Intraparty squabble over closed Idaho GOP primary continues; Labrador accuses Ysursa of ‘malpractice’

Congressman Raul Labrador, an architect of the Tuesday’s first-ever closed primary, is fighting two fellow Republicans, Gov. Butch Otter and Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, for their talk of revising the new law at the state GOP convention next month.

Otter and Ysursa long opposed requiring voters to declare themselves as Republicans in order to vote in the GOP primary. On Wednesday they cited the closed primary as the principal factor in the lowest primary turnout in Idaho history, 23 percent of registered voters. The record low had been 25 percent in 1988.

“I am really disappointed,” Otter told the Associated Press Wednesday. “I can’t help but to think, at least from my point of view, that there will be some discussion (at the state convention) of the primary. It will be, ‘What should we do? Should we make any changes?’”

Under the new law, it’s up to state party central committees to decide whether to open a primary to independent voters or those who affiliate with other parties. Democrats allow anyone vote in their primary, but the GOP opted to close its nominating election after winning a federal court case that convinced a reluctant Legislature to change the law last year.

Labrador said revisiting a fight that took three years to settle would be unwise. “I don’t think there is an appetite for going back after just one election to an open primary,” he said. “I think it would be a mistake. There’s no reason to divide the people we’re trying to unify at this point.”

Labrador cited figures from an Idaho Republican Party news release Wednesday, noting that GOP turnout was up almost 15 percent from four years ago, while Democratic turnout fell by a third from 2008. (The GOP, however, failed to note that 2012’s GOP turnout was down 9 percent from 2010.)

“If the party’s happy with the turnout of this election, I would disagree,” Ysursa said. “I’m not happy with it.

In an interview Thursday, Labrador objected to blaming the new closed primary.

“You have a bunch of factors,” he said. “There were no presidential candidates on the ticket, there were no senatorial candidates, there was not a competitive race in either the 1st or 2nd congressional district. Those are things that you have to factor into your analysis of why we had a low turnout. And to say that it was just because of the closed primary I think is malpractice on the part of anybody who makes that argument.”

Labrador included my reporting and Statesman Editorial Page Editor Kevin Richert’s opinion writing among the malpractictioners for parroting Ysursa.

“I think it worked,” Labrador continued. “There’s always been the wrong assumption that a closed primary is to purge the people of a certain group. That’s not true. The closed primary is so Republicans pick Republican candidates.”

Labrador jabbed at Ysursa, who as Idaho’s chief election official was the defendant in the federal lawsuit won by the Idaho GOP against the law that allowed voters to chose a partisan ballot in the privacy of the voting booth.

“You’re relying on a person who has been opposed to the closed primaries from the beginning, who told the people of Idaho that an open primary was not unconstitutional, so he was wrong about that,” Labrador said. “The state of Idaho had to spend a bunch of money to find out what everybody knew, which is that an open primary is unconstitutional. And now it’s sour grapes, where he’s trying to make a point that the data does not support.”

Ysursa fired back, saying it was his job to support Idaho’s open primary law that was enacted in 1971 to replace a convention and primary system. “It was a state law that was in question, not Ben Ysursa. My job is to uphold the state laws, and that’s exactly what my job is when the Legislature changed the law. No matter what primary it is, I want to see a big turnout.

“The reason that I feel the closed primary was a major factor in the decline is the operational experience of being in the secretary of state’s office, with my staff getting calls the past month-and-a-half repeatedly from people who would complain and express their angst about having to declare their political party affiliation. Some of them were not going to vote because of the requirement.”

While he conceded he can’t prove the major cause for the historic low was the closed primary, Ysursa bristled at Labrador’s suggestion he misreads voter behavior.

“I know where all the information is — it’s on my own website — about turnout,” he said. “You can argue that the Republican turnout was greater in other years and less in other years and whatever. I look at the total. You cannot argue with the fact that for a primary election this is the lowest in Idaho history.”

Ysursa, who has worked in the secretary of state’s office since 1975, also said he wanted it made clear that he, his office and county clerks across the state did their best to implement the new system.

“I don’t want anybody to insinuate that we didn’t do a 100 percent job to try to get people educated and out there,” he said. “Because elections are for voters.”

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1337627265 Intraparty squabble over closed Idaho GOP primary continues; Labrador accuses Ysursa of ‘malpractice’ Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Labrador is a great "Politician" and I don't mean that as a

compliment. A closed primary is why I voted for the democrats, despite being a registered Republican. I don't want those A**holes (with a capital A) telling me I have to state what I am, in order to vote for them. I'm in the wrong district to vote against Labrador, but I would if I could.

Nicely said.

Thank you.

When it comes to experience in Elections

Labrador's does not impress.

Wouldn't trust him to watch my yard sale.

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Labrador needs to double check his facts

"Labrador cited figures from an Idaho Republican Party news release Wednesday, noting that GOP turnout was up almost 15 percent from four years ago, while Democratic turnout fell by a third from 2008." I'd be willing to bet more than one Democrat "declared" as a Republican in order to be able to choose which ballot they wanted to use, so saying the Republican turn out was up and the Democratic turn out was down may be totally wrong and Mr. Labrador should do some more research before declaring a victory on the numbers. What a maroon.

Looks like BSU just sided with Labrador

http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/05/18/idahopolitics/bsus_moncrief_idaho_gop_closed_primary_failed_stop_crossover_vot

PRN LABRADOR and Get A JOB

You're a disgrace

A backsazzing piece of garbage

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Why is Mr. Labrador getting involved with this issue?

Doesn't Mr. Labrador realize he no longer works in the State Legislature? Doesn't he have enough to do in Washington?

Or perhaps he's preparing to run for Governor in 2014 and working on building an enemy's list. Watch out Mr. Ysursa. Disagreeing with Mr. Labrador apparently amounts to be a malpracticing Republican. Maybe you're no longer a Republican, at least as defined by the leaders of your party. Their tent is getting awfully small . . .

Ben Ysursa is one of the smartest persons he could know.

If anybody is malpracticing it is the special ed congressman who, by being in office, has probably avoided being killed on the mean streets.

He is an insult to god, religion or no punk religion.

Who does he think he is?

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

registering Republican stinks

I know 5 Republicans who refused to register for their own party and refused to vote, due to the requirement to declare affiliation.

I am Independent and registered Republican in order to vote when it matters-May-in Canyon County. If I did not vote now, I would have no say in our county commissioners, sheriff, state senator and representatives.

There is a lot of anger among Republicans about a closed primary. Party leaders, you better think this through.

Well I've been a Registered Democrat since age 18.

If you don't end up killing your party, the rest of us view it like Afghanistan but we'll have to.

Remember I flag more and between college football and this I'm sick of the comic book.

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

He's running for his next

He's running for his next office. I can't stand this guy.

Closed Republican Primary--caucus

Labrador is wrong. So is the leadership of Idaho republican party. Not only have they taken away my right to privacy when voting. By forcing declaration of party to public records a lot of us will not vote,

Also having a caucus instead of by primary they have those of, we handicapped, who are unable too attend caucus can not participate in presidential candidate choice. In 2016 you may have to provide your own Penney.

Wow!

I have to admit I am impressed with Gov. Otter. (Never thought I'd say that!)

Too bad for Labrador that the only people who support him are the members of his echo chamber.

Can we please...

...get rid of Labrador this November. I don't know how he got elected. Nobody I know, Republican or Democrat, likes this guy.

But-but, the

Koch brothers love him.

Why don't you marry them?

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

I'm

not ordained.

I'm not surprised ;p

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Admit it. You don't know any

Admit it. You don't know any of the 126,231 Idahoans who voted for Labrador in 2010. He will do even better this year against what's his name.

It's not their fault...

It's four in the morning and I found out RFK Jr's wife Mary committed suicide by hanging IN AN AUDIO FORUMS SITE, not YAHOO!

I guess Yahoo only cares if you are wearing a bad dress, baby.

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Labrador is wrong...

I didn't vote because my affiliation is no one's business but mine. What a ridiculous requirement!

Labrador states:
“There’s always been the wrong assumption that a closed primary is to purge the people of a certain group. That’s not true. The closed primary is so Republicans pick Republican candidates.”

What a bunch of baloney, of course it's to weed out the moderates, who does he think he's fooling? He just weeded out a huge sector of voters in general! What about those of us who just want to vote for the best person for the job, regardless of party? I'm so disappointed in Idaho, it's doing it's best to drive anyone who doesn't wave the bright red Republican flag into the dungeon.

Labrador is an idiot...

Does he not know that Independents are the largest voting block at 37%. He just purged them!

Hmmmpfh

Otter/Ysursa 2, Labrador -1, State of Idaho 0 for a closed primary.

This clown needs to go.

Closed Primary

And theRepublicans should allow the dimocrats to vote in their primary ...why?
And the dimocrats should allow the republicans to vote in their primary...why?

The GOP has lost favor with

The GOP has lost favor with mainstream Idaho voters. Goodbye; you've done yourself in by not heeding the GOP voters who prefer to vote in privacy as do the majority of Idaho voters.

Barrett, remember when you start getting unsolicited political garbage because you have indicated your political preference you may turn to the GOP for this. And if you think that is the only unsolicited garbage you'll be getting, I've got a bridge to sell ya. Idahoans value their privacy and the GOP has just done away with that as they proceed on their way to eliminate our other personal rights and freedoms.

This fraction raising its ugly head in the GOP is vocal but a minority and needs to learn its place among Idaho voters.

You'r eagainst marketing, tpskbi?

Tell me you have never gotten "unsolicited garbage" from candidate campaigns. The way I aee it, the Democrat candidates don't have to waste their money on me thia fall, but they probably will anyway, because they can't win if they don't lure some Republicans to vote for them. Of course, I get a lot of unsolicited mail from insurance companies and fast food restaurants, too, and occasionally dentists, chiropractors, mortuaries, gyms, auto glass repair shops, etc, etc. I suppose you could blame Republicans for all junk mail since we believe in free market capitalism.

They have a right to send mailings. I toss what I don't want.

Problem solved.

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Labrador is an idiot

I worked the election, as I have every election for 15 years. The precinct I live in is very conservative. NOT ONE voter (and unlike other areas, we had a healthy voter turnout of over 40%)failed to let us know how they dislike having to declare. Many remained unaffiliated and voted only the non-partisan issues, because they cared about the bond levy issues on the ballot, but would give no one the satisfaction of them declaring a PARTY. Even the elderly, and hard party line folks were angry. Most who affiliated with a party chose the R...some of whome I know to have a more liberal bent. So...they crossed over anyway? I don't give a rip what people vote. I just want them TO VOTE. I believe that is where Ysursa comes from also. Labrador comes at this from a more sinister and less communal angle and that is to exclude and disenfranchise as many of the "independent" voters as can be done with this move. The Republican party doesn't care what it's consituents want any more than our elected legislative and congressional representatives do. They do what they want and make excuses later. I hope Ysursa keeps this dialogue going, because there is nothing more fun than watching a bunch of Republicans cannibalize the weakest among them!! Labrador has some good meat on his bones....

Their party, their rules

I didn't vote because I have no party affiliation and don't want a party affiliation, nor am I interested in sharing my political beliefs with the state. That being said, in previous primaries, I've usually taken a Republican ballot (but not always). Now, if a party wants to close its primary, that's fine with me. I won't vote in it and because of that, the primary process becomes more insular and less open. It means that the candidate that I would have voted for doesn't get that vote. But I will take the stand that my party affiliation and, consequently, my political leanings are nobody's business but my own. If that means that the candidate of my choice does not get nominated, that's the price that I'm willing to pay for taking such a stand.

As an aside, Rep. Labrador is wrong when he states that an open primary is unconstitutional. It is, in fact, constitutional. Just as the closed primary was found to be constitutional. As grandpa was fond of saying, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

So why pay for their primary?

Let the Republicans and Democrats choose. If they want a closed primary, they can have it, but they need to pay for it. If they want the State to pay for the primary, then have it be an open primary so that all the voters can participate.

The Dems did have an open

The Dems did have an open prpimary.

Labrador you are a skunk ....

So you are the architect of this malformed piece of work?

The Problem is...

Democrats and Libertarisn crossed over. All that did was muddy the waters. The party needs to have only Republicans voting in their primaries.

Then the Repubs can foot the bill; their primary, they pay.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

Therapy for disenfranchised

Therapy for disenfranchised Democrats is no longer free. You will have to buy an R.

Vanna's going to retire soon isn't she?

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Malpractice is rife

Somebody should give Raúl a copy of Dale Carnegie's book. And maybe a primer on logic?

The GOP alienated a bunch of independents... who they don't wish to affilate with? And did nothing to prevent non-true-red Republicans from crossing over, and "increasing" Republican turnout, even as overall turnout went down.

The Peter Principle is alive and well in Idaho politics.

Sure you don't mean the Dick! principle?

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

Now you're on the border,

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

oh, that'll go over well

Pissing off Ben Ysursa is not a good career move. What next, poking a beehive with a stick?

That's like...

Telling your dad he raped mom to make you.

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

interesting.

Sharon, please explain.

Not that beehive, Charlie. There are many others.

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

not sure what there is to explain

Ben Ysursa does his job competently and with integrity, and he's not shy about expressing his opinion if he feels he's being dissed.

Squealing Dems and RINOs

Very involved in the conservative side of the Republican Party, and I can tell you that the only complaining I've heard is from a few RINOs, and mostly Democrats who register Republican because they know Democrats are impotent and have no power.

You see...Now it will be public record when hundereds and maybe even thousands of Democrats are exposed as trying to influence Republican primaries and they don't like it. So the Dems have a conundrum...Be exposed as fakers, or no longer be able to get RINOs elected in the primaries.

The new voting law is working EXACTLY as planned.

Quit wasting everybody's time while waiting to go swimming.

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

As for Otter and the rest of the establishment Reeps

I trust Congressman Labrador a lot more than Governor Otter. Otter has shown repeatedly his lack of conviction and seems more concerned with favorable media attention than taking principled conservative stands.

Looks like Danny is feeding

his Left Wing Tap Dancing Clown Chorus more mushroom food. They certainly act like they are famished for some good news Problem is, there is none, not even when they make up nonsense and paint it red.

Mattel Fastsuluki See and Say

"L" The Liberal Tap Dancing Clown says...
"D" Danny says...

Hey, the string is stuck!

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.