Longtime Idaho GOP spokesman, consultant Mike Tracy arrested for DUI

Mike Tracy is facing a misdemeanor DUI charge after his arrest Friday afternoon by Meridian police.

Tracy, 58, of Meridian, was booked at the Ada County Jail about 5:30 p.m. Friday and released. Tracy declined comment Tuesday morning.

Meridian Deputy Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea said police stopped Tracy about 2:50 p.m. on North Locust Grove Street, near Pine Street, after seeing him driving in the center turn lane. According to police, Tracy smelled of alcohol, had glassy, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. After failing a field sobriety test, Tracy refused to take a breath-alcohol test.

Police obtained a warrant to take a blood sample from Tracy. The results of that test are not yet available, Basterrechea said.

Mike Tracy

Tracy spent a decade as communication director for former Republican U.S. Sen. Larry Craig before opening his Boise public relations, advertising and marketing firm, Tracy Communications, in 2006. He worked on Republican Gov. Butch Otter’s winning campaigns in 2006 and 2010 and for the losing 2010 primary campaign of GOP congressional candidate Vaughn Ward.

From November 2008 to December 2011, Tracy held the public affairs services contract with the Idaho Department of Lands. He was paid a total of $287,890 for promotional videos, annual reports, polling, press clipping services and other public relations duties. The department hired an in-house public information officer in January 2012. Earlier this year, Tracy provided graphic design for the department’s annual report.

From 1988 to 1996, Tracy was information director for the Idaho Farm Bureau. From 1981-88, he was general sales manager for KPVI-TV in Pocatello.


Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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