Mail and Commentary June 29, 2011 

Be Informed

Reed DeMordaunt recently told the Boise Weekly: "I make certain that I'm as informed as I can possibly be." This is an unconvincing assertion coming from the District 14 Republican (Eagle, Star, West Boise, North Meridian).  

DeMordaunt claimed during a floor debate in the Legislature this year that "union shops" are a big problem in Idaho. There haven't been any in Idaho since 1986. He later admitted not knowing what a union shop was. The standard for being informed should be higher than simply parroting partisan political talking points.

Reed is a founding parent of North Star Charter School, located in Eagle. Last November, 83 percent of the teachers at North Star joined the teacher's union. Had he stayed informed, Reed might have reconsidered introducing anti-union legislation that harms his school's teachers. But that's what happens when you govern by ideology. It's easier to act on what you believe instead of what you know.

The list goes on. Fortunately, there is a solution to Republican misinformed and harmful legislation: elect good Idaho Democrats to hold Republicans accountable. For example:

Republicans again gave special interests more than $1 billion in tax exemptions without review or justification--almost half the revenue the state could rightfully collect. These special interests remain fully protected while education and social services are cut. It's clear whose side the Republicans are on--and it's not yours.

Property taxes continue to remain high while property values continue to fall. A vote for Republicans is becoming a vote against your financial best interests.

Small businesses continue to lose customers as good-paying jobs leave the area and new employers bypass Idaho. Republicans have failed to provide business-smart leadership.

It's up to you to be informed. Stop allowing Republican candidates to take your vote for granted. The more they get your vote based on blind faith, the less they have to do to earn it.

If you want good government, give good Idaho Democratic candidates a chance to show you they can represent your best interests. We can't afford to wait for DeMordaunt and his Republican colleagues to learn how to be informed on their own.  

--Steve Berch, chairman, Legislative District 14

Idaho Democratic Party

Nuclear Shysters

So an East-Coast shyster wants to build a nuclear power plant in Payette County, and the local shysters, otherwise known as commissioners, are selling out for a sniff of the snake oil. Will this project ever progress beyond the rezoning and earth-moving phase so that the ultimate goal of affordable power for California and skilled jobs for out-of-staters can be realized? Doubtful, but we should try anyway. After all, nothing seems a higher priority to Idahoans than raping our lands for the benefit of California.

The "high-paying" jobs that were dangled like radioactive carrots will never materialize, other than a few short-term construction gigs, and that is fine, as long as the few that really profit off this criminal enterprise will be long gone, sitting on a beach, laughing at the folks in Payette County. (Well, that or behind bars!)

A healthy valley is a small price to pay so that one Virginian can get rich. This guy has tried to deceive others before, now it's up to you, Payette County. Are we really more foolhardy than Elmore and Owyhee counties, even with all the damning news about AEHI and their CEO Don Gillispie? Yikes! (Both Owyhee and Elmore counties chose to pass on this plant).

Lastly, why is a nuke plant a county decision anyway? Most of Southwest Idaho (including those of you in Boise) is in the evacuation zone. We have the best rivers in this country that serve a myriad of other useful purposes. People need to wake up and do everything they can to protect them against slippery folk and three-eyed fishes.

--Ethan Kelley,Payette

RIP Margaret

: After the death of Margaret Lawrence, owner of the Hollywood Market, BW readers shared their memories of the Boise icon. Here are a few comments.

The fierce storm last night was obviously a send off for the fierce spirit of Miss Margaret. We'll miss you terribly!


Margaret, I want to be like you when I grow up. Such a feisty and honorable and loving woman.

—Alita Ashmore,

Mea Culpa

An incorrect photo credit was given for the third-place winner in the Places category of Boise Weekly's Black and White Photo Contest (BW, Features, June 22, 2011). The image as taken by Kyle Farmer. We regret the error. Also, in the Sun Valley Guide, the correct headliners at the 34th Northern Rockies Folk Festival include James McMurtry and The Gourds. For a full lineup of bands visit

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