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Idaho Politics: Where Does the Money Come From?

From harsh budget cuts to failing to fix Idaho’s conscience law to protect patient’s legal rights, the 2010 Idaho state legislative session left many groups disappointed. But it left the state’s largest voting demographic, voters age 50 and older, that their voice and interests weren’t heard by those they elected.

With trust in Government already extremely low, failing on several key issues supported by the age group making up 65% of all ballots cast in 2010 elections, found many AARP members asking “what happened” and more importantly why.

The common perception among many as to why their voice was being ignored: The flow of large campaign contributions from corporations, businesses and political action committees (PACs) into politics in the Gem State.

With this in mind, a dedicated group of AARP volunteers undertook the daunting task of pouring over every campaign report filed by the winning candidates for State Legislator, Lt. Governor and Governor, to see just how much money from the groups was given vs. that contributed by individual donors. The result of that research is the first annual AARP Idaho Campaign Contributions Reports.

The first of its kind AARP report provides a comprehensive look at how much money was contributed to Idaho candidates by corporations, businesses and PACs.

The report also contains several policy recommendations by AARP to help restore public confidence in state lawmakers, such as requiring candidates to raise the majority of their campaign funds from individual donors who live in the candidate’s district, and establish limits on how much money can be given to PACs.

AARP will use the report to launch its government integrity efforts in Idaho.

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