Secretary of State: Idaho GOP did not violate campaign laws

The Secretary of State’s office says the Idaho Republican Party did not violate the state’s campaign laws while creating a political attack ad against House Minority Leader John Rusche.

The decision refutes a complaint filed by the Idaho Democratic Party in October. Democratic officials alleged that Idaho Republican Party Executive Director David Johnston illegally coordinated with GOP candidate Mike Kingsley’s campaign in creating a political attack ad against Rusche using funds from an independent expenditure.

However, Chief Deputy Tim Hurst said Monday that the Republican Party worked with volunteers and fellow party staffers, not directly with Kinglsey.

Idaho law defines independent expenditures as any expense not made in consultation with a candidate or campaign.

Kingsley ousted Rusche, a six term lawmaker from Lewiston, in the Nov. 8 election.