The City of Eagle’s Mayoral runoff is Tuesday, December 5. It has been a heated and contentious race between incumbent Mayor Jason Pierce and challenger Brad Pike.
The involvement of political action committees (PACs) in this race has been the basis for some of the arguments between the two candidates.
This image was sent out by a group called Preserve Idaho PAC. The accompanying message reads,
“Hi, I’m Rene with Preserve Idaho PAC. I just found out that the same liberal dark money group (Conservation Voters for Idaho) that supported Boise Mayor Lauren McLean is now supporting Brad Pike here in Eagle. Why? I want a conservative, not a hidden California Democrat.”
Pike responded on social media, saying,
“I want to set the record straight and address the false allegations that have been circulating about my campaign. It is 100% false to claim that I have accepted dark money. I have never received dark money or accepted developer contributions because I am committed to putting Eagle citizens first above all.
I want to emphasize that I have no control over what other PACs do, as we are not involved with them. If you have questions or concerns about the sources of campaign funding, I encourage you to examine the Sunshine Report. It provides transparency about who has contributed to my campaign and who has contributed to my opponent’s campaign.
…These false allegations only serve to distract from the real issues that our community faces.”Advertisement
Another issue in the race has been the involvement of a PAC called Idaho Voting Project. Thad Butterworth, Chair of the Ada County Republican Central Committee, sent an email detailing what he says was a phone call to an Eagle voter. According to his email, the voicemail is quoted as saying,
“Hi, Joy. I’m a volunteer with the Idaho Voting Project and I’m talking with voters in Eagle and reminding them of the upcoming Runoff Election in Eagle on Tuesday, uh, December 5th. Uh, your polling place is the Eagle Seventh Day Adventist Church. You can also early vote next Monday through Friday at the Eagle Library. At the Idaho Voting Project we are supporting candidate Brad Pike and we hope that we have your vote. Thank you.”
Butterworth’s email showed an image of a 2014 document from the Idaho Secretary of State for the assumed business name, “Idaho Voting Project” having been filed by the Idaho Democratic Party.
“This call was made by the Democrat Precinct Committeeperson for Precinct 1410. Below is a copy of the Idaho Democrat Party filing for an assumed business name as the Idaho Voting Project.”
He added his thoughts to conclude the email,
“The behavior that the Democrats are engaging in are same behaviors that cause voters to be turned off by politics. I call on the Democrats to be open and honest about their support of candidates. It brings a sense of fairness and honesty when voters can see who supports a candidate, instead of hiding behind assumed business names. “
Idaho Republican Party Chair Dorothy Moon also sent out correspondence regarding the Idaho Voting Project:
…it has come to our attention that the Idaho Democratic Party is actively campaigning and sending text messages in support of candidate Brad Pike. This overt endorsement and involvement in a non-partisan election reveals the clear ideological divide between the two candidates, Mayor Jason Pierce and Brad Pike…
…This further underscores the Idaho Republican Party’s commitment to the resolution advocating for non-partisan local elections in Idaho to be made partisan. It is important and beneficial for voters to understand a candidate’s affiliation to make informed choices at the ballot box that align with their ideologies and values.
Pierce followed up on social media, reposting what Butterworth had sent out, “providing support of Chairwoman Moon’s email.”
Idaho Dispatch has asked the Idaho Democratic Party to comment on this matter. We will provide an update if a response is received.
Ada County Sheriff Matt Clifford posted to social media a response to calls he has received regarding a mailer that was sent to Eagle voters that gives the appearance of an endorsement by Clifford for Pierce. Clifford explains,
“I have received many inquiries regarding a mailer received by Eagle citizens. While this mailer insinuates my endorsement for Mayor Jason Pierce, based on my picture and the misquote, I do not endorse any Eagle Mayoral candidate. I am disappointed that my words and images have been used in an attempt to manipulate the residents of Eagle and the use of my position as the Ada County Sheriff as a pawn in the politics of this election.”
Eagle voters will decide whom they believe, and whose vision for Eagle aligns with their own when they go to the polls on Tuesday.
Tags: Brad Pike, Dark Money, Dorothy Moon, Eagle Mayor, Idaho Democratic Party, Idaho Republican Party, Idaho Voting Project, Jason Pierce, Lauren McLean, Matt Clifford, Preserve Idaho PAC, Runoff, Thad Butterworth