BOISE — A top Republican strategist and fundraiser has quietly launched a new political action committee in Idaho, but he is not revealing which candidate or measure will receive his support in the 2018 election, according to documents filed with secretary of state’s office.
GOP operative Carl Forti filed the paperwork to create Building Idaho’s Future, Inc. on August 8. The group has not yet had to submit a campaign disclosure report, meaning there is no information that has been made public about the group’s donors or contributions.
Forti spokeswoman, Charlotte McCoy, declined to comment about the group’s intentions and would not answer any questions regarding the group’s involvement in the 2018 race.
In Idaho, political committees must file documents with the state so they can start collecting contributions and and spend money but are not required in those documents to identify specifically who or what they support.
Forti has served in top positions at super PACs such as Karl Rove’s brainchild American Crossroads — which was one of the first political groups to take advantage of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision allowing untethered spending by wealthy donors and corporations. He also held a top job with the pro-Mitt Romney Restore Our Future.
In 2006, Forti managed the Republican Party’s largest-ever $80 million expenditure campaign for the National Republican Congressional Committee, which gave money to Republican candidates across the U.S.
Forti’s biography page on his business website includes quotes from Rove describing him as the “Alexander the Great of the Republican independent expenditure world” and “one of the smartest people in politics you’ve never heard of.”
Idaho’s open gubernatorial seat will be one of the state’s most competitive elections in 2018. The race has attracted the GOP’s top contenders ever since Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has said he will not run for a fourth term.
GOP candidates include Lt. Gov. Brad Little, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador and Boise businessman Tommy Ahlquist. All three have already raised hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars despite the primary election still nine months away. No Democratic candidate has filed to run for the seat.