LaRocco Vies For Lt. Gov. Post

While mainstreamer media was busy speculating about the ramifications of the Risch-Otter-Kempthorne-Little musical chairs at the Idaho Statehouse, a well known Dem joined the fracas.

Former Idaho Congressman Larry LaRocco quietly slipped his name into the race for Lt. Governor prior to the Friday filing deadline. He is going to need a lot more than a mere footnote mention if he is serious about running. LaRocco doesn’t appear to have much organization–no website that pops up, no media circus announcement and certainly no media recognition. No doubt there will be enough die hard demos to give him the nod in the primary. The big question in a race against Risch will be, “How does a guy who spends his time in Washington run against an incumbent governor for the Lt. Gov. job?”

Our guess is the smooth talking politician with lots of experience both in Idaho and D.C. is aiming for a semi-retirement and the Lt. Gov job is an ideal fit. Looks like it will be a RISCH-LaROCCO race in November.

For the past four years his lobbying partner has been his 33-year-old son, Matthew. They work in adjoining offices where LaRocco is President of Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations in downtown D.C. He maintains a McCall address as well.

He is well tied into what is left of the Democrat party in Idaho and his past is no more checkered than some of the other players. After he lost the 1st District congressional seat to Helen Chenoweth in 1994, LaRocco made headlines in the Statesman with a story involving an unidentified woman.

GUARDIAN recalls a pretty damning “expose” by Statesman political reporter Dan Popkey put LaRocco in standby mode for a long time when it came to Idaho politics. He shouldn’t expect a “love letter” like the one Popkey wrote about Risch. It will be interesting to see if the long term memory of old voters will mean much in a state with so many newcomers.

Here is some online background info we garnered:

— born in Van Nuys, Los Angeles County, Calif., August 25, 1946
–attended Stanford University Institute of Television and Radio, 1967, and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1968-1969; B.A., University of Portland, 1967; M.S., Boston University, 1969
–captain, military intelligence, United States Army, 1969-1972
–former staffer for former Senator Frank Church
–vice president of a brokerage firm, 1983-1990; unsuccessful candidate in 1982 for the Ninety-eighth Congress; nominee in 1986 for the Idaho State senate
–two term congressman (January 3, 1991-January 3, 1995); unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the One Hundred Fourth Congress.

Military veteran Daniel M. Romero of Nampa has also filed for the Democrat Lt. Gov. primary. His website says he has a Masters of Science Degree in Instructional and Performance Technology from Boise State University. He lives in Nampa.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Well, I kind of liked old Larry. He seems to have had that Dem guys problem with wanting to mess around with women other than their wives. And they say women have hormonal problems. Ha.

    But I would be surprised if he has much chance at Lt. Guv slot, even though we do have a lot of new people in the state. First of all he is still a Democrat, but he also hasn’t spent much time here in the last decade or two. You are probably right that he is just looking for a part time retirement job. (Maybe I should have run….)

    Whatever happened to Echohawk, by the way?

  2. Echohawk has a Law office in Pokie ( isn’t that what all retired Politicians do?)


  3. Dan, from the Statesman wrote an article recently on Jim Risch becoming gov.
    He wrote that Jim Risch, was the influence for Idaho becoming a Right to Work State.

    If this statement is indeed true.
    Lets give LaRocco a chance to undue a wrong?

    Jim Risch has been around along time now…and now that he has become king, lets us voters put him in retirement.

    Maybe …just maybe ….Idaho has time for a two party system?

  4. And the left wonders why they can’t buy many elections here in Idaho yet. Even voting for the lesser of two evils doesn’t allow much of a chance for the sorry candidates they field .
    I count several strikes against poor Larry. He’s a Californian,(Yes I know, they have a “right” to be here too but I already pay to feed, clothe and educate too many of them in the schools and jails. I’ll be damned if I’ll vote for one of them for an Idaho office.) He worked for Frank “The Chameleon” Church, He is A Liberal, He felt he was quite a Stud Duck.(and probably still thinks so)
    On the positive side, he is currently “back east” and he doesn’t have any annoying spit curls and hippie glasses to contend with
    Check the linked press release on his current mercenary activities at the lobbyist organization.
    “winning for the client is the only thing that matters. . .” I imagine that means exerting pressure and passing out bribes for whatever client (and cause) that rents him.

  5. dh

    You comment… he worked for Frank “The Chameleon” Church, He is A Liberal…..

    Frank “The Chameleon” was elected to the U.S. Senate several times … from Idaho.( I believe Idaho City just had the 30 year celebration for him running for President which he announced in Idaho City). I think he might have won if it hadn’t have been for Jimmy, but not against Ronnie. But it was fun going to Idaho City to see him announce his run…. but that is another story

  6. Sissyphus,
    Perhaps I misspoke about poor Larry being a Liberal only because he worked for The Chameleon. It has however been my general observation over my fifty-five years of life here in Idaho that “Birds of a feather really do flock together.” As an example, I sure as cain wouldn’t work for Al Gore or John Kerry-Heinz.
    Although it is bad form to speak ill of the deceased, Brother Church was a true liberal. He, like Larry, attended Stanford U. He walked away from there as a Lawyer. (No, that is not a compliment) Somehow he did get elected to the Senate four times from this normaly conservative state. It was difficult at the time to find anyone who would admit to voting for him.
    Do you remember his tears and blubbering for the “poor” Vietnamese? I didn’t care a bit for his support of giving the Panama Canal away either. Do you suppose Norriega would have gotten quite so big if we hadn’t passed control of the canal over to Panama? Wasn’t it Frank who said “I know its not what all of my constituents want but I just have to vote my own conscience?”
    While Cecil Andrus may have been a true, esp. for a Dem, “Moderate,” Frank Church was a bloody Liberal. They both wanted to lock up Idaho’s public lands. In the spirit of compromise with you, I suppose that was better than many of the Repubs who now want to sell Idaho to their new pals.
    Oh yes. The nickname “the Chameleon?” He earned that title during his many terms and campaigns. He used tailored speeches for whatever area of Idaho or the Nation that he was speaking in. In those days of spottier news coverage and even more selective reporting, he was ALMOST able to bring it off. He was able to promise almost everyone in each area almost everything he thought they would like.

  7. dh
    I guess I didn’t see you at Idaho City when he announced his run for President…

  8. dh, I don’t know how I got named in your last diatribe but you threw down the gauntlet and I accept. I’m quite sure Senator Church would not consider your labeling him a liberal as speaking ill of him at all. Depending of course of whether you are using the definition from the dictionary or the one bandied about by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and the ilk. Senator Church was well educated, like you say, but you say it like its a bad thing. Like a typical liberal he voted consistently to preserve all our rights under the Constitution. But not so typically he voted consistently to preserve the second amendment which is an Idaho value and yet another reason he won reelection three times.

    Moreover your chameleon label insults the intelligence of the Idaho voter at the time. They were quite able to identify the candidate that served their interests in Washington the best. You fail to identify any occurence where Senator Church went back on promises made to his constituents.

    “Locking up” Idaho land. Is that what you call it? I think its quite the opposite as would the thousands of hunters, fisherman, and other outdoor recreationists who regularly use the wilderness in the way God intended. I also recall it was a bipartisan delegation that secured that wilderness and a Republican senator that named it the Frank. And now I see that our current delegation is running fast from the notion of selling off our public lands to private interests which would certainly “lock up” those tracts.

    Wow pretty cold to the Vietnamese aren’t you? I mean all we did was give them empty promises of self determination and rained down literally tons of munitions on their country. And you better go look up your history on Noriega. He was a direct offshoot of Reagan’s policies in Central America. Go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Noriega

    Now I’m not answering your challenge to me in an effort to support Larry, I still have questions about him. But if you liken him to Senator Church, well that works in his favor.

  9. Sisyphus–

    First let me apologize for using your nom de guerre instead of Porcupine’s. I’m not sure how that slip occurred. I am voluntarily tapering off caffeine and maybe that was a contributing factor. . . As to sharing opinions of Frank, I guess we probably will never agree on the relative “greatness” of the man.

    Several positives about him we might agree on are that he was an Idahoan and that he honorably served the Nation in WW II. Good or bad, other than his inflated “legacy,” this whole issue is a dead horse.

    As you point out, my use of the term Liberal, as defined by Webster’s, was not appropriate. As used by the entities you disparagingly list, yes, “Liberal” was what I meant. That use is in the same vein as homosexuals calling themselves “Gays” or the Brady horde calling almost any semi automatic rifle, shotgun (or pistol) an “Assault Weapon.” In the future I shall try to refrain from “popular” usage of the term “Liberal.” Perhaps using words like “Socialist”, or “Rabid Supporter of one world government” would have been more appropriate.

    Not all Idaho voters of his era voted for him. As I stated, at least in my circles, it was rare to find anyone who would admit voting for him. He won four times but trust me, his wins were far from unanimous.

    I have little use for most Lawyers. We have too many of them in the private and public sector. They are, overall, especially harmful when we elect them to public office. The law dogs who end up in government generally see more lucrative pickings in “Civil Service” than they could dredge in the private sector. Disagree if you will but that is my overall opinion of them and I have no plans to change it.

    Yes, on land use I meant “Locked Up.” Unless you are in good physical shape or own/rent horses and have lots of time, many areas of Idaho are out of reach. I can only credit him and his legacy for the amount of old roads and trails that were closed during his reign and since his demise. How much of his influence still negatively impacts what is left of our timber and free range cattle industry? Note that I did not include mining. Although Frank was a “leader” in the wilderness movement, you are correct that he didn’t get much of it designated by himself. Why not name one of the hiking areas after him? It didn’t cost much and garnered at least some support from the environmentalists. Now the sale of public lands as originaly proposed by perfidious buffons currently in power is a terrible idea. Look at what Carol King was able to do with her money. Or how about my “hero” Pierre from Tamarack?

    I can’t find Frank’s voting record on 2nd Amendment issues but I seem to recall his absence from the Senate floor during several important votes. That way he could still espouse support of gun rights to his electorate but not betray his buddies in D.C. Even if he only gave lip service support I’m sure it allowed his re-elections. If you can provide verifiable data refuting this, I will change this perception.

    He was a HUGE supporter of the United Nations. His loyalty to the U.N. DID NOT show support of the U.S. Constitution. I have no use for the U.N. and the preponderance of its financing, workings and agendas.

    I did not support Frank’s key role in neutering the Central Intelligence Agency. I know that it can be argued but that erstwhile agency never did recover its effectiveness. Did his actions play direct roles in the poor intelligence gathering that lead to bombed Marines in Beirut, the Mogadishu fiasco, Clinton’s boys targeting the Chinese embassy during the Kosovo Campaign or the first and second attacks on the World Trade Center?

    I didn’t agree with his support of allowing eighteen year olds to vote. I still think that was a mistake Most of them are too immature to form informed decisions. Of course with our obvious ideological differences, you probably think the same of me.

    War is a terrible thing. Any and all of them have been. Even Frank’s war, WWII, was debated as to whether it should be fought by the U.S. It was jsut not as openly debated and publicized. But I have no more feelings for the “poor” Vietnamese than I had for the “poor Japanese” of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Whether or not we should have been in Vietnam is a whole different debate. Frank and his fellow travelers were largely responsible for our withdrawal for SE Asia. Our troops, even with the hamstringing tactics of politicians like him, did not militarily loose in Vietnam. But yes, I strongly feel that his anti war activities give him a place in history right alongside “Hanoi” Jane Fonda.

    Is LaRocco a Church clone? I don’t know either. As previously stated, I have no intention of voting for him because of his association with the Chameleon and several other issues. We’ll see if Ol’ Larry makes it past the primaries.

    Thank you for providing a chance to interact on our opposing opinions.

    Cheers dh

  10. Give it up for dh! So impressive. He wins! Obviously dh comes from the same Idaho Brain Trust our exaulted leader in DC just dipped into for the new Interior Secretary. Three questions:

    1.dh, would you let Larry Craig babysit or take your 12 yr.old child camping?

    2.Is it OK if you pay child support for a child born out of wedlock if you are an Idaho politician with an R. after your name?

    3.Is a DUI worse in Idaho if you are an R or a D, running for political office?

  11. I too enjoy the dialogue. First, lawyers. In the interests of full disclosure, I are one. And frankly I agree with some of what you say. But I do think our state would be better served if more were in public office. While I think Boise lawyers have been the scourge of the Democratic Party recently, I think our legislature would be better served by people that deal with and understand the structure of government on the front lines every day. Last time I heard a number I think there were exactly four lawyers currently in the Senate and I can’t think of one in the house. You can’t blame anything currently happening in Idaho politics on lawyers but you can on the lack of them. And Jim Risch certainly does not fit your stereotype of a lawyer after more money by going into public service. I can’t say that about Sali though.

    While we’re on the subject you seem to make sweeping generalizations about quite a few broad categories, lawyers, Japanese, Vietnamese. You’ve condemned us all but by your own admission you have little use for us. Its unfair to stereotype based upon your experience with just a few. Most people don’t anticipate the expense of a lawyer and resent it when it has to be incurred. But by the same token my experience has been that people hate all lawyers except thier own. My profession certainly make a convenient target for the Fox News types.

    Second, while you agree that the term liberal has undergone a redefinition you nevertheless underscore the use of pejorative terms socialist and “Rabid Supporter of one world government”. Gosh, dh, I haven’t heard that term since “trilateral commision” was in vogue from the John Birch Society. Do you really think the name calling adds to an intelligent discourse on a topic?

    Now the UN. It certainly needs reform. But I have to laugh of the arrogance of the current administration that failed to recognize the value of the legitmacy we would have been able to command had the current force in Iraq gone in under a UN banner. Even if they would have allowed Rumsfeld to run the operation into the ground like he’s doing now, there would be less of a focused backlash against the US by al Qeada and our other enemies. Indeed it played right into their hands. Recruitment is up to defeat the great Satan. It would have had instant legitimacy in the eyes of the civilians and thus less of a chance of insurgency. Through the structure of the UN we would have not lost the support of a majority of our traditional allies. Now we look pretty alone in the world. I challenge you to find one American that supports the idea that the UN should be our overlord or running the country. These are just more Republican scare tactics and demonization. Quite laughable really.

    Carol King is a prime example of private ownership locking up public lands.

    The Church Committee. One of his greatest and proudest accomplishments. You should really more closely examine the work of this body and reevaluate whether Senator Church valued our Constitution. If you recall there were myriad examples of politicians using the CIA and the FBI domestic intelligence gathering for their own political gain, clearly an abuse of power. That Committee’s work did away with those abuses and restored the system of checks and balances mandated by our Constitution. It found the difficult balance between national security and preserving our individual liberties set forth in the bill of rights. And the laws it engendered are the very laws this administration is flaunting. Of course its being demonized by the current administration. They are now in power and they want to abuse the system just like Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover. And you better go read the 9/11 Commission Report. The intelligence gathering was not the problem. We had the intelligence gathered. It was operatives connecting the dots that we didn’t have enough of. Blame who you want but I recall it was because of budget cuts, which used to be a hallmark of conservative policy in the Republican Party platform.

    ED NOTE–You guys may not be able to “convert” each other, but you gotta admit it is fun reading.

  12. So Sisyphus, know any areas of Idaho that aren’t being overrun by – – – (hmmmm, since you have an avowed aversion to descriptive titles (names?), is “new residents” innocuous enough and will it suffice?)

    DUIs and Child support? Sounds like jobs for the lawyers, may God bless them. (If that offends any atheists out there, oh well!)

    Your boy Hollywood Dirk is a Californian. I most certainly am NOT. I doubt we have anything else in common either. Therefore I declare your attempted slurs as long misses. Go ahead and go back to sleep now.

  13. dh, personally I think overpopulation is the single biggest problem facing the planet, but I don’t get how that relates to what we were talking about. I think you’re confusing your posts again. I assume that’s how you arrived at the conclusion that I supported Dirk. I worked pretty hard to unseat the empty suit last time. We have that in common. As far as pedigree is concerned I’m a fifth generation Idahoan son of a potato farmer. I hope that gives me some standing with you.

    dh I certainly didn’t intend to toss any slurs in your direction. Like I said I do appreciate the dialogue. But you gotta stop drinking the Republican koolaid.

  14. Sysiphus this should be the last post on this one?

    The way my previous message came through was, to say the least, confusing. The first part, directed to you, was my humble attempt to change the subject and break off our “engagement” about poor deceased Frank We just see things from completely opposite sides of reality with little common ground. No problem with that from my side. . .
    The last part of my reply was supposed to be directed to “John” and his two cents worth that were posted on the 23rd. I don’t know where those electrons disappeared to between here and Dave’s place. (No “Republican cool aid” or even any type of “Democratic Mind Altering Drugs” were involved.)
    The missing words were something to the effect
    “John, I don’t have any twelve year old children.. …(BLEEPED BY GUARDIAN) So anyway Sysiphus, I respect your right to your opinions. I just hope that you and John continue to be disapointed by the continuing domination of our government by those you must see as complete enemies but whom I view as the lesser of two evils.

    ED NOTE–This is indeed the end!! I am guilty of clipping a reference which was inapproipriate and libelous.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: