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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Idaho GOP rejects return of party platform ‘loyalty oath’

At the Idaho GOP’s summer central committee meeting over the weekend in Coeur d’Alene, a proposal from Doyle Beck and former state Rep. Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls, to bring back the party’s former requirement that all Republican candidates declare their commitment to upholding every plank of the state party platform, or specify where they disagree, failed. The proposal was voted down in the party’s Rules Committee, reports S-R reporter Drew Gerber.

Beck told the panel that the move was needed to prevent Democrats disguising themselves and running as Republicans. “We’ve had a problem in Bonneville County for as long as I can remember,” he said.

Brent Regan told the group, to laughter, “Any kind of loyalty oath in the hands of an honest man is pointless; in the hands of a liar, meaningless.” But Regan also said he believes the Republican Party has a vested interest in protecting the integrity of its brand. While the party may lack the resources to monitor candidates and take steps to punish those who seemingly fail to uphold the party’s platform, it necessarily has a duty to do so for any candidate “who carries an R by their name,” he said.

After the committee failed to pass the rule change, former Idaho Republican Party Chair Trent Clark suggested that in the future, Beck “bring a carrot, not a stick” in trying to support candidates who will uphold the party platform. You can read Gerber’s full story here at

The state party platform includes such planks as supporting abolishing the Federal Reserve and returning to the gold standard; calling on the governor and Legislature to nullify federal laws it deems unconstitutional; and calling for repeal of the 17th Amendment, which authorized direct election of U.S. senators, rather than appointment by state legislatures. The 17th Amendment passed in 1912 and was ratified in 1913.

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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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