GOP official tries to get Bill Brooks disqualified

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    Regan

COEUR d'ALENE — The head of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee filed allegations of candidate campaign reporting violations and other irregulaties against Kootenai County Commission candidate Bill Brooks, who discredited the filings as "a last-minute character assassination and smear campaign."

The Press received copies of the allegations by Brent Regan Monday at 3 p.m.

Among the allegations filed by Regan with the Secretary of State’s office was that Brooks hadn't filed a completed financial report for today's primary race against incumbent Marc Eberlein.

Brooks has filed a partial report and said an accountant will file the completed report as soon as possible.

Brooks said Monday afternoon that he is not hiding financial information.

"They've had four or five months to examine me and do opposition research," he said. "They are a day late and a dollar short."

Brooks said he's also offered four times to participate in a public debate with Eberlein, but he was never taken up on the offer.

He has retained attorney James Crowe to fight the allegations.

The complaint also attacks Brooks for the use of his name on the ballot. Brooks's birth name is Robert William Brooks III.

"'Bill Brooks' is a pseudonym used by author Robert Brooks for his 'Consumer Guy' column in The Coeur d'Alene Press," the allegation states. "'Bill Brooks' is not an elector and is therefore unqualified to be on the ballot (per Idaho code). If the name on the ballot doesn't match a birth certificate or passport or driver's license than how do you certify that the person being sworn in is the person that was elected?"

Brooks said he's always gone by the name Bill. He showed The Press his high school identification card and his former Alaska driver’s license, which identify him as Bill Brooks.

Brooks said he checked with the Kootenai County Clerk's Office on which name to use before it was put on the ballot and was told by Clerk Jim Brannon that Bill was OK to be used.

Brooks said Regan’s allegations are both desperate and bogus.

"This comes at the 11th hour and shows how frantic they are to lose control of the county," Brooks said.

The Press asked both the Secretary of State's office and the Clerk's Office late Monday afternoon what, if anything, would be done about the allegations. Representatives from both offices said the other office would handle the reports, leaving it unclear who would look into it.

Brannon said he was advised late Monday afternoon that such an investigation would not fall under the statutory duty of his office.

While the allegation states "Bill Brooks" is not a qualified name to be on the ballot, the Clerk's Office said his name will not be removed because the question only pertains to financial reports, not his original candidacy filing.

Crowe, the attorney, noted that the governor of Idaho has appeared on ballots as C.L. “Butch” Otter for years.

“I never remember seeing Clement Leroy Otter,” he said.

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