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Where is the outrage now from the Idaho GOP?

 
November 3, 2022

When several well-known Republicans recently endorsed Democrat Tom Arkoosh for Attorney General, the condemnation of these Republicans from the Idaho Republican Party leadership was quick, damning and unforgiving. So it’s surprising that Idaho Republican Party leaders have said nothing about the endorsement of Ammon Bundy, by not only Republicans but by actual party leaders.

These Republican Party leaders are board members and financial contributors of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, Idaho Freedom Action, and The Idaho Freedom PAC, the same PAC that endorsed Bundy.

The connection between these three entities is known and obvious. Dustin Hurst, who is second in command at the Idaho Freedom Foundation, is also the registered agent of Idaho Freedom Action and he is treasurer of the Idaho Freedom PAC. These entities also have common board members, directors and contributors.

The Idaho Freedom Foundation and Idaho Freedom Action are prohibited, by law, from directly supporting candidates, so they have the PAC do their bidding. In reality, The Idaho Freedom PAC is the political muscle of these two entities.

The connection between the Idaho Freedom PAC, who endorsed Bundy, and Republican leaders is also known and documented: Brent Regan is chairman of the Kootenai County Republican Party, he also serves as Chairman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, Doyle Beck and Brian Smith hold leadership positions in the Bonneville County Republican Party and both serve on the Idaho Freedom Foundation board, Beck is also a director of Idaho Freedom Action. These same Republican party leaders recently donated over $25,000 to the Idaho Freedom PAC, the same PAC that just endorsed Ammon Bundy.

The fact that leaders of the Republican Party are also leaders of and contributors to an organization that is putting its name, resources, and political support behind someone other than the Republican nominee is alarming.

Although no laws have been broken, it is ironic, that these are the same individuals who are currently attempting to purge the Republican Party of people they accuse of doing the same thing they themselves are now guilty of.

In fact, at the recent State Party convention Brent Regan, Doyle Beck, and Bryan Smith insisted on passing a rule that would disallow any person from running as a Republican if they had donated money to someone other than a Republican in the past. Once again, these party leaders have broken the very rule that they tried to force all other Republicans to follow.

Idaho Republicans expect the party to be consistent in its defense of our nominees. That’s why many are asking: Why was the state party so quick to condemn Republicans for endorsing Tom Arkoosh for attorney general but has remained silent when it comes to Republicans endorsing Bundy for governor? And why were Ammon Bundy signs allowed at recent campaign rallies hosted by the state party? And, why were Bundy supporters allowed to attend these rallies and heckle our Republican nominees? All Republicans must demand answers to these vital questions.

It’s critical that party leaders accept the will of Republican voters and immediately pledge unequivocal, full support of all Republican nominees. Raul Labrador and Brad Little both won our closed primary fair and square, they are our party’s nominees. They deserve the full support of our party and its leaders.

As true Republicans, we must demand that our Republican party leadership immediately condemn the Republican leaders who openly endorsed Bundy for Governor, with the same fire and brimstone they used when Republicans endorsed Tom Arkoosh for Attorney General. Anything less would be the height and definition of hypocrisy.

I call on all state leaders of the Idaho Republican Party to stand up and proudly and publicly endorse and support all our nominees, chosen by Republican voters, for office. A red wave cannot exist without the full support of our party’s top officials.
Tom Luna
Former Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party

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