Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bieter to Bitter Lewistonians Over Loss of Capital: 'There Are Times I'd Like to Give the Legislature Back to You'

Posted By on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter laughed July 10 as speaker after speaker told a gathering in Lewiston what a despicable plot it was to move Idaho's state capital from Lewiston to Boise.

"It would be easy for us to castigate those 30 nasty villains who in the dark of night stole away, in a felonious activity, the state capital from where it belongs in Lewiston, Idaho, where it was designated, to that city that Mayor Bieter presides over," said former Governor Cecil Andrus. "What's the name that town there?"

Andrus' joke was one of many grudge-filled remarks that day as Lewiston marked the Sesquicentennial of Idaho (which was celebrated at the State Capitol on March 4 and in the City of Boise on July 7). But it was on July 10, 1863 that then-Governor William Wallace arrived in Lewiston to assume leadership of the Idaho Territory, proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln, and designated the port city of Lewiston as its capital.

But two years later, the territorial seal was famously spirited away to Boise.

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that Lieutenant Governor Brad Little joked that while he was in Boise earlier this week, he tried to get into the secretary of state's office to swipe the state seal and bring it to Lewiston. He also joked that the "scoundrels" who took the territorial seal to Boise were Democrats.

But Bieter had, perhaps, the best line of the day: "There are times I'd like to give the Legislature back to you."

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