Who is Idaho GOP chairman? Labrador relied on parliamentarian, not own judgment

Posted by Dan Popkey on June 18, 2014 

Rep. Raul Labrador listens to parliamentarians as they struggle — unsuccessfully — to resolve conflict at the Idaho Republican Convention in June 2014 in Moscow.

KYLE MILLS — AP

Chairman Barry Peterson relies on adjournment vote to assert right to continue for 2 years.

Congressman Raul Labrador says he was simply stating the opinion of one of his two parliamentarians when he told the Idaho GOP convention that current officers — including embattled Chairman Barry Peterson — would remain in place for two years if delegates adjourned without action.

But Labrador, who chaired the convention that collapsed without action Saturday, also had a second parliamentarian, Idaho Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis of Idaho Falls.

Davis said Wednesday he agrees with party lawyer Jason Risch and the general counsel of the Republican National Committee that Peterson's term ended Saturday. Davis wasn't present for the adjournment debate. 

"I don't know much about it," Labrador said Wednesday. "I just asked the parliamentarian what would happen and I just relayed to the convention what the parliamentarian said. Davis wasn't there at the time, so it was Cornel (Rasor). So I have no other opinion on that."

Cornel Rasor is a former Bonner County commissioner and Northwest regional director for the national libertarian group, Republican Liberty Caucus.

Peterson sought a third legal opinion, former attorney general candidate Chris Troupis, who held Wednesday that Peterson is still chairman.

Peterson has called a meeting of the party's Rules Committee for Thursday at 7 p.m in Room EW-42 at the Capitol. Based on the opinions of Risch and RNC lawyer John Phillippe Jr., 20 members of the State Republican Central Committee have petitioned for a special meeting Aug. 2 to elect officers.

Davis said he's not pointing fingers at Rasor.

"I do not believe any officer's term is extended," Davis said. "Besides, if the RNC will not recognize a chairman that is controlling. That's my two-cents' worth. In fairness to the other parliamentarian, I don't think he had a chance to research the question. I'm sure he gave the best advice he could under quick circumstances."

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