Election Central

Mitchell assails Risch as ‘Senator No,’ says No. 1 conservative rank hurts Idaho

Idaho Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Nels Mitchell says Sen. Jim Risch’s rank as the most conservative vote in the Senate for three of his five years in office proves he’s an obstructionist and the “anti-everything candidate” for re-election.

Risch touted his record in two news releases this week, one on CQ Weekly calling him the No. 1 opponent of President Obama’s agenda and the second on National Journal calling him the most conservative of 100 senators. Both rankings were based on roll call votes in 2013. Risch has been ranked as the most conservative senator three times by National Journal.

“Risch has turned into ‘Senator No,’ and his negativism is hurting Idaho,” Mitchell said in a news release.  “When he votes against funding for INL, against protecting women from violence, against payments to Idaho’s rural counties, he’s voting against Idahoans.”

Risch campaign spokesman Jason Risch, the senator’s son, provided this reply:

“Senator Risch’s opponent accuses him of running from his voting record. Nothing could be further from the truth. This week alone the Senator released no less than three press releases highlighting his conservative voting record, one of which was related to a non-partisan study which found the Senator had voted against the Obama agenda more than any other Senator.  Senator Risch is proud of his conservative voting record.

“Senator Risch’s opponent also accuses him of not supporting rule Idaho counties. Mr. Mitchell is wrong again in that Senator Risch just last week voted for the Farm Bill which brought more assistance to Idaho rural counties than any other piece of legislation in recent history.  It is understandable how Mr. Mitchell who spent his adult life living in New York City and California would not comprehend rural Idaho.”

Mitchell announced his candidacy last month. Both he and Risch are lawyers, but Mitchell is a first-time candidate while Risch has been in elected office for 37 years.

Mitchell’s news release follows:

‘SENATOR NO’ STRIKES AGAIN

Mitchell Says Risch Is Running Away from his Record

BOISE – U.S. Senate candidate Nels Mitchell said today he’s not surprised Jim Risch is touting his dubious achievement as the most obstructionist senator in Washington.  “He’s running away from his record,” Mitchell said.

“Risch has turned into ‘Senator No,’ and his negativism is hurting Idaho,” Mitchell said.  “When he votes against funding for INL, against protecting women from violence, against payments to Idaho’s rural counties, he’s voting against Idahoans.”

“Jim Risch wants to run as the anti-everything candidate because he has a dismal record of working for Idaho,” Mitchell said.  “It’s no wonder he says it doesn’t matter if he’s on the job or not, because when you vote the way he does, it really doesn’t.”

“It’s easy to vote ‘no’ when you’re on the extreme fringe and your vote doesn’t count,” he said.  “What’s harder is to roll up your sleeves and get to work for Idaho.  That’s what I’ll do.”

“Instead of bragging about how far right he is, Jim Risch should apologize to the people of Idaho for wasting their time and money doing little but enjoying the perks of office and promoting gridlock and dysfunction,” Mitchell said.

“It’s time for Jim Risch to stop posing at our expense.  He should retire – but not on the taxpayer’s dime,” Mitchell said.

 

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