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Crapo’s Daughter Lobbies Health Issues

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Sen. Mike Crapo has supported requests for federal earmarks from some health care facilities that have hired the lobbying firm that employs Crapo’s daughter.

Crapo’s name first appears in lobbying records on an October 2007 report filed by the firm Strategic Health Care as it registered its representation of the Blackfoot, Idaho-based Bingham Memorial Hospital.

That report, filed by Lee, lists Crapo among eight lobbyists to represent the Idaho hospital’s interests in seeking federal appropriations. Crapo continued to be listed for subsequent reports, most recently on a form detailing the firm’s work in the first quarter of 2010.

She is also registered to represent Moscow, Idaho-based Gritman Medical Center.

Strategic Health Care first registered Gritman Medical Center as a client in February 2006, but Crapo does not appear on reports for the center until February 2008, indicating she had lobbied on the center’s behalf in the second half of 2007.

Lara Crapo continued to be listed on reports for the medical center in 2010 and was included in a third-quarter report along with 10 other lobbyists.

Crapo’s name also appears on the July 2008 registration form Strategic Health Care filed to represent Sandpoint, Idaho-based Bonner General Hospital. Her name does not appear on subsequent forms, however, and the firm filed a termination form effective December 2008.

According to lobbying disclosure database operated by the Senate Office of Public Records, which dates to 1999, Strategic Health Care is the only firm to have represented the three Idaho facilities.

Congressional records and press releases archived on Crapo’s Senate website indicate the Idaho lawmaker has sought earmarked funds for both Bingham Memorial Hospital and Gritman Medical Center.

In a July 2006 press release, Crapo’s office states he “shepherded” $100,000 for electronic medical records systems through the fiscal 2007 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill. Those funds were not included in a continuing resolution for that fiscal year.

In October 2007, Crapo issued a statement that he was “pleased to be a champion” for earmarks including $250,000 for the medical center for technology upgrades. The release also quoted then-Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who served on the Appropriations Committee.

The medical center ultimately received $487,000 in the fiscal 2008 omnibus bill. The accompanying report lists Crapo, Craig and then-Rep. Bill Sali (R-Idaho) as co-sponsors.

The Moscow, Idaho-based center received no earmarks in fiscal 2009, but Crapo and Craig did succeed that year in obtaining $190,000 for Bingham Memorial Hospital for facilities and equipment.

In his fiscal 2010 earmark requests, Crapo sought $2 million for the medical center to renovate a former nursing home into a community wellness center, and ultimately received $200,000 for the project. Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) also backed the project, Congressional records show. 

Crapo continued to seek $1.8 million for the same project in his fiscal 2011 earmark requests, although the project did not appear in a version of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill approved in July.

Crapo also sought $1.8 million to expanding Bingham Memorial Hospital’s “women and child services” in fiscal 2010, ultimately securing $200,000 for the project. Congressional records indicate Risch also supported the project.

He continued to seek another $525,000 for the hospital in fiscal 2011 for equipment and facilities.

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