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Ballot initiatives, governor’s race draw most campaign money

October 11, 2018

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A ballot initiative seeking to legalize historical horse racing devices that opponents say are the equivalent of illegal slot machines is drawing the most money leading up to Idaho’s November election.

Campaign finance reports filed Wednesday with the secretary of state’s office show the Committee to Save Idaho Horse Racing in support of Proposition 1 raised about $2 million since the May primary.

All of the money came from Treasure Valley Racing, a group that operates horse racing track Les Boise Park in Garden City. They have spent about $1.45 million and have about $650,000 left.

Reports show that Idahoans United Against Prop 1 raised $2.7 million, almost all of it from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe that operates a casino in Worley that’s within the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation.

Both sides are running expensive television ads.

In the governor’s race, Republican Lt. Gov. Brad Little reported raising about $750,000, while Democrat former state Rep. Paulette Jordan raised about $475,000.

Little reported receiving $5,000 donations from Idaho Conservative Growth Fund, Enterprise Holdings PAC, J.R. Simplot Co., phRMA, U.S. Ecology, Molina Healthcare, ANRI PAC, United Health Group, Idaho Prosperity Fund, Idaho Land Fund, Idaho Medical PAC and Sun Valley Resort.

Little has spent about $265,000 and has about $520,000 left.

Jordan has received nearly $60,000 in contributions of $50 or less from donors. She also received $2,700 from the Yakima Nation. She’s spent $420,000 plus another $100,000 in credit cards and other expenses. She had about $190,000 remaining.

Idahoans for Healthcare raised $512,000 for an initiative called Proposition 2 to expand Medicaid, which Idaho lawmakers have refused to do. The Idaho Hospital Association contributed $150,000. A.J. Balukoff, a Boise businessman and longtime Boise school board member who lost to Jordan in the primary, and his wife, Susie, contributed $100,000. The group reported spending about $260,000 and having about $250,000 remaining.

A group opposing the expansion — Work, Not Obamacare PAC — raised about $29,000 and spending about $10,000, with about $19,000 remaining.

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