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The Odd Alliance Between Donald Trump and Some South Boise Residents



If the majority of Boise voters in Precinct No. 1807 had their way, Hillary Clinton would be president—they chose the former first lady-turned-U.S. senator-turned secretary of state over real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump by an 18-point margin in the November election. Nonetheless, more than a few residents in the South Boise neighborhood have something in common with President-elect Trump: They're not fans of the F-35 fighter jet.

"The F-35 program and cost is out of control," Trump tweeted Dec. 12, sending publicly-traded shares of aerospace giant Lockheed Martin into a freefall.

Trump added that he looked forward to taking a cleaver to the F-35 budget, tweeting, "Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th."

The Guardian reported Trump's 140-character tweet at 6:26 a.m. triggered a $4 billion drop in Lockheed's value—amounting to a loss of about $28.6 million per character.

Some South Boise residents have also been vocal in their opposition to the F-35, particularly over the possibility of the jets being permanently housed at Gowen Field. Citing the F-35's 40,000 pounds of afterburner thrust, residents fear the sound of the jets will rattle their Vista neighborhood homes.

Nonetheless, Boise city officials and the Idaho congressional delegation cheered the news Dec. 7, when the Idaho National Guard confirmed Boise was on the U.S. Air Force shortlist to house the F-35 program, pending a full environmental impact study and public hearings. The Air Force said it would conduct two-week site visits at Boise and four other cities in the coming months before selecting two "preferred" and two "reasonable" alternatives. That will trigger more reviews and a final decision by spring 2019.

Following the Dec. 7 announcement, an informal Boise Weekly poll concerning the F-35 revealed 61 percent of respondents were in favor of the fighter jets finding a home in Boise.

Meanwhile, Trump did not elaborate on his opposition to the F-35 budget, but he already has one anti-F-35 ally in Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), who has said repeated problems with the fighter jet program were "both a scandal and a tragedy."

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