Best Political Cage Match

GOP leadership scuffle

Staff Pick

Raul Labrador was supposed to fix everything. The Republican U.S. congressman was in Moscow for the June 2014 Idaho GOP state convention, trying to lead his party out of a longtime power struggle between moderates and a powerful Tea Party faction. That didn't happen. Not by a long shot. Right-wingers tried to expel a raft of less right-wing delegates (mostly from the Treasure Valley), and the whole thing broke down without electing officers or adopting a platform. Labrador left Moscow licking his wounds--"At least I tried to fix the problem," he said. Worse still, then-Chairman Barry Peterson retreated to the party's offices in Boise and had the locks changed. A lawsuit in July settled that Peterson was out, and, in August, gloriously bald East Idaho political consultant Steve Yates was elected as Grand Old Elephant.

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