Hoffman says he never planned to track reporter primary votes

Wayne Hoffman, the head of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, says his group has never planned to research whether — or how — reporters vote in the May 15 party primaries.

On Wednesday, Hoffman took issue with an Idaho Press Club newsletter column written by Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review — and my subsequent Saturday column — which said that Hoffman had hinted at looking at reporters' votes.

Hoffman said he has said the voting information could be valuable "from a news organization transparency standpoint," and could have informational value to readers. But he said his conservative but nonpartisan lobbying group has never planned to look for the data.

"We don't do primary election stuff," Hoffman said in a voicemail.

The votes are a matter of public record, under a historic closed primary election system sought by a group of Republican activists, including Hoffman. In order to participate in the Republican primary, a voter must register with the GOP. A voter need not register with the Democrats to vote in that party's primary, but when a voter fills out a Democratic ballot, this decision is reflected in the poll books, which is a public record.

Which gets back to the central point of my column. The public record makes this primary problematic — not just for reporters, but for anybody who wants or needs to keep their party preferences to themselves, either for professional or personal reasons.

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Nonpartisan?

The Idaho Freedom Foundation is as nonpartisan as Ron Paul or the American Legislative Exchange Council or the Koch brothers who fund right wingers almost everywhere.

The nonpartisan claim is part of a tax free dodge as a public charity under 501 (c) (3) of the IRS Code.

Hoffman refuses to disclose the funding sources for his charity while bellowing for transparency from every other organization in politics.

Well said...

calling this group "nonpartisan" is worse than a lie.

everybody is

The Idaho Statesman in nonpartisan.
:-)

"We don't do primary election stuff"

From IRS code: In addition, a private foundation does not qualify for section 501(c) (3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly referred to as lobbying). Legislation includes action by Congress, any state legislature, any local council, or similar governing body with respect to acts, bills, resolutions, or similar items (such as legislative confirmation of appointive office), or by the public in referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment, or similar procedure.

A foundation will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges members of the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the foundation advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.

hmm, wonder which is the liar?

Betsy Russell or Wayne Hoffman?

Boy, that's a puzzler. I'm going to have to give that one a lot of thought.

which is the liar?

the answer is obvious. don't spend any time on this one. bigger things are coming.

The real question is

Why does anyone care what Hoffman has to say?

For some reason I can't figure out, legislators seem to care

Although, I it seems like some are starting to suffer from Hoffman fatigue, there are still plenty who care what he and his lobby group think. He's got some running scared with his "Freedom Index".
I don't know if they are worried about his influence in the new closed primary or if he somehow funnels campaign contributions behind the scenes.
I just can't figure out why he has much influence at all and why the Statesman gives him so much free publicity.

Question: Why are folks likeCrapo, Otter and Moyle raising money

for the Freedom Foundation? I find it interesting that this nonpartisan organization continues to rely on GOP leaders to raise money.

Perhaps

the reporters should track Hoffman's "nonpartisan" votes in the primaries.