Rep. Phylis King emailed lobbyists Sunday suggesting they attend Friday’s $25 “Dems Under the Dome” event as “a great opportunity to help Ada County Democrats” — despite a practice that discourages fundraising by lawmakers during the legislative session.
King’s invitation does not violate the law or any rule, but does “hit a gray area that all of us in this building should probably be more careful about,” said Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum.
“I probably wouldn’t have made that direct solicitation because I divide my lines pretty clearly,” Stennett said Tuesday. “But I don’t think she’s gone over the line because she’s not personally receiving it.”
King said she considered ethics — a key topic for minority Democrats in recent years — before sending her emails on the eve of the 2014 Legislature.
“This fundraiser is not for me personally, as in money for my vote,” King said. “This fundraiser is for the Ada Dems and it keeps the doors open here in Boise.”
I’ll have more on this story in Wednesday’s print edition and online, including more from King and comments from former GOP Sen. Skip Smyser, a lobbyist who pressed lawmakers to stop raising money during legislative sessions; House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston; and House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley.