Opinion » Mail

November 9 - November 15


In last week's News Shorts, we misspelled the name of the new interim director of the State Historical Society, Keith Petersen.

Also, in last week's issue, the date for Starlight Mints show at Neurolux was incorrect in Roadshow. The correct date is November 15 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12.

Too little, too late

I just wanted to let you know that I read your article regarding the illegals' stories (BW, Feature, October 25). I have read similar articles recently in other publications/magazines and, by far, yours was the best. There was actually a purpose to it. Unfortunately, these articles are coming too few and too late.

I came back in May after having taught English in Aguascalientes for a year. Like too many others, prior to going, I didn't really understand why Mexicans (and other nationalities) were coming up here in droves. Now I do.

While the problem is a Mexican problem, we have two problems here as well: If we're going to tout ourselves as the best country in the world (which, by far, we're not), then we'd better expect that people from the poorer nations are going to want in. Also, our tolerance for anyone outside this country is pathetic (due in large part to the village idiot in the White House). I honestly believe that if the stupid Americans were to go live in Mexico or any of the poor countries for even six months, they'd change their tune. Anyway, thank you for a great article.

--Cheryl Kline,


Reflection on the Election

1. The percent of votes needed to win the First Congressional District Republican primary: 26.

2. Idaho money spent on Bill Sali's First Congressional District campaign to scare Republicans that "a vote for Larry Grant is a vote for SF Liberal Nancy Pelosi": $150,641 (according to Federal Election Commission Sali for Congress campaign filing thru October 18).

3. Out-of-state and PAC money spent on Bill Sali's First Congressional District campaign to scare Republicans that "a vote for Larry Grant is a vote for SF Liberal Nancy Pelosi": $821,430.00 (same source as above).

4. Democrats sweep the House, Nancy Pelosi is poised to become first female Speaker of the House:priceless.

Nice going, Idaho Republicans. You have succeeded in sending one of your self-described "idiots" to Congress, where I'm sure he'll make you all proud. Forget family values, keeping our "democracy" strong, our country safe from those dreaded crystal methamphetamine smoking homosexuals, (oops, guess that one might be dropped from the list) and all of the other things your candidates tell you they believe to be important ... you've proven again that the only true value Republicans in Idaho hold dear is party loyalty!

--Dave Hand,


34 percent but no win for Jim

Just finished reading your article on Jim Hansen, and I'd like to add my two cents' worth. I had the chance to meet and speak with Mr. Hansen for a couple of hours (not a couple of minutes) during the Idaho State Fair. I found him to be engaging, informed, passionate, moral, and very willing to listen to differing points of view. In other words, he didn't respond like a politician. 

This confused me at first, as I thought he was running for office in Idaho. "Republican Doublespeak" is an absolute requirement when it comes to running for any kind of an office here in Idaho.  However, Jim admitted to being quite ignorant of this language. Hmm ... refreshing.

By the time this is received by BW, my vote will have been cast and received by Mr. Hansen. I can only hope that he receives a plurality, as I'm tired of Idaho's brand of back-door career Republican politicians. Jim Hansen will indeed be a much needed breath of fresh air.

I was recently asked in a political poll (via phone during dinner, of course) how did I feel about the election as a whole? Well, as cynical as I am, I feel that it will be the same "hole" where my poor independent/democratic vote has ended up for the past 12 years:  a black one. Or that hole where the "moral Republicans" like to shove their brand of legislative morality whenever they get the chance.

Come Wednesday morning, I hope I don't have to seriously consider moving to Oregon out of shame of being from Idaho.

--Bear Rogge,


On Veteran's Day

I'm waiting. I am waiting for: all of those people who say that they support our troops, all the Republicans now asking for Rumsfeld's resignation, all the business owners (who are people too!) to at least show a glimpse of real appreciation.

It is four days before Veteran's Day. Yes, the elections have monopolized our TV screens, but come on. Why is the election so electric? Because we are in a war extending/ expensing/ exhausting our lovers, brothers, sons, and daughters against people who didn't ravage us on the 11th of September. Yet, our casualties to date are almost 3,000 soldiers (almost four a day according to USA Today): including the 18 so far for November. What about the soldiers from WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf? Do we appreciate them and what they kept for us? Freedom to speak, freedom to choose, freedom to travel, and freedom to buy and sell. Then why haven't I seen one advertisement for retailers with a "BIG, BIG BLOWOUT VETERAN'S DAY SALE!" offering extra incentives to our active duty and/or veteran soldiers and immediate families? They helped keep our freedom of speech, you guys. For God's sake, put up or shut up. The "Almighty dollar" won't mean anything as the "Almighty NK Won", or devalued so much because North Korea or China takes over in a subtle checkmate of "Hey, you can't do anything, you're overextended militarily. Here we come, economy." I digress.

Not to get too multicultural, but what happened to "Carpe Diem?" Seize the day--Veteran's Day--and show our most loyal fans that they matter. And if you retailers just missed the call for Veteran's Day advertising of appreciation, then why not extend it for a week. A "We support all of you discount" for those that sacrifice everything for our ability TO advertise.

Our president's an idiot, but we don't have to be. P.S.: Yes, I voted.

--Jennifer Richman,


luv from our new Guv

There are no words to fully express how humble and grateful we feel for the support we received and the warmth we felt from people throughout Idaho during the campaign for governor. No matter which candidate you supported, it was energizing and encouraging for us to see so many good people devoting themselves to advancing the public understanding of our potential as a state and as Idahoans.

Now that the election is behind us, the real work begins. Yet we want to take just a moment now and ask you to reflect on what we already have accomplished together. We have set the tone and the direction for Idaho's future. It involves public servants and private citizens working together for the greater good of our state. It involves a greater understanding of the responsibilities as well as the opportunities afforded by citizenship, and the duty each of us has to showing civic virtue by advancing the frontiers of freedom. We are indeed blessed by having the trust of Idaho's people. Now we must justify that trust. Like any other kind of public service, holding elected office is not about advancing a personal or partisan agenda. It is about helping and empowering the individuals and families of our great state to be the architects of their own destiny. That is the task before us. That is the only mandate we should ever claim. And the fruits of our labors will be an Idaho as great as the people who call our state home.

Once again, thank you for all you have done and will do in the future. We will do our best to live up to your highest expectations for Idaho and for the Office of Governor.

--Lori and C.L. "Butch" Otter

First Lady and Governor-Elect, State of Idaho

Hate Crime

On Thursday, November 9, a student was attacked on Boise State's campus. He wasn't targeted because he happened to be there. He was attacked because his attackers perceived him to be gay. The attacker hit him from behind with a blunt object while yelling anti-gay epithets. This, ladies and gentlemen, is unacceptable. What is the Boise State administration or the Idaho Legislature going to do about it? You senators and representatives sit there in your big white building passing judgment on an entire group of people, because you are uncomfortable with who we are.

Your lack of leadership on this issue, your very statements to your constituents act as fuel to the fires of homophobia and hatred toward our community. The student survived, but what does it have to take to make you see that something has to be done? Does someone have to die? What if he was your child? Citizens of Idaho, are we going to let our state degenerate into this? Lift up your voices. Tell your legislators that you will NOT stand for this kind of hatred in Idaho.

--James Rodriguez,


Letter from Larry

People are asking why we didn't win. The answer is that old political joke: He got more votes than I did.

Actually, that is more accurate in this case than one might imagine. In looking at the numbers, I am convinced that we got every Democratic and independent voter we could get. What we didn't get was enough Republican crossovers. 

Why not? Because in the end, the Republican Party was more interested in keeping the seat in Republican hands than anything else, despite their candidate.  And, after all, they reason, if Sali doesn't tow the line, they can take him out in the next primary.

So what did we do wrong? The answer is nothing. We did everything right. Sure, we didn't win, but we worked hard, got a lot of help from volunteers, made national news and pulled in 45 percent of the vote in one of the most Republican districts in the country. And, in the process, made them spend more money on this race than in any time in history. Amazing.

So, to my amazing staff and all of you who helped, I say thank you.

--Larry Grant,