Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

I Respond to Senator Stennett

Posted by Adam Graham on June 16, 2007

Over at New West, I take on Senator Clint Stennett’s attack on Republicans for closing the primary. Here’s an excerpt:

I’ve followed politics for many years, but I must confess that this is the first time I’ve seen a political leader argue that his own ineptitude in candidate recruitment should be the basis for government policy. That Senator Stennett can’t get enough Senators elected to fill a Toyota Sequoia should not mean that the Republican nominee should be a Democrat-lite. Contrary to what some argue, Democrats are not out of power because of facist mechanations in the Republican Party, but because their ideology doesn’t play well outside of the North End of Boise or Sun Valley.

Click here to read the whole thing.


Randy Stapilus responds:

The point, albeit made in a partisan way, is legitimate. For one thing, there’s no obligation of the Republican Party to nominate someone “acceptable” to non-Republicans, other than (if they feel the need) as a matter of political strategy. Besides that, if Republicans nominate a candidate who represents the views of only a minority of the voters, then logically that should open an opportunity for Democrats (or an independent) to seize the seat. If it doesn’t, then maybe a closer re-look at the voter population, or the candidates in question, is in order.

Indeed, Stapilus goes on to write:

Over the years, we’ve discussed the idea of party registration in Idaho with a number of elected officials. Among those who were Republicans, the view was overwhelming: Registration would be bad Republican strategy, for two central reasons. One is that many independents in Idaho have naturally gravitated toward Republicans; force them to formalize that, and who knows what they might do? The second point is equally simple: Republicans have fared spectacularly well under the current system, so why should they change it?

The issue is going to be out of the legislator’s hands. Supreme Court rulings on this are clear. The legilslature has the right to close the primary and it will be closed, that I can assure you of.


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