GOP

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Republicans are out with their much-anticipated tax plan. The GOP proposal is the biggest overhaul of the tax system in a generation. While the plan maintains some popular provisions, it changes several others.

Cathleen Allison / AP Photo

Congressional Republicans are moving forward with legislation to roll back the Endangered Species Act, amid complaints that the landmark 44-year-old law hinders drilling, logging and other activities.

At simultaneous hearings Wednesday, House and Senate committees considered bills to revise the law and limit lengthy and costly litigation associated with it.

The re-election of Barack Obama in November of 2012 dealt a stunning defeat to the Republican Party. As the GOP reeled from the loss and began laying plans to win in 2016, a small group of shadowy and wealthy figures gathered at the request of Charles and David Koch, otherwise known as the Koch brothers. Their secret agenda: To map out plans to systematically and inequitably influence our political system.

Gary Moncrief

It’s a new year for Republicans who now control government at the national level. And also for the 2017 Idaho Legislature, which leans even more toward the GOP after losing four Democratic seats in the fall elections. That means change in Washington D.C. and in the Gem State.

Today, we bring you our first 2017 Weekly Legislative Update. We’ll be taking a close look at what happens in the Idaho Statehouse, both in the public eye and behind the scenes.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Republican National Committee co-chair Sharon Day spoke at the Ada County Republican Roundup at Governor Butch Otter’s ranch Tuesday. The Idaho visit was one of many she’s making to drum up support for presidential nominee Donald Trump and connect with local Republican leaders around the country.

For much of the 20th century, private and public enterprises worked as both partners and adversaries to drive economic growth in our country. But in recent years, the balance within this so-called “mixed economy” has shifted away from public investment and regulation. Today, the term “Big Government” is widely considered a pejorative – despite the role public institutions have historically played in laying the foundation for social development and prosperity.

Idaho Republican Party / Facebook

Idaho delegates to the Republican National Convention say they have not been asked to sign a petition to have Texas Sen. Ted Cruz nominated as the GOP's presidential candidate.

Furthermore, Idaho GOP Chairman Steve Yates said in a telephone interview Tuesday that he's been promised by the state's Cruz leadership team that Idaho delegates will not participate in any anti-Donald Trump demonstrations or walkouts during the nominating process.

Instead, Yates says the Idaho delegation will honor their duties and follow convention decorum during their stay in Cleveland.

Brad Little, Politics
BradLittleForIdaho.com

Lt. Gov. Brad Little says he is planning on running for governor.

Little tells the Idaho Statesman that he will file paperwork creating his gubernatorial campaign on Wednesday.

The Republican rancher — who has served as Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's lieutenant since 2009 — is the first official candidate in the 2018 gubernatorial race. Otter has previously stated that he has no plans to run for re-election.

Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill says a Republican House member secretly recorded a private conversation before the May primary election.

The Post Register reports in a story on Wednesday that Rep. Ron Nate, of Rexburg, declined to disclose the audio recording after the eastern Idaho newspaper sent him a public records request. Hill also declined to reveal the contents of the recording.

A Republican legislative candidate in northern Idaho says he is no longer running for a Senate seat after facing pressure from other GOP officials to pull out of the race.

John Freeland announced Tuesday he would no longer pursue challenging incumbent Sen. Dan Schmidt, a Democrat from Moscow, in the upcoming November election. He declined to comment further when contacted by The Associated Press.

Idaho Republican Party / Facebook

Faith, freedom, family and firearms will be the uniting theme this week as hundreds of GOP delegates travel to Nampa to discuss party platforms and elect Republican leaders.

The three-day convention starts on Thursday, just a few weeks after the May primary. Republicans are hoping for a smoother turnout than the chaotic 2014 convention, which failed to get anything done because of political infighting.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Tuesday is primary day for a number of legislative races in Idaho. There are some important face-offs to watch – ones that could influence the direction of Idaho’s conservative majority. Some incumbent Republicans are being challenged by more conservative politicians, creating division among the GOP.

The one big statewide race is for the supreme court. Four candidates are vying for this position, which is nonpartisan.

Aubrey Wieber / YouTube

A Republican central committeeman covertly filmed the head of Idaho's GOP in an effort to bolster his claims that a secret society had been formed to oust certain members from party positions. The video didn't reveal direct evidence of a secret society, but did show the top GOP official criticizing prominent Republicans.

The Post Register reports that Bonneville GOP Chairman Doyle Beck released footage of party Chairman Steve Yates on Thursday.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho was no small-potatoes for Ted Cruz after winning Tuesday's Republican presidential primary in the Gem State.

Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, beat out Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich and added a seventh state to his win tally in the 2016 race for the White House.

"Idahoans are looking for more substance," said state Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell. "(Trump) tends to skim the issues. It's harder for him to make those inroads in Idaho. We've been about conservatism for a lot longer than he has."

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.

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