BOISE – The Attorney Generals’ office said a recent statewide publication mailed to voters statewide is exempt from Idaho’s campaign disclosure laws because it qualifies as a newspaper.
However, Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane ruled Monday that the publication – called the Idahoan – may not be exempt from federal campaign finance law because the publication is affiliated with political action committees.
Kane said Idaho’s campaign finance law is narrower than federal law. Additionally, Idaho law does not define what is or is not a newspaper.
The Idaho Democratic Party filed a complaint earlier this month claiming the publication was an attempt to circumvent campaign disclosure laws by improperly purporting to be a newspaper.
The 48-page publication included voting guides on candidates and endorsements of far-right favorites.
Kane said the Idahoan appeared to be serving a legitimate press function.
The editors and publishers of the piece are longtime political consultant Lou Esposito and Patrick Malloy.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.