Idaho: Best Senate Race Ever?

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Honestly, I wish I could just post this entire Wall Street Journal article, but considering you have to be a subscriber to access it online, that’s probably illegal. It begins, “The launch of Rex Rammell’s Senate bid didn’t go as planned. The mud pit and the monster trucks were an insurmountable distraction. The would-be supporters were too drunk to think about the election.” Classic, right? Here’s what you need to know:

(1) Dr. Rex Rammell is a conservative independent who is running in the Idaho senate race to replace Sen. Larry Craig. He is only running because the Republican in the race, a man named Jim Risch, once had Fish and Game Department officers kill 43 members of Rammell’s private elk herd. Risch was serving as interim governor at the time. Rammell, who staged a sit-in on a fresh elk carcass that game officers were trying to remove, vowed at the time “to see Jim Risch never gets elected in this state again.”

(2) Rammell’s daughter is Miss Idaho USA. After winning her crown, she refused to have her photograph taken with Risch, due to the aforementioned dispute between Risch and her father. She called Risch a “weasel.”

(3) One of the fringe candidates in the race (okay, one of the other fringe candidates in the race) is named Pro-Life. That’s his whole name. He is an organic-strawberry farmer who, apparently, cares passionately and exclusively about the rights of the unborn.

Republicans are legitimately worried that Rammell will take a few percentage points away from Risch, thus giving the seat to the Democratic contender, Representative Larry LaRocco. If Democrats are winning in Idaho this fall, say hello to a 60-vote majority.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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