convenes in Sun Valley
redistricting, passes resolutions
Express Staff Writer
political powerhouse descended on Blaine County this week for the Idaho
Republican Party’s first state convention in Sun Valley since 1984.
proclaiming "Dirk," "Otter for Idaho," "Jim Risch,
Lt. Governor" and "Larry Craig, Idaho’s Senator" adorned
Sun Valley resort in this county known for its liberal politics. Members
of Idaho’s all-Republican congressional delegation, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne,
and numerous other state and local politicians and candidates milled
amidst the crowds.
Purdy, right, long-time Picabo rancher, asks Assistant Secretary of State
Ben Ysura to take care of a sheepherder painting presented to Carey
rancher and Secretary of State Pete Cennerusa, who is stepping down from
one of the longest reigns in Idaho government. Express photo by Willy
of two giant pachyderms stood guard over the entrance to a tent where the
state Republican Party’s platforms and resolutions were negotiated and
Craig, who faces Blaine County resident and former Wall Street investment
banker Allen Blinken in the November general election, gave a campaign
speech, asking for "support." He stressed Blinken’s thick
wallet and the failure of Democrats to understand Idaho.
have a party that doesn’t understand us," Craig said. And he said
it seems ironic that a Democrat, Blinken, is promising Idahoans jobs when
another Democrat, former President Bill Clinton, allegedly took jobs away
with his environmental policies.
finance chairman, Skip Symser, elaborated on the pending Senate race.
are up against a very well-financed individual," he said. "It is
serious, because they have the money, they have the resources. On Nov. 6,
the headlines are going to read, ‘New York banker coming home.’"
finished his speech amidst a crowd chanting, "six more years, six
more years, six more years."
convention wasn’t all speeches, campaigning and pep rallies, however.
kicked off Monday afternoon when eastern and northern Republicans faced
off on state redistricting regulations.
smarting from a new redistricting plan that pitted several incumbents
against one another and focused power on urban Idaho, eastern Idaho
conservatives sponsored a resolution calling for change. The resolution,
which was defeated on a voice vote, would have required the state
commission on redistricting to meet around the state and would have
prevented any two members of the panel from living in the same county.
JoAn Wood, R-Rigby, helped to defeat the resolution. Wood is supporting a
change in the party’s platform that would return redistricting power to
commission was a failure," she said. "It was meant to be
non-political. It was much more political than anything the Idaho
Legislature has done."
remainder of the resolutions considered Monday was passed without debate
on a voice vote and included a measure to urge the state’s congressional
delegation to seek withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations
in order to "extricate our nation from the threat of freedom"
posed by the international group.
resolutions adopted Monday urged the state GOP to support increased
federal spending on silver, to allow people to seek damages when sued in
"frivolous environmental lawsuits," to galvanize the party’s
opposition to wolf and grizzly bear reintroduction, to work toward holding
all elections on one of four days in the year, and to urge opposition of
the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and other international