Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

House.gov

At least one member of Idaho's entirely Republican congressional delegation is getting flustered by the controversies swirling around the Trump White House. Representative Mike Simpson isn’t mincing words in a recent Politico article.

Lawerence Denney
Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney isn’t holding back after the state's Democratic Party say he backed down from a request by the Trump Administration's voter fraud commission due to a lawsuit they filed.

AP

After six years of collecting a monthly check from Raul Labrador's campaign machine, his wife, Becca Labrador, is no longer being paid by her husband's campaign.

Becca Labrador had been paid to oversee the campaign's books since 2011. As of the first of the year, Mrs. Labrador stopped receiving a monthly salary of $2,022.

AP

Tuesday, President Trump's committee tasked with looking into allegations of voter fraud held its first public meeting. The commission was formed to address Trump’s belief that rampant voter fraud took place in the 2016 election. So far, no evidence has been presented to support the claim.

On July 3, the commission requested all 50 states provide sensitive voter information. After much push back from Idaho voters and legal pressure from the Idaho Democratic Party, Secretary of State Lawerence Denney decided he would not comply with the commission's request.

Jesse L. Bonner / AP Images

Tuesday, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled in favor of Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter’s decision to veto a grocery tax repeal passed by the legislature this spring.

To recap: After the legislative session adjourned, the governor vetoed a bill written to get rid of the grocery tax. In response, a group of lawmakers filed suit against that veto – arguing the governor had made his veto decision too late – after the legal timeframe allowed. But now the court has agreed with the governor, and his veto stands.

IIP Photo Archive / Flickr

The state's top GOP leaders are preparing to gather in Idaho's most conservative region to elect a new party chair and amend key elements of their party’s platform.

The two-day Republican confab starts Friday, July 21 in Coeur d'Alene.

Jonathan Parker, the former executive Director of the Idaho GOP, is the leading candidate for party chairman. In addition to picking a new leader, the weekend’s agenda also includes voting on a resolution that would require Republican candidates to take a loyalty oath to abide by the party platform.

Butch Otter, Idaho Governor
Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is back in the hospital after undergoing two back surgeries.

Otter first underwent surgery for a ruptured disc July 7. According to his office, the governor went home the following day but was still experiencing numbness and pain in his back. After more tests, he went through a second surgery last Friday. He briefly went home Saturday but then quickly returned after developing infection symptoms.

Idaho Statesman

The former head of the Idaho GOP, Steven Yates, plans to run for lieutenant governor. His campaign is planning to officially launch Tuesday.

Yates will be barnstorming across the state when he kicks off his campaign. He’ll start the day at the capitol in Boise, jet up to Coeur d’Alene for lunch and make a third stop in the east at the Bonneville County Courthouse in Idaho Falls.

Michelle Price / AP Images

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says Craters of the Moon National Monument should stay the same. The announcement comes after President Trump ordered a review of 27 monuments this spring, which included Craters. Zinke opened up a public comment period after the order, and said in a press release that these comments influenced his decision.

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

A group of Idaho lawmakers is looking into the state’s campaign finance laws, or Sunshine Laws. Both Republicans and Democrats are on the Campaign Finance Working Group, which held its first meeting Wednesday.

Secretary of State Lawerence Denney advocates for more transparency when it comes to companies that support Idaho candidates. But the Republican election official also says there should be no limit placed on contributions, citing the Supreme Court’s rulings on the First Amendment.

Office of Idaho Senator Mike Crapo

On Wednesday in Washington D.C., the Senate unanimously confirmed Judge David Nye to be Idaho’s next U.S. District Court Judge. With his confirmation, Nye fills a more than two-year vacancy on the federal court’s bench.

Matt Guilhem spoke to Carl Tobias at the University of Richmond in Virginia. Tobias is a legal scholar who studies the federal judiciary and says this is a big day for the Gem State.

For more local news, follow the KBSX newsroom on Twitter @KBSX915

Idaho Ed News

The co-chair of Idaho's powerful budget-setting committee says she won't run for re-election in 2018.

State Sen. Shawn Keough, a Republican from Sandpoint, tells the Bonner County Daily Bee that she's planning on retiring after serving in the Idaho Legislature for more than 20 years. She is the longest serving female senator in the history of the state.

IIP Photo Archive / Flickr

Idaho officials say they’ll hold off on providing detailed voter information to the President’s commission looking into alleged voter fraud. States across the nation are now being told to pause.

On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence’s office sent out an email to states saying they should wait before sending the detailed information requested by the Trump Administration’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Pence leads the commission along with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

College of Southern Idaho / Facebook

Part of the Trump Administration’s travel ban upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court has put a 120 day freeze on admitting refugees to the country. In spite of the ban, a refugee center in the Magic Valley doesn’t anticipate much impact.

Unlike the blanket ban on refugees announced in January, the revised one upheld in a June 26 Supreme Court ruling allows some refugees who have a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” to enter the country.

state seal, legislature
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Republican U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador sent Idaho voters a campaign mailer ornamented with the state seal asking for contributions to his 2018 gubernatorial bid, even though the secretary of state's office said Thursday the seal should only be used for official state business.

Labrador's fundraiser flier asked voters to give $50, $75, $100 or more in campaign donations. The mailer, sent out earlier this month, aimed to get people to pledge their support for Labrador's 2016 campaign promises to move America to a more conservative direction.

Pages