Ada GOP Family Feud Gets Nasty

The GUARDIAN got no fewer than five calls from Republicans wishing to offer a version of the family feud that erupted during the monthly Ada County Central Committee meeting Tuesday at the Court House.

Party faithful, and candidates all seem to be a reflection of today’s society and politicos–they don’t trust each other.

A guy named Steve Ricks running against Russ Fulcher in a legislative race was effectively excommunicated because he has sued his party–costing it about $20,000 to defend, but still runs under their banner as a Republican. A vote to censure him was passed.

His wasn’t the only dirty laundry aired Tuesday. Former Commish, current candidate and City Councilor Vern Bisterfeldt’s party loyalty came into question as well. Bisterfeldt has supported Dems Walt Minnick in Congress and Brandon Durst in the Idaho House as well as Maryanne Jordan on City Council, Paul Woods and David Langhorst for Commish.

A GUARDIAN reader and attendee at the GOP meeting said, “The Idaho Statesman should have used Sharon Ullman’s name in the paper because she is the one who made the motions.” The reader then added, “Vern’s independence is one thing, but his loyalty is another. Call it what you will.”

Ullman made no secret of calling for a vote against Ada Commish candidates Bisterfeldt and Roger Simmons. Ultimately the Repubs decided to be positive–They tossed Bisterfeldt and Simmons under the bus and made an unprecedented primary campaign endorsement of incumbent Commishes Fred Tilman and Rick Yzaguirre.

Meanwhile Bisterfeldt notes he once defeated Ullman in a bid for a Commish seat when SHE ran as a Dem.

“That is true,” said Ullman. I didn’t understand what Republicans really stood for and now I do. I am in pretty good company since Ronald Reagan was also a Democrat at one time.”


Ada County has a great commish race
As candidates state their case
It’s interesting to see
Who the G O P
Has given a slap in the face!

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. As I just wrote in “One Nasty Month,” please DISREGARD these attempts to annoint one partisan candidate and discredit another in a primary race based on a central committee’s vote and BLATANT favoritism. “Censures” should only be for malfeasance, criminal activities, etc., not for expressing individial opinions that may differ from other members of the partisan group. I have now change my stance regarding public debates — they should not be based on what candidate’s spend, but on the fact that they are running and have views. Some candidates prefer to “do it themselves,” and that’s OK. It’s called Democracy!


  2. Pablo Hernandez
    Apr 29, 2010, 5:59 pm

    Political parties aside, I cannot see why anyone would vote for Yzaguirre, I will not forget his skirmish with the Lottery Commission, which he squeaked through without much criticism.

    Likewise I cannot see anyone wanting to back Simmons, who once said on local news he would use a rather controversal rule as a “hammer” against the constituancy of Ada County. His vindictiveness seems only to be exceeded by his arrogance.

    Regarding Bisterfelt and Tilman, they seem to be standup guys.

  3. Ada Co Rs Set New Low
    Apr 29, 2010, 6:36 pm

    Let’s just call the Ada County Republican Central Committee what it is: The Politburo.

    A bunch of nameless, non elected, trolls, telling the sheep how to vote.

    Vern Bisterfeldt has more integrity in his little finger than all the thugs in the Politburo combined. He gets my vote.

  4. I was there when Vern filed with Roger. Sharon has good reason to be apprehensive of this dastardly duo. I asked him whether he wanted to work with Sharon. His response, “I don’t have anything nice to say about her.”

    Can you blame Sharon? Can you blame the GOP? Well, but should you? Vern is a lot more sour than the sweet candies he proffers around town.

    The general atmosphere on Tuesday was jubilant. The GOP is proud of this decision. Look forward to a very active GOP in the near future. They may even take a position on the perceived fairness of the Guardian, lol.

    And, censure is not excommunication. Censure is a warning. It’s more of a demerit than excommunication. They would have censured the other two, except they aren’t really active GOP members. Steven Ricks is.

  5. Wonder which one is endorsed by Rush? Do Republicans taste like soylent green?

  6. Looks like the “old” Sharon is back. It is unfortunate that she is not up for unelection this term. She needs another dose of working in the private sector to get grounded again.

  7. …and the Idaho GOP’s march to the far right continues. Traditional, moderates are no longer welcome.

  8. A couple of corrections are in order: First, central committees are comprised mainly of voter-elected members who serve two-year terms. Others are appointed by the body to fulfill terms or vacant precincts. Second, censure is a reprimand for SERIOUS wrongdoing, not for petty partisan reasons, personality conflicts, or to skew the outcome of an election.

    Jubilance, Lucas, for bashing fellow R’s who have broken no laws or committed no serious crimes, other than expressing their CONSTITUTIONAL rights to freedom of speech?

    It’s up to the electorate to decide.

  9. I love it. Republican Politburo says it all.

    Sharon Ullman for Governor! It won’t be business as usual.

  10. One can only wonder at the hypocrisy of a waman who has run as both a D and an I, throwing bricks at an R, simply for having friends who are D.

  11. Kappa TA,

    Did you even read the story? Steven Ricks was censured for SUING his own party! He sued the party because the leadership exercised its First Amendment rights when it criticized his misleading 2008 campaign propaganda.

    The Ricks’ lawsuit is clearly frivolous, and its costing the party thousands of dollars in legal fees. He was asked to drop the suit by the membership. He refused.

    If this kind of thing is not malfeasance deserving of a censure, what is???

  12. Vote carefully!

    As our federal government becomes more and more inept and irrelevant with each passing day, the power will be shifting to the states and locals.

    The past several federal governments have ignored the will of the taxpayer in favor of the tax-spender (buying votes). Now that the taxpayer is losing their home to the stupidity of this poorly managed economy, the power will shift to leadership that can still lead and is in touch with the taxpayer. Not that we trust them either, it’s just that they really do live right up the road and it’s real easy to fire them with a recall vote.

    Change is coming for Clinton/Bush/Obama and friends! 😉

  13. RyanL

    Yes, I read the articles. My comments have been aimed mostly at unfair public criticism of former commishes Bisterfeldt and Simmons for petty reasons. Has Mr. Ricks been found guilty in a court of law of any wrongdoing? I haven’t seen any mention of that. Please enlighten me if you know. Speaking of legal fees, ask now Commish Ullman how much Ada County spent on legal fees to avoid paying $250 each on the Open Meeting Law case a few years back (I believe she was a vocal critic; she was not in office at the time; all three commishes were Rs.) If Mr. Ricks feels he was slandered and has proof, then it’s his right to sue for damages, no matter who the other party is. If the R-party has proof Rick’s did something illegal, then they’ll win in court. That’s just America.
    Otherwise, I agree this economy still stinks and lots of folks of all affiliations have been frivously harmed financially and otherwise.

  14. We would like to believe we have a govt. of the people and by the people but Citi Bank sees it differently. They like the word “plutonomy” the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.. Worth a read if you want to know what the big bankers think.

  15. sam the sham
    May 1, 2010, 12:06 am

    Bisterfeldt is and always has been, a hard working stand up kind of guy. In my opinion, (whatever that is worth) Ullman has just proven to be insane and has not my vote! Compare herself to Ray-gun who was one nut of a guy, selling out America to Wall Street.
    Thanks for the heads up Ullman…. good to know that you stand on the “sell out voters” platform.
    Paul – she loves (and is loved by) Citi Bank!

  16. grumpy ole guy
    May 1, 2010, 1:05 am

    Obviously on-lookers do not know all of the reasons for action(s) by any party’s ruling body, such as a Central Committee. That is the business of the local party. It is the business of the voter to make up her/his own mind, based on whatever evidence and/or opinion can be formed of the candidates. As for me, Bisterfelt is one I hate to love. The man is without any question devoted to public service, and right or wrong he acts as he sees the issues. I’ve had some dealings with him when he was County Commissioner before and I look forward to voting for him, again, for that office. At least with him, what you see is what you get.

  17. Someone, anyone. She has run as a democrat, an independent and a republican and probably will as a tea bagger. she has supported unions and supported anti union propositions. Reagan at least settled on a position, Sharon will change, SO SHE CAN BE SOMEBODY.

  18. All,

    Just a few comments on this subject before I tend to other business:

    As an elected official myself,it is gratifying to see voters who look at the big picture and dismiss smoke and mirror attempts to falsely influence the outcome of an election and/or a lawsuit by publicly humiliating others. For the record, Councilman Bisterfeldt has been a longtime public servant and deserves better from his party. For those of you who don’t know or remember, the former commish and his wife raised their grandchildren after their daughter and the children’s mother was murdered. They have been longtime members of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.

    There has been an outcry for our politicians to act as Americans and cross party lines to work together. The fact that Councilman Bisterfeldt crosses those lines is a positive not a negative. This is not an endorsement. Make up your own minds, based on facts, history and issues, not unfounded personal attacks.

    Regarding Commish Ullman, I have not nor will I ever vote for her though I agree with some of her ideas. Her motions against Bisterfeldt, Simmons and Ricks (if they were her motions) appear to have been personally motivated. She has in fact publicly called now Commish Fred Tilman “a liar,” and has in the past bashed now Commish Yzaguirre for various reasons. Now, suddenly, every thing is hunky-dory. Thank you to those of you who don’t buy it or bite.

    See link below for DAILY article on GOP’s alleged misuse of the U.S. Census Burea name on mailings to voters (second time.) Is this not the very same thing that the ACR central committee has used to malign Mr. Ricks?

    Read more:



    (correx: $150 fine on Open Meeting Law case)

  19. Rod in SE Boise
    May 1, 2010, 11:09 am

    Zippo, the States Rights issue was decided in 1865 when Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

  20. I’d like to know the position of all the potential candidates on the increase in military training flights at the Boise airport happening now as well as the proposed F-35 training base.

    R, SEB: Yep, that was a long time ago. Nothing remains static. This predicted shift is based on the observable inability of the feds to do anything right, as can be seen in responses to fairly basing things like a hurricane or oil spill. We ended WWII in less than 4 years, but I don’t think DC has that kind of ability anymore and the people are starting to see it too.

  21. To KTA, I do not necessairily agree with all your positions, but I find your posts extremely thoughtful and always worth considering. Thank you for that. It is rare to read such well-written observations about politics in Idaho. Keep up the good work.

  22. At least the GOP is open and honest in telling candidates such as Vern: You are not here to serve the people or do what is best for the city or county, you are here to serve the Republican Party. Remember that!

  23. Hey Dave, I wanted to thank you for this post and to let you know I linked it up in this piece.

    Also Kappa, I wrote a post some time back wondering why Idaho’s AG hasn’t found the time to protect Idaho’s aging consumers on that issue as the law requires him to do. I don’t often use the law to make a case outside the courtroom but I did that time. It shouldn’t take additional legislation to stop the practice. And I’d say Republicans should be embarrassed, but the bar’s pretty low on that standard these days.

  24. FYI: The Better Part of Valor: Steven Ricks has dropped out of the race for D21 Senate to actively pursue his lawsuit against the Idaho Republican Party. I hate to see candidates drop out, but Mr. Ricks obviously feels the lawsuit is more important than race. His reasons sound honorable to me.

    For more details:

    Read more:

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