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Idaho GOP debate takes a turn for the weird, goes viral

"A cowboy, a curmudgeon, a biker, or a normal guy," as Harley Brown, the biker of the group, put it. "Take your pick."
By Matt Bradwell   |   May 16, 2014 at 10:47 AM  |  Updated May 16, 2014 at 10:48 AM   |   Comments

BOISE, Idaho, May 16 (UPI) -- The four candidates vying for the Republican nomination for governor of Idaho took to public television to plead their case Wednesday, each personifying a different arm of the increasingly fractured GOP.

"A cowboy, a curmudgeon, a biker, or a normal guy," as Harley Brown, the biker of the group, put it. "Take your pick."

Brown is a libertarian-leaning biker who wants less interference from the federal government and doesn't believe in political correctness.

"It sucks," Brown said in reference to America's politically correct society. "It's bondage. And I'm about as politically correct as your proverbial turd in a punchbowl."

Brown's website features a section devoted to racist and sexist jokes, which he dubs "Harleyisms."

Despite a fondness for jokes so insensitive even the objective moderator described them as "bigoted," Brown, consistent with current libertarian platforms, fully supported an Idaho judge's decision to end the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

They have true love for one another. I'm tellin' you, they love each other more than I love my motorcycle. And you know, they're just as American as a Medal of Honor Winner. And, uh, liberty and justice for all! Equal protection under the law! I'm glad that judge made that decision, and I'm glad they wanna get married and live like that. I know I'm not really talking like a Republican.

Walt Bayes, the curmudgeon, is a far-right social conservative who focused much of his talking points on criminalizing a woman's right to choose.

"If the Supreme Court goes to hell, I'm not following," Bayes said. "And I'm telling you folks, when you murder 56 million babies, you're asking for our country to be demolished."

Bayes is also concerned about biblical armageddon, nuclear fallout, and if enough potassium iodine will be available to protect the American people. In addition, Bayes is a strong advocate of homeschooling, claiming he was once arrested and put in jail for self-educating his children.

The other two candidates followed the standard narrative of GOP primary politics. Incumbent Butch Otter is the establishment candidate, and Russ Fletcher, the man seen as his main competition, is attacking him from the right on the grounds he didn't do enough to prevent the Affordable Care Act.

The election is set for May 20.

Follow @mckb26 and @UPI on Twitter.
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