It appears that a run for secretary of state by former Idaho House speaker Lawerence Denney won’t get much sympathy from the opinion arm of the largest newspaper in north central Idaho.
In his Wednesday column, Lewiston Tribune Editorial Page Editor Marty Trillhaase gets out the long knives in assessing the prospect of Rep. Denney’s candidacy.
Trillhaase notes, as I reported in my column Tuesday, that three-term incumbent Republican Secretary of State Ben Ysursa is declining to say whether he’ll run for a fourth term next year. Ysursa says he’ll announce his plans “within the next few weeks.”
Denney, R-Midvale, was a frequent target for Trillhaase while Denney was speaker of the House from 2006-2012. Denney was defeated in December in a vote of the 57-member GOP Caucus by Rep. Scott Bedke, R-Oakley. Trillhaase, the son of former GOP lawmaker Martin Trillhaase, R-Idaho Falls, entitles his column, “The Bizarro World of Boss Denney’s Ambition.”
I’ve phoned and emailed Denney asking if he’d like to respond. If he does, I’ll update this post.
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Trillhaase hails Ysursa for his even-handed administration of Idaho election law, Sunshine Law disclosures and redistricting.
“If it was a choice between his party and the voters, Ysursa picked the voters every time,” Trillhaase writes.
He blasted Denney for his dealings with lobbyists, coddling disgraced and defeated tax scofflaw Rep. Phil Hart, killing ethics reform and undermining the citizens commission on redistricting.
“On one hand is an official with a legacy of expanding the vote, respecting the electoral process, shining a light on government and standing up for ethics in public office,” Trillhaase writes. “On the other is a record so rife with smarmy cronyism that it repulsed members of his own party.”