Here is a fun stat for the week:
In a state where Republicans control 81 percent of the Legislature and all statewide and congressional offices, the Democratic party outraised the GOP in 2011 and 2012, $218,000 to $161,000, according to Dan Popkey of the Idaho Statesman.
Popkey attributes this fundraising lag to the fact that GOP chair Norm Semanko, who is stepping down, was distracted as he focused on a failed effort to get himself elected Eagle mayor; and his lawyer/lobbying practice.
So who will be able to step in and get the job done for the Good Ol Boys Party?
The fight over who will chair the party is a proxy for the ongoing battle between Gov. Butch Otter’s establishment wing and ultraconservatives and libertarians who think the GOP’s gone soft. It’s also about positioning for 2014, when Otter may seek a third term and could face a challenge from a popular upstart, freshman Congressman Raul Labrador.Will the Idaho Republican Party be able to find a unifier who can raise money as its chair, in the midst of so many internal GOP squabbles?
At least 15 names have been floated, including three bigfoots — Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, House Speaker Lawerence Denney and first lady Lori Otter.