City Government

McLean Defended After Idaho Press Story


Early in the week of July 21, a packet of WikiLeaks documents hacked from Hilary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was sent to the Idaho Press by an unnamed source.

The anonymous source alleged that Boise City Council President and mayoral candidate Lauren McLean is part of a “dark money” political fundraising effort to shield progressive donors from campaign finance laws that would require them to disclose their identities. McLean is campaigning to unseat Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, who is running for a fifth four-year term.

In support of the claimed election law violation, the “packet” included a March 2015 email to John Podesta, then-White House chief of staff. National Education Association director John Stocks had forwarded the email to Podesta, inviting him to a Ketchum meeting of the Idaho Progressive Investors Network, which McLean founded a decade ago. Stocks, a progressive organizer and Idaho state senator in the 1980s, is a member of McLean’s network.

Along with McLean’s meeting invitation, Stocks attached information about Better Idaho, a group that promotes progressive causes supported by several investors in McLean’s network.

On July 25, the Idaho Press headlined the story:

“McLean defends political fundraising through organization she founded”

The clear implication of the header is that McLean is on the defensive about her fundraising organization. You have to read on to learn that the emails are not about fundraising for her mayoral campaign but about work she did in her profession as an advisor to investors who want to fund progressive causes.

The story begins with this sensational lede:

City Council President and mayoral candidate Lauren McLean makes an appearance on the notorious website WikiLeaks, but she says it’s not in relation to any fundraising for political candidates or “dark money.”

The only actual appearance McLean makes (present tense) is her smiling photo above the lede in the online edition. Her forwarded emails made their appearance three years ago when WikiLeaks published the hacked contents of John Podesta’s computer.

Reading on, we learn that four years ago Stocks wanted to get Podesta to Idaho to take him on a hike in the Boulder-White Clouds roadless area to lobby then-president Barack Obama to designate the area as a national monument. Podesta never came.

In the rest of the story, McLean explains that neither her investors network nor Better Idaho raises funds for political candidates. Their purpose is to connect donors to Idaho causes they care about like education, public lands, and other issues affecting the state’s future. Because the work relates to clients’ financial decisions, members’ names are not published.

Gary E. Richardson is a former Idaho Public TV reporter/producer and ACHD commissioner. He is not endorsing any Boise mayoral candidate but says he knows “dirty tricks” when he sees them.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Far Left Progressive?
    Jul 27, 2019, 5:30 pm

    Dirty Tricks no doubt. All that aside, the candidate is clearly far left. Might be worse than TeamDave considering I and my interests are not progressive causes.

  2. Boisean Since Forever
    Jul 28, 2019, 1:44 pm

    Ditto that. Why am I feeling like no matter who wins the mayoral election, I’m going to lose? It is about like choosing between Nancy Pelosi and her nemesis, AOC. Methinks that whoever rules city hall won’t rest until Seattle, Portland, and Boise can all be spoken of reverently in the same breath.
    We have seen several ordinary words hijacked and given special meanings in recent years. I suppose now I can no longer consider myself “progressive” without having friends think I’m really a tax-and-spend liberal as found in city hall and Washington DC.

    EDITOR NOTE–Speaking of hijacked words, what is “water renewal?”

  3. Steve Rinehart
    Jul 28, 2019, 9:26 pm

    Dear Editor: improve your comments section. Require real names. Thank you.

  4. Ha! Hilarious.
    “Shielding donors” from disclosure laws. No, actually the LAW perfectly allows such things and that is why such “dirty tricks” are being done by everyone!
    We have Citizens United to thank for that (a conservative 501(c)4, winning a conservative USSC ruling).

    Dark money– using money through nonprofit organizations to fund political action.

    Old school:
    In 1973, Joseph Coors contributed $250,000 to establish The Heritage Foundation and continued to fund it through the, wait for it —– The Adolph Coors Foundation (maybe a model for the disasterous, Donald J Trump Foundation). In 1973, the Heritage Foundation had trustees from Chase Manhattan Bank, Dow Chemical, General Motors, Pfizer, Sears and Mobil. It’s good to have rich friends!
    The Heritage Foundation was a major player in the Ronald Reagan Administration and even today influences the Trump administration and the Congressional agenda.
    Good ol’ Ronnie! This stuff has been going on for a long time…

    In 2012, 86% of the “dark money” was spent by conservative groups.
    In 2016, the liberal groups increased their % of the total spent, but the total amount dropped compared to 2012.

    The Liberals are just trying to keep up.

    But IMO, really dark money, that would be “black-hole money”, is not even being tracked- more on that later.

    The Koch Brothers are the kings of ‘dark money’. Their Freedom Partners and Americans for Prosperity funnel the most dark money of any, to other entities with their shared political agendas.

    Seems to me the ‘anonymous source’ is uniformed about such matters and the Idaho Press is guilty of bad jounalism.

    btw there is a movie out called, “Dark Money” it is about some of this in Montana and of particular note, MT Republican Art Wittich- guilty of campaign violations (despite the generous laws). A lawyer-not even disbarred for breaking the campaign laws- remains a lawyer.

    Also, there is a book out about ‘dark money’; it is appropriately called,
    “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right” by Jane Mayer

    Oddly enough, I could not find a book called, “green money”. 🙁

  5. I think its was Cicero who noted that the corruption of language indicates the corruption of thought. Or an idea to that effect. “Right/Left”, “Conservative/Liberal” etc., etc., all are so deliberately adulterated as be nearly useless in precise and meaningful discourse. Corrupting language, is the perfect tool to allow those in power to pretend to do something that they are clearly not doing. But unless you’re paying attention, or can pull clear of your tribal loyalties – you might not notice. In my biased opinion, of course.

  6. Far Left Progressive?
    Jul 29, 2019, 6:39 pm

    I’m sure I’ll forget all about this if she turns up with a KTVB crew to sip coffee with ordinary folks at a McDonald’s lolololololol.

    Why real names? Oh, yes, it really does suck when ‘Joe The Plumber’ has a voice too. He must be silent! Just shut up and give me your ridiculous taxes n fees.

    Anyone ever been on the same page with Clinton’s lawyer will not get my vote. Third candidate please.

  7. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE…..STOP repeating the MYTH that docs were “hacked” from the DNC server. Dr. William Binney, the man who invented NSA’s data collection technology, PROVED without a doubt that the docs were DOWNLOADED from the server and then given to Wikileaks. Seymour Hersh (remember him…MaiLai etc) reported publicly that Seth Rich performed the DL and was murdered for it.

  8. Upon review of the report, you stated that it was Podesta’s computer was hacked, which is correct. His password was the word “password.”

    My mistake re the DNC server, which is still repeated by MSM everyday.

    Disregard my earlier post.

  9. Foothills Rider
    Jul 31, 2019, 9:04 pm

    I ask all of you who randomly generalize without ever meeting/knowing a candidate….
    “the candidate is clearly far left.” “Ditto that.”
    “I’m sure I’ll forget all about this if she turns up with a KTVB crew to sip coffee with ordinary folks at a McDonald’s lolololololol.”

    REALLY, I am “change-the-Bieter Train” voter….but I have also spoken with and asked questions of Lauren personally…and she is no Bieter version 2. She is actually able to change the train in Boise, which as a city, needs to ride that fine line to appeal to many….Very different strengths and focus for Lauren. Please research before you mouth off. And think about a change that would work rather than a radical turn that won’t versus status quo that is worse….

  10. Let’s try and dissect this tale. It appears that someone thought they would try and confuse John Podesta with what the Left (the old one from a few years ago) actually is/was. Podesta posed as a “progressive” (old type) once in awhile, just like every Dem standard bearer used to/does. Now, they act out what they really are….authoritarian collectivists. Fused with corporate power centers in a vulgar Marxist Fascism that loves monopolies and massive government and a propaganda media system to sell and enforce it all. BigTech is the digital cop that weeds out any dissent from the proletariat (that would be you and me).

    McLean has no clue (like most Dems) what the hell is even going on. Only the Clintons and Podestas and Wasserman-Schultz’s et al know who is who and what is what in this game of faux progressives. Today’s actual old style progressives are totally clueless as well. They are forbidden from learning what the current Matrix even is. Just witness presidential candidate Maryanne Williamson’s performance. That is what passes for shining progressive thought that ignores the death struggle between pit-faced, scum sucking evil and Patriotic American freedom fighters that is occurring under everyone’s noses today.

    This hits here at home because EVERY city has a Cabal agent(s) in the fray, somewhere. They reside in positions of appointed status. Mayors and city councils are compromised and fill the slots. Kings like Obama make their rounds and anoint their agendas and inspire their corruption. Remember?

    The only thing to fear from McLean is that she hasn’t a clue as to who her enemies really are and that she too, can be compromised. We need someone who can play 4D chess, not checkers, for mayor. Someone that can take alot of crap and dish it out X2. It’s gonna take a Bull, not a lamb to fix City Hall.

  11. Natural Air
    Aug 1, 2019, 11:10 am

    Are you healthy? You seem a bit off topic?

  12. Far Left Progressive?
    Aug 1, 2019, 12:51 pm

    How strange Foothills. The candidate whispers quietly to her friend how she will change TeamDave policy. Gosh, I feel so bad now for demands the candidate state publicly and very specifically the ways she plans to improve over TeamDave tax-n-spend financial damage to the ordinary citizen. History shows the candidate is an important part of TeamDave. There is no sympathy for the taxpayer at city hall. Her city hall, her votes. What better place to be a change agent than at the Mayor’s side for years. I say BS because I’ve heard no protest from her all the while the taxes and fees have increased. No protest about pet projects and favored neighborhoods. BS!

  13. As the Who once said in a song..”Meet the new Boss… same as the Old Boss”

  14. Natural Air….I’ve never been more healthy.

    If you can’t accept that our little town of Boise is as corruptible as I assert, then just look at what has happened to Portland, and their mayor that openly supports ANTIFA’s actions and orders cops to leave them alone. He totally carries water for those Marxist thugs. How long before we see that here?

    I participated in Occupy Boise when I still embraced Leftist goals and I saw plenty of radical examples of such ANTIFA types that at the time manifested in mere verbal musings of the very actions we see in Portland.

    Being a conservative is becoming a threatened species while being Leninist is more accepted. That should scare anyone that’s normal.

  15. Anybody But Bieter
    Aug 6, 2019, 10:36 am

    Lauren McLean has one very strong selling point — she is brave enough to run against Bieter, the man known for back room threats and vindictive behavior. Good enough reason to vote for her. We need local politicians with some guts.

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