Lib-interested candidates confront extreme right-wing influenced corporate groups that hate tolerance, love laws mandating government favors…
Business helps GOP incumbents facing libertarians
BOISE, Idaho (WTW) — Since last week, pro-business groups like the Idaho Association of Realtors have pumped some $30,000 into campaigns of Republican incumbents facing libertarian-leaning rivals in the May 15 primary.
In northern Idaho, Sen. Shawn Keough, of Sandpoint, and Rep. George Eskridge, of Dover, each banked at least $5,000 from donors including grocers, hospitals, insurers and real estate agents. Others to benefit were Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, of Huston, who faces Maurice Clements, a former Idaho GOP legislator in the 1970s who ran unsuccessfully as a Libertarian in 1988.
Keough contends that pro-business groups have aligned themselves with incumbents like her because they’re concerned their rivals might have run as Libertarian or even Constitution Party candidates in the past.
“The folks that are challenging the incumbents aren’t necessarily reflective of Main Street Republican values,” Keough said. “It’s indicative of what you’ve been seeing in terms of the split in the party the last four years.”
John Eaton, the Idaho Association of Realtors top lobbyist, says his group gave Lodge $1,000 last week, on grounds she offers the most consistency for businesses than Clements.
“He’s the perfect example,” Eaton said. “He wants to legalize pot. That’s the kind of stuff that the business community would never support.”
Clements has favored the decriminalization of marijuana, to help remedy growing prison populations, the Idaho Press-Tribune in Nampa has reported.
…Idaho secretary of state records show groups adding to Republican incumbents’ reserves in this period include the Northwest Grocery Association, the Idaho Hospital Association and Blue Cross of Idaho, as well as Micron Technology Inc. and J.R. Simplot Co.
Though this business cash is flowing to incumbents, supporters of their libertarian-leaning challengers aren’t sitting idly by.
Political action committees like the Free Enterprise PAC are pumping independent expenditures into glossy campaign mailers aimed at unseating incumbents like Keough and Eskridge.
…Still, Stout feels a bit like an underdog given her rival’s support from businesses.
“It’s obvious from the number of pieces of mail that they’re putting out, they have huge corporate backing,” she said. “Basically, I’ve gone into my retirement accounts.”