Ada County GOP Muddles Fair Messaging

Ada County Republican promotional materials at the Western Idaho Fair. (Left)
A tasteless cardboard cutout like the one that stood briefly at the Ada County GOP booth at the Western Idaho Fair is available online for the bargain price of $39.95, marked down from $59.95. (Right)

A cardboard cutout of Donald Trump putting Hillary Clinton in a headlock made a brief, tasteless appearance at the Ada County Republicans’ booth at the Western Idaho Fair Friday, Aug. 24, predictably drawing a barrage of critical social media comment before volunteers took it down by the next day.
The Statesman reported that, although the offending poster was no longer on display, it remained at the GOP booth through Sunday for anyone who wanted to take a photo with it away from the booth, citing Anita Leatham, a precinct committeewoman who was on volunteer duty there.
Among critics of the brief presence of the poster was Diana Lachiondo, a Democrat candidate for Ada County Commissioner. On her Facebook page, she wrote, “ … This is juvenile and pretty un-classy, not to mention that it seems to promote violence against women. … I’m proud to have friends of all political stripes and i don’t believe the Republicans I know would support this. It really is beneath them and the party of Lincoln.”
One Republican who was also disappointed by the display was Steve Smylie, a West Ada School Board member and former four-term state legislator from Boise’s District 15A, who wrote, “I want to thank the Republican candidates ... who did speak out about this cartoon display. Some thought it a joke, perhaps, but at a public place where the object is to put the party in a good light, recruit supporters, and make friends, this doesn’t cut it.” Unfortunately, in the polarized political climate we live in these days, even that benign criticism drew enough ire that Lachiondo updated her post to note, “Holy smokes! This got a lot of heat. Fortunately most everyone commenting (Republicans and Democrats) agree that this is petty and unacceptable. And if you haven’t already- please follow me at my campaign page for ideas on how we can improve our county- and not engage in this kind of nonsense.
The Statesman’s report on reaction to the cutout image is here.
The Boise Weekly account of the sideshow is here.