The power of an incumbent Republican government in Idaho is clearly visible in campaign finances. Members of the GOP gets quadruple the amount a Democrat gets in this extreme red state. It also helped the Republicans that they hold party leadership positions and committee assignments in Washington. This provides them access to a bigger pool funds from Washington centric interest and corporate groups.
Lion’s share for GOP
Candidates for the federal office and state office in Idaho accumulated almost $6 million during 2015 and until August 2016. About 50 percent of that amount went to the six candidates vying for the federal office. Two Idaho seats and one US Senate seat in House of Representatives are on ballot in 2015. Republicans raised $2.7 million from the total of $3.4 million raised by US House and Senate candidates. From that amount, about 60 percent, coming to $1.6 million, is in the hands of Senator Mike Crapo. The Senator is angling for a fourth term. On the other side, Jennifer Martinez of the Democratic Party has raised only $5,000. She competes against US Representative Mike Simpson, a nine term incumbent.
If one excludes loans given to candidates, donation by political committees and non-itemized contributions, the biggest Idaho donors comprise in-state interests. The largest donation was for $55,375 by Idaho Association of Realtors and $52,500 by Idaho Power. The Professional Fire Fighters gave $36,000. Three agricultural companies- Monsanto at $31,000, Altria at $30,950 and Simplot at $30,000- also made substantial contributions.
Who and which
When it came to types of business, bank holding companies and commercial banks donated almost $127,000. They are followed by the pharmaceutical manufacturers at $116,000 and law firms, including attorneys at $112,600. Securities firms and the life insurance companies contributed $109,000 and $101,500 respectively.
The biggest recipients of the contributions were topped by Crapo. He received approximately one-third of $1.6 million as donation from real estate, insurance and finance interests. This gels with his stature as member of Senate Banking and the Finance committees. Simpson is in the second place gathered almost $760,000. He is seeking a 10th term re-election. The biggest contributors were from the natural resources and energy sector. He holds membership to House Appropriations Committee and also holds the chairperson position in Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. Simpson also serves on two Appropriations subcommittees other than those mentioned. About $3.4 million or 57 percent of total funds received came from non-individual or corporate entities.