News » Citydesk

Sept. 15-21 2004




Richard Girnt Butler, founder of the Aryan Nations white supremacist group, died in his sleep last week at age 86.

Butler's death closes an ugly chapter in Idaho's history.

In the 1970s, Butler opened a compound near Hayden Lake, Idaho, that became a center for his racist, anti-Semitic group. For more than three decades, Butler preached his religion of hatred from the compound. In recent years Butler's influence had waned, and he was forced to sell his compound after a court judgment against his group.

In 2003 Butler made an unsuccessful bid for mayor of Hayden, Idaho.

Butler's death leaves the Aryan Nations broke, leaderless and homeless.


Congressman Mike Simpson released draft legislation for the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (CIEDRA).

The legislation affects Custer and Blaine counties and the Boulder-White Mountains.

To view the document go to, click on "legislation" and then click on "CIEDRA."

Comments on the plan can be faxed to (208) 334-9533 or (202) 225-8216, e-mailed to, phoned to (208) 523-6701 or mailed to 802 W. Bannock, Suite 600, Boise, ID, 83702.


• September 21: "Politics 101: Women Leaders and Women's Issues--Obstacles and Opportunities." Representatives Margaret Henbest and Anne Pasley-Stuart discuss changing laws to improve women's health issues in Idaho.

• October 19: "Homeless in Idaho: A Community Effort to Help Those in Need." Deanna Watson, executive director of the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority, discusses local efforts in fair housing and helping the homeless.

• November 16: "Idaho's Top Ten: The Most Outrageous Things Women Should Know About Idaho." Lee Flinn, program director for Idaho Women's Network, discusses issues affecting Idaho women and how to promote change.

All lectures take place at Owyhee Plaza Hotel, 1109 Main St., 11:45-1 p.m., $13 advance registration, $14 at the door. For more information or to RSVP contact Sue Philley, 378-1714 or



The federal assault weapons ban ended one minute after midnight on Tuesday.

President George W. Bush said he would support extension of the 1994 ban, but Republican congressional leaders were content to let the ban expire.

The ban, enacted by President Bill Clinton, barred 19 types of semi-automatic firearms with features such as flash suppressers, bayonet attachments and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

FBI research indicates that although assault-style weapons constitute a very small percentage of all firearms in the United States, one in five law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty between January 1, 1998, and December 31, 2001, was killed with an assault weapon.

The Justice Department says violent crime is currently at a 30-year low in the United States, with incidents-per-1,000 citizens less than half the rate reported in 1993, the year before the assault weapons ban's enactment.

"Tomorrow for the first time in 10 years when a killer walks into a gun shop, when a terrorist goes to a gun show somewhere in America, when they want to purchase an AK-47 or some other military assault weapon, they're going to hear one word: 'Sure,'" Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry told Reuters on Tuesday.

Idaho's senior Republican Senator Larry Craig, an NRA board member, said the ban was a bad law. "The only effect this ban had was to deny law-abiding citizens the right to own certain firearms that look more dangerous than others," he said in a statement. It did nothing to reduce crime, save lives, or keep guns out of the hands of criminals.''

Another member of Idaho's congressional delegation also trumpeted the end of the ban. "President Clinton's so-called 'assault weapons' ban was nothing more than a sop to antigun liberals," Representative Butch Otter said Friday in a written statement. "It provided only the illusion of reducing gun violence, but it did real damage to our liberties."

"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."

--Vice President Dick Cheney while campaigning in Iowa on September 7, implying that electing John Kerry would make another terror strike more likely.

"What he said was meant to scare voters, period. It was way over the top, and, I think, un-American."

--Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards responding to Vice President Cheney's comment.

"Four-hundred thousand people make some money trading on Ebay ... that's a source that didn't exist even 10 years ago."

--Vice President Dick Cheney during a town-hall style forum in Ohio on September 9 explaining that economic statistics do not include Ebay sales.

"If we only included bake sales and how much money kids make at lemonade stands, this economy would really be cooking."

--Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards responding to Cheney's remarks on Ebay's impact on the national economy.


The Outstanding Public Debt as of Tuesday, September 14 is $7,385,600,801,235.43.

The estimated population of the United States is 294,138,847, so each citizen's share of this debt is $25,109.23.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $1.72 billion per day since September 30, 2003.

The Outstanding Public Debt when President George W. Bush took office on January 20, 2001 was $5,727,776,738,304.64.



U.S. CASUALTIES: As of Tuesday, September 14, 1,018 U.S. service members have died since the war in Iraq began in March 2003: 768 in combat and 250 from noncombat-related incidents and accidents. Eighteen soldiers died in Iraq last week.

Injured service members total 7,245.

Eight hundred and sixty-seven soldiers have died and 6,703 have been injured since President George W. Bush declared "mission accomplished" aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense

IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS: Estimated between 11,797 and 13,806.


COST OF IRAQ WAR: $132,656,000,000.


--Compiled by Cynthia Sewell