For almost 30 years, the name Dan Popkey was synonymous with Idaho political reporting. The veteran Statesman reporter covered dozens of legislative sessions, broke more than his share of scandals (earning a Pulitzer nomination for his dogged pursuit of former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's sexual habits) and became as much a part of the Statehouse as its faux marble columns. So it was with a collective "WTF?" that Idaho politicos and media types greeted the news in July that Popkey would be joining Idaho U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador's staff as the maverick Republican's press secretary. Popkey said he "wept" over the decision to move from gadfly to spin doctor, but he may have wiped away the tears with some of his reported $84,000 salary.
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