Eye on Boise: No fines for late reporting by Ybarra, McGeachin

House Speaker Lawrence Denney says he does not plan to impose fines on two nominees for statewide office, state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra and GOP lieutenant governor nominee Janice McGeachin, after they missed the post-primary campaign finance reporting deadline. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Two GOP nominees for statewide office, one of them an incumbent, missed the postprimary campaign finance reporting deadline, but Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said he’s not planning to impose fines on the two, state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra and GOP lieutenant governor nominee Janice McGeachin.

The campaign finance reports were due by the close of business on June 14, a Thursday. Both Ybarra’s and McGeachin’s reports were stamped as received on June 18, the following Monday.

While missing the reporting deadline can bring fines of $50 a day, Denney said, “Typically what happens is we don’t start the fine ’til we send out a letter and don’t get a response.” That process typically takes five days after the deadline, he said.

“People forget,” Denney said.

He added with a chuckle, “Maybe we ought to change our law like Utah’s – their name comes off the ballot. That would get their attention.”

Barring that, he said, “Basically they’ve got a five-day grace period before we start fining them.”

And the reports show …

McGeachin’s belated report showed that she lent $102,404 to her campaign, spent $127,096, and came out of the primary with $3,263 in the bank. She won a five-way Republican primary with 28.9 percent of the vote and will face Democratic primary winner Kristin Collum in November.

Collum, who took 88.2 percent of the vote against Democratic primary rival Jim Fabe, reported spending $10,499 in the primary, emerging with $4,653 in the bank and no debt.

Ybarra reported spending $10,645 on her primary campaign, in which she defeated Jeff Dillon, superintendent of the Wilder School District, with 58.9 percent of the vote. Ybarra ended the primary campaign with $6,246 in the bank, after paying off a $2,400 campaign loan from herself eight days after the primary.

In December, she faces longtime Boise government teacher Cindy Wilson, who defeated her Democratic primary rival, Allen Humble, with 86 percent of the vote. Wilson reported raising more than $45,000 and spending just $8,954 in the primary, leaving her with a $36,687 campaign war chest as she heads into the fall campaign.

Wilson, who reported no debt, had a long list of campaign contributors, including the Idaho Education Association’s PAC for Education, which gave $5,000; and former state schools Superintendent Marilyn Howard, who donated $1,000.

Number of state-owned

lake cabin sites dwindling

Fifty-nine Priest Lake cabin owners whose cabins are built on state-owned lots have applied to take part in the state’s next cabin-site auction, which is set for Aug. 24-25. If all end up participating and those state lots are sold to private owners, Idaho would be down to just 122 state-owned lake cabin sites at Payette and Priest lakes – from more than 500 just five years ago. A week ago, the Idaho Department of Lands auctioned off nine lots at Payette Lake for $3.87 million.

The state Land Board decided to move out of the awkward business of renting lots to people who build and own their lake homes on them after the decades-old practice sparked multiple lawsuits over the years over escalating rents, questions over fair market values, and concerns from longtime lessees about losing their family cabins to competitors at auction. The Land Board is required by the Idaho Constitution to manage state endowment lands for maximum long-term returns to the endowment’s beneficiaries, the largest of which is the state’s public schools.

The 59 lots that could go up for auction at Priest Lake in August have a total appraised land value of $29.4 million.

Today there are 143 leased state-owned cabin sites left at Priest Lake and 38 at Payette Lake.