Idaho Power isn't commenting on a story by the Idaho Statesman's Dan Popkey that reveals that the state's largest public utility is a so-called "silver" sponsor and its CEO is a "gold" sponsor of the upcoming annual Idaho Freedom Foundation fund-raising shindig. Popkey wrote that neither Idaho Power CEO LeMont Keen nor his Vice President for Public Affairs Jeff Malmen responded to a request for comment. IFF Executive Director and Founder Wayne Hoffman wouldn't reveal how much money was attached to the sponsorships.
On Thursday, July 19, the Idaho Freedom Foundation's third-annual $50-a-plate banquet is set to showcase Melaleuca CEO and staunch Mitt Romney suporter Frank VanderSloot and Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano. The 2011 event featured the late Andrew Breitbart, right-wing columnist and author.
Popkey reports that Idaho Public Utilities Commission spokesman Gene Fadness said the oversight agency "will not approve political spending to be paid by ratepayers."
"The commission is very careful to review any sort of political or promotional expenditures because we know the customers are very sensitive about that," Fadness told the Statesman.