Guardian Top Stories

Conservative Speaker Draws Cheers And Jeers

A story of national import surrounding an August 26 conservative banquet speaker’s penchant for stirring emotions and a local hotel’s desire to stay out of the political fray is unfolding in Boise.

In a nutshell, the Idaho Freedom Foundation has invited Charles Murray to speak at the conservative group’s annual banquet. Apparently based on Murray’s reputation for attracting angry demonstrators at Middlebury College in Vermont as reported in March by the WASHINGTON POST, the Riverside Hotel cancelled the IFF reservation a mere 10 days prior to the event.

The GUARDIAN is getting the story in bits and pieces from several sources, but the issue seems to be about the Hotel having what amounts to veto power over the choice of the Freedom Foundation’s speaker vs the understandable desire on the part of the hotel to keep a secure venue and not be subject to potential disruption for its guests.

Unlike “solar eclipse rate hikes,” the Riverside Hotel cancelled the IFF banquet reservation in the wake of the civil unrest and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Riverside came up with a payment of $10,000 to make amends for the late cancellation. It was obviously worth the money to the hotel to not be the venue for conservative Murray’s speech. The IFF calls the deal a “reimbursement” to cover their expenses and troubles to find a new venue. Ironically, the Freedom Foundation has previously held several other events at the Riverside, according to a spokesman.

The IFF event has been rebooked at Château des Fleurs in Eagle, Idaho. The address is 176 S. Rosebud Lane in Eagle.

IFF cried “foul” in an ONLINE MESSAGE to members saying, “The Leftist campaign to stifle the free exchange of ideas has struck a blow right here in Idaho. At the last minute, the venue where IFF was to host its annual celebration of freedom cancelled our reservation. For a while, we had no place to hold our August 26 banquet with renowned guest speaker CHARLES MURRAY.”

Murray is most famous for his 1994 book, “The BELL CURVE: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life,” described by one reviewer as, “…controversial, especially where the authors wrote about racial differences in intelligence and discussed the implications of those differences.”


Wayne Hoffman is the executive director of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, a conservative lobbying group. He was recently featured in the BOISE WEEKLY as one of three power brokers who will most influence the Idaho gubernatorial primary race in March 2018. The Weekly article mentioned that candidates Raul Labrador and Tommy Ahlquist are supporters of the “shindig of the summer.”

The Weekly said, “The Idaho Freedom Foundation will host what is promised to be the “shindig of the summer for liberty lovers”—its annual Faces of Freedom Banquet, Saturday, Aug. 26, at the Riverside Hotel in Boise ($50 for non-members). There’s no official confirmation that Ahlquist, Labrador or (Lt. Gov Brad) Little will be on the guest list, but Ahlquist and Labrador have committed to being sponsors of the event. Hoffman reiterated that his organization doesn’t endorse, but it does have an interest in the outcome.”

Playing to his followers, Hoffman’s sales pitch also noted, “We will defy the thought police at every turn and continue to defend vigorous and healthy debate in the area of ideas. We will not allow fear and intimidation to silence us. To take a stand against this attack on thought, I invite you to join us August 26 at IFF’s Faces of Freedom Banquet at the Château des Fleurs in Eagle.”

Hoffman told the GUARDIAN that “the left” put pressure on the Riverside to cancel the banquet and they are also putting pressure on Château des Fleurs to also deny the group a venue.

UPDATE–In a comment below under the name “ILOVEYOUIDAHO,” Lynda Johnson of Johnson Hospitality, a Riverside owner, claims there was no “pressure from the left.” They just wanted to avoid the potential conflicts.

Boise Council Qualifier 101

The November city election will see some changes in the council regardless of who wins. At the risk of feeding the conspiracy theorists, it appears only one of the three seats will be up for grabs.

August 28 is first day to declare candidacy. September 8 is final day to file.

To date, the following ten candidates have filed a “Certification of Treasurer” with the City Clerk’s Office:
TJ Thomson – Council Seat 4  
Paul E. Fortin – Council Seat 2  
Adriel J. Martinez – Council (no seat choice)
Andy Hawes – Council Seat 2  
Holli Woodings – Council Seat 6  
Frank Walker – Council Seat 2  
Lisa E. Sanchez – Council Seat 2  
Danielle Naomi Johnson – Council Seat 2  
Crispin Gravatt – Council (no seat choice) 
Logan J. Kimball – Council Seat 2  

At this point incumbent TJ Thomson is running unopposed for seat 4 along with Holli Woodings who appears to be the seat 6 designated Demo replacement for Maryanne Jordan, longtime councilor who has held a dual position for the past two years as an Idaho State Senator. Ben Quintana is not seeking reelection to his seat 2.

Over the years, the GUARDIAN has attempted to offer some important facts that any councilor, mayor, or candidate for those posts should know. Feel free to quiz any of those running for office and decide for yourself if they are qualified.

–Should Boise officials be spending public money and resources on the campaign to attract the F-35?

–Should citizens have the right to vote to approve public debt of more than one year?

–Should citizens, both inside and outside the city, have the right to vote approval or denial of annexation of additional areas and people into the city?

–Should CCDC continue to expand and divert tax dollars away from schools, ACHD, the city, and county?

–What is the amount of the 2018 Boise general fund budget? ($218 million)
–What is the police portion? ($63 million)
–Fire Dept. budget? ($54 million)
–When does the fiscal year start? (Oct. 1)
–How many sworn police officers? (about 300)
–How many firefighters (290 including all employees)
–Highest paid city employee? (Airport Dir. Rebecca Hupp at $155,000)
Here is the April 2017 SALARY LIST.
Platitudes about economic development, homeless housing, arts and history, are all nice, but knowledge of the city and its core operations are key to being a good representative of the people.

Free Life Vests At Cleaned Up Esther Pond

In a double dose of good news from Boise Parks, the water at Esther Simplot Park is safe for swimming at both ponds as of this morning AND a cooperative private-public effort has made life vests available.

The GUARDIAN had called for lifeguards at Quinn’s Pond following the tragic drowning death of a young refugee boy. Parks Director Doug Holloway had told us there were no plans for lifeguards and there were signs advising to “swim at your own risk.”

Yesterday Boise Parks, the nearby outdoor water sports retailer, Boise Fire Dept., St. Luke’s Hospital and the YMCA joined forces to make a whole bunch of life vests available. While none of the entities would endorse the GUARDIAN call for lifeguards, the idea of swimming lessons and the safety flotation are a move in the right direction.

KTVB TV-7 has a detailed report touting the city’s efforts.

Boise’s Official F-35 Rhetoric Toned Down

Far from pulling the plug on F-35 support, we detected a “decreased volume” in the official City of Boise rhetoric following a visit by Mayor Dave Bieter and two city councilors to Hill Air Force Base in Utah this week.

F-35 fighters at Hill AFB. USAF Photo

Morgan Boydston at KTVB interviewed Mike Journee, Team Dave’s mouthpiece who used phrases like, “…a continuing mission at Gowen which COULD include the F-35,” instead of the previous mantra of, “without the F-35 we could lose the Air Guard.” He soft pedaled the intense efforts previously employed by the City.

Gone was the previous confrontational tone from City Hall toward opponents of the noisy fighter jet being based in Boise. We see that as a step forward in what has become a divisive debate.

The GUARDIAN has been made aware of a series of written exchanges between the Citizens For A Livable Boise, Journee, and airport director Rebecca Hupp. Both sides claim to have the “true facts” regarding the noise and ultimate effect of the F-35 on Boise’s quality of life.

If Boise is not selected as a finalist for the F-35, we are confident the politicos and the citizens will be able offer support for an alternative flying mission in the future. Meanwhile, the current A-10s will probably remain on duty for several years.

Pollution Solution For Loose Goose

GUARDIAN readers have long advocated assorted meal plans for Boise’s homeless population supplementing diets with fresh goose meat.

Canada geese overpopulate parks in Boise, Idaho, USA.

In Washington, D.C. the idea has apparently taken hold with the National Park Service. Here is a piece sent to us by a reader that addresses the problem of goose poop and feeding the hungry.

In typical “government-speak” the Canada goose population was reduced when geese were “captured and euthanized.” Ever hear of hunters “euthanizing” their prey?

The NATIONAL POST website has the details. According to the story, it seems they got only a pound of meat from each bird…must be full of goose feathers.

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