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Bonneville Republicans may vote 'no confidence' in own party

By By Caleb James, Reporter
Published On: Feb 27 2013 10:01:19 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 27 2013 11:47:54 AM CST

Caleb James reports.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

The Bonneville County Republican Central Committee will hold a special meeting on Friday to make a very bold statement about some area lawmakers. 

Some GOP precinct officers may call for votes of “no-confidence” against members of their own party. 

“These legislators seem to be listening to the big money,” said precinct 23 officer Halli Stone. “To the big insurance companies who stand to profit from a state-based insurance exchange."

On Tuesday, Stone said a special meeting of Bonneville precinct officers planned for Friday will make a statement. 

“It would let them know that the people at home are dissatisfied with the way they're voting,” said Stone. 

Stone said the committee will likely call for a resolution designating a vote of “no-confidence” against legislators who have voted in the Idaho House and Senate in favor of a state-based health insurance exchange. 

“When we get there, we will discuss the issue of state-based health insurance exchanges and then we will decide what to do,” said Stone. 

Votes to move forward on a state-based health insurance exchange were taken on the Idaho state senate floor last week. 

Sen. Dean Mortimer (R-Idaho Falls) argued against a state-based exchange, but Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill (R-Rexburg), John Tippets (R-Montpelier), and Bart Davis (R-Idaho Falls) voted for the state-based exchange. 

Stone said it's those lawmakers the central committee will target with votes of no-confidence if a resolution passes Friday. 

The resolution would also target Idaho state house members who have yet to vote, said Stone. 

Reached by phone in Boise on Tuesday night, Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Idaho Falls) responded to the possibility of a vote.

“If that is productive in some people's minds, then I guess that can happen,” said Thompson. "I'm over here trying to get the people's work done for the people who have elected me, so that's what I'm going to be focusing on.” 

Thompson added that a majority of eastern Idahoans favor the state exchange.  

Hill offered our station this statement: 

“We are obviously disappointed in efforts by a few activists to persuade Bonneville County's Republican Central Committee to condemn legislators in their own party for supporting a state-based exchange rather than default to the federal government. If the committee demeans legislators from Bonneville County, it also condemns Gov. Otter and the most Republican Senate in the nation for favoring a state exchange over a federal exchange by a 2 to 1 margin. Such action by the Central Committee would be in opposition to every major business group in the state, including our own Chamber of Commerce, and a large majority of Idaho citizens (according to a recent poll) that favor a state-run exchange.”

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