GOP Primary Suit: Game On


We got word late yesterday from GOP party activist Rod Beck that he and 70 other Republicans have filed suit against Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, in order to force closed primaries.

Yes, we knew this was coming. Now what?

Parties to the suit include a number of members of the Idaho Republican Party State Central Committee and Executive Committee.

The suit was filed in the U. S. Federal Court in Boise Idaho to require the State of Idaho and its Chief Election Officer, Ben Ysursa, Idaho Secretary of State to honor the Rule adopted by the Idaho Republican Party on June 2, 2007.

"It is our intent to ask the court to restore those rights so that Idaho Republicans may stand together and pick their own nominees for political office, just as Idaho Democrats are allowed to stand together and pick their nominee for U.S. president," Beck wrote in a statement accompanying the announcement.

They've even got a blog to go along with the new lawsuit, and you can find it here, along with lots of the primary documents from the case.

Interesting feedback already on their comment section, including this from Kootenai County Clerk Dan English, a Democrat:

"It appears that this new closed primary system will eliminate the ability for same day registration voters to cast a Republican ballot since the language clearly indicates they must have registered as a Republican prior to election day. This seems a step backwards for voter rights and participation. I know in our county, telling potential voters that they can still register and vote on election day is standard practice for many campaigns and candidates. I wonder why your party wanted to eliminate same day registration voters?"

In fact, Democrats are the ones most likely to make a fuss over this issue, as some of that party's bloggers have begun to do already. The Mountain Goat Report calls this a gift to the Democrats, however.

Always interested in good spin.

Over on the other side, conservative blogger Adam Graham says only that it should be interesting to see this play out:

"Regardless, it’s a critical moment for our state and for the idea of a serious primary," he writes.

Bryan Fischer, the director of the Idaho Values Alliance, is more direct: He's a fan of the concept, and in explaining his position, refers frequently to one of Bill Cope's greatest hits.

From Fischer's post:

"The GOP elite in Idaho, for reasons perhaps known only to them, seem bizarrely opposed to restricting the choice of Republican candidates to members of their own party. The bulk of support for closed primaries comes from the grassroots of the party – the farther down the GOP food chain you get, the more support you find."

Fischer continues:

"This also is a likely indication that closed primaries will make it easier for genuinely conservative candidates – that is, true believers in the party’s platform – to successfully navigate the primaries, and thus closed primaries are likely to be a good thing for the pro-family community in Idaho."

Democrats say they'll be having a news conference on the matter today.

This morning Idaho Democratic Party executive director John Foster told BW they share the concern of Secretary of State Ysursa, who wonders who's going to pay for the primary if it's closed?

"The Idaho Democratic Party is going to do whatever it can to stick up for independent voters," Foster said. "Just because the court would allow something doesn't make it right."