Out in Idaho, one tea party Republican has had enough of Sarah Palin.
Lucas Baumbach, who’s running for the state senate, is angry that Palin is butting in to the Republican race to unseat U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick (D). What’s worse, she’s endorsing the other guy.
“I think she should let Idahoans pick for themselves instead of shoving a candidate down our throats,” he told TPMDC in an interview today.
Baumbach supports Raul Labrador, a conservative state representative who openly supports repealing the 17th Amendment. But Palin is stumping for Vaughn Ward, who was the Nevada state director for John McCain’s presidential campaign, by headlining a fund-raiser tomorrow night.
So, as the Idaho Reporter originally reported, Baumbach is organizing an anti-Palin protest outside the rally He said he expects about 200 people, many of them from the local tea party.
“I’m a big fan of Palin’s in the past, but I have to question whether the money’s going to her head,” Baumbach said, or whether she’s just doing “what McCain tells her.”
Baumbach takes issue with Palin for endorsing candidates like Carly Fiorina in California, accusing her of following McCain’s line instead of listening to what tea parties have to say.
And it’s even worse, he says, for her to impose herself on Idaho.
“She has a lot more star power here” than in California, he said. “I think it’s just abusive.”
A spokesman for Ward said it’s nothing but “sour grapes.”
“I just find it interesting that people who have been extremely supportive of Sarah and would have been very excited had she come here for Raul would have done exactly the opposite,” said the spokesman, Mike Tracy.
Ward’s name recently graced TPMDC’s pages when he said he’d favor repealing the 17th Amendment and had to immediately backtrack. It may have been a move by Ward, the NRCC’s pick for the seat, to scoop up some ultra-conservative votes from Labrador — who openly supports repealing the amendment. (Repealing the amendment would take electing senators out of the hands of the public and give it to the state legislatures.)
Additional reporting by Evan McMorris-Santoro
Late update: Don’t expect to see Labrador, the guy Baumbach supports and Ward’s opponent, at the anti-Palin rally. Labrador released a statement calling for conservatives to stop attacking Palin.
“Sarah Palin’s visit to Idaho on behalf of the beleaguered Vaughn Ward Congressional Campaign has prompted many comments by conservatives,” wrote his campaign. “We are disappointed with her coming into this Primary Race - as Ward clearly is the damaged candidate - but we urge conservatives to STOP the attacks on Gov. Palin.”