Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

In the wake of the Trump Administration requesting partial social security numbers, dates of birth and other information about registered voters across the U.S., one Idaho state lawmaker is trying to keep that information private – at least partially.

Ali Noorani / Facebook

Immigration is a consistently hot-button topic, but since the President vowed to build that "big, beautiful wall" and proposed banning people from the U.S. who came from several Muslim-majority countries, it has remained at the forefront of political conversation.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

So far, five Republican candidates are jockeying to be Idaho's next lieutenant governor. We have a look at the candidates, the job and the latest financial numbers from their campaigns.

Andrew Harnik / AP Images

The Trump Administration has nominated an Idaho attorney to lead the Interior Department’s legal team. Ryan Nelson has been the General Counsel at the Melaleuca Corporation for almost eight years.

The Idaho Falls-based nutritional supplements company is owned by billionaire and Republican donor Frank VanderSloot. In a statement, the CEO said “Ryan is a true patriot and I fully support his personal sacrifice in serving this country that he loves so much.”

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.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Idaho's Republican Senator Mike Crapo led the charge in the nation's capital to pass a bill Tuesday strengthening sanctions against Russia and limiting the President's ability to lift or interfere with sanctions.

Senate Democrats and Republicans came together in a moment of comity to pass the sanctions bill 97 to 2.

The bill maintains and tightens sanctions on Russia and empowers Congress, not the president, when it comes to overseeing diplomatic and economic restrictions on foreign powers.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Tuesday, the U.S. Senate narrowly approved a motion to proceed with GOP health care legislation. Idaho’s two senators voted in favor of the motion. Sen. Mike Crapo and Sen. Jim Risch both voted in favor of the motion, which required a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence to proceed.

The vote fell along party lines, but two Republican senators dissented.

Kevin Rank / Flickr

Idaho is now one of only two states that don't require personal financial disclosure by state lawmakers and other elected or appointed officials.

The Spokesman-Review reports Vermont legislators signed into law last month a series of ethics reforms including financial disclosure rules. That leaves just Idaho and Michigan as the states lacking a similar law.

The Idaho Legislature has appointed a working group of lawmakers to study possible changes to the state's campaign finance reporting rules and ethics, however.

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.

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