Democratic candidate for Idaho Lieutenant Governor Larry LaRocco rolled out a new radio ad this week taking fly-by-night Governor Jim Risch to task for hiding the identity of the corporate contributors to his campaign. Click here to listen to the radio ad (mp3 file, 60 sec.) and view the script for the spot below:
S/fx: Bacon frying, juice pouring, papers rustling ... it's the start of a new day in the kitchen of a typical Idaho home.
Mother: C'mon kids ... breakfast's ready!
Father: Morning, 'beautiful', anything new in the paper?
Mother: (disgusted) Look at this. Our temporary Governor, Jim Risch, has a whopping $360,000 campaign debt from his race for Lieutenant Governor.
Father: Well, that might explain his controversial special session of the legislature.
Mother: How so ... ?
Father: The Jim Risch secret tax plan ... his special friends get the bulk of the tax relief.
Mother: BUT ... the Risch Tax Plan increases our family's sales taxes and eliminates reliable funding for our children's education. That's not right!
Father: TRUE ... but, his special friends are so happy, they're throwing big-money fundraisers for Risch, just to say, "thanks!"
Mother: THAT solves his campaign debt problem ...
Father: Yup ... 'business as usual' in Boise.
Mother: Now I know what's 'so special' about this session.
Narrator: SPECIAL FRIENDS ... SPECIAL SESSION ... SECRET PLAN. THAT'S NOT IDAHO.
Mother: That's not right.
Larry: This is Larry LaRocco. I voluntarily released my list of contributors to my campaign for Lieutenant Governor. My opponent, Jim Risch, should do the same ... now ... before the special session.
Father: Idaho has the right to know.
Narrator: PAID FOR BY THE LAROCCO FOR IDAHO CAMPAIGN, MIKE MITCHELL, TREASURER.
So, why is this important? Alan at IdaBlue has it laid out in black & white:
Here is the loophole. A person or entity can exceed the contribution limit if the excess is applied to the debt. So, say IdaCorp gives Risch $5k for his primary and $5k for his general campaign. It could also give him whatever it wants, say another $20k to repay his debt. Since he loaned the money to himself, the contribution is applied to the debt and Risch’s campaign just pays the $20k to Risch. This is $20k he didn’t have before, and he can turn around and make another loan to his campaign, or just outright spend the money.
So Risch give huge tax deduction to his corporate cronies, and in return they give him truckloads of money for his campaign and give even more to "pay off his campaign debt," which Risch will then turn around and loan to himself again during this election.
THAT'S why Risch refuses to release the names of his contributors, because when those names are matched up to the corporations and other fat-cat entities benefitting from the Idaho GOP Property Tax debacle, they'll match up almost one-to-one.
This issue isn't going away. And Risch's railroading of his massively-flawed tax plan is only going to give Larry LaRocco a bigger plank to pound on pretend-governor Jimbo. Risch's mewling that he won't "dignify [the allegation] with a response" won't hold up for long.