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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Minnick’s latest TV ad disputed

BOISE – Idaho congressman Walt Minnick has come out with another hard-hitting TV ad about GOP rival Raul Labrador, this one focusing on a federal drug case involving an illegal immigrant that Labrador handled as an attorney in 2001. Minnick says that after Labrador got his client released pending trial, the man was deported to Mexico, thus avoiding facing the charges.

Candidates fight over same label

BOISE – Freshman congressman Walt Minnick is a new kind of Idaho Democrat – one who votes more often with Republicans than with his own party, one who attracts business support that usually goes to GOP candidates, and one who crusades against earmarks, refusing to request any even if it means his district loses out on pricey projects. Still, in conservative Idaho, where the 1st Congressional District voted just 35 percent for Barack Obama for president in 2008 and Minnick is the first Democrat to hold the seat since 1994, Minnick’s re-election isn’t assured.

Idaho 1st congressional race

Freshman Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick is being challenged this year by state representative Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, and two others, in one of Idaho’s most-watched election contests.

Eye on Boise: Big debates coming in top political races

BOISE – It’s debate season, with major debates set in the coming weeks in Idaho’s top political races, giving voters who tune in a chance to see and compare the candidates. The two major-party candidates for governor, incumbent Gov. Butch Otter and Democrat Keith Allred, have faced off twice in recent weeks at City Club events in Idaho Falls and Boise; the two also are scheduled for two televised debates in late October, though Otter canceled on a planned Oct. 7 debate in Lewiston.

GOP ad puts Minnick front and center

 BOISE – Democratic U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick is featured in a new political ad, but it’s not from who you might expect. A new Republican National Committee Web video features Minnick touting his record of voting against legislation like health insurance reform – a key part of President Barack Obama’s and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s agenda.

Minnick ad highlights his record against his own party

BOISE – Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick has launched his first television commercial of the campaign season, while his Republican challenger, Raul Labrador, still hasn’t hit the airwaves. Minnick’s ad, the first of a series, began running on Monday morning throughout the 1st Congressional District, including in the Spokane TV market, in Lewiston and on North Idaho cable. In it, he focuses on his fiscally conservative voting record in Congress, including his opposition to many of the major initiatives of his own party’s leadership.

Eye on Boise: Holiday travel expected to go up despite gas prices

BOISE – Idaho’s average gas price is now $2.99 per gallon, up four cents in the past three weeks and 31 cents above the national average of $2.68, according to AAA of Idaho. But the AAA is forecasting a 10 percent increase in auto travel over this Labor Day holiday weekend in Idaho and the region, compared to last year, despite the pricier gas. “We do not expect Idaho’s higher gas prices will have any sizable impact on travel intentions,” said Dave Carlson, director of public and government affairs for AAA Idaho.

Republican Party redirects Labrador staffers

BOISE – U.S. House hopeful Raul Labrador hasn’t exactly gotten the help that the Idaho Republican Party promised in June when it announced the hiring of two full-time staffers to help his campaign. Idaho GOP Executive Director Jonathan Parker said Wednesday that one of the staffers is spending most of his time working on state races instead of Labrador’s race against Democratic U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick.

Idaho candidates not so far apart

BOISE – Vaughn Ward and Raul Labrador, who are vying for the GOP nomination for Idaho’s 1st District congressional seat, have much in common, though they’re locked in a contentious and sometimes bitter contest in Idaho’s May 25 primary election. Both are barely past age 40, with photogenic good looks and attractive young families. Both came from modest means and were raised largely by single mothers. Both speak in forceful, idealistic terms about public service when they talk about running for Congress. Both are staking out the conservative end of the political spectrum, taking a hard line against abortion, illegal immigration, tax increases and any new Idaho wilderness.

Ward shakes up staff day after website report

BOISE – Idaho congressional candidate Vaughn Ward’s campaign stopped taking calls Friday and part of his campaign website remained shut down as his campaign manager, Ryan O’Barto, resigned and Ward announced he was bringing in a new team. The shake-up came after a series of campaign flubs over the past month, culminating in a Spokesman-Review report that half of Ward’s online position statements on issues were identical to those on other candidates’ and congressmen’s websites. The campaign took down the position statements shortly after being contacted by the newspaper on Thursday; they hadn’t been replaced as of the end of the day Friday.

Plenty of jabs in Idaho debate

BOISE – Republican U.S. House hopeful Raul Labrador came out swinging at a debate Tuesday, criticizing opponent Vaughn Ward for his lack of political experience and for wavering on earmarks and other issues. Ward, a U.S. Marine and former John McCain aide, countered that he had taken steps to correct mistakes on the campaign trail, jabbed at Labrador’s stance on immigration reform and stressed the need for more veterans in Congress, not “status quo” politicians.

Amendment repeal issue stirs congressional race

BOISE – After a week and a half of heavy criticism around Idaho for the idea of repealing the 17th Amendment – direct election of U.S. senators – one of two GOP congressional candidates who backed the idea now says he never did. “I’m not changing the position; I’m clarifying would be a better way to put that,” said Vaughn Ward, who is running in the hotly contested GOP primary for a chance to challenge 1st District Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick. “I do not want to take away the power of people to elect senators,” Ward said Monday. “What I do support is amending the Constitution and adding a two-term limit for U.S. senators.”

Arizona law casts shadow over Idaho House race

Arizona’s law targeting undocumented immigrants is casting a shadow on an Idaho U.S. House race, with Republican candidate Raul Labrador saying today the federal government should send the military to the Mexican border because state-by-state solutions like Arizona’s won’t be effective.