UPDATE Friday afternoon: LaRocco talked about the GOP's ballot machinations during a short interview with the Spokesman-Review's Huckleberries Online just now. Read it here.
Jim Risch and the Idaho Republican Party are apparently losing sleep over the idea that the lieutenant gov has to compete not just with surging Democrat Larry LaRocco but with three other conservatives in his drive to win Larry Craig's U.S. Senate seat. First, the GOP power elites tried to get independent Rex Rammell tossed off the ballot, a request that the Idaho Supreme Court denied on Wednesday. Then, on Thursday, KTVB reported that U.S. Rep. Bill Sali has called Rammell, Libertarian candidate Kent Marmon, and independent Pro-Life (yes, that's his name), asking them to drop out lest they throw the election to LaRocco. All three underdogs refused, and LaRocco told KTVB that the GOP efforts to winnow the field show disrespect for the voters. LaRocco served two terms in the U.S. House in the 1990s, and he offers that seniority and his place in the Democratic Party to improve Idaho's lowly status in Congress.