Idaho GOP Convention Adjourns After Infighting And Chaos
Idaho’s state Republican Party convention was in disarray, as it degenerated into a fiasco Saturday after attempts to disqualify up to a third of the delegates. The delegates were unseated and the climate was chaotic. The convention adjourned without electing a chairman, setting a platform or doing any of its scheduled business, according to The Spokesman-Review.
Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador said just after the convention adjourned, “For three weeks I’ve tried to broker a deal to prevent what happened today.”
Labrador was the convention chairman and hopes to be the next Majority Leader of the U.S. House.
“It’s hard to blame all this on Raul Labrador, but on the other hand, this does not strengthen his credentials for a national leadership position, either,” said BSU professor emeritus Jim Weatherby, a longtime observer of Idaho politics.
Far from uniting the deeply divided party, the gathering in Moscow deteriorated into dysfunction – though the GOP holds every statewide office in Idaho, every seat in the congressional delegation and more than 80 percent of the seats in the state Legislature.
The outcome wasn’t promising for Labrador, whom many looked to as the healer for the fractured party just a day after he announced that he’s running for Majority Leader of the U.S. House. Instead, he ended the convention facing jeers and walkouts from his own party members.
Sen. Chuck Winder (R-Boise) said, “It was basically the ultra-, ultra-conservative, tea party-libertarian type people basically flexing their muscle in the way the thing was organized.” He added, “It’s a real shame that a convention comes to that stage, where there really wasn’t any real floor leadership, there wasn’t any fairness in the process, either in the credentials committee or on the floor. It was all pre-determined. It’s kind of ‘who’s going to have the power,’ rather than working together.”
The only issue the platform committee agreed on was one major change in the state party platform: Doing away with its current clause calling for repeal of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
You can’t make this stuff up.