While Gov. Butch Otter and Congressman Mike Simpson are saying no to a “loyalty oath” in the Idaho Republican Party's platform, one candidate, already known for making waves in Idaho's political scene, is saying yes - with exceptions. Lucas Baumbach, the Senate candidate in District 17 and man known for his video denigrating Vaughn Ward which made national news, officially signed his candidate disclosure, as the document is more formally known. Baumbach said that he agreed with most of the ideals set forth in the platform, except two, one regarding the United Nation and one about victims' rights.
The loyalty oath is the product of Rod Beck, a former state senator, who worked with another candidate in Baumbauch's district, Dan Loughrey, who is running for the Idaho House, to instill the disclosure in the platform. The document has been ridiculed by several national pundits, but Beck maintains that it is necessary to ensure that candidates claiming to be Republicans will govern by the principles in the party platform.
In his e-mail to Johnathon Parker, executive director for the party, Baumbach said that he is "happy to call a party home which calls for lower taxes, limited constitutional government, and acknowledges the Creator." As the language instilled by Beck and Loughrey requires, Baumbach outlined two areas of disagreement he has with the platform. He said that the U.S. should not be involved with the United Nations in any form and that Idaho Republicans should not work to push policies that support the nation's membership there. He also said that courts should focus on the plaintiffs in court cases, but should rather exact justice and fairness according to the laws of the land.
Baumbauch will face Democrat Elliot Werk in November's general election and is likely the first candidate to sign the disclosure portion of the platform. The Boise Republican made national headlines when he posted a mashup video showing Vaughn Ward, a former Republican contender for the 1st Congressional District nomination, in side-by-side comparison with President Barack Obama. The video shows Ward, giving a speech at the Idaho Statehouse in February, using the same rhetoric as Obama. The video has had more than 100,000 views on YouTube and was picked up by comedian Jay Leno the night of the Republican primary election, May 25. The day after the contest, Baumbach admitted the video had undergone considerable editing and that it was essentially a piece of election propaganda.
Several other Republicans candidates on this year’s ballot have said they either will not sign the disclosure or will sign it with exceptions, including opposition to the call in the platform to repeal the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allows for the direct election of U.S. senators by voters instead of state legislatures.