Monday, June 05, 2023

Young Republicans expel members

Staff Writer | July 26, 2022 1:07 AM

Idaho Young Republicans have expelled two members after a Kootenai County delegate to the state GOP convention allegedly used homeless families as part of a political prank.

John Spiers, executive director of Valley House Homeless Shelter in Twin Falls, said last week that David Reilly is responsible for distributing fake flyers at the shelter advertising “pizza for the hungry” at a meet-and-greet with former Idaho GOP Chairman Tom Luna. The real event, called “Pizza for Patriots,” was advertised to all delegates at the convention.

Central committees vote to determine which delegates go to the state convention. Reilly, of Post Falls, attended as a delegate from Kootenai County.

After people using the shelter’s services, including children, arrived at the venue and asked if it was the place where they could get pizza for dinner, event organizers reportedly provided them with food and drink.

Idaho Young Republicans said in a statement Friday that the stunt was the culmination of a series of tactics “displayed by a few individuals” in recent months.

These actions reportedly included “shenanigans at the Governor’s Ball” and recorded plots to manipulate Democratic precinct committee races, as well as “a few others.”

Reilly’s alleged pizza prank appeared to be the last straw for Idaho Young Republicans.

“Some of the most vulnerable Idahoans (including children) were manipulated and used for the sole purpose of embarrassing an opposing candidate,” the group’s executive team said in a news release. “As Republicans, we should never tolerate behavior like this in our own party.”

The executive team unanimously decided to expel two unidentified members from Idaho Young Republicans, one of whom had a leadership position.

Reached by phone, the group’s chair, Daniel Silver, said he could not comment on which members were expelled.

Reilly told The Press in a phone interview on Monday that he “can’t recall” if he has ever been a member of Idaho Young Republicans.

When asked about his involvement with the pizza prank, he hung up.

The most recent available snapshot of the Idaho Young Republicans website, accessed via the Wayback Machine and dated March 22, listed Dan Bell as the Region 1 Youth Director.

Bell was not listed on the website Friday. Youth directors from Regions 2 through 7 remained on the page.

A recorded phone call revealed in March that Bell was recruiting local Republicans for a failed plot to take control of the local Democratic Party by disrupting their precinct committee elections.

The group of Republicans planned to “bum rush” the Kootenai Democrats by switching their party affiliations and filing to run as Democrats just before the deadline.

Upon election, Bell said, the plants would vote Reilly in as party chair.

“A guy that they call racist, antisemitic, Holocaust denier,” Bell said in the recorded call. “That same guy would be the chair of the Kootenai Democrat Party.”

A recent Pennsylvania transplant, Reilly has been condemned by multiple pro-Israel organizations for his antisemitic writings, including comments that Jewish people foist “the blame for their bad behavior” onto people of European heritage.

Bell, who is also the Youth Chair for the Kootenai County GOP, did not respond to multiple Press requests for comment.

Idaho Young Republicans said the expulsion will remain in effect for one year, at which point the decision will be reconsidered.


Official statement from the Idaho Young Republicans Executive Board July 22, 2022


An archived version of the “Meet Our Team” page on the Idaho Young Republicans website indicates that Dan Bell was listed as the Region 1 Youth Director until at least March 22. Screenshot via the Wayback Machine.

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