According to Spokane, Washington's Spokesman-Review, Republicans in the Idaho state legislature rushed a bill through in the final days of the legislative session to pay the Idaho Republican Party $100,000 in attorney's fees and legal costs for a primary election lawsuit that it brought against the state and won. 81% of the Republicans in the Legislature are also members of the Idaho Republican Party. The Republicans additionally made a special effort to ensure that no matter what the outcome of the lawsuit, the cost would be paid by taxpayers.
Though it’s not uncommon for prevailing parties to get their legal fees paid in a federal civil rights case, what’s unusual is how the Idaho GOP set up its fee arrangement with its attorney – a rare “contingent fee” deal in which only the taxpayers would have to pay, not the party, regardless of the outcome.
“It was not something they had to do,” said John Strait, a law professor at Seattle University School of Law and an expert on federal court litigation. “The Republicans decided they would rather have him paid out of taxpayer money, and they set it up that way.”
Democratic lawmakers were agog at the Republican Party's conduct. Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise said, “I have to point out, we’re paying $100,000 for the Republican Party to sue the Republican Legislature, defended by the Republican secretary of state, in order to close primaries in Idaho – I just think this is so bad it’s comical."