Bonneville County’s Republican Central Committee has voted to “denounce” Idaho Gov. Butch Otter for forming a PAC to raise funds and donate to Idaho campaigns, the Idaho Falls Post Register reports. The effort is being led by county GOP Chairman Doyle Beck, who just last year helped form the “Integrity in Government PAC” to fund campaign attacks against both Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden in the primary – raising eyebrows because the PAC got direct donations from two county GOP central committees, in Clearwater and Idaho counties.
The “Integrity in Government PAC” raised more than $100,000 in a week for the attack campaigns, which included mailings to every registered Republican in the state and came as Otter was being challenged in the primary by tea party-backed Russ Fulcher and Wasden by Christ Troupis. The PAC also donated directly to Troupis’ campaign.
Beck told Post Register reporter Bryan Clark that he fears Otter will target precinct committee-level officials who challenge him; Otter says the new PAC will focus first on state legislative races, but if it raises enough money, could go down to the precinct committee level. An email to Bonneville County central committee members warned that if they criticized Otter’s “crony capitalism” or his “good old boy network,” the new Otterpac might target their seats, Clark reported. “If you say anything that draws the ire of the governor, then a Gov. Otter supporter will report your insubordinate behavior and you will be targeted,” the email stated.
The same county central committee had an open fight last month over procedures for appointments to several vacant seats, which some members charged occurred in an improperly noticed meeting. Clark’s full report is online here. My full report on the new Otterpac is online here.