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GOP Primary Unmasks Appointments

Idaho governors used to take the word of candidates for key boards and commissions. If they said they were independent, that would do the trick. Not anymore. After the Idaho Republican Party won a federal lawsuit overturning Idaho’s open primary system on constitutional grounds, the Legislature enacted a party registration law. Now, two top Republicans — Gov. Butch Otter and Secretary of State Ben Ysursa — are scratching their heads over what they say is an unintended consequence of the newly closed GOP primary. Three of the 22 boards that must be balanced between parties got out of whack because three independents and a Democrat registered and voted as Republicans in May. They include the Board of Environmental Quality, a rule-making body with far-reaching impact on business and ordinary Idahoans. Also off balance are the Commission on Aging, which advises the Office on Aging, and the Economic Advisory Council, which advises the Department of Commerce/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Did Idaho Republicans outsmart themselves with their push for a closed primary?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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