Politics

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

In an email to supporters, the Idaho Republican Party boasts that for the first time ever, more Idahoans are registered as Republicans than as Democrats or unaffiliated. The GOP says the March presidential primary recorded the highest turnout ever for a primary in the state.

This comes as no surprise to Jaclyn Kettler, political science professor at Boise State University. She says at the time of the March primary, the Republican presidential nomination was still very much up for grabs.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An initiative to update Idaho’s laws around campaign finance has until Monday at 5 p.m. to reach the signature threshold. Former Democratic state lawmaker Holli Woodings is leading the initiative, called Keep Idaho Elections Accountable.

Woodings says that if the initiative passes muster, voters in November will have the chance to decide how Idaho deals with money in politics.

Wikimedia Commons

Members of Boise State’s Osher Institute Tuesday heard lectures linking Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch-hunts of the 1950s to Idaho. History writer Marc Johnson connected the dots between McCarthy and two Idaho elections.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho finished picking candidates for the Presidential election last week. Now politics watchers are turning their eyes to the state’s May 17 primary election.

The filing deadline for candidates for the Idaho Legislature came and went two weeks ago.

Gary Moncrief is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Boise State, and studies legislatures across the country. Moncrief is the co-author the book “Why States Matter.”

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio/ StateImpact Idaho

Polls are open from 8:00 am until 8:00 Tuesday night for Idaho’s Republican presidential primary. To cast a ballot, voters have to affiliate with the GOP, and registration is allowed at polling stations. There are 13 candidates on the Republican ballot. That could complicate who gets Idaho’s 32 delegates.

Idaho Democratic Party

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney has agreed to change the wording of 22 billboards around the state, a move that is being applauded by the Idaho Democratic Party (IDP).

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) says he’s made no decision on a run for governor in 2018. The former state lawmaker is in his third term in Congress and says his immediate focus will be on winning re-election to the House this year, but that he’ll “have to take some serious consideration” to a potential gubernatorial bid after that.

Boise State University has revived a longtime poll.

For 21 years between 1990 and 2011, Boise State offered an annual glimpse into the mindset of the Idaho electorate. On Monday, the university’s new School of Public Service announced a 2016 version.

NPR

All eyes are on Iowa. Voters in the Hawkeye State will choose between 12 GOP presidential candidates and three Democrats. Be sure to tune in for NPR's live coverage on KBSX 91.5 FM Monday evening, or stream it online.

But should Iowa really be the first state to select a presidential nominee?

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Tuesday was the second day of the 2016 session of the Idaho legislature but lawmakers did not spend the afternoon crafting policy. Instead they did a five-hour training on civil discourse. Legislative leaders participated in the training a few months ago and decided all lawmakers needed to hear it. It’s presented by the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona which works with Congress, state legislatures and the media to promote civility in political conversation.

screengrab otterpac.com

Political action committees (PACs) have come to dominate American politics with their ability to donate to candidates and spend independently to support candidates. But a new PAC in Idaho may be unique in the state.

Otter Pac registered with Idaho’s Secretary of State last month. That’s Otter as in Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter.

Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Races for Boise mayor, city council and a conservation initiative headline Tuesday’s ballot in Idaho’s largest city.

Polls across Idaho open at 8 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.

This interview was originally broadcast in November, 2005.

Former Idaho House Speaker Tom Boyd has died.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that the Republican lawmaker who served eight terms in the Idaho Legislature from 1977 to 1992 died Monday at a nursing home in Moscow. He was 86.

Boyd represented Latah County for 16 years, the last six as speaker.

Lawmakers described him as a "peacemaker" and "consensus builder."

Boyd farmed wheat and peas in the Genesee area and served on local boards before running for state office.

IDP

Idaho’s Democratic Party will soon be under new leadership. The party announced Tuesday that Chairman Larry Kenck will resign effective May 29.  Kenck says health issues are forcing him to leave his post two years before his term expires.

The party’s vice chair, Jeanne Buell, will take over as acting chair until June 13.  The state central committee will then select a new chair to serve the remainder of Kenck’s term. The party says Buell will oversee the search for Kenck’s replacement.

Former Idaho first lady Lola Evans died Tuesday in her Boise home. She was married to former Democratic Gov. John Evans for nearly 70 years.

The 88-year-old Evans died of natural causes. Her husband, who served as governor from 1977 to 1987, died nearly a year ago.

The two were high school sweethearts and married just before John deployed for World War II. They had five children.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo from Idaho has announced that he will be running for his fourth consecutive term in the Senate in 2016.

The Idaho Republican has represented the Gem State in the U.S. Senate since 1998. He was re-elected in 2010 with 71 percent of the vote after running unopposed in 2004.

Crapo said in a prepared statement that he will continue to fight for the Idaho's conservative values in Washington.

Larry Craig
Joe Jaszewski / The Idaho Statesman

Federal election regulators have sent former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig a warning letter that he failed to submit financial disclosure documents.

The Federal Election Commission says Craig failed to report his April quarterly finances.

Craig told The Associated Press that he submitted the report Monday.

The Idaho Republican says he has continued to file quarterly reports — despite leaving office in 2009 — because of his legal battles over his use of campaign funds.

The idea that the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage is a good thing for Republicans sounds counterintuitive — after all, the GOP is the party of traditional marriage.

But here's why it might actually be a good thing for the party:

1. Public opinion is changing — at lightning speed.

There's never been a social issue in America on which public attitudes reached a tipping point so quickly.

Some of Idaho's conservative Republicans have raised concerns this year about local Muslim populations and the potential influence of Sharia law in the state.

Those fears prompted local GOP events and a special lawmaker luncheon, while culminating in the decision by some lawmakers to kill a child support enforcement bill. That threatened the state's ability to enforce more than 150,000 child support payments.

Historians say this isn't the first time Idaho's government has focused concern on a specific religious group.

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