John Rusche

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Secretary of State Denney
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Secretary of State's office says the Idaho Republican Party did not violate the state's campaign laws while creating a political attack ad against House Minority Leader John Rusche.

The decision refutes a complaint filed by the Idaho Democratic Party in October. Democratic officials alleged that Idaho Republican Party Executive Director David Johnston illegally coordinated with GOP candidate Mike Kingsley's campaign in creating a political attack ad against Rusche using funds from an independent expenditure.

Idaho Democrats Suffer Legislative Losses

Nov 9, 2016
State of Idaho

Idaho Democrats suffered some stinging losses in Tuesday’s legislative races. Moscow Rep. Dan Schmidt failed in his bid for reelection, as did Lewiston Democrat John Rusche. Rusche was House minority leader for eight years before losing to Republican Mike Kingsley.

Assistant House Minority Leader, Matt Erpelding, a Boise Democrat, says the loss means a change in the dynamic of the leadership team in the statehouse.

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Minority Leader Rusche
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

House Minority Leader John Rusche says his campaign sent out political mailers boasting that a free-market think tank ranked him as one of the most conservative Democratic lawmakers in the state.

However, the mailer does not mention that the Idaho Freedom Foundation gave Rusche an F- this year.

The foundation releases its ranking of Idaho's 105 lawmakers every year. Legislators are docked for approving any bills that the groups perceives as growing government, raising taxes or restricting free market practices.

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Minority Leader Rusche
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

House lawmakers pulled a surprise move Thursday and killed the modest funding proposal for the Commission on the Arts.

The Idaho House voted 36-33 to spike the $1.9 million budget proposal with no lawmakers debating in favor or against. The budget would have bumped funding by 2.6 percent for fiscal year 2017.

Eight Democratic lawmakers voted alongside Republicans to throw out the commission's budget.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

House Minority Leader John Rusche says Idaho needs a new office to investigate concerns about government fraud and waste.

Rusche pitched the idea to the House State Affairs Committee on Thursday.

The bill barely squeaked by the Republican-controlled panel after an attempt to kill the plan failed by one vote.

According to Rusche, currently there is nowhere for state employees or citizens to go if they have complaints regarding state-level corruption.

Idaho Democrats predict more common ground than usual at the state Capitol this year. That’s because Idaho’s minority party leaders say many of the Republican proposals on the table are things Democrats have been pushing -- for years.

Democrats make up only 20 percent of Idaho’s Legislature. House Minority Leader John Rusche says they’re used to their bills not even being printed.

Boise State Public Radio

A leading Idaho Democrat says he’s seen a change in recent years in the way members of the Republican-controlled Legislature look at spending money.

Growth in Idaho’s economy has led to increased state revenue. As a result, Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, says lawmakers who approved large cuts to state programs during the recession, have now changed their tact. Rusche is the House Minority Leader.

Idaho Democrats Open To Personal Property Tax Cut

Jan 8, 2013
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Democrats are open to a $141 million personal property tax cut proposed by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, provided there's something in it for local governments.

The minority party today offered its annual response to Otter's State of the State speech, when the Republican governor announced he favored local option taxes to help replace money cities, counties and schools stand to lose from elimination of the tax on business equipment.