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Shake-up roils Idaho redistricting commission

BOISE – Idaho’s Republican Party on Monday deepened an intense internal fight, with the state GOP chairman and House speaker announcing they’d fired two of their own redistricting commissioners, at least in part because they hadn’t helped the party enough.

The two commissioners have refused to go without a fight – and the Republican attorney general agrees they can’t be ousted against their will. On Monday, the Republicans produced a legal opinion of their own, however, contending Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office has it wrong.

Already once last week, the Idaho Supreme Court intervened in the state’s latest bid to draw up new legislative district boundaries, throwing out a previously approved set of maps because it split too many counties.

Now, justices may be called into action again to determine if Republican Chairman Norm Semanko and Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney are legally entitled to remove Randy Hansen, a former Twin Falls legislator, and Dolores Crow, a former House member from Nampa, from the commission.

Jonathan Parker, the state Republican Party executive director, said Semanko believes a new commissioner is necessary to move forward, given the previous map was ruled unconstitutional and that Hansen hails from Twin Falls County, the local government that led the lawsuit challenging the previous plan.


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