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Comrade Bowers

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Communist fighter Rep. Curtis Bowers, R-Caldwell, said people just didn't understand him when he wrote about the resurgent Red Menace in a guest editorial he wrote in the Idaho Press-Tribune.

But 88 people and counting feel they understood him well enough to start an online petition asking him to apologize or step down.

Bowers, who was appointed by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to fill the seat left when Rep. Bob Ring retired last year, wrote that he infiltrated a Communist Party USA meeting in 1992 in Berkeley, Calif., disguised in a goatee, revolutionary T-shirt and ratty jeans.

He went on to write that he sees the rise of feminism, environmentalism, businesses opening branches overseas and the tolerance of homosexuality as signs that the Communists are still hard at work trying to destroy the United States.

In an e-mail to BW, petition organizer Eileen Wight of Nampa says Bowers is wasting his time going after the Reds.

"With so many real issues facing Idaho and Canyon County, I'm appalled that one of our legislators would dredge up an issue like Communism, of all things, and use it as a divisive tool," Wight wrote. "We just don't need people like that representing us. I hope he resigns. Do I think he actually will? No, but I'm hoping that enough people sign the petition to send him, and others like him, a loud and clear message."

Check out the petition at PetitionOnline.com/Mod_Perl/Signed.cgi?Bowers&51.