Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Item: Vaughn Ward returns to Facebook after 7-week absence/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman
More Info: Ward’s return to Facebook on Monday has prompted dozens of comments, mostly supportive, including defenses of his campaign by his wife and mother and suggestions that he run again in 2012. Ward himself addresses the issue of plagiarism that helped sink his campaign. … Without naming him, Ward blames his former campaign manager, Ryan O’Barto, for cribbing from Obama and Pennsylvania congressional candidate Pat Meehan.
Question: Should Vaughn Ward run again for Congress in 2012?
Item: Labrador trails Minnick by 10 points in Idaho congressional race, Labrador pollster says/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman
More Info: Minnick led with 37 percent to Labrador’s 27 percent, with 26 percent undecided. Among those who aren’t sure, 48 percent are Republican and 15 percent Democrats, presenting an advantage to Labrador, the pollsters say. Also, undecided voters favor a generic Republican over a generic Democrat 42 percent to 15 percent. “Minnick’s lead is currently only among voters who have not yet heard of Labrador,” the pollsters said.
Question: Labrador is spinning this as good news. Is it?
The Republican nominee for Congress, Raul Labrador, has had to answer questions about his stance on immigration since the day he declared his intention to run for Congress in early December of 2010. The same day Labrador jumped in the race, state Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, called on Labrador to immediately withdraw from the race due to his positions on immigration and border security. The coming general election has not reduced questions on where Labrador stands on immigration issues. IdahoReporter.com has obtained an audio clip from 2007 in which Labrador proclaims his support for the controversial DREAM Act/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.
Question: Will Raul Labrador’s positions on immigration and border security help or haunt him during his campaign against incumbent Congressman Walt Minnick?
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.
- Health and welfare workers call out Thayn for comments/Dustin Hurst, IReporter
- Idaho Tax Commission dropping walk-in service in CdA, elsewhere/Brad Iverson-Long, IReporter
- Attorney: More suits against health care reform the better/Dustin Hurst, IReporter
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”?
China Gum, a spokeswoman for Labrador, did little to walk back the candidate’s remarks, noting only that Labrador had voted for the Republican presidential nominee in 2008 while Minnick has supported Democrats for president, including Barack Obama. “Raul Labrador has voted for all Republican presidential candidates as did the overwhelming majority of Idaho voters in the 1st Congressional District,” said Gum. “So who best represents the 1st CD? The conservative Raul Labrador or the smooth Walt Minnick?” Minnick campaign manager John Foster fired back at Labrador’s camp, taking McCain’s side. “Walt would never, as Labrador has done, question the ethics and principles of an American hero who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war,” Foster said/Politico. More here. (AP photo: John McCain in Mesa, Ariz., earlier this month)
Question: Will Raul Labrador’s lack of enthusiasm for former Republican presidential candidate John McCain haunt him in his congressional race?
Democratic incumbent Rep. Walt Minnick won the backing today of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “On issues ranging from competition in the health care industry, to lowering taxes, to reducing energy costs, Idaho’s businesses and workers have a tireless advocate in Walt Minnick,” said (chamber official) Bill Miller. It’s another business vote of confidence for Minnick, who recently drew praise from the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, the state’s preeminent business lobby. A first-term lawmaker, Minnick will face state Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, in a general election that figures to draw national attention. As for the chamber’s endorsement, consider this: The group endorsed 265 candidates in 2008, and 213 were elected (an 81 percent success rate)/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: How significant is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsement and IACI support for Demo Congressman Walt Minnick?
Some GOP insiders were left wondering where Butch Otter stood in the 1st Congressional District race for a few hours Friday afternoon after he failed to mention his party’s nominee for the race, Raul Labrador, in a keynote address to delegates gathered at the state convention in Idaho Falls. Late Friday night, in another speech to Idaho Republicans at the Melaleuca ranch, Otter said that he didn’t mean to intentionally snub Labrador. A report appearing in several media outlets, including Huckleberries Online and the Idaho Statesman Friday afternoon speculated about the snub, questioning if there is still bad blood between the two men due to Labrador’s clashes with the governor during the 2009 legislative session over Otter’s proposal to raise the gas tax and car registration fees/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here. (AP/Post Register Photo, at Republican state convention: Monte LaOrange)
Question: Butch Otter denies that he purposely snubbed congressional candidate Raul Labrador by failing to mention him in his GOP convention address (even though his written speech, provided to reporters, had a line acknowledging Labrador). Do you believe the slight was unintentional?
Huckleberries hears … that Gov. Butch Otter may have stiffed state Rep. Raul Labrador in his lunch speech at the Idaho GOP convention in Idaho Falls today. According to my sources, Otter was supposed to bring Raul Labrador to the stage and endorse him. But he didn’t. He didn’t even mention Raul’s name. Later, state GOP executive director Jonathan Parker was observed being fairly steamed about the snub. In its report, the Associated Press mentioned that Otter had mentioned U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, who are also facing an election challenge, and thanked them for their service to the state. But said nothing of Labrador. You can read that report here. (AP/Post Register Photo, at Republican state convention: Monte LaOrange)
Question: What do you make of Butch Otter’s failure to mention Labrador in a luncheon speech calling for state party unity?
Wednesday, John Foster, campaign spokesman for Rep. Walt Minnick … called on (Republican challenger) Raul Labrador … to apologize for sending out a campaign e-mail that, Foster said, denigrated Idaho businesses. Thursday, China Veldhouse Gum, acting spokesperson for the Labrador campaign, fired back at Foster, saying that Minnick has much more to apologize for than does her candidate. The controversy was due in part to a line of text in a e-mail message the Labrador campaign sent out to supporters earlier this month/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here. (AP Photo).
Question: Did Labrador denigrate Idaho businesses?
Republican congressional hopeful Raul Labrador failed to include his past role as president of a company that sold self-help kits on legal immigration to America in a U.S. House of Representatives filing this year. The financial disclosure form, required of all congressional candidates, also doesn’t list Labrador Properties, LLC., according to a review of campaign and public records by The Associated Press. The form requires candidates to report any position held in the current calendar year and past two years/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: An oversight?
An aide to U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick questions whether Canyon County Clerk Bill Hurst’s online campaigning for 1st District Republican challenger Raul Labrador is ethical, considering his position as chief elections officer for the county. Hurst has a pro-Labrador logo displayed on his Facebook page and also authors a blog called “Weeding Out Minnick Myths” that is critical of the Idaho Democrat. Hurst was defeated in May’s Republican Primary and will give up his elected seat in January to successful GOP challenger Chris Yamamoto. The clerk is the chief elections officer for the county and ultimately oversees the elections process of county, state and national elections/Sharon Strauss, Idaho Press-Tribune. More here.
Question: Does Foster have a good point re: Canyon County Clerk Bill Hurst using his blog to promote Raul Labrador’s candidacy?
But Minnick’s re-election prospects have brightened with the nomination of state Rep. Raul Labrador, who defeated Iraq vet Vaughn Ward in the recent GOP primary. Labrador showed $174,000 raised in his pre-primary report, so while he defeated a much better-funded candidate in the primary and can likely count on support in the general election from the National Republican Congressional Committee in a cheap media market, his weak fundraising numbers raise questions about the quality of his candidacy/Stuart Rothenberg, Rothenberg Political Report. More here. H/T: Idaho Politics.
- Palin: ‘Nope, I have not had implants’/Idaho Conservative Blogger
- GOP blasts Demo’s lawsuit over tax agreements/Kevin Richert, Statesman
- The familiarity of Nadine/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press
- Otter: Drillers hit big natural gas find in Idaho/Rocky Barker, Statesman
- Soccer speaks the world’s language/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report
- What oil spill looks like atop Treasure Valley/Treasured Valley
Question: Do you think Republicans who supported Vaughn Ward will automatically move into Raul Labrador’s camp now?
You’ll note here a number of ponderables. Will left-leaning Democrats, at the end, vote for Minnick or go out and campaign for him, provide the army any candidate needs on the ground? (Don’t expect more than a handful of Republicans to go that far.) Can Labrador bring in support from across his party that runs deeper than lip service – that involves cranking in serious money and serious organizational help to match up with Minnick’s resources? to these and other relevant questions, we have no solid answers yet. We can only watch and see; but the race may turn, in at least in part, on the answers. This remains, then, one of the most watchable races in the Northwest/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.
DFO: This may be the best break down of the race b/n Demo incumbent Walt Minnick and Republican Raul Labrador.
Pollster Greg Smith responds to criticism first posted at HucksOnline by Minnick spokesman John Foster: “It’s too bad that John Foster, whom I admire greatly, has chosen to take issue with the results we’ve produced over the years. As he and anyone else with even a scant knowledge of political polling knows, a poll is simply a “snapshot” of attitudes at the time of the research, and is NOT a prediction by any means. Just like consumer attitudes, voter attitudes do in fact change and adapt due to a number of variables. Further, if one bothers to look at the entire report that was produced in 2006 discussing the aforementioned results, you’ll see that I fully indicated that (1) I felt Sali would be in trouble as November approached (for which I received a great deal of grief from Sali and other Republicans), and (2) I also felt that Otter would in fact surge in the remaining days/weeks”/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here. (AP Photo: Matt Cilley)
John Foster, spokesman for Walt Minnick (to HucksOnline): It’s long past the time for people in Idaho media to continue giving Greg Smith ink and bandwidth. Set aside for a moment his years of inaccurate predictions. On their own, his most recent two polls should provide a clear answer to anyone who is uncertain as to his accuracy. Before the primary he had Walt at 50 percent among GOP primary voters, and now claims that, in a matter of weeks, Walt has fallen to half that support among ALL voters? That is a massive drop in a very short amount of time, with no explanation. In other words, not statistically possible. (I know, Hucks readers — you were told there would be no math.) Greg’s methods deviate from widely recognized standards, his polls are available to the highest bidder (I know because he has pressured me for a year to hire him for Walt’s campaign) and of dubious value to political watchers and media organizations. People should trust their instincts and ignore him once and for all.
Dennis Mansfield, the businessman and blogger who helped revitalize the primary campaign for Republican congressional nominee Raul Labrador, has resigned from campaign efforts. Mansfield told IdahoReporter.com Monday that his tour of duty with the Labrador campaign is officially over and that candidates are being interviewed to take over where he left off. Mansfield was one of the men behind Labrador’s come-from-behind victory over Vaughn Ward in the May 25 Republican primary election. Mansfield, who ran for Congress in 2000, endorsed Labrador on his personal blog in mid-April and offered his services to Labrador’s campaign/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.
- California embraces open primary/Dennis Mansfield
- GOP votes to remove Idaho warrior from military/Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues
- A local-option coalition?/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman
- Labrador leading?/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press
- Wednesday Links (from southern Idaho blogs, news, politics)/Treasured Valley
Question: How instrumental was blogger Dennis Mansfield in Raul Labrador’s come-from-behind victory over Vaughn Ward in the GOP primaries?
Some of you have expressed concerns re: the accuracy of Greg Smith polls. As someone who tries to provide all the important news re: significant Idaho politics, I hesitate somewhat to post info from a story now posted on the Idaho Statesman Web site re: a Smith poll that shows Repub Raul Labrador ahead of Walt Minnick 36% to 24%, with 30% undecided. Minnick has made in-roads into the moderate Republican camp with his conservative votes. I doubt that only 24 percent of Idaho would vote for him at this point. But you be the judge. Here’s the story.
Question: Do you think the Greg Smith poll is accurate?
In 1996 when then-citizen Walt Minnick ran to unseat then-Sen. Larry Craig, Minnick took exception with Craig running as a “fiscal conservative” while using the congressional franking privileges to send out more than $132,000 worth of taxpayer-funded mailings to constituents. Minnick, during his first year in Congress, has used more than $150,000 for taxpayer dollars to frank, though his campaign spokesman points out that he has used that money for more direct forms of communication as well, such as telephone town hall meetings. Staffers for Minnick’s electoral opponent, Republican Raul Labrador, say that Minnick is using the franking privilege for political purposes/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.
Question: Is Minnick being hypocritical by using the franking privilege he once criticized?
First District Republican congressional nominee Raul Labrador says incumbent Democrat Walt Minnick’s modified line-item veto bill is a PR ploy and replacing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a Republican is the most important step to end deficit spending. In a news release Thursday night, Labrador said, “I recognize the public relations value of Mr. Minnick’s claims, particularly this close to a tough election. But the simple fact is, the only thing that is going to stop this horrendous flow of red ink is a change in political leadership. The most effective thing we can do to arrest the irresponsible spending of this Congress is to take the gavel away from Nancy Pelosi. And Mr. Minnick is unwilling to do that”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
- Otter: ‘Working for a more prosperous future’/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise
- Capitol gift shop supported itself in first year/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter
- Geddes: There could be changes in GOP leadership in 2011/Brad Iverson-Long, IR
- Council OKs glass in some Capitol doors/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter
- Lawmakers urge spending for Capitol touchups/Brad Iverson-Long, IR
Question: Who has the better plan to end deficit spending — Walt Minnick or Raul Labrador?
Shortly before the primary elections, Dustin Hurst/Idaho Reporter wrote an article re: the use of social media by the various candidates, entitled “Social media shows its negative side in Republican primary.” In my opinion, Raul Labrador used the social media better than Vaughn Ward as he tweeted and Facebooked his way to an upset victory in the 1st Congressional District race. Two years ago, I remember explaining cyber world to Jim Risch and his wife after an online interview during the U.S. Senate race w/Demo Larry LaRocco. At the time, Risch and Idaho Repubs didn’t know much about blogs and other online media. But they were bugged by the anonymous attacks of bloggers and online commenters.
Question: Which party — or candidate — does best in using online media?
Democrat activist Jill Kuraitis wrote on her blog:
“Labrador ran a solid low-budget campaign … based on his own solid and authentic grasp of state and national issues. Expect a fierce [general election] campaign. Both men are intelligent, principled and stubborn as mules.” Read the full article here.
And here is the take from Joan McCarter of the very liberal Daily Kos:
“Unfortunately for the incumbent, Democrat Walt Minnick [Labrador won], because his best chance for holding onto his seat was [Labrador’s opponent], who was unlikely to generate the kind of enthusiasm Labrador can garner. The best a Democrat can hope for [now] is low Republican turnout.” Read the full article here.
From Raul Labrador Twitter
Question: Do you think state Rep. Raul Labrador worries Walt Minnick supporters?
Digger (re: Labrador blasts Minnick’s ‘don’t-ask-don’t-tell’ vote): Why is this a “disapointment” Raul? Don’t you belive in equal rights for all humans? Don’t you, as a minority, understand that “Dont Ask, Dont Tell” is liken to the “Build a Fence and Ship em Back” mentality? And for Dennis Mansfield, who I know reads this blog, please inform your candidate that I voted for him in the primary not because I was opposed to Ward but because I believed Raul to be more level-headed and educated that “Shout louder” Ward was. Oh, and I’m openly gay. Am I to understand that Mr. Labrador does not want my vote in the general election? Because I’d be happy to give it to Congressman Minnick.
Question: Is there a single issue that would sway you into voting for — or against — incumbent Walt Minnick or challenger Raul Labrador in the 1st Congressional District race?
The Idaho Republican Party is hiring two full-time staffers to spearhead a “parallel campaign” on behalf of newly nominated GOP congressional candidate Raul Labrador, who’s challenging 1st District Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick. Jonathan Parker, state GOP executive director, said he requested the funds for the two positions from the Republican National Committee, “essentially making the point that you can’t take Idaho for granted and CD 1 for granted, that we’re going to have to do everything in our power and run a competent campaign to unseat Walt Minnick. That’s the plan we’re putting together/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Raul Labrador, the Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s 1st District, is critical of Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick’s vote on legislation that could repeal a policy preventing gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. Minnick voted in favor of a plan to end the don’t ask, don’t tell policy. The change would go into effect if a survey conducted by the armed forces determines that allowing homosexuals to serve openly would not be disruptive. “Mr. Minnick’s vote is a disappointment to me, and disappointment for most Idahoans,” Labrador, a state representative from Eagle, said in a statement on his campaign website/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter. More here. (AP Photo: Matt Cilley)
- Expansion to veterans’ cemetery could be under way next Memorial Day/IR
- National, state GOP chairmen back Labrador/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter
- Idaho reps oppose multi-billion-dollar spending bills/Jay Howell, Idaho Reporter
- Wolves and caribou: Idaho’s endangered paradox/Rocky Barker, Statesman
- Court: Idaho drug-test ruling violated U.S. Constitution/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise
Question: Will Minnick be helped or hurt by his vote to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” legislation?
|REP||Harley D. Brown||2,620||3.6%|
|REP||Michael L. Chadwick||4,414||6.0%|
|REP||Raul R. Labrador||35,658||48.6%|
|REP||Allan M Salzberg||1,998||2.7%|
Ward wIns Kootenai County:
Vaughn Ward. . . . . . . . . . 5,935 46.66 Raul R. Labrador . . . . . . . . 4,716 37.08 Michael L. Chadwick . . . . . . . 1,074 8.44 Harley D. Brown . . . . . . . . 529 4.16 Allan M. Salzberg. . . . . . . . 465 3.66 Total . . . . . . . . . 12,719
- Nampa newspaper endorses Labrador, too/Idahho Press-Tribune
- Ward responds to Statesman endorsement/Vaughn Ward
- Labrador best choice for Minnick challenger/Spokesman-Review
A late arrival to the race for Congress, state Rep. Raul Labrador (pictured) has demonstrated competence, composure and a command of nuanced policy. Despite more than a year of full-time campaigning, decorated Marine Major Vaughn Ward has proven himself untrustworthy. Labrador has earned the support of Republicans in Tuesday’s primary. He has earned the opportunity to present his case to 1st Congressional District voters in the fall, in a heated race likely to carry national implications. Let’s be realistic. Should a Republican win in November, the victor will be a newcomer in what will probably be a deeply split House. No first-termer will be a phenom. Labrador has the better chance to make an impact/Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Will the Statesman and Idaho Press-Tribune also endorse Labrador in the general election, if he beats Ward Tuesday?
Marine reservist Vaughn Ward and state Rep. Raul Labrador are in a statistical tie in the Republican primary race to represent western Idaho in Congress, says an Idaho Statesman/KBOI TV Channel 2 poll. The snapshot of the electorate, taken a week before the vote, shows Ward backed by 31 percent of voters and Labrador by 28 percent, putting the race within the plus or minus 5 percent margin for error. Undecideds topped each candidate with 37 percent. Harley Brown had 4 percent. Ward had big leads in fundraising and advertising, but Labrador has gained momentum in recent weeks as Ward suffered a series of setbacks culminating in the resignation of his campaign manager last week/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
DFO: It appears Labrador has the momentum, erasing an 18-point deficit from the last poll of substance, and will benefit from cross-over voting. My guess? Labrador’s going to win.
Question: Which of these two candidates would have the best chance against Walt Minnick?
On the most prominent social and fiscal issues, Labrador and Vaughn are solidly in the same conservative camp. … Picking an effective carrier of the party’s standard will require Republican voters to look beyond the issues. Endorsements are sometimes helpful, and Ward claims the most prominent names – former Govs. Dirk Kempthorne and Phil Batt and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, for example. Nevertheless, give Labrador the edge for hands-on lawmaking experience. Ward has worked as an aide on Capitol Hill, but Labrador is a legislator and has proved himself in that capacity. Meanwhile, several disconcerting disclosures that have emerged from Ward’s campaign tilt the scales in Labrador’s favor/Spokesman Review Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Do you agree with the Spokesman-Review endorsement?
Raul Labrador just posted this on his Facebook page: “It’s not unusual to see posts of disappointment in Gov. Palin by those who do not call themselves conservative. They are everywhere. What IS of interest is when solidly conservative Bloggers write about a prevailing and expanding disappointment in her. Sarah Palin’s visit to Idaho on behalf of the beleaguered Vaughn Ward Congressional Campaign has prompted many comments by conservatives. We are disappointed with her coming into this Primary Race (as Ward clearly is the damaged candidate) but we urge conservatives to STOP the attacks on Gov. Palin.” More here.
Question: Do you think Labrador realizes that attacks on Sarah Palin by his side could backfire on his campaign?
As most of you know, Republican Vaughn Ward referred to Puerto Rico as another “country” in his debate with Raul Labrador in Post Falls earlier this week. You can see for yourself exactly what the two men said re: this issue by watching this YouTube. Then, if you haven’t voted in yesterday’s poll re: this question, you still have time to do so.