Election Central

Risch on Mitchell: Stronger ties to California and New York than Idaho

Idaho GOP Sen. Jim Risch used Tuesday’s entry of Democrat Nels Mitchell into the 2014 Senate race as an opportunity to raise money and to define Mitchell as a liberal with tenuous ties to Idaho.

Risch wrote that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is “desperate” to maintain control of the Senate and alleged Mitchell is Reid’s “handpicked puppet.”

“Now, they are trying to replace me with a leftist political novice who appears to have stronger ties to California and New York than in Idaho,” wrote Risch. “A predictable choice for Reid’s liberal tastes, but that’s just plain wrong for principled conservatives.”

Mitchell replied Wednesday with a news release including a copy of the Risch fundraising letter.

“Jim Risch seems to think his re-election is about Nevada Senator Harry Reid – it’s not,” said Mitchell. “But that kind of thinking does prove how out of touch he has become. The U.S. Senate race in Idaho in 2014 is really about Jim Risch and his record – or lack thereof.”

Mitchell, 60, is a graduate of Boise High School and the University of Idaho School of Law, but spent most of his professional life in California and New York, practicing law in those states for 27 years. Mitchell returned to Idaho in 2008 and in 2009 joined the Boise law firm Mauk & Burgoyne.

The Risch letter is typical in its heightened rhetoric. To my eye, the most interesting aspect was its characterization of Mitchell, a first-time candidate, as a novice who practiced law in the evil liberal empires of California and New York. Look for Risch, 70, who moved to Idaho from Wisconsin to attend the U of I, to sound the carpetbagger alarm again and again.

The complete texts of Risch’s fundraising letter and Mitchell’s news release follow.

Risch’s letter was addressed to a potential contributor named “Brad.”

Brad,

An interesting development today. Harry Reid cares about one thing – power – and he’ll do
absolutely anything to hold on to it.

For Reid’s Democrats, it’s all on the line…ObamaCare, future entitlement spending, gun
control and immigration reform. His rule over the Senate is in serious jeopardy, and
Obama’s big spending liberal legislative agenda is about to be stopped in its tracks if
Republicans can take back the Senate.

There’s no doubt about it…this is a must-win race for conservatives. Today, Harry Reid fielded a liberal challenger to run against me. Reid is desperate, and I’m confident that it won’t be long before his handpicked puppet begins to falsely smear my proud conservative record.

Brad, let’s crush Harry Reid’s dreams before he can get his hopes up. Please make an immediate contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more right now to my campaign so we can show Harry Reid and Barack Obama that this seat is not in play.Democrats know the math well – they need to steal a traditionally Republican Senate seat or it’s game over for Harry Reid as Senate majority leader.

Now, they are trying to replace me with a leftist political novice who appears to have
stronger ties to California and New York than in Idaho. A predictable choice for Reid’s
liberal tastes, but that’s just plain wrong for principled conservatives.

So Brad, make an immediate contribution to my reelection campaign right now and help
me put this seat out of Harry Reid’s reach.

Obama, Harry Reid, and their Democratic campaign Super PACs see conservatives as targets and want to drive every last one of us out of office.

I didn’t receive the highest rating from the American Conservative Union for backing down from a fight — and I don’t intend to start now.

I won’t back down in the U.S. Senate, but I need to know you are standing with me. Join
me in my fight against the Obama administration and for a conservative U.S. Senate.

Thanks,

Jim Risch
United States Senator


Mitchell’s news release:

NELS MITCHELL BLASTS RISCH APPEAL FOR CAMPAIGN MONEY

Says the 2014 election is about Risch’s record

BOISE – Responding to an internet fundraising appeal sent by Sen. Jim Risch, Nels Mitchell, Risch’s Democratic challenger, today issued the following statement:

“Jim Risch seems to think his re-election is about Nevada Senator Harry Reid – it’s not. But that kind of thinking does prove how out of touch he has become. The U.S. Senate race in Idaho in 2014 is really about Jim Risch and his record – or lack thereof.

I said when I announced yesterday that I’ll go back to Washington and do the business of Idaho. I won’t be an automatic vote for anyone or anything, unlike Mr. Risch who shields his lack of accomplishment in the Senate by voting NO on virtually everything and by offering no real solutions of his own. In particular, he has done nothing to promote job growth in Idaho.

Unlike Mr. Risch, I won’t cast silly votes  to shut down our government; I won’t use budget blackmail to harm Mountain Home Air Force Base or the INL, and I won’t concentrate on Syria and Kazakhstan at the expense of Kootenai or Canyon County.

This election is about the record of a life-long politician who has held elected office for nearly 40 years and, in an entire term in the U.S. Senate, has not one major thing to show as an accomplishment for Idaho families. The only desperation here is Mr. Risch’s as he struggles to hold on to the job that pays him $174,000, one he recently said was so easy he could do it permanently.

In that same interview, he said nothing ever happens in Congress, but he still loves his job. That is not my vision for a United States Senator. Idaho’s senators should work as hard as the people who elect them.

Idaho needs a Senator who will work hard every day for the state and its people, not one who only plays partisan games and who seems content to have a good time on the public’s dime.”

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