Campaign

AP

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's dormant congressional campaign committee recently sold a 2004 motor home at a steep discount to an old friend in the Montana Legislature.

But a seemingly ordinary transaction between friends, when seen through the optics of stringent campaign finance laws, can raise a bevy of questions - especially when those friends are politically high-powered and well-connected.

Nick Olejniczak / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Republican candidates running for the state's top elected seat in 2018 are already collecting big contributions, even though the primary election is still 10 months away.

Boise businessman and GOP gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist raised more than $952,000 since March — with roughly $378,000 coming from Ahlquist. Ahlquist's campaign says it's the most mid-year fundraising total for a governor's race in Idaho history.

However, Ahlquist's opponents have also been busy attracting support across the state.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Republican U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador has contributed to more than 40 GOP candidates running in legislative races across Idaho, as well as giving $10,000 to the Idaho Republican Party.

Labrador mostly gave $250 and $500 campaign donations to Republican legislative candidates facing Democratic or third-party challengers, including races outside of his 1st Congressional District.

John McCrostie for District 16 / Facebook

A Republican candidate says Democratic Rep. John McCrostie stole campaign literature and then lied about doing so while being recorded.

First-time GOP challenger Ryan McDonald, who is running for a House seat in District 16, says he was campaigning in Garden City last week when he saw McCrostie also out going door-to-door.

McDonald decided to approach McCrostie after noticing the Democratic incumbent was carrying the same campaign plastic bags McDonald had just dropped off at homes.

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Attorney General Office Wasden
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has charged two Republicans involved in a highly-scrutinized political action committee for allegedly hiding the source of campaign contributions.

Bonneville GOP Chairman Doyle Beck and former congressional candidate M.C. "Chick" Heileson were charged with a misdemeanor on Friday.

Wasden's office has been investigating the Integrity in Government PAC, based in northern Idaho, since February after multiple questions were raised about the group's contributions.

Idaho isn't known for attracting political powerhouses during presidential races. However, what it lacks in clout, it makes up for being home to one of the GOP's wealthiest donors.

Frank VanderSloot, founder and CEO of health care products company Melaleuca based in Idaho Falls, was a critical fundraiser for former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign during the 2012 election. Now he's being courted by GOP presidential candidates eager to benefit from VanderSloot's successful fundraising reputation.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul stopped in Boise as part of his Western tour to rally support and attract voters in a red-dominated state that is likely to have its pick of candidates during the GOP primary election.

Paul spoke to nearly 300 people at Boise State University on Thursday. He then left an afternoon rally in Nampa that's followed by a GOP barbeque in Idaho Falls.

The Kentucky senator's swing through the West has already included rallies in Alaska and Washington, with other stops planned in Utah and Wyoming.

Campaign To Keep Education Laws Launches First Ad

Jul 16, 2012
yes4idaho.com

The group that wants Idaho voters to keep the Students Come First education laws in November started its active campaign Monday. A radio ad began playing on 40 stations across the state. It features Idaho First Lady Lori Otter touting advantages of the laws such as more technology in schools and bonuses for teachers.