BOISE – Idaho U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo drew some second looks in Washington, D.C., last week, but not necessarily because of his comments in the Senate. Instead, it was the rather dramatic facial injury he’s sporting, including a V-shaped bruise on his cheek that extends across a good portion of the side of his face.
“He took a fall while moving furniture at his Idaho Falls home the day after Thanksgiving,” reported Crapo’s press secretary, Lindsay Nothern. “Took some stitches to close – left a bruise, but he’s healing OK.”
A picture of Crapo speaking on C-SPAN with his startling facial injury was posted by the Daily Caller, which ran an item headlined, “What is the cut on Sen. Crapo’s face?” The online outlet reported that C-SPAN junkies noticed the facial injury when Crapo was speaking against confirming a nominee to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Their post drew an array of responses, including one commenting, “Looks like someone knocked the Crapo out of him.”
Labrador, Simpson split in House vote
Idaho’s two GOP U.S. representatives split in the 332-94 House vote Thursday night on a bipartisan budget deal, with 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson voting in favor and 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador voting against. The deal, brokered by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., sets federal spending on domestic and defense programs and averts the threat of a government shutdown for the next two years; it’s expected to pass the Senate this week.
Labrador called it “a bad deal, plain and simple,” while Simpson said it “preserves dozens, perhaps hundreds of jobs at Idaho National Laboratory, lays the groundwork for extending PILT payments, achieves greater savings for taxpayers than those contained in sequestration, and does all of it without raising taxes.”
Said Labrador: “Once again, Congress is making promises of future spending decreases in exchange for actual spending increases today.”
Said Simpson: “My Republican colleagues and I have been seeking reforms to sequestration that lessen the pain on the military, allow Congress to budget in a more orderly process, and maintain or enhance the long-term savings achieved by the Budget Control Act. The bill we passed today accomplishes all three of those goals and is a positive step in the right direction.”
Frasure adds name to list for state job
The ranks of those seeking to become Idaho’s next secretary of state continue to grow, with word now that former Sen. Evan Frasure, R-Pocatello, also is entering the race. The Idaho State Journal reported on Friday that Frasure plans a formal announcement in the coming week. Frasure served one term in the House and a decade in the state Senate before making a run for secretary of state in 2002’s GOP primary, losing to Ben Ysursa by a 2-1 margin.
Now Ysursa is retiring. Among those already in the race are former House Speaker Lawerence Denney and chief deputy Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane. Others considering the race include former Sen. Mitch Toryanski, R-Boise; Rep. Holli High Woodings, D-Boise; and Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene.
Frasure told the State Journal he believes it’s time for someone from eastern Idaho to hold the post.
Canyon clerk praises McGrane
McGrane drew more than 85 supporters to his campaign launch last week, where in addition to cheering the candidate, they got to sample free barbecue. McGrane is a national award-winning competitive barbecuer.
Among GOP notables in the crowd: several elected county clerks from around the state; former state Sen. Mary Hartung, R-Payette; state Sen. Fred Martin, R-Boise; and longtime Idaho GOP activist Phil Reberger, who said he sees “a lot of potential” in the 32-year-old candidate.
Canyon County Clerk Chris Yamamoto, who’s also a GOP precinct chairman, told the crowd, “Phil McGrane knows what we do, he knows how we do it, and Phil knows what we need.”
McGrane’s campaign co-chairs are the county clerks of four Idaho counties, and his campaign committee includes five more county clerks from all around the state; he says the list is growing.
McGrane said county clerks and their deputies – like him – are very interested in seeing Idaho’s elections well-run, as they’re the ones who do the work on the ground in the counties. “When you look at the responsibilities of the secretary of state’s office, elections are a major component, and a component I think the public cares the most about in the process,” McGrane said. He added, “Many of them reached out to me. We kind of have a united interest in this race.”