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Group: ‘We Can Do Better Than Hart’

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?