But back home, the vote quickly became a campaign issue. Democratic congressional candidate Walt Minnick issued a press statement taking Sali to task: With one vote, he proved that he cares more about oil companies than he does about Idaho schoolchildren and local governments. Sali fired back that the vote was a setup that the Democrats, by forcing a two-thirds vote, did not intend to win and that it would only result in higher gas prices.
The end game here is a ploy by the same environmentalists who shut down logging in Idahos rural communities in the first place. It is those radical environmentalists who want to shut off all off-shore oil drilling and drive gas prices even higher, Sali said.
But not to be outdone, Minnicks campaign fired back two more shots, the first proclaimed: Sali cant bluster and shout his way out of the vote. The bill was a simple up-or-down vote—with no amendments or earmarks—to fully fund for four years a program critical for rural Idaho schoolchildren and counties. Bill Sali voted no, the Minnick campaign blustered.
And then, some numbers from Minnick: While Ada County stood to receive only $6,000 from the payments, Idaho County could net $5.2 million and Shoshone $4.3 million.