Watchdog Group: Idaho PAC ‘Masquerading’ as Republicans to Elect Brad Little as Governor

In this Monday, May 18, 2015, file photo Lt. Gov. Brad Little listens to debate at the state Capitol building in Boise, Idaho. If Little wins his bid to be Idaho's next governor in 2018, he'll be the only candidate to have hands-on experience with the job. The two-term Republican …
AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger, File

An Idaho government watchdog group says left-wing labor union bosses and environmentalists have been “masquerading” as conservative Republicans to convince the state’s citizens to vote for liberal Republican gubernatorial candidate Brad Little.

“In a recent mailing, the Independent Republicans for Idaho PAC tells voters that Little is ‘safeguarding conservative Idaho values,’” writes Wayne Hoffman of Idaho Freedom Foundation, adding that the PAC further states, “Brad is the proven conservative leader who will stand up for the things we hold dear: family, freedom and a future worth fighting for.”

“The question: Who are the “Independent Republicans for Idaho?” Hoffman asks, observing that the PAC shares the same address as the Idaho Education Association (IEA), a state teachers’ union that has been battling school choice and promoting a statewide pre-kindergarten program, the latter of which Little also supports.

According to Hoffman, the nation’s largest teachers union – the National Education Association (NEA) – has contributed $75,000 to the “Republican” PAC.

Hoffman, who has been heading Idaho Freedom Foundation since 2009, continues:

The PAC’s largest contributor so far—to the tune of $90,000—is the Conservation Voters for Idaho Action Fund. The fund opposes state management of federally-controlled public lands and advocates public policies centered around climate change, neither of which are typical of conservative Idaho political values.

Several firefighters unions from all corners of the state and one from Montana donated to the PAC. All told, as of May, the PAC has raised $330,000.

“[W]hat the labor unions and environmentalists are doing this election season is a whole new level of fraudulence that reveals a sense of desperation mixed with cynicism,” he writes, adding:

They have zero interest in promoting conservative principles. They also know that most primary Republican voters tend to lean conservative. Thus, the unions and the environmentalists are trying to deceive conservative Republicans into nominating the most liberal candidate on the GOP primary ballot.

The state’s primary election is Tuesday, May 15.

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