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Otter Raises $125K, Pays Self Back

Gov. Butch Otter has accelerated his campaign fundraising and used $50,000 of the cash to pay down $206,000 in loans he made to his 2010 re-election effort. Otter, who said at a December fundraiser that he will seek a third term in 2014, garnered about 70 percent of the money from corporate contributors who do business with the state or lobby state officials. Otter filed his Sunshine Report for July to December shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday. Otter raised $124,941, well above his pace in the first six months of 2011, when he raised $48,103. His campaign still owes the governor $156,000 and has $56,177 in cash. That's up from a cash balance of $10,044 in June/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What do you think? Did Otter announce he'll run again in two years to raise campaign cash to pay himself back? Or is he really going to run in two years?

Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/02/01/idahopolitics/idaho_gov_otter_raises_125k_second_half_2011_repays_himself_50k#storylink=cpy

IFF Declares Fund-raising Victory

In November, I couldn’t resist blogging about the Idaho Freedom Foundation, after a fund-raising pitch from the limited-government lobbying group wound up in my inbox. At the time, foundation honcho Wayne Hoffman told supporters that the group $30,000 short on its 2011 fund-raising goals. While Hoffman is steadfastly unwilling to talk details about who funds his group, he made it a point this morning to send his fundraising followup to my inbox. I’ll leave it to you readers to either sigh with relief or groan in resignation. Either way, this seems to fall just a tad short of the tear-jerker finish in "It's a Wonderful Life"/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are you glad to know Idaho Freedom Foundation is financially stable for another year?

Hoffman, IFF $30,000 Short

Not sure how this one landed in the email inbox this afternoon, but here's a fundraising pitch from Wayne Hoffman's Idaho Freedom Foundation. According to the email, the free-market group is about $30,000 short of its 2011 fundraising goal. We hope the work we’re doing is valuable to you," writes Hoffman. "If so, every donation counts. Please consider a contribution this season to us so that we can keep up the cause of liberty"/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Have you made your contribution to Idaho Freedom Foundation, yet?

CQ: Minnick Fund-raising ‘Impressive’

The national political media is making much of preliminary fundraising numbers released by Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick for the upcoming campaign finance report, which isn’t due until July 15; CQ Politics reported today that Minnick’s campaign raised $410,000 from April through June 30, putting his total contributions for the election cycle at more than $1.9 million and leaving him with $1.1 million in cash as of July 1. The political news site called Minnick’s fundraising “impressive” and changed its rating of the race from “tossup” to “leans Democratic/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What do you make of the declaration by respected CQ Politics that the 1st Congressional District of Idaho, one of the nation’s most conservative, “leans Democratic”?

RNC “Census” update: Yet another law tries to stop it

Members of Congress are apparently so ticked off about the Republican National Committee’s use of a “Census” to raise money in its mailers that they’ve introduced a new bill to stop it,  passing it quickly this week on a voice vote in the House of Representatives.

So what, Republicans out there might say. The House is run by Democrats always looking to take a shot at the GOP. Except this bill was written by Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, and it passed without dissent from either party.

The RNC remains unabashed about its mailings, which have gone out to Eastern Washington residents as well as folks in some other states. RNC Chairman Michael Steele, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “This was within the law as written. I can’t help it that the Democrats wrote a bad bill.”

He answers a question about it in at about 6:17 of the above clip..

The previous bill outlawing the practice was sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and passed unanimously in the House and Senate this year. The RNC believes it complies with the law, which bans the use of the word Census on the envelope, because “Census Document” appears on a page of the mailing with the addressee’s name that’s inside the envelope and shows through a plastic window.

Issa told the Associated Press it’s not a partisan issue. “When it comes to the Census htere is no separation between Republicans and Democrats. Working together we thought we put an end to this deceptive practice. Unfortunately, the foolishness of the RNC to move forward with yet another deceptive mail piece has caused us to act again.”

The new bill is now in the Senate.

RNC mailer: Is it illegal, or just silly? Let’s do a census

Some Eastern Washington voters diligent about returning their U.S. Census form may have been surprised last week when what seemed like another Census form arrived in the mail.
An official looking letter – its envelope, after all reads DO NOT DESTROY/OFFICIAL DOCUMENT – says it is carrying a “Census Document” registered to the addressee, with one of those cool line codes that just reek of officialdom.
The document inside isn’t from the Census Bureau. But it is someone you might’ve heard of: Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.
The nation’s top GOP official took time out from his busy schedule of trying not to get fired to get input from “a select few” in Washington’s 5th Congressional District. How select isn’t clear, but chances are not very. The copy forwarded to me came from a friend’s spouse who is in no way a Republican. Nonetheless, the information sought is described as absolutely critical to building what Steele’s calls “a state of the art grassroots organization” to win races up and down the ballot.
To do that, Steele sent out a “2010 Congressional District Census”, which masquerades as an in-depth survey, but is really just a way to raise money. A sample of the questions: