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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Bill would close Sunshine Law loophole for recall elections

Rep. Julie Ellsworth, R-Boise, said she was surprised when she was targeted in a recall attempt last year, and found that the state's Sunshine Law, which requires campaign finance reporting, doesn't apply to recall elections. "I found out that I had no mandate to record any donation that was made to me, and I could spend it any way I wanted to, and it was all off the books," Ellsworth told the House State Affairs Committee this morning, "and I thought, you know, that just doesn't feel right." She formed a miscellaneous committee to report her finances, but the Secretary of State's office notified her she really didn't need to do that, under state law.

So this morning, Ellsworth, after consulting with the Secretary of State, proposed legislation to require the usual reports in recall elections, just like in any other election. "The law was silent on it," she said. "Surely we intended to have all these things under the Sunshine Law." The committee agreed unanimously to introduce the bill.

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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