Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Republican U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador has contributed to more than 40 GOP candidates running in legislative races across Idaho, as well as giving $10,000 to the Idaho Republican Party.

Labrador mostly gave $250 and $500 campaign donations to Republican legislative candidates facing Democratic or third-party challengers, including races outside of his 1st Congressional District.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Election Day is next week and all 35 seats in the Idaho Senate and all 70 seats in the Idaho House are on the ballot. That means opportunity for change in the body that makes state policy.

But how much variation will we actually see? And how competitive are this year's races? Those are questions Boise State University Political Science Professor Emeritus Gary Moncrief has been considering. Moncrief says many of the state's legislative races just aren’t that competitive this year.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Elections officials in one Idaho county have found a delicious new way to get out the vote: by bringing "food truck voting" straight to the people.

OK, so it's not a real food truck. You can't get a meal there.

Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

After a U.S. Department of Justice found a Nampa polling place is inaccessible to voters with disabilities, Canyon County officials are working to make sure everyone can get inside to vote.

The Idaho Press Tribune reports that Canyon County Clerk Chris Yamamoto is proposing a second entrance at the Southside Methodist Church after the DOJ found the church's ramp was too steep and lacked handrails.

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Idaho's so-called "right-to-work" law.

The Times-News reports that U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge on Monday granted the state's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the law is not unconstitutional.

James Piotrowski for Congress / YouTube

Both candidates vying for Idaho's First Congressional District launched new TV ads in the last week.

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.

Morgan / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of lawmakers met Monday at the Idaho Statehouse to continue a discussion about a possible expansion of Medicaid.

It was the fifth time the interim legislative committee met this year to figure out a solution for the estimated 78,000 people who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford insurance on the health exchange.

Mike Crapo
U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho says he's voting for Donald Trump after earlier this month rescinding his endorsement.

Crapo in a statement released Monday says he will vote for Trump to keep Hillary Clinton from becoming president.

Earlier this month Crapo pulled his endorsement after a video tape surfaced of Trump making vulgar and sexually charged comments about women.

Crapo said at the time he'd spent more than 20 years working on domestic violence protections and Trump's excuse of locker room talk was unacceptable.

John McCrostie for District 16 / Facebook

A Republican candidate says Democratic Rep. John McCrostie stole campaign literature and then lied about doing so while being recorded.

First-time GOP challenger Ryan McDonald, who is running for a House seat in District 16, says he was campaigning in Garden City last week when he saw McCrostie also out going door-to-door.

McDonald decided to approach McCrostie after noticing the Democratic incumbent was carrying the same campaign plastic bags McDonald had just dropped off at homes.

Rick Bowmer / AP Images

An independent presidential candidate will hold a rally in Boise this Saturday 2-3 p.m. Utah native Evan McMullin hopes to attract conservative voters who are unhappy with Donald Trump.

McMullin has scheduled a rally at the Boise High School Auditorium Saturday afternoon. The 40-year-old former CIA operative and House GOP adviser attended BYU, and has put the reliably GOP state of Utah in play. The most recent poll from the Salt Lake Tribune shows McMullin with a four-point lead over Trump.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho said through a spokesman that he is confident in the state's election process and will respect the results of next month's election.

Crapo's statement Thursday followed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump refusal during Wednesday's debate to say whether he would accept the outcome of the election.

However, campaign senior adviser Todd Cranney added in an emailed statement that Crapo believes officials should take every legal possibility to protect the integrity and fairness of all elections.

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Attorney General Office
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A northern Idaho prosecutor has asked the state Attorney General to look into complaints of voter intimidation and interference.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane said Wednesday that the office is currently reviewing the case and could not yet comment.

The Idaho Democratic Party announced earlier this month that it had pulled a volunteer from campaign work in District 1. The district includes Bonner and Boundary counties, where many residents support far-right Republican candidates.

Betsy Russell

When voters in Idaho go to the polls on November 8 they'll be asked to change the state's constitution. H.J.R. 5 comes from legislators, who want to take a power they already have and make it stronger, by enshrining it into the constitutional framework.

vote, election
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Northwest Nazarene University Political Scientist Steve Shaw is among those captivated by the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But he thinks their campaign will have little, if any, effect on races for Senate, the U.S. House, the state Supreme Court or a constitutional amendment in Idaho.

AP

The Idaho Statesman has joined some other red-state newspapers in endorsing the Democratic candidate for president. Hillary Clinton picked up the paper’s support in an editorial published last week. The last time The Statesman endorsed a Democrat for president was Barack Obama’s first campaign in 2008.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Images

Republican Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) has launched a new TV campaign commercial.

The 30-second TV spot begins with the story of Labrador being raised by a single mother. He says his mom – who held two or three jobs at times – taught him the value of public service.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

Update 2:55 p.m.: Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador issued a statement Tuesday less than two hours after the one made by Gov. Otter (found below). Here's Labrador's statement:  

Doby / NPR

A voice heard regularly on NPR is headed to Boise this week.

Mara Liasson, a political correspondent at NPR, will headline Wednesday night’s annual gala for the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce. Liasson has made a career of covering national politics. This year’s presidential campaign is her seventh.

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