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Friday, December 14, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Fundraising in governor’s race eclipsed by initiative campaigns

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 11, 2018, 10:32 a.m.

In this Jan. 11, 2016 photo, the Idaho state Capitol building is shown in Boise, Idaho. (Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press)
In this Jan. 11, 2016 photo, the Idaho state Capitol building is shown in Boise, Idaho. (Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press)

Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad (Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press)
Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad (Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press)

BOISE – After a hotly contested primary race that saw the candidates for governor spend more than $4 million combined, campaign finance reports filed Wednesday show much lower figures for rivals Brad Little and Paulette Jordan as the November general election approaches.

Little reported raising $724,569 since the primary, spending $266,057, and closing out the reporting period Sept. 30 with $519,840 in the bank and $800,000 in debt carried over from the primary.

Jordan reported raising $472,940 since the primary, spending $420,583, and ending the period with $191,416 in the bank and $101,032 in debt.

Much higher amounts were raised and spent over the same time period by the campaigns for and against Proposition 1, which would authorize “historical horse racing” betting machines at Idaho racetracks. The Committee to Save Idaho Horse Racing reported raising $2.07 million since the primary, spending $1.5 million, and ending the reporting period with $635,254 in the bank. All of the group’s money came from Treasure Valley Racing LLC, operators of the now-closed Les Bois Park racetrack near Boise.

Idahoans United Against Prop 1 reported raising $2.7 million in the same time period, spending just under that amount, and ending the period with $75,806 in the bank. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe donated most of the money, though a long list of individual donors gave small amounts; Doyle Beck of Idaho Falls donated $2,500.

Both sides have been running pricey TV ads about the measure.

Idahoans for Healthcare reported raising $512,211 in favor of Proposition 2, the initiative to expand Medicaid. It reported spending $258,338, and closing the reporting period with $253,874 in the bank. The biggest donors were the Idaho Hospital Association, $150,000; A.J. and Susie Balukoff, $100,000; the Idaho Medical Association, $48,770; and the Idaho Prosperity Fund, $30,000. That fund is operated by the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, a business lobbying group.

By contrast, the group opposing the Medicaid expansion initiative, the Work, Not Obamacare PAC, reported raising just $29,299, spending $10,329, and closing the period with $18,970.

It had fewer than a dozen donors; the largest was Doyle Beck, at $10,000. Daniel Brockett of Eagle donated $5,000, and the Idaho Freedom Foundation provided more than $5,000 in in-kind donations.

In other top news from newly filed campaign finance reports:

State Superintendent of schools

Sherri Ybarra, candidate for superintendent of education, is greeted by Gov. Butch Otter at the Republican election night party, Tuesday Nov. 4, 2014, at the Riverside Hotel in Boise, Idaho. (Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman)
Sherri Ybarra, candidate for superintendent of education, is greeted by Gov. Butch Otter at the Republican election night party, Tuesday Nov. 4, 2014, at the Riverside Hotel in Boise, Idaho. (Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman)

Challenger Cindy Wilson has outraised incumbent Sherri Ybarra by more than three times.

Wilson has raised $63,118 since the primary and $108,759 year to date; Ybarra has raised $17,969 since the primary and $32,374 year to date. Wilson’s report includes 10 pages of contributions, including close to 200 from individuals, many around $100 a piece; Ybarra’s includes one and a half pages of contributions, just 16 from individuals.

Wilson’s biggest contributors were A.J. and Susie Balukoff, who donated $5,000 each; Russell Buschert of Eagle, who gave $5,000; and the Blaine County Democrats, who donated $2,000. She also had seven $1,000 contributions, including one from Boise Mayor David Bieter.

Ybarra’s biggest contributions were $3,000 from the Idaho Federation of Republican Women; $2,400 from Idaho Forest Group, which also contributed to her in the primary and which brings their donations to her to $5,000 for the year to date; $2,200 from the Canyon County Republican Central Committee; and $1,000 each from Idaho Loggers and Monsanto.

Ybarra has spent $15,555 in the most recent reporting period and $23,679 year to date; she reported $11,181 in cash on hand and no debt. Her main expenses were campaign management services and advertising items, including signs.

Wilson has spent $57,037 since the primary and $65,991 year to date; she had $42,768 in the bank and no debt at the close of the reporting period Sept. 30. Wilson’s main expenses also were for campaign management services and advertising items; she also spent money on advertising and events.

Lieutenant Governor

Janice McGeachin, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, speaks to the Madison County Republican Women’s Club.  (Madison County Republican Women’s Club)
Janice McGeachin, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, speaks to the Madison County Republican Women’s Club. (Madison County Republican Women’s Club)

The two candidates facing off to be Idaho’s next lieutenant governor, Republican Janice McGeachin and Democrat Kristin Collum, each have raised more than $100,000 in their campaigns, but McGeachin has run up more than $100,000 in debt to herself, while Collum reports no debt.

Campaign finance reports filed Wednesday by the two show that McGeachin has raised $91,756 since the primary, $171,916 year to date; spent $38,108 since the primary, $165,205 year to date; and had $56,910 in the bank at the close of the reporting period on Sept. 30 and $102,404 in campaign debt.

Collum has raised $85,918 since the primary, $101,071 year to date; spent $27,587 since the primary, $38,086 year to date; and closed out the reporting period with $62,985 in the bank.

Aside from herself, McGeachin’s biggest donors, at $5,000 each, were the utility Avista Corp.; the Republican State Leadership Committee in Washington, D.C.; the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee; Steve Pankey of Twin Falls; Steve Peel of Eagle; and Syringa Networks.

McGeachin also received $2,000 from Winning for Idaho, a political action committee largely funded by Coeur d’Alene Racing, operators of the Greyhound Park in Post Falls. Other notable donations included $3,000 from the Idaho Federation of Republican Women and $2,000 from Brent Regan, board chairman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

Collum’s biggest donors were William Parks of Moscow and Janet Swift Buschert of Eagle, at $5,000 apiece; $3,000 from District 5 AFL-CIO in Seattle; $2,500 from Eileen Barber of Boise and $1,500 from Krista Martin of Ketchum.

Other notable donations included $1,000 each from A.J. Balukoff, AFL-CIO Labor First in Boise, Richard Rolland of Coeur d’Alene and the Twin Falls Democratic Central Committee; and a $96 donation from Jim Fabe of Sun Valley — whom Collum defeated in the May Democratic primary.

Idaho’s lieutenant governor position is considered part-time and will pay just over $48,000 a year when the next lieutenant governor takes office in January.

Idaho Attorney General

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden reported raising $27,666 for the reporting period, $49,738 year to date, while his Democratic challenger, Bruce Bistline, reported no campaign fundraising or spending.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden discusses the state's plans to sue the federal government over health care reform legislation in Boise, Idaho, Tuesday, March 23, 2010. (Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman)
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden discusses the state's plans to sue the federal government over health care reform legislation in Boise, Idaho, Tuesday, March 23, 2010. (Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman)

Wasden reported spending $18,428 during the current reporting period, and $42,399 year to date, and had $53,672 in the bank at the close of the reporting period Sept. 30.

Wasden’s biggest donors during the reporting period were five individuals or organizations who gave $2,000 or more: Tommy Ahlquist and Idaho Forest Group, $2,500 each; Canyon County Republican Central Committee, $2,200; Google, $3,000; and W.D. Castlebury of Severna Park, Maryland, $2,000. Wasden said Castlebury works for Facebook and he worked with him on a cybersecurity issue; Wasden co-chairs a cybersecurity working group for the Conference of Western Attorneys General.

Among his expenditures were three payments of $1,933.75, all to his wife, Tracey, who is his campaign manager, and all on the same date, July 11, 2018. Wasden said that’s her monthly salary, less withholding for taxes, and the three payments were for three different months, including two prior ones. “It’s not very much, for what she does,” he said. “She is an active campaign manager — she does the work.”


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