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  Idaho lawmakers rush unusual payment to state GOP
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ContributorServo 
Last EditedServo  Apr 07, 2011 09:54pm
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AuthorBetsy Z. Russell
News DateFriday, April 8, 2011 03:00:00 AM UTC0:0
Description Idaho lawmakers rushed through a bill to pay $100,000 to the Idaho Republican Party - to which 81 percent of them belong - in the final days of this year’s legislative session, to cover the party’s attorney fees in its successful primary election lawsuit against the state.

Though it’s not uncommon for prevailing parties to get their legal fees paid in a federal civil rights case, what’s very unusual is how the Idaho GOP set up its fee arrangement with its attorney - a rare “contingent fee” deal in which only the taxpayers would have to pay, not the party, regardless of the outcome.

“It was not something they had to do,” said John Strait, a law professor at Seattle University School of Law and an expert on federal court litigation. “The Republicans decided they would rather have him paid out of taxpayer money, and they set it up that way.”
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