Campaign roundup: Oct. 1, 2014

RGA ad buy. The Republican Governors Association has jumped into the Idaho governor’s race with an ad lampooning Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff as “a perfect fit for California (but) wrong for Idaho.”

The ad contends that Balukoff, a Boise School Board member, supports a statewide property tax and an expansion of the sales tax — the latter an apparent reference to a failed 2006 initiative to raise state taxes to fund education. The 30-second spot does not mention GOP incumbent Gov. Butch Otter.

Here’s a link to the ad.

The RGA is planning a six-figure ad buy statewide, spokesman Jon Thompson told Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

The RGA’s big ad buy comes at a curious juncture, five weeks before election day.

Balukoff has greatly outspent Otter on TV ads through early September. Otter maintains a double-digit lead, based on publicly released polls — but some national pundits, including the Washington Beltway news site, have suggested the race is tightening and Otter could be vulnerable to an upset.

Campaign spokesman Mike Lanza says the ad “grossly misrepresents and distorts” Balukoff’s positions — and illustrates that the GOP is fearful of losing the governor’s office.

“The line calling A.J. a ‘typical politician’ is the most outrageous, coming from people defending someone who’s been in politics for 40 years. A.J. is only a ‘typical politician’ if that definition includes people who have served in unpaid, elected seats on local school boards. I’m quite sure that many school board trustees all over Idaho would be offended by that.”

Bujak sanctioned. John Bujak, the Libertarian candidate for governor, violated four Idaho State Bar rules of professional conduct, according to the Idaho Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court said a one-year suspension of Bujak’s law license was in order. But since Bujak served a 19-month interim suspension, this sanction was rendered moot, the Idaho Press-Tribune reported Wednesday.



Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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