Idaho Secretary Of State Responds To Democrat Allegations

Feb 18, 2016

Idaho’s Secretary of State says he won’t put up billboards advertising the state’s Democratic caucus on March 22.

Lawerence Denney came under fire this week from the Idaho Democratic Party, which objects to 22 state-funded billboards that advertise the state’s presidential primary on March 8. The primary is solely for the Republican and Constitution parties, after Democrats chose to hold their event at a later time.

The Democrats say the billboards are misleading and unfair because they don’t include the date of their caucus.

Denney says he doesn’t think the billboards are unfair. He says Democrats chose not to participate in the March 8 primary and it’s not the responsibility of the Secretary of State’s office to advertise the Democratic caucus.

Denney says the Secretary of State’s office is required by law to handle only the March 8 primary.

“The Democrats chose not to participate in that and have their own caucus. We have absolutely nothing to do with the running of their caucus,” says Denney.

During Denney’s campaign for office, there were questions he might inject partisan politics into the Secretary of State’s office, which is not traditionally a partisan office. We asked him if he was worried he would be perceived as being partisan because of the billboards.

“I am partisan. But the design was not necessarily my design. I did approve it. And at the time, I said we don’t want to be partisan – just make it as simple as you can and that’s what we came up with. And I did approve it,” says Denney.

Denney says the billboards are designed to get people to the IdahoVotes.gov website, so they can learn more about both the primary and the caucus.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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