enters final week
for being an ‘outsider’
Express Staff Writer
In a race
that has focused on ways to improve Idaho’s economy, Democratic Senate
candidate David Sneddon last week attacked his opponent, Wood River Valley
resident Allen Blinken, for his financial success.
one-page press release, Sneddon called Blinken an "outsider" and
an "East Coast Democrat."
can someone who lives in a $7 million mansion expect to represent the
working class of Idaho?" asked Sneddon, a Boise real estate agent.
"Blinken represents the elites (sic.). I represent the people who
built his house and mow his lawn."
investment banker and former U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, Blinken
acknowledges he has done well. His success and business background will
help him to bring good paying jobs to Idaho, he said.
want to be the ambassador for jobs and investment in this state," he
said. "I’ve worked with the business community for 33 years. I know
these folks. I’m a concerned citizen. If this was about something else,
I wouldn’t be running."
jobs include those provided by a wide array of companies from
pharmaceuticals, chemicals and film to banking, insurance, freight and
manufacturing, Blinken said.
say is that I want to try to bring in companies that are solid, not
fly-by-night, he added."
contended that stereotypes are not what the election should focus on.
and Sen. Larry Craig) talk about the price of my house. I talk about
failing education in our state. This election is not about interior
decorating. This election is about the future of the state of Idaho."
said Blinken’s approach won’t work, because he proposes to bring jobs
to Idaho, not the other way around.
need to look inward first," said Sneddon, a real estate broker who
specializes in low-income housing. "My approach is different. I have
an Idaho approach, taking what we have and expanding upon the
said he is a "blue dog" Democrat, or a working-class, moderate
think my moderate stance has a voice for Idaho," Sneddon said.
"The far right is not Idaho. The Democrats have failed to grab the
middle. I think it’s because we’ve been labeled with the national
party, and I think it’s because we’ve lost a lot of jobs in the (Idaho
panhandle) from timber and mining.
Democrats are still there, but they’re fearful of voting Democrat
because they’re afraid of losing more of the jobs."
candidates are strong Second Amendment supporters.
however, said he is interested in offering a limited lifetime tax credit
of up to $1,000 per gun owner who chooses to buy locking gun cases.
Blinken said he is an avid hunter and angler.
candidates also said Idaho’s natural resources must be tapped to help
boost the state’s marketplace.
trade a job for a tree," said Blinken, stressing that Idaho’s
forests must be opened back up to logging while focusing on good
is a marked difference in other parts of the candidates’ platforms.
While Sneddon wants to obtain grants and give them to rural communities so
they can develop business plans, Blinken said, "Let’s just bring
wants to use Idaho’s natural resources to develop sustainable energy
projects, including wind, geothermal and more efficient hydroelectric
turbines, while Blinken wants to focus on improving schools and health
first thing any company looks at when it’s looking for a location is the
schools and the hospitals," Blinken said.
Sneddon said if he loses the primary election May 28, he will "very
grudgingly, reluctantly and with much dispair," vote for Larry Craig
said that if he loses the primary, he will support Sneddon as the
become too entrenched in partisan politics to be an effective politician,
run into a wall," but "at least I know exactly where Larry Craig