Posts tagged: Reasonable Republicans
A group of North Idaho businesspeople who founded a PAC to support “reasonable” Republicans in 2012 has upped the ante in 2014 by targeting five tea-party friendly GOP lawmakers in the May primary. In 2012, the North Idaho Republican Political Action Committee helped defeat scandal-plagued Rep. Phil Hart of Athol, who was ousted by now-Rep. Ed Morse of Hayden. The group also helped four GOP incumbents defend their seats and endorsed the winner of a race for an open seat. The PAC lost just one of seven legislative races, a 9-vote squeaker for an open seat won by Rep. Ron Mendive over Jeff Tyler. This year, the PAC announced a far more ambitious list that backs challengers to five lawmakers who opposed Gov. Butch Otter’s state-run health insurance exchange. The targets are: Sen. Bob Nonini of Coeur d’Alene and Reps. Mendive of Coeur d’Alene, Vito Barbieri of Dalton Gardens, Kathleen Sims of Coeur d’Alene and Shannon McMillan of Silverton/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you expect any of the 5 targeted Tea-publicans to lose?
In the Kootenai County sheriff's race, the Reasonable Republicans said two men are qualified and would serve well: Keith Hutcheson and sheriff' Major Ben Wolfinger. Brad Corkill of the Reasonable Republicans had pointed words for a third candidate, John Green: “It was clear, though, that we could not support John Green. He’s expressed some peculiar views advocating the arrest of federal law enforcement officers in the county, and his agenda contains ideas that would expand the role of county sheriff beyond what most law-abiding citizens would accept. Last but not least, Mr. Green has served as legal counsel for Phil Hart, which calls into question how he would interpret and enforce the law as sheriff.”
The North Idaho Political Action Committee (AKA “Reasonable Republicans) made their endorsements moments ago, setting as its highest priority the defeat of Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol. You can read the list & reasons for endorsements here.The endorsements:
HucksOnline interview with Sandy Patano of the North Idaho Political Action Committee follows:
DFO: Why do you think there's a need for the North Idaho Political Action Committee, which has been dubbed “Reasonable Republicans”?
Sandy Patano: We want to identify and recruit quality candidates to run for office. Phil Hart motivated me to get involved by his actions and his inaction to take care of his own business. We need strong candidates with integrity who have skill and talent to tackle tough issues that government faces today. We don't need self-serving ones. We want people to focus on important issues of the day and not get sidetracked with issues that aren't important to most.
Kootenai County isn't the only place where Republican centrists are striking back against hardline conservatives who have taken over the Idaho GOP. In Lewiston, Republican state Rep. Jeff Nesset (pictured) has announced his candidacy for state Senate after being snubbed by 7th Legislative District Republicans who picked three others to succeed retired Sen. Joe Stegner. Apparently, Nesset sinned against the hardliners by opposing the constitutionally questionable nullification push by state Rep. Vito Barbieri and controversial education reforms proposed by Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna. Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune talks about the “Reasonable Republican” movement of Kootenai County and pendulum swing against uberconservative zealots in today's Lewiston Tribune editorial. More here.
Question: Do you get a sense that centrist Republicans and Independents are waking up to the state's Far Right Republican push?
On his Facebook wall, Rocky Barker/Statesman writes of Rick Johnson/Idaho Conservation League applauding the formation of a “reasonable Republicans” group, having worked with three of the four all-Republican Idaho congressional delegates on several issues. Johnson: “I've seen this first hand as we've worked with business leaders—Republican business leaders—who support Boulder-White Cloud, Clearwater, Panhandle and Owyhee wilderness areas. Or working with a major industrial player to craft mercury rules. Or working with business leaders who see local option tax as key to Idaho economic development. Boise Foothills, is another issue where Republican business leaders are simpatico with conservation and protecting Idaho's greatest asset: our quality of life.” More here.
Question: How important to you are the efforts of the Idaho Conservation League & Kootenai Environmental Alliance to you?
The latest addition to the purge list of North Idaho conservatives is posthumous: Richard Nixon. And it’s not over Watergate. Nixon’s creation of the Environmental Protection Agency makes him persona non grata among the Constitutionalists, Libertarians and ultraconservatives that dominate GOP central committees in the five northern counties. Ten prominent Republicans have had enough. They’ve founded the North Idaho Republican Political Action Committee, aiming to find sensible, business-friendly candidates for the May primary. The PAC includes Sandy Patano, a top aide to former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig; Jim Riley of the Intermountain Forest Industry Association; and Jim Pierce of Washington Trust Bank. “You can’t be on the Republican Central Committee unless you can look through a keyhole with both eyes at the same time,” said Dean Haagenson, another PAC founder who is CEO of Contractors Northwest and a former lawmaker. “We’re raising money to support candidates that are better than Phil Hart”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Are the “reasonable Republicans” in danger of being pariahs among North Idaho Republicans who are pushing ever further to the right?