Election Central

April Fools’: GOP opponent Chmelik chides Lt. Gov. Little in fundraising letter

Idaho County Commissioner Jim Chmelik begins a new fundraising letter with a report of the “stunning turn of events” that Lt. Gov. Brad Little phoned President Obama “to tell him he has decided to change his tune and will now, for once be standing up for Idahoans.”

In the letter addressed to “Friends,” Chmelik says Little told the president “that although he welcomed both Obamacare and Common Core with open arms previously, he now wishes to withdraw his support of those two issues. In addition, he also demanded that the federal government give Idaho its land back.”

And then, the kicker: “Before you get too excited…APRIL FOOLS’!!”

Chemlik goes on to say he wouldn’t be running in the GOP primary if Little “really did stand up for Idaho values” and solicits contributions ranging from $10 to $250 that “would go a long way in our fight to take back our state. If you like your Government, you can keep your Government. If you don’t, click here.”

Little, 60, is a former senator, third-generation rancher from Emmett and graduate of the University of Idaho. He raised $286,000 for his campaign in 2013.

Chemlik, 54, lived in Washington state and Maryland before moving to Idaho in 2000. He graduated from the University of Maryland.

Chmelik did not file an annual campaign finance report for 2013. He’s required to file his lone pre-primary report on May 13,  a week before the May 20 primary.

Asked for comment, Little offered a brief reply: “I had not seen the attached, I guess I am not on his contribution list.”

The winner of the primary will face former Democratic Sen. Bert Marley of McCammon and Constitutional Party nominee David Hartigan of Boise in the Nov. 4 general election.


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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Posted in Election Central, Idaho Politics