My column today failed to capture the nuance offered by Boise State University political scientist Gary Moncrief in his interview with me. And I may have left some readers thinking Moncrief was passing judgment on Speaker Lawerence Denney and outgoing Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol.
Some may have thought that Moncrief had concluded that Denney knowingly contributed to efforts to oust six GOP incumbents, when I quoted Moncrief saying, "The perception is that he was choosing sides." Moncrief's statement should have included the conditional statement that the perception exists "whether it's fair or not."
Moncrief also said that while uncommon, speakers do sometimes take sides in primaries other states, something I omitted in setting up this quote from Moncrief: "If you're going to do that, you better pick the right side or there's going to be some backlash."
Moncrief also made a point about speaker's races sometimes turning on leadership style as opposed to ideological or personal factions when he offered three examples of controversial moves by Denney. The examples were Denney's deposing two committee chairs in 2011, his January attempt to fire former GOP Rep. Dolores Crow from the redistricting commission; and his longtime support of Hart, who lost in the May primary.
And just to be clear: Calling Hart Denney's "favorite tax scofflaw" was my phrase, and readers shouldn't infer Moncrief would say something so snarky.