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Republican Convention Briefs June 27, 2010

| June 27, 2010 9:00 PM

Kren, beaten in May, will run in 2012

IDAHO FALLS - Outgoing state Rep. Steve Kren, beaten in his Republican primary last month, says he'll likely run again for a spot in the Idaho Legislature come 2012.Kren, a GOP House member from Nampa, was beaten by Christy Perry, a gun shop owner, on May 25.

At the 2010 Idaho State Republican Convention in Idaho Falls on Saturday, Kren told The Associated Press he'll take two years away from official politics - to move into a new home into southwestern Idaho as well as develop business opportunities - before the legislative elections in 2012.He says his decision to run again - and for which position - will ultimately hinge on the outcome of redistricting, the process by which Idaho redraws its political boundaries to reflect changes in the state population since 2000.

GOP: Inmates should earn keep through labor IDAHO FALLS - Republican delegates voted to back a resolution for Idaho inmates to pay for their own room and board through hard labor.

If the recommendation - it's only that - were followed, prisoners would have to grow their own food.Lucas Baumbach, a Boise Tea Party activist and delegate from Ada County, told those attending the 2010 state convention on Saturday that his measure's premise was simple.

Baumbach told delegates, "I think prisoners should have to work for their food."State Sen. Bart Davis, an Idaho Falls Republican, argued it wasn't that simple, saying the resolution would impede existing and proven work by the state Department of Correction to treat and remedy drug and alcohol addictions.

Davis called that the best way to rehabilitate inmates and return them to productive life beyond the prison yard.Tax amendments panned

IDAHO FALLS - The Idaho Republican Party opposes two proposed constitutional amendments aimed at helping local governments finance projects without a public vote, provided no taxpayer money goes to pay the debt.Saturday's vote of delegates at the 2010 Idaho State Republican Party in Idaho Falls goes against the Republican-dominated Legislature, which just three months ago sent the amendments to voters this November.

Debate highlighted the rift between pro-business lawmakers like state Sen. Joe Stegner, a Lewiston Republican who argued the amendments will help economic development, and conservatives who fear the public is getting cut out of decision-making.One woman shouted "You're a Democrat" to Stegner - about the worst insult to throw at this biennial red-meat event.

The resolution is just a recommendation; voters will still get to weigh in come November.Delegates defeat resolution

IDAHO FALLS - Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna was among delegates at the Idaho Republican convention who helped defeat a resolution to block the state from shutting down charter schools in financial trouble.Ada County delegate Lucas Baumbach proposed the resolution, spurred by the state's decision to close Nampa Classical Academy over the school's unstable finances.The Idaho Public Charter School Commission voted Thursday to shut down the academy.

Baumbach told delegates the academy's debts were small, about $160,000, and all schools were facing financial hardship given the economic turmoil.But Luna countered that the money was no small amount, arguing that Idaho needs to hold all schools accountable "in good times and in bad times."

Confab says no to unregulated militia

IDAHO FALLS - Cost concerns were at the heart of Idaho State Republican Party delegates' rejection on Saturday of a proposal to form an all-volunteer state militia that's free from federal control.The notion had been floated during the three-day convention in Idaho Falls, an extension of the anti-Washington, D.C. sentiment here that bubbled over.

Advocates said such a force could assist with natural disasters - and wouldn't be subject to a military call-up, like the Idaho National Guard is now.The recommendation called for Idaho's governor to form a panel to spend a year drafting a militia plan.

But concerns about costs that might arise from such an organization, should it actually be formed, prompted a majority of the more than 400 delegates who weighed in to turn the resolution down.

- The Associated Press

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