Bieter, Biden Feted Tonight by Frank Church Institute


Judge Christopher Bieter doesn't attend too many public events with his brother, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter. As a 4th Judical District Court magistrate, Judge Bieter shies away from events that may be political.

"But I think I can get him to come to this," Mayor Bieter told Boise Weekly. "I don't think we'll be discussing too much politics."

The mayor will be honored this evening, with friends and families looking on, as the Frank Church Institute awards Hizzoner and Vice President Joe Biden with the second annual Frank and Bethine Church Awards for Public Service.

Mayor Bieter told BW that he shares "enjoyment of public service" with the late U.S. senator and cherieshes his relationship with Church's widow, Bethine, who is celebrating her 90th birthday.

"When I first ran for mayor, I called her up to ask for a campaign contribution. And she said, 'Let's just see how you do.' Let's say that she was not immediately on the bandwagon. She wanted to listen to what I had to say, and then she became very supportive. If she was going to invest, she said she wanted someone to work very hard. And after that, she was a big supporter. I remember her telling me early on, 'You've got to keep smiling. Don't furrow your brow.' It's hugely good advice."

Vice President Biden is not expected to be in Boise this evening for the event but prerecorded his memories of Church. When Biden was serving in the U.S. Senate, the two were colleagues from 1973 through 1980.

BW asked Bieter about the last time Biden visited Boise in 2009.

"I was standing on the tarmac at the airport with [Secretary of State] Ben Ysursa, [Attorney General] Lawrence Wasden, [Lt. Gov.] Brad Little and Gov. [C.L. "Butch"] Otter. Ben Ysursa turned to me and said, 'You're not going to tell the vice president that you're the only Democrat here, are you?' I said, 'Are you kidding? Of course I'm going to tell him.'

"There haven't been too many times to be in that position. It was such a kick. If there's anybody else who enjoys public office more than Joe Biden, I don't know who that is. He's the happiest warrior there is."