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Labrador comes out against military strike on Syria

1st District GOP Congressman Raul Labrador today came out against a military strike against Syria. “I will vote ‘no’ on any Congressional authorization to use force against Syria, and I will encourage my colleagues to do the same,” Labrador said. The second-term congressman said he reached his conclusion after reviewing the arguments on both sides, attending a classified briefing and talking to the Obama Administration. “Nothing they said changed the fact that we are not the police force of the world, we don’t have any compelling national interest in Syria, and it’s doubtful that an alternative government in Syria will be any better than the current one,” Labrador said. “While no one doubts that Bashar al-Assad is a brutal dictator, it’s very likely that removing him power will embolden al-Qaeda and other terrorists.”

Click below for Labrador's full statement; Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, earlier came out against a strike as well, and voted against it in the committee last week.

Labrador: Immigration reform likely to be pushed to back burner by Syria, debt

As Congress returns from its summer break today, 1st District Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador says the debates over Syria and the debt limit are likely to push immigration reform to the back burner, the AP reports. Labrador said he and other members of Congress “were all hoping we would have a debate in October, now it looks like September and October are going to be pretty full with other issues.” Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

Idaho congressional delegation wary of strike against Syria

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho lawmakers in Washington, D.C., were deeply skeptical of President Obama's plan for a strike against Syria's chemical weapons infrastructure. In responses this week, Republican U.S. Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo and Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador all expressed wariness such a strike would enhance U.S. power or bring a swifter end to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. Risch committed to opposing a strike. Obama says Assad's government was responsible for numerous gas attacks, including one Aug. 21 said to have killed 1,429 people. In Tuesday's Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, however, Risch worried a post-strike Assad would emerge stronger. Republicans including House Speaker John Boehner support a strike. Though Simpson is usually a Boehner ally, the Idaho Republican's spokeswoman said he's “strongly leaning against supporting military action.”

Read a report here from S-R reporter Kip Hill, including comments from Idaho and Washington senators; click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

Simpson, Labrador aligned on Syria strike

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — It took potential military action against Syria to get Republican U.S. Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador on the same side. The feuding Idaho lawmakers signed a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to seek authorization from Congress before ordering a strike against Syria after its government allegedly used chemical weapons against its own people. Simpson and Labrador, who have traded barbs this year including over whether House Speaker John Boehner should be leading the chamber's majority, joined Boehner in the letter on Wednesday. In the document, they argue that Obama is required by the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973 to consult with lawmakers before authorizing a strike. Many Democrats are also urging Obama not to take action without first seeking proper authority to do so.

Boehner Tweaks Neutral Labrador

House Speaker John Boehner drew applause from a crowd of 430 backing 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson with a clear misstatement: he said Simpson’s 1st District colleague and fellow Republican was backing Simpson in his primary race. “I want to thank Raul Labrador for being here today and being supportive of his colleague in his re-election bid,” Boehner said Monday at a Boise event that raised more than $95,000 for Simpson’s campaign for a ninth term. Trouble is, Labrador has said he will remain neutral in the contest between Simpson and tea party challenger Bryan Smith, who is endorsed by Club for Growth. Labrador is allied with tea party groups and the anti-tax Club for Growth, which Simpson expects to raise up to $2 million on behalf of Smith/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson is one of the better congressman. The fact that Tea Party darling Raul Labrador won't back him for re-election says more about Labrador than Simpson. What do you think?


Read more here: http://blogs.idahostatesman.com/was-boehner-ribbing-labrador-about-support-of-simpson/#storylink=cpy

Edit: Ringo Will Shake Things Up

In a Sunday editorial, Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune writes: If you talk to a national handicapper such as political wonk Charlie Cook, state Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, is wasting her time challenging Congressman Raul Labrador, R-Idaho. But you've not seen this kind of political dynamic in Idaho for some time. For the sake of argument, consider:

  • Experience — Ringo may be the most tenured Idaho candidate for Congress since then Idaho House Speaker Mike Simpson embarked on his congressional career 15 years ago. She has served seven terms in the Legislature - and has the enlightening experience of losing a re-election campaign only to come back and win the next time. Perched on the budget-writing and Joint Legislative Oversight committees, Ringo knows where the bodies are buried.
  • Message — Ringo is something rare in Idaho politics - an unashamed Democrat. Count the list of candidates who have run away from that label. Whether it was former Congressman Walt Minnick or the party's 2010 gubernatorial nominee Keith Allred, it hasn't worked. The base of true believers sit on their hands while moderate Republicans stay loyal to the GOP. More here.

Question: Will an unabashed Democrat, like Shirley Ringo, test Congressman Raul Labrador more than a moderate one, like Walt Minnick?

Ringo to run against Labrador in 1st CD

Longtime Idaho state Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, announced Monday that she’ll seek Idaho’s 1st District congressional seat in 2014, the first opponent to emerge for second-term GOP Rep. Raul Labrador.  Labrador, a high-profile tea party favorite, just announced last week that he’ll run for a third term in Congress, rather than run for governor of Idaho, in an effort to quiet speculation that he said was getting out of hand.

Ringo, a former longtime high school math teacher who holds a key seat on the Legislature’s joint budget committee, said, “We all know that Congress doesn’t have a very positive approval rating at this time, with their inability to compromise and get things done. And I have the sense that Congressman Labrador is part of the problem.”

Ringo acknowledged that she faces an “uphill battle” as a member of Idaho’s small Democratic minority, but said she’s talked with moderate Republicans who are “not particularly happy with the direction that some of the more extreme members of their party are taking.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

Otter on Labrador: ‘My door has always been open’

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter had this response tonight to Congressman Raul Labrador’s comments about wanting to work with him  on issues now that Labrador has made it clear he’s not planning to challenge Otter in the primary: “My door has always been and will always be open to any member of the delegation and the Legislature.”

Otter was busy this evening with a fundraising dinner and reception for his re-election campaign, after which both he and First Lady Lori Otter rode out in the opening ceremonies of the Caldwell Night Rodeo.

Labrador seeks 3rd term

1st District Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador announced this afternoon that he'll seek a third term in Congress, not run for governor. “I've decided to end all the speculation and announce that I have no plans at this time to run for Governor,” Labrador said at a Meridian news conference. “I do not feel that I have yet completed the mission you sent me to Congress to do. There is still much work to be done. Whether at the state or the national level, I will always be an advocate for Idaho.”

In response to questions from reporters, Labrador said, “I never really thought about it seriously. At first it was kind of funny when people would ask me – I had only been in Congress for less than one term, and people just started asking me if I would run for governor.” Betsy Russell, EOB

Surprised? Relieved? Dismayed?

Labrador to seek third term in Congress, not run for governor

1st District Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador announced this afternoon that he'll seek a third term in Congress, not run for governor. “I've decided to end all the speculation and announce that I have no plans at this time to run for Governor,” Labrador said at a Meridian news conference. “I do not feel that I have yet completed the mission you sent me to Congress to do. There is still much work to be done. Whether at the state or the national level, I will always be an advocate for Idaho.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com; here's a link to Labrador's statement to supporters.

In response to questions from reporters, Labrador said, “I never really thought about it seriously. At first it was kind of funny when people would ask me – I had only been in Congress for less than one term, and people just started asking me if I would run for governor.” He said he’d actually decided against it about three months ago, but when he started calling supporters to let them know, they got mad, so he considered it some more. “Running against Gov. Otter would have been a tough race,” he said.

Labrador said he never did any polling. “You can’t ever say never to anything,” he said, but said, “At this point I don’t think it’s in the cards.”

Asked if he thinks Otter is doing a good job as governor, Labrador said, “You know, Butch Otter could do a better job, and I don’t think I’ve been shy about saying what I think.” He said now that het’s made it clear he won’t challenge Otter, he hopes the two can talk and work together. “I hope now that he doesn’t see me as a competitor, that he can see me as a partner.”

Labrador to make campaign announcement Wednesday afternoon

Speculation is running wild back in D.C. as to whether Idaho 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador will seek a third term in Congress or run for governor of Idaho instead; Labrador will put the rumors to rest tomorrow afternoon. “Rep. Labrador will hold a press event on Wednesday afternoon in Meridian to make a campaign announcement,” his office told me in an email last night. Now, the details are in: Labrador's announcement is set for 3 p.m. tomorrow at the Meridian City Hall building, where he has his congressional offices.

The outspoken Labrador, who frequently appears on national political TV shows and has been the subject of rumors in D.C. about everything from a future speakership to a future presidential bid, served two terms in the Idaho state House before being elected to Congress in 2010. Prior to heading to Congress, he was an immigration attorney.

Labrador Won’t Endorse Simpson

Though they deny it, the breach between Idaho's only two members of the U.S. House of Representatives might be widening. Rep. Raul Labrador says he won't observe the longstanding custom of endorsing fellow Republican Rep. Mike Simpson over primary foe Bryan Smith. Smith is courting the GOP's right wing, where Labrador is popular. Neither will Labrador say whether he considers Simpson a conservative. “You know,” Labrador said Wednesday, “I said I wouldn't speak about the race.” Simpson, however, says he will back Labrador over primary challenger Michael Greenway. “Well, let me just say I'm supporting Raul,” Simpson said Wednesday/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you consider this bad/good form on Labrador's part?


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2013/08/08/2694647/rep-labrador-wont-endorse-simpson.html#storylink=cpy

Labrador As Next House Speaker?

Though he’s just in his seventh year of public office — four of those as a junior member of the Idaho House — 1st District GOP Congressman Raul Labrador has landed in a Top 10 of possible successors to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. The list was prepared by Roll Call reporters Emma Dumain and Matt Fuller in a column titled “10 Republicans Who Could Be Speaker.” Labrador is listed last on the list, which begins with more conventional candidates including Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Would you like to see Congressman Raul Labrador become speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives?


Read more here: http://blogs.idahostatesman.com/forget-governor-idahos-labrador-touted-as-next-house-speaker/#storylink=cpy

Trib: Risch, Labrador Grandstanding

In his latest Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune give jeers …

” … to U.S. Sen. Jim Risch and Congressman Raul Labrador, both R-Idaho. The latest D.C. twaddle has Republicans threatening to shut down the federal government to force an Obamacare repeal. Risch is among 11 GOP senators who have signed Utah Republican Mike Lee's threat. Labrador is among 66 Republicans who have endorsed a similar effort in the House from North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows. Whatever Risch and Labrador are up to here, it's entirely self-serving: Playing to the GOP's fringe is a certain winner in the all-important closed primary. Risch and Labrador are betting President Obama and the Democratic Senate so fear a shutdown that they'll defund Obamacare.” Full Cheers & Jeers column here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree with this Jeer?

Carlson: Otter Would Kick Raul’s Butt

Columnist Chris Carlson's analysis of the game of chicken being played by Gov. Butch Otter and Congressman Raul Labrador re: 2014 gubernatorial race:

There is a huge bluff game being played and at this point it appears Governor Otter has bluffed Congressman Labrador into thinking he really is running for a third term. Furthermore, the governor appears to have convinced Labrador that in a head-to-head primary he would kick Labrador’s rear. To that end there are rumors Governor Otter is quietly preparing a huge north Idaho fund-raiser that will feature – no, not Tea Party darling and the new Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz – but rather the charismatic governor from New Jersey, Chris Christie. Governor Christie is clearly no favorite of the Tea Party so this has about it an “in your face” message to Labrador. Neither does holding a fund-raiser remove all doubt about the governor’s intentions. He does in fact have a hold-over campaign debt (a loan from himself to his campaign) and the proceeds all could go to paying off the debt to himself. My guess is that if Governor Otter runs, he would crush the overly ambitious congressman. Full column here.

Question: Who would win a GOPrimary race for guv between Otter and Labrador?

Two speaker prospects from Inland NW?

Roll Call thinks so, anyway.

In one of its “what if” pieces- - - as in What if John Boehner was no longer speaker, who would get the job? —  the Washington, D.C., newspaper for Congress and those who watch it closely lists Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Raul Labrador as two of its 10 possible replacements.

They'd have to be called long-shots, considering that the majority leader usually ascends to the speakership unless one party loses control of the House. So Eric Cantor is at the top of the list. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Labrador ♥s Attention, Microphones

Raul Labrador has a thing for microphones. Supporters and critics alike describe the Idaho Republican congressman as a self-confident firebrand eager to speak out, especially in private meetings with his fellow Republicans. Labrador “practically lunged at the microphone” in one 2011 meeting with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the House GOP conference, according to Robert Draper's 2012 book Do Not Ask What Good We Do. In another meeting, Draper wrote, Labrador “rushed to the open microphone.” At yet another, Labrador listened to Boehner speak and then “immediately went to the mike.” Labrador — a 45-year-old Mormon father of five, tea party congressman, and Puerto-Rican-born only child of a single mother — is a man in a hurry, friends and associates say/Jon Ward, Huffington Post. More here.

Question: Is Raul Labrador more concerned about his political career than he is serving Idaho?

Labrador tells Huffington Post he’s still undecided on run for guv

The Huffington Post has a story on Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador today, centering on speculation that he could run for governor of Idaho, challenging GOP Gov. Butch Otter. Labrador didn't comment, telling the HuffPost reporter, “You know, I don't talk about that. It's going to be in the next couple months I will make a decision. It's a private conversation that I'm having with my wife and some close associates.” See the full article here.

Happenings in the 1st CD…

Here’s a link to my Sunday column on the week’s developments in the 1st District congressional race, from Rep. Raul Labrador’s campaign finance report sending signals that he’ll seek a third term – rather than run for governor – to the latest on former Democratic challenger Jimmy Farris and the emergence of a longshot GOP opponent, a BSU political science student.

Labrador, Simpson Oppose NCLB

Idaho’s two House members joined 219 other Republicans Friday, voting for a bill to reverse components of the No Child Left Behind education law. Supporters of H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, say it will return educational control to states and school districts. The change represents “a complete U-turn, policy-wise, from the existing federal school accountability law,” says Alyson Klein of Education Week. Friday’s bill passed 221-207, on nearly a party-line vote. Twelve Republicans broke ranks to vote against the bill, and no Democrats supported it. “I am proud to support this legislation that will restore federalist principles by eliminating the one-size-fits-all federal mandates established by No Child Left Behind,” 1st Congressional District Rep. Raul Labrador said Friday/Kevin Richert, The EDge, IdahoED News. More here.

Thoughts?

Trib: Jeers To Labrador’s Family Biz

In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, opinionator Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune gives …

… Jeers to Congressman Raul Labrador, R-Idaho. When the freshman put his wife Becca on the campaign account two years ago, it looked like a rookie mistake. But in examining Labrador's latest campaign finance report, the Idaho Statesman's Dan Popkey noticed nothing has changed.Labrador, who pulls down $174,000 as a member of Congress, paid his wife $6,045 for the last three months to handle the campaign's books. In addition, the campaign covered $4,224 in federal income and payroll taxes as well as another $1,188 in state taxes. Were those taxes paid on behalf of Becca Labrador? In an email, Labrador's deputy chief of staff, Mike Cunnington, stated: “As we have said before, Becca receives a monthly salary of $2,500 and the campaign pays all taxes that are required.” Marty's complete column here.

Question: Should Labador's wife, Becca, be paid for handling the congressman's campaign books?

Farris says he’ll run again in ‘14, either for Congress or another office

Jimmy Farris, the former NFL football player and Idaho native who took 30.8 percent of the vote against 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador last year, says he hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll challenge the GOP congressman again next year. But Farris, a Democrat, said he has decided one thing: He will run for office. “I will be running in 2014,” Farris said today. “I’m just not positive for what office or what seat.”

Farris filed a termination with the Federal Election Commission of his campaign finances from the last election, closing out the books, but said he made that move largely because his campaign treasurer, a CPA, was retiring from her practice. If he decides to run for Congress again, he noted, he can refile. This photo, from August of 2012, shows him campaigning in Meridian.

For now, Farris is busy with an upcoming annual family reunion and several business ventures, including one a former teammate is launching to design a safer football helmet, and another he’s working on to develop a type of custom insole. He also became fascinated by the recent George Zimmerman trial in Florida, frequently tweeting on developments there.

“I came into it, honestly, with a bias, kind of a preconceived idea that Zimmerman was just what they were saying he was, this over-zealous, racist wanna-be cop that tracked down this innocent kid and just shot him in cold blood, and it wasn’t like that,” Farris said. “NBC had edited one of the 911 tapes. … It was terrible, man. So not that I think George Zimmerman was innocent, he did kill the kid, but the way the law reads is the way it reads. In my opinion, if you just wanted to base it off of the instructions to the jury, there was no way they could convict him.” He added, “I just got really, really caught up in that trial.”

As for politics, he said, “I’m not actively out raising money or campaigning, but I’ve been meeting with a lot of people, having a lot of lunch and coffee meetings and kind of laying the groundwork for some things.” He added, “I’m kind of considering all the options now. … My desire to be in public service in Idaho and do what I can to make a difference in Idaho is as strong as it’s ever been.”

Student says he’ll challenge Labrador in 1st District GOP primary

No one has filed with the FEC yet to run against 1st District Congressman Raul Labrador in 2014, but a 23-year-old BSU political science student, Michael Greenway, announced today that he’ll challenge Labrador in the GOP primary. “I’m getting my campaign team together right now,” said Greenway, who will turn 25 between the primary and general elections in 2014, just hitting the minimum age threshold to serve in Congress.

Greenway, who is going into his senior year, isn’t a first-time political candidate; he ran for the state Legislature last year, challenging Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, in the Republican primary and collecting 27.5 percent of the vote. Greenway, whose mom served as his campaign treasurer for that race, said, “I enjoyed it, it was an interesting experience.” He campaigned on his opposition to the controversial “Students Come First” school reform laws, of which DeMordaunt, chairman of the House Education Committee, was a big supporter; voters rejected those laws last November.

Greenway said his interest in politics was sparked after the 9/11 attacks when, as a young teen, he was impressed with how then-President George W. Bush responded to the war on terror. “I liked the way the Republicans responded better than the Democrats,” Greenway said. “I believe in a strong national defense, a strong military.” He started thinking about making a run against Labrador after the second-term congressman abstained from voting to re-elect House Speaker John Boehner in January; Labrador’s close ally, Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, cast his vote for Labrador for speaker. The two were among just 12 House Republicans who didn’t vote to re-elect Boehner as speaker.

Greenway called Labrador’s abstention “an act of betrayal, not only to the party but also to the constituents he claims to represent.” He called the Idaho congressman divisive, and said if elected, he’d work with all sides. “No one gets 100 percent of what they want in a government like ours,” the young candidate said. “We need someone in Washington that understands that, and I do.” You can read his full announcement here.

Asked how he’ll campaign, the full-time student said, “Well, I’ll try to raise as much money as I can, and then just campaign and talk to people, you know, go up and down the district.”

Labrador Opposed By A ‘Who’?

Like Horton the elephant in “Horton Hears a Who!” I have heard a tiny voice. Responding to my Wednesday column, in which I noted that “no credible alternative has said a peep about trying to challenge” Idaho Republican Congressman Raul Labrador, Boise State political science student Michael Greenway says he will take on Labrador in the May GOP primary. Greenway says Labrador has been a party to gridlock in Washington, D.C., and said Labrador’s withholding a vote for GOP Speaker of the House John Boehner was both “childish” and “an act of betrayal”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
 
Question: Will the Democrats produce a serious candidate, if Congressman Labrador runs for re-election?

Read more here: http://blogs.idahostatesman.com/labrador-draws-gop-opponent-bsu-student-michael-greenway/#storylink=cpy

Labrador’s hefty re-election warchest suggests he won’t leave House to run for guv

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador is sitting on the second-biggest wad of campaign cash he’s stockpiled since he’s been in office, with more than $277,000 in the bank. That suggests that Labrador is gearing up for a re-election bid for a third term, not for a long-shot primary challenge against two-term GOP Gov. Butch Otter in 2014.

Labrador’s being coy; neither he nor his staffers have returned calls from reporters today, and he’s been hinting for months that he might run for governor or might not and hadn’t yet decided. “Politicians enjoy the attention of people speculating about what office they’re going to run for next,” said BSU professor emeritus and longtime Idaho political observer Jim Weatherby. “He’s certainly benefited from a lot of that kind of speculation, and why wouldn’t he want to continue it for as long as he could?”

Labrador’s latest campaign finance report, filed late last night, shows he ended the year’s second quarter with $277,271 cash on hand. That’s nearly triple the amount he had at this time two years ago, and an amount he’s exceeded only once before, in October of 2012, at the height of the campaign season just weeks before he was re-elected. He raised $65,680 this quarter, an unremarkable amount but for the fact that two-thirds of it came from PACs, a departure for Labrador, who typically has raised more of his campaign funds from individuals than from PACs.

According to FEC records, in 2009-10, Labrador raised more than three times as much for his campaign from individuals as from PACs. In 2011-12, the split was 60 percent from individuals, 40 percent from PACs.

Among the PACs handing over the money now: Microsoft, Google, eBay, Northrup Grumman Employees, Alliant Techsystems, Darigold, Arizona Dairymen, Michigan Milk Producers, the National Roofing Contractors, the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC and more. Those groups, Weatherby noted, certainly don’t “have a big stake in who’s the next governor of Idaho.”

The only way to transfer federal campaign funds to a state campaign is to do what Secretary of State Ben Ysursa terms “reattributing” them – getting a written statement from each original donor, saying they want their money transferred from the congressional campaign to the state gubernatorial campaign. “That’s the only way,” Ysursa said. “There’s not just a direct transfer of money. There has to be reattribution of the individual amounts.” Then, the amounts count against the state’s contribution limits for each donor.

“It’s convoluted, but it can be done,” Ysursa said, most notably by Dirk Kempthorne when he decided to run for governor in 1998 rather than seek another term in the Senate. Kempthorne’s 1998 federal campaign finance report shows he refunded nearly $50,000 in contributions that year, including $38,000 to PACs and $11,600 to individuals; that’s what a candidate would have to do to reattribute the funds and redirect them to a state campaign. A Federal Election Commission spokeswoman said federal laws don’t restrict transfers, but they’re governed by state law and state limits.

Labrador’s July quarterly campaign finance report also shows he received $10,000 in contributions from Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo’s Freedom Fund PAC, with two $5,000 checks, one tabbed for the primary and one for the general election, both coming in June 3.

Said Weatherby, “It certainly looks like he’s not going to take a run at governor.”

Labrador: Player Or Tap Dancer?

Raul Labrador, Idaho’s first district Republican member of Congress, has been giving some good television. After going mano a mano on Meet the Press (July 7) with the New York Times’ David Brooks, on July 10 he got into it with a whole panel on MSNBC’s WOW. Topic A being, of course, immigration, on which Labrador has been a significant national figure almost since he arrived in Congress: A Latino Republican with actual expertise in the field. On WOW, Labrador shot back, “If you want to have a debate on the discussion, we can do that. I actually have my own mind. I was an immigration lawyer for 15 years. I think I know more than you do about immigration and on immigration reform. So let’s not try to insult people when trying to have an honest discussion about what’s happening in America.” Labrador does in fact have expertise on immigration law. Discerning exactly what he proposes to do about it, however, is trickier/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you think Congressman Raul Labrador is a player or a tap dancer when it comes to immigration reform?

Labrador Pooh-Poohs Bush Lobbying

Former president George W. Bush, who enjoyed healthy support among Latinos during his time in office, has broken a virtual five-year silence in national politics to weigh in on immigration reform. The question is: Is anyone listening? Judging from the immigration debate roiling the House, probably not. Although Bush's public approval ratings are on the rise, he is a fast-fading memory on Capitol Hill, where more than half of the 234 House Republicans arrived on the scene after he departed. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, who last month dropped out of bipartisan talks to develop a comprehensive House immigration bill, said Bush's views would have little impact. “Anybody has to take an ex-president's word seriously, but he's just another voice on this issue. He's not going to be the definitive voice,” Labrador said in an interview/David Nakamura & Ed O'Keefe, Washington Post. More here. (AP photo: George W. Bush places his hand over his heart during the national anthem before a U.S. citizen swearing in ceremony in Dallas on Wednesday)

Question: Wouldn't the Republican Party be in much better shape today if it'd followed then President George Bush's lead in reaching out to Hispanics?

Labrador now says he’ll take ‘next couple of months’ to decide on guv’s race

1st District Congressman Raul Labrador has missed his self-imposed deadline to decide whether to run for governor or seek a third term in Congress, Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey reports, and now says he’ll decide “within the next couple of months.” Gov. Butch Otter has already said he plans to see a third term. You can read Popkey’s post here, including the full statement from Labrador, in which he says in part, “I’m still considering all of the options that are available to me, but my focus right now is being the most effective representative that I can be for my constituents.” Both Labrador and Otter are Republicans.


Read more here: http://blogs.idahostatesman.com/labrador-misses-self-imposed-deadline-on-guvs-race-hopes-for-decision-in-next-couple-of-months/#storylink=cpy

 

Labrador: No snub from Boehner

1st District Rep. Raul Labrador says it’s not true that he’s being snubbed by Speaker John Boehner on a fundraising trip to North Idaho, an event scheduled for Friday in Coeur d’Alene; the Coeur d’Alene Press ran an article today suggesting Labrador may not have been invited, though the event is in his district. “I was invited four weeks ago,” Labrador said. “They keep inviting me, they keep wanting me to go, but just, for me it was a bad weekend.” He said he did make a plane reservation in case he was able to make it to the event, which Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is holding for Boehner to raise funds for GOP candidates; the fundraiser originally had been planned for Pullman, Wash. but was moved to Coeur d’Alene.

Both Labrador and McMorris’ office said the speaker has asked their offices not to comment on the speaker’s travels; that’s what led to the misunderstanding about Labrador’s role, when his office declined to provide any information to the Press. Said Labrador, “Absolutely, yes, I was invited. I’m not sure if I’m going to able to make it, but I’m excited that the speaker’s coming to my district.”

Raul Mum Re: Boehner CdA $$$raiser

From left, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Vice President Joe Biden applaud during a ceremony to dedicate the statue of Frederick Douglass, seen behind them today in the Emancipation Hall of the United States Visitor Center on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner will be the focus of a fundraiser in Coeur d'Alene in which 1st District Congress Raul Labrador wasn't invited. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

U.S Speaker of the House John Boehner will visit Coeur d'Alene Friday for a private fundraiser in Congressman Raul Labrador's 1st District. According to organizers, Labrador is not attending the private event, and he's not talking about it either. “Sorry it's taken me awhile to get back to you,” said Labrador's spokesman Todd Winer, responding to repeated inquiries about the event. “We don't have any comment on the story you're working on.” Ron Nilson, CEO of Ground Force Worldwide, is helping to organize the event at the local level. He said Ed Schweitzer, CEO of Schweitzer Engineering in Pullman, is hosting the event/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Hmm. Let's read between the lines. Why would Congressman Raul Labrador not attend (not be invited to?) fund-raising event in his district that features House Speaker John Boehner? Pay back?