In some states this sort of thing could be damaging politically, though not in Idaho since Republicans evidently are impervious to assault there. Noted anyway, and because the attention now is national, this front-paged item about Idaho’s two Republican senators, Larry Craig and Mike Crapo, on the liberal Daily Kos blog:
The Culture of Corruption has even hit Idaho. Like Republicans need to be corrupt to get elected there. Crapo has taken in more campaign money from residents of the Virgin Islands, $39,000 by the end of the 2005-06 election cycle, than Idahoans–under $20,000. And the story that has my dad (kossack Old Timer) really excited, details $43,500 received by Craig from contributors connected with Cunningham. The Idaho Statesman has done a good job of tying donations to legislation sponsored by Craig. Unfortunately, they haven’t put that information online. Once this was all found out, Craig donated the money to charity. Not that it helps right now, neither being up this cycle, but we can always look ahead.
A Virgin Island news report noted this on Northwest senators: “Senator Harold Gordon Smith, a Republican from Oregon, took in the second-largest amount [from Virgin Island sources] with a total of $47,000 from 48 donors. Michael D. Crapo received $39,000 from 27 donors in the Virgin Islands this cycle. The site reports this doubled what he received from residents of his own state this election cycle. Crapo is also mentioned in the [New York] Sun article. It says, ‘Observers familiar with the efforts said the primary target is Sen. Crapo, a Republican of Idaho, whom Virgin Islanders hope will introduce an amendment to upcoming tax legislation allowing individuals to be considered USVI residents if they spend just three months out of every year there.’ He is a member of the Finance Subcommittee: Taxation and IRS Oversight.”
The Crapo explanation on the Virgin Islands money (via the Idaho State Journal and Spokesnan-Review):
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“He’s very much involved in the philosophy states should be able to determine states’ business,” Crapo spokeswoman Susan Wheeler told the Idaho State Journal. “And in the same vein, territories should be able to determine the tax benefits that bolster business and the economy.”