Report: Independent allies helped boost spending in Idaho primary

Posted at 10:51 AM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 12:51:48-04

An unprecedented amount of money from independent allies helped boost contenders in Idaho's primary election.

According to a review of the latest campaign disclosure reports, more than $1.2 million was spent on so-called independent expenditures by wealthy donors in the final weeks leading up to May 15.

The Fairness Project, a Washington-based group, formed by labor unions to push for minimum wage ballot measures, spent the most out of the 15 groups who reported independent expenditures.

Fairness Project organizers spent nearly $550,000 on helping the proposed Medicaid expansion ballot initiative.

Independent expenditures are political campaign communications that advocate for the support or defeat of a candidate or measure. They cannot be done in coordination with the candidate or measure.

In 2016, third-party donors spent just $296,000 on independent expenditures during the primary campaign.

(by Kimberlee Kruesi, Associated Press)