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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Popkey: ‘Reasonable’ Republicans rebel

Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey reports today on the latest splits among Republicans in North Idaho, with a new group backing "reasonable" Republicans and another saying it's so conservative it disavows Richard Nixon as liberal.

“You can’t be on the Republican Central Committee unless you can look through a keyhole with both eyes at the same time,” former state lawmaker Dean Haagenson told Popkey; he's among the founders of the new North Idaho Republican Political Action Committee, aiming to find sensible, business-friendly candidates for the May primary. “We’re raising money to support candidates that are better than Phil Hart.”

Popkey reports, "Hart, R-Athol, is the best example of how the North Idaho GOP has veered from its good government, Chamber of Commerce roots. After seven years in the Legislature, Hart owes the Idaho State Tax Commission and IRS more than $500,000. He pilfered trees from state land to build his house. He’s been elected four times. Hart says that knowing what he knows now, he couldn’t support Nixon because he expanded government." You can read Popkey's full column here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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