Idaho: Best Senate Race Ever?

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Honestly, I wish I could just post this entire Wall Street Journal article, but considering you have to be a subscriber to access it online, that’s probably illegal. It begins, “The launch of Rex Rammell’s Senate bid didn’t go as planned. The mud pit and the monster trucks were an insurmountable distraction. The would-be supporters were too drunk to think about the election.” Classic, right? Here’s what you need to know:

(1) Dr. Rex Rammell is a conservative independent who is running in the Idaho senate race to replace Sen. Larry Craig. He is only running because the Republican in the race, a man named Jim Risch, once had Fish and Game Department officers kill 43 members of Rammell’s private elk herd. Risch was serving as interim governor at the time. Rammell, who staged a sit-in on a fresh elk carcass that game officers were trying to remove, vowed at the time “to see Jim Risch never gets elected in this state again.”

(2) Rammell’s daughter is Miss Idaho USA. After winning her crown, she refused to have her photograph taken with Risch, due to the aforementioned dispute between Risch and her father. She called Risch a “weasel.”

(3) One of the fringe candidates in the race (okay, one of the other fringe candidates in the race) is named Pro-Life. That’s his whole name. He is an organic-strawberry farmer who, apparently, cares passionately and exclusively about the rights of the unborn.

Republicans are legitimately worried that Rammell will take a few percentage points away from Risch, thus giving the seat to the Democratic contender, Representative Larry LaRocco. If Democrats are winning in Idaho this fall, say hello to a 60-vote majority.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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