I would like to say that I’m surprised by defeated GOP chairman Tom Luna’s last-minute op-ed attacking me, Bryan Smith, and Brent Regan regarding our donations to Idaho Freedom PAC. Unfortunately, I’m not. Tom has borne false witness against us, and now it’s up to us to set the record straight.
Apparently his peace offering at the convention was only one sided, if he won chairmanship?
This time Tom has made allegations that we’re supporting non-Republican candidates for office here in Idaho because a political action committee we’ve supported also backed independent candidate Ammon Bundy for governor. This is just plain silly.
At no point did I, and I’m quite confident to say Bryan or Brent, give money to Idaho Freedom PAC to support anyone other than conservative identified Republicans running for the Legislature.
We gave money to Idaho Freedom PAC because the organization was backing conservative Republicans running for the Legislature. In fact, the candidates the Idaho Freedom PAC supported won their primaries and as of this writing are on their way to winning in the general election. As Tom knows full well, political action committees can and do support multiple candidates. The money I, Smith, and Regan donated were earmarked for conservative Republican candidates, and that’s where the money was spent. This is easily traceable via the Secretary of State’s website.
Tom’s antics serve as a follow up to his and Frank Vandersloot’s unilateral vile decision to sue the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee in the weeks before the May Primary. The new leadership of the party could see the stupidity and tossed the case, thankfully. But it appears evident that he’s got a bee in his bonnet regarding me, Bryan, and Brent.
This is not the first time Tom has publicly bent facts in order to fit his agenda. Most recently, as an elected official on the state GOP executive committee, I was surprised to hear Tom boast that the Idaho Republican Party, under his leadership, had “crushed fundraising goals” for the cycle. Tom boasted he’d raised $2.7 million. But upon closer examination, it appears he’d raised less than $900,000. The rest of the money he was talking about appears to have been pass-through money given in support of the Trump Victory re-election efforts in 2020. Tom used the higher figure in order to deceive the party rank and file to garner support.
The claim that the party has “raised” the above money is factually dubious, as is the contention that we’ve given support to non-GOP candidates because of some donations to a political action committee which later — way later — decided independently to back a different candidate for governor than the one who won the GOP primary.
I have two theories for why Tom submitted his guest opinion to Idaho’s leftist newspapers in the days leading up to the general election. One, is that Tom knows he’s wrong here but he’s a political opportunist and thought he’d play “gotcha” with his attack. Two, is that Tom is trying to buy support from the GOP establishment, hoping that if he can make his attack stick, perhaps the people in positions of power will reward him and his company with another multimillion dollar no-bid contract.
Either way, the truth must be known: Tom cannot be trusted with facts, and his attempt to smear us reveals that he’s a washed up politician who will say just about anything regardless of any actual facts that present themselves.