Rep. Walt Minnick, an Idaho Democrat who represents one of the most conservative districts in the country, was endorsed Thursday by the political action committee arm of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste.Minnick is the only Democrat the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste PAC is endorsing this cycle. The group, which advocates against earmarks and other government spending it views as wasteful, chose Minnick over his Republican challenger, Raul Labrador, because of the first-term lawmakers voting record in a Democratic-controlled Congress.This was not an easy decision, PAC chairman Thomas Schatz said of deciding between the two candidates. Its just that Minnick has demonstrated this in very difficult circumstances, with pressure to go along with the party. So we thought he deserved this recognition.To be endorsed by the group, a Member must hold at least an 80 percent lifetime rating with the group, as well as sign its pork pledge and answer its questionnaire properly. Minnick holds an 83 percent rating, and last month was named a Taxpayer Hero by the group.In a press release announcing the endorsement, Schatz said Minnick deserves another term in the House.A Mason-Dixon poll conducted for several Idaho newspapers and released Tuesday found Minnick ahead of Labrador 46 percent to 36 percent. A Republican poll taken in late July found Minnicks edge to be even wider.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.