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Lawyers Await 10 C Vote

Religious activists hustle for support


While Boise city staff do their darndest to project a studied nonchalance about the upcoming 10 Commandments Monument vote this November 7, the activists are massing and the lawyers are watching. The vote will decide whether the City Council's 2004 decision to move the 10 Commandments monument out of Julia Davis Park should stick.

Religious activists such as Brian Fischer and Brandi Swindell are assembling a vigorous get-out-the-vote operation to get the religious monument put back in the city's park. They've rented out office space downtown, host regular phone-banking operations and organize leafletting expeditions around town. Last weekend, another "literature drop team" met to pamphlet parts of West Boise. The jury's still out on whether the efforts will work.

"I wouldn't want to speculate," said Michael Zuzel, spokesman for Mayor Dave Bieter.

But others are more willing: Jack Van Valkenburgh of Idaho ACLU said he and his staff are "actively evaluating" the situation. The city continues to hang its legal hat on its definition of their monument shuffling as "an administrative act," and therefore, not something a vote can force. The Supreme Court did not rule on that question, saying only that the vote could go forward.