City Government

Otter Joins Bieter Using Citizen Money To Lobby For F-35 At Gowen

Residents of the Boise Bench have little chance of winning a battle against the noisy F-35 fighter jets now that Gov. Butch Otter has joined forces with Boise’s Team Dave to combat the anti-aircraft volleys being fired from folks seeking a little peace and quiet.

With unlimited resources in the form of citizen’s tax dollars at their disposal, the establishment politicos have nothing to fear from those who oppose noisy fighters over Boise.

Betsy Russell wrote last week in her SPOKESMAN REVIEW blog that Otter asked for $100,000 in citizen money to lobby for the F-35 which is roundly opposed by residents of the Boise Bench, especially near the airport.

Russell wrote, “Otter added a $100,000 supplemental appropriation request for the state Department of Commerce to promote and lobby for the recruitment of an F-35 mission and other future missions at Gowen Field, as the current A-10 mission winds down.” The money will come out of the Dept. of Commerce budget.

“Gowen Field is among five candidates for the F-35 mission,” said Otter budget chief, Jani Revier. Revier told the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. The funds would be used to educate the public and key decision makers at the federal level “of the benefit of choosing Idaho.” The GUARDIAN has publicly challenged the Air Force, Air National Guard, and city officials to invite a couple of F-35’s to fly in and out of Boise at full power, using afterburners (and not) to demonstrate just how loud the aircraft may be. ALL REQUESTS HAVE BEEN IGNORED.

Otter could have his “Idaho mission” and not cause heartburn for Boiseans if he would either ground his dogfight or promote Mt. Home as the logical site for the noisy fighters instead of the most densely populated area in the entire state of Idaho. Regardless, it is downright WRONG to use $100,000 in public money for a public relations campaign to disarm citizens who oppose noisy fighter jets over Boise.

Now, they have yet another “open house” at the airport to promote their agenda. Sessions are set for Wednesday Jan. 25 at 5p.m. and again at 7 p.m. Instead of actually hearing from citizens, the airport announcement claims to offer “choices for noise mitigation.” We doubt the choices will include parking the birds at Mt. Home AFB.

The GUARDIAN and most of the folks who have an interest in the F-35 effort oppose only the basing of the loud aircraft at Gowen Field. The general consensus is that Mt. Home Air Base is a much more logical spot for the aircraft. President Donald Trump has fired a few missiles of his own at the F-35 project which is the single most expensive defense project in the history of mankind.

Boise resident Dan Marler has been active opposing the project and forwarded his own “education material” to citizens.

Comments & Discussion

14 comments for “Otter Joins Bieter Using Citizen Money To Lobby For F-35 At Gowen”

  1. The governor should have refunded the $100,000 to Idaho taxpayers, instead of paying his lobbyist buddies.

  2. The City and State are infatuated by “the other white meat”….PORK!

    The F35 is all about pork. Most defense analysts and top military brass now know that the plane is a nightmare, but production can’t be stopped because of political considerations.

    Ohio congressmen lobbied for an “extra” engine to be built by GE in Ohio. They were denied by congress but have succeeded in securing on-going development funds.

    Efforts to secure Gowen as a base for the plane are just more “pass the pork!”

  3. Besides boasting rights (which the Republican Politicians thrive on) what are the great benefits to the capital city? More noise & air pollution? More home ownership lost because the homes fall into the NSFRU designation? More inappropriate use of citizen dollars? What is the positive net revenue from this project and what will you do with it IF you get it?
    Not only will our Bench area be effected but the entire city. Will they fly over Mr. Otter’s home like they fly over ours?

  4. Giant Otter was size of a wolf!

  5. Yossarian_22
    Jan 23, 2017, 2:42 pm

    The F-35 is one of the most massive spending boondoggles in military history. It is over engineered and over priced, by many time over.

    It has way too many bells and whistles and not enough practical features. You can’t make it be a F-16, F-117, A-10 all in one and expect it to function right.

    And then on top of this, the Governor and Mayor want to promote it (or any other noisy aircraft) for Boise’s relatively quiet skies. But I guess as long as the Northend will be spared the impact, the Mayor can keep his job, right?

  6. Governments spending money to influence bond elections and other elections will continue until the legislature passes laws that require that whatever the agency spends to promote the issue that it must donate the same amount to the opposing view.

    CWI spent hundreds of thousands to influence their bond (even though it failed). How many PIO’s are there employed by public agencies working to influence the public – at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

    The practice is not fair nor is it right, but since when has that prevented politicians like the Mayor or CWI or the State from doing it? They will continue until they face jail time.

    We know they skirt around current laws that are simply not working.

    EDITOR NOTE–All true Voter. The problem with the F-35 issue is that it is not an election. It is merely paying to influence the Feds. It will be interesting to see what Trump ends up doing on the fighter aircraft.

  7. I took the cowards way out. I sold my home and took my retirement money out of Idaho altogether. The corrupt / criminal politicians are out of control.
    Basing insanely loud military jets in the center of a huge population center is just plain stupid.
    The F35 is a bad plane, period. It’s kind of like that Swiss Army Knife with 30 functions that never leaves the house because it’s too heavy and complicated, minus the high quality.
    The only real solution is probably a citizen funded lawsuit, and a lot of community organizing.

  8. What if the alternative is, the demise of Gowen and no F35 for Mtn Home either?
    IF the whole ball of wax goes elsewhere… what is the state’s economic impact of that course?

    Seems like $100K to “land that aircraft” is a pretty investment and ROI for Idaho – financially speaking that is.
    That’s certainly one standard for spending tax dollars, right?

  9. Steve Rinehart
    Jan 23, 2017, 5:40 pm

    Doesn’t Mountain Home have some reps in the Legislature? Are they awake? You would think they would be making a lot of noise for hometown jobs right now.

    EDITOR NOTE–Perhaps someone needs to make a few calls and e-mail messages to the Mt. Home News and politicos over that way.

  10. Joy & Darryl
    Jan 23, 2017, 6:55 pm

    Letter to the Mayor and Govenor: It has been announced that you two are teaming up to sell the citizens of Boise Idaho the “benefits” of having the F-35 fighter jets fly over the south west skies of the city. It is said you intend to ask for $100,000 taxpayers’ dollars to lobby for your cause.

    Many citizens find your reasoning unreasonable in your sales pitch for the F-35 being located/based at Gowen Field; when in fact they have a perfectly good, actually superior facility at Mountain Home Idaho. Flying over, into and out of the desert and polluting the desert with noise and air pollution makes perfectly good sense; as opposed to your idea of F-35 obnoxious behavior over residential area.

    Idea in action:

    1. Put in a light rail to transport National Guard F-35 employees to Mountain Home

    2. Install a daily shuttle bus service to Mountain Home

    3. Install daily air shuttle service to Mountain Home

    4. Provide all 3 services to Mountain Home

    5. Spend the $100,000.00 on starting these services

    Please consider these suggestions very seriously and keep the F-35 out of our neighborhoods because we do not see the benefits.

  11. Keith Mitchell
    Jan 24, 2017, 8:36 am

    We all need to communicate with everyone possible about
    the incredible negative impact these planes will have on
    our neighborhoods and lives! Just a little info: Mountain
    Home currently is not an option because in order to be a
    site, there has to be parallel runways for training. If Gowen
    is chosen, we will have these planes flying 24/7 day and
    NIGHT! They have to because it’d be a training site. We/You have no idea of the noise!

  12. Without an opinion on the F-35 program I just want to say, I have zero confidence in any data or studies put together by Boise, whether it is noise or economic development figures. The trolley is a perfect example of expand the study assumptions until the pre-determined conclusion is justified. Supporters of the F-35 in Boise will “turn the dollar” as many times as needed to show the program works in Boise and not in Mountain Home.

    While often attributed to Winston Churchill or Mark Twain, it was Prime Minister Disraeli who said there are three kinds of lies: “Lies, damned lies and statistics”

    At all levels of government we are lied to in the form of statistics where carefully crafted assumptions, desired points of view and social or political outcomes serve as the basis that inform the methodology for data collection and information formation.

  13. Up to their eyeballs
    Jan 24, 2017, 11:20 pm

    Bieter and friends full of crap right up to their eyeballs.

    Proof is the following whimpering about ACHD on 1/23 (link below). How passionate of him. F-35 will be good for Boise’s quality of life also?

    I don’t believe he is capable of honesty. It’s totally about money. They know the core NorEnd base will always elect them, even if mayor closes their favorite street.

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/opinion/readers-opinion/article128313729.html

  14. Susan Fenrich
    Jan 25, 2017, 4:43 pm

    The government does have rules. One needs to be further away from populated areas. Mountain Home is the only choice. More open area. They just approved Syringa Project. It will be to close. The government doesn’t like that. It is always about money. If moved to Mountain Home the state still gets it.

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