I'll balance the budget, I'll get America back on track economically.” Click below for a full report from AP reporter Kasie Hunt.

Stapilus on Romney and Idaho: ‘It’s complicated’

Political historian Randy Stapilus notes in his most recent Ridenbaugh Press post that Mitt Romney seemed to have the Idaho Republican support wrapped up in the last presidential race, though it hardly mattered, since by the time Idaho's May primary rolled around, Romney was out of the race and John McCain had the nomination sewn up. This time, though, it could matter more, with Idaho Republicans following their Democratic counterparts and switching to an early caucus to assign their presidential delegates; and there are some signs Romney's lock on Idaho GOP elected-official support is being offset by differing preferences among party activists - Romney placed fourth in the recent Kootenai County Reagan Republicans straw poll, with Rick Perry coming in first, followed by Ron Paul. You can read Stapilus' full post here.

Labrador at Romney fundraiser, but still undecided in presidential race

The list of top Idaho GOP elected officials on Mitt Romney's Idaho steering committee for his presidential campaign is so comprehensive that what stands out is who's not on it - 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador, and U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo. Labrador's spokesman, Phil Hardy, said Labrador's at the Romney fundraising breakfast this morning. “He hasn't made a decision yet,” Hardy said. “He is there now, he is attending the event, but he has not made, as of now, a decision on who he is supporting for the presidency.”

Romney endorsed both Crapo and Labrador in the 2010 elections and his “Free and Strong America PAC” sent them donations, $5,000 to Crapo and $3,500 to Labrador.

Romney picks up Idaho leaders’ support, holds private Boise fundraiser

GOP presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is zipping through Boise this morning for a campaign fundraiser breakfast, but the event is closed to the press and his campaign won't talk about it. “It's a private fundraiser,” said campaign spokesman Ryan Williams. “We don't discuss our fundraising. He's just going to be in town briefly.” Romney also has another brief stop scheduled today in Idaho Falls, and then he's off to Colorado this afternoon for another fundraiser. “It's a private event,  but we will be back for public events over the next few months,” Williams said. “We have strong support in Idaho, and we will be back.”

This morning, Romney announced his “Idaho statewide steering committee” for his presidential bid, and it includes many of the top names in Idaho Republican politics, with Gov. Butch Otter and U.S. Sen. Jim Risch as co-chairmen. Others on the committee: 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, state schools Supt. Tom Luna, state Controller Donna Jones, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, House Speaker Lawerence Denney; Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis and Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, and House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke and caucus chairman Ken Roberts.

In a news release, Romney said, “I am proud to have the support of so many Idaho leaders. They will help spread my message to Idaho voters of creating jobs, balancing our budget, and reversing President Obama's failed policies.” Risch said, “We need a president with experience creating jobs – Mitt Romney has that experience.”

Romney stumps for Otter in Boise

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter brought in former presidential candidate Mitt Romney to stump for him today in Idaho Falls and Boise, in an effort to pump up support among LDS voters in southern and eastern Idaho. Idaho Falls businessman Frank VanderSloot, who hosted the Idaho Falls campaign stop at his Melaleuca Inc. headquarters, rallied the crowd in Boise, saying Otter’s Democratic challenger, Keith Allred, has been sending eastern Idaho Mormons the message, “I’m Mormon so vote for me because I’m one of you guys.” VanderSloot said, “My answer to that is, well, Harry Reid is a Mormon.”

A third of Idaho’s population belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which Romney and VanderSloot are members, as is Allred; Otter is Catholic. Allred, who is running as a Democrat but has made his mark as a non-partisan citizen activist, has recently announced the support of a number of prominent eastern Idaho Republicans, many of whom are LDS. The recent Idaho Newspapers Poll showed Otter ahead of Allred statewide 45 percent to 29 percent, but in southeastern Idaho, that lead shrank to 42 percent to 36 percent.

Romney, who also came to Idaho to campaign for Otter when he first ran for governor four years ago, told a crowd of more than 100 at the Linen Building in Boise, “People recognize we’ve got a chance to get this country on the right course again.” He criticized “liberals,” and said, “They’re smothering the spirit that makes America such an engine of vitality and growth, and we’re not going to let them do that.” He said, “When things are tough … that’s when you test the real mettle of a leader,” and said Otter showed his leadership as governor by making “sure that the state government lives within its means.”

Otter, speaking after Romney, called up the four statewide elected officials who were in the audience - Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna, state Controller Donna Jones and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden - to join him, and said, “We’re asking you now to keep this team together. … The last four years this team, along with the state Legislature, has had to make some tough decisions.” The Boise rally, which was free, followed a luncheon at Chandler’s steakhouse downtown for big-dollar campaign contributors, at which Otter spoke and Romney mingled; about 60 people attended. In Idaho Falls, Otter campaign spokesman Ryan Panitz estimated 400 to 500 people attended a rally in a large auditorium at Melaleuca, about a quarter of them Melaleuca employees.

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About this blog

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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