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Idaho Dems Publish GOP Congressman's Social Security Number

3:40 PM, Oct 30, 2008 • By KEVIN VANCE
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The Democratic Party of Idaho has been criticized this week for publishing the social security numbers of GOP Rep. Bill Sali and his wife. The numbers were printed in a Democratic campaign mailer highlighting the Sali's difficulty paying off debts in the 1980s.

The Idaho GOP released a statement that accuses the state Democratic Party of enabling identity theft.

Jim Hansen, the state Democratic Party chairman, released his own statement today that included an apology of sorts:

It is regrettable that the Tax Commission released all the numbers depicted on the document. And it is regrettable that in the press of print deadlines for multiple campaigns, we did not notice that the Tax Commission failed to black out those numbers. As Executive Director, I take personal responsibility for the oversight. We agree that it would have been better to black out parts of the document even though the public agency that released them did not. As we previously stated, this was a completely unintentional oversight.

But...

Of course, if Bill Sali did not want public documents of his tax delinquencies and his campaign finance delinquencies to be made public by a public agency, he should have paid his taxes on time and filed his reports on time.

Sali is an a surprisingly tough reelection bid, probably due to what Congressional Quarterly calls his "manner" rather than his ideology, which is a decent enough match for his reliably conservative district that includes the western half of the state. Apparently, Idaho's other Republican congressman, Mike Simpson, once got so frustrated by Sali that he threatened to toss him out of a statehouse window when they served as state legislators in Boise. Democratic candidate Walt Minnick, a moderate businessman who ran against Larry Craig six years ago, leads Sali by 6 points according to the latest SurveyUSA poll.