Unanimous Idaho legislative panel backs financial disclosure for all candidates, elected officials

BOISE – It’s time for Idaho to end its distinction as one of just two states with no personal financial disclosure requirements at all for its elected officials, a panel of state lawmakers agreed on Monday.

“Can you believe it?” asked Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, after the Legislature’s campaign finance reform legislative work group wrapped up its meeting. Loertscher had worked on the proposal for the past four years and presented it to the legislative panel.

“I think everybody in the room realizes that we probably had to do something,” said Loertscher, a conservative who’s in his seventh House term. “We get a black eye for not being very ethical and not requiring any disclosure of any kind.”

Under the new proposal – which the legislative panel recommended the full Legislature pass when it convenes in January – all candidates for elective office at the state, legislative, county or city level would have to file annual disclosures that identify: their primary employer and occupation or job title; all entities they own or for which they’re an officer; each entity that has paid them $5,000 or more in income in the past year; each entity in which they own stocks or bonds valued at more than $5,000 unless they’re managed by a third party; any boards on which they serve; and their spouse’s name, occupation and employer. Read more…