Boise Mayor Dave Bieter paid $50 ticket out of his own pocket to see U.S. House Speaker John Boehner headline Monday’s fundraiser for eight-term Republican Congressman Mike Simpson.
According to Bieter spokesman Adam Park, “The primary reason for the Mayor’s attendance was to hear Speaker Boehner. Regardless of political affiliation, the Speaker of the House plays a critical role in how the country is governed. Given the rarity of having the Speaker in Boise, the Mayor felt he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to participate in this event.”
Simpson recognized Bieter among the various dignitaries at the fundraiser, which raised over $95,000 for Simpson’s race against tea party favorite Bryan Smith, a first-time candidate and Idaho Falls lawyer. Simpson’s shout-out prompted one dogged reader to ask me to find out what was up with Hizzoner mixing with the GOP.
Though Bieter served in the Legislature as a Democrat, the three-term mayor’s current job is non-partisan. He is frequently rumored to be prospective candidate for higher office, including governor in 2014, but Bieter himself has revealed little interest since being elected mayor a decade ago.
In 2010, Bieter contributed $250 from his mayoral campaign fund to Simpson’s re-election bid over Democrat Mike Crawford. Simpson won with 69 percent of the vote.
As for 2014, Park said Bieter isn’t taking sides. Yet.
“The Mayor will make that decision after a Democratic nominee has entered the race,” said Park.