City Government

ANG, BOI, City Refuse Vets Neighborhood Meet

Monty Mericle talks F-35 noise with Veteran’s Park neighborhood association.


Despite invitations from the Veteran’s Park Neighborhood Association to appear on a panel discussion of the F-35, All three of the major proponents refused to appear.

The VPNA extended the invite to the usual players, including the Mayor’s office, Boise Airport, and the Idaho Air National Guard. They also invited reps from the Vista Neighborhood and “Citizens for a Livable Boise. The CLB group showed up and shared their views and charts with their crosstown neighbors for about an hour.

The GUARDIAN revealed last week that GOWEN STRONG is a private non-profit corporation registered with the Secretary of State. Boise’s Airport Director, Rebecca Hupp is the registered agent and a board member. The Boise City Council gave her a waiver from the “apparent conflict of interest,” according to the ethics commission.

Here are highlights from a couple of e-mails authored by Team Dave’s press agent, Mike Journee, regarding the non-profit corporation. First one came in Friday.

“In the fall of 2016, we contemplated the merits of formalizing the organization as an independent nonprofit and began doing our due diligence. This included a review by the Ethics Commission and Resolution passed by the City Council. However, shortly after filing the form to incorporate Gowen Strong as a non-profit with the State of Idaho, the city decided it was unnecessary and did not pursue it any further as the current organizational structure works well.

In short, much of the legwork (ethics ruling, council resolution, etc.) for making Gowen Strong an independent non-profit was done, but the process was never completed because it was unnecessary. Gowen Strong does not have a bank account, credit card, nor have we filed for non-profit status with the IRS.”

Then on Monday, it appears there was a bit of a scramble as Journee recanted his story. “My apologies…I misspoke previously. Obviously, Gowen Strong was incorporated as a non-profit. However, it has never functioned as non-profit because we changed course, as discussed previously. To avoid future confusion, Director Hupp is taking steps to dissolve it.”

Comments & Discussion

40 comments for “ANG, BOI, City Refuse Vets Neighborhood Meet”

  1. Heinrich Wiebe
    May 15, 2017, 9:53 pm

    Mike saying he misspoke or has confusion doesn’t fix this or make it go away.

    The Council approved Hupp’s roll.
    The nonprofit was formed and remains as of this moment.
    City staff and resource are working on Gowen Strong Inc.
    Ads and a campaign are running right now.
    The facts haven’t changed.

    I demand accountability. We the citizens of Boise deserve better and we want to know what is going on here.

    Dear Boise, please wake up and do what you can to bring this issue into the wider focus for all to see.

  2. So Michael Journee is the new Shaun Spicer? Was Mike lied to or did he get caught up in his own lie?

  3. I think the basic problem is that the mayor has been there too long. But, voters get what they vote for.

  4. Heather Rodman
    May 16, 2017, 9:00 am

    I agree with Mr. Wiebe, and considering how many radio stations the ads for gowenstrong.com are running on- HOW can they NOT have a bank account? I work in a shop where ALL the radio stations are played, throughout the work week, and I’m hearing them on the country stations, rock, alternative, AND oldies stations. Those ads aren’t cheap, folks- where is the money coming from???

    #GOWENWRONG

  5. If GS doesn’t have a credit card or bank account (per Michael J. / Sean Spicer), how are they paying for ads?

  6. Whose money paid for the large-sized Gowen Strong advertisement in the Idaho Statesman yesterday? The advertisement exploited the image of a child to “sell” Gowen Strong’s F-35 agenda. The ad was offensive to several people I spoke to. It was bizarrely highlighted with dots of blood-colored red. And what was the child to represent? Gowen Strong indoctrinating 7 year olds (who are vulnerable to hearing loss from the extreme noise of the plane) to make them War-like? A child in some war torn country being bombed by both sides? It seems to me when the Statesman endorsed the F-35s saying essentially “Bring ’em on – we’ll work out the Kinks later”, what it was really endorsing was an endless stream of Gowen Strong or other shady front groups for the City and State buying ads like this grotesque display yesterday. What I truly first thought of was one of the child soldiers in civil unrest in Africa that books have been written about the horrors they have endured.

  7. “However, it has never functioned as non-profit because we changed course,”

    What? What? What?

    Perhaps the Dope Awards should be for these PR/PIO press people working for government agencies, when they say stupid stuff.

    Here is a winner.

  8. Bieter must go
    May 16, 2017, 11:34 am

    Bieter has been a mayor for too long,
    and had enough time to appoint his own people to various Commissions, which then started to function as Omissions.
    The Public process has been gamed by lack of term limits in City government.
    Bieter must go, together with F-35s -what a dumb idea to bring these into the city limits.
    What a shameless campaign.
    Their (City and ANG) argument for F-35 is that they only lack common sense and decency for 20 minutes a day.
    If this is done every day, in the City and around the city, our whole life becomes meaningless. First you prefer F-35 over city residents. Next, why don’t you replace all the people in Boise with robots or whatever brings the City more money. Robots can work, pay taxes, not have to drive anywhere, they will be ideal residents for the future “most livable city of Boise”.

  9. Oligarchs Rule
    May 16, 2017, 1:38 pm

    As of July 2nd, 2013, the US government has unbound the legal regulations against using propaganda against foreign audiences and American citizens. The intention is to sway public opinion by using television, radio, newspapers, and social media targeting the American and foreign people in controlled psy-ops.

    The newest version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has an amendment added that negates the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 (SMA) and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1987.

    These laws made propaganda used to influence foreigners and US citizens illegal. Without these laws, disinformation and government propaganda are now 100% “legal” in the good old USA.

  10. Receiving a waiver from the City Council does not make her position any more ethical. It just makes the City Council less ethical.

  11. Megan Rounk said this am at the KBOI NNU breakfast that “Gowen Strong” was NOT a private non profit. As far as the filled documents show she was dead wrong.

    She also confirmed that the City of Boise, the airport staff, and her department are all contributing resources to promote Gowen Strong and the F35. She said that all the data presented by those that oppose is old and out of date.

    General Saylor stated that all the F35s would never use afterburners and only use 65% of their power to take off. And pigs fly too. He stated that keeping the 1300 National Guard people working on FAST jets was more important than impacting 200-400 homes, which would be likely be as many or more people than work at the guard. He also confirmed that the A-10 will likely be flying for another 10 years.

    It was clear that if you oppose the F35 you will be labeled a NIMBY and unAmerican.

  12. Heather Rodman
    May 16, 2017, 4:13 pm

    Time to run some new candidates for City Council. We need representation for ALL of Boise- NOT just the North End.

    Let’s do this. Let’s actually make Boise the most livable city- for ALL of us!

  13. Copy Gowen Strong message
    May 16, 2017, 5:40 pm

    These people give me so many good ideas to campaign against F-35.
    I can now say that Bieter, City Council, Bill Connors, Megan Ronk, and Gen. Saylor are completely irrelevant.
    And that Boise’s residents are more important than having F-35 here.
    They (Bieter etc.) simply outlived their usefulness to our city, by becoming too self-centered.

  14. Who is she? What is her history?
    Who else does she speak to? Can the humanists who don’t want the f35 get a copy of her speech and film so that we can be absolutely sure what she said? Action, not thoughts here.

  15. Future confusion
    May 16, 2017, 10:29 pm

    Confusion about what? Ethics waivers?
    Can the ccdc be dissolved at the same time?

  16. Is is a b, c, or a D?

  17. Very concerning when our elected officials only want to lead and stop representing.

    Even if the City disagrees with neighborhood groups, in a civilized society and representative democracy our elected officials engage the citizens and hear their ideas and concerns, not hide behind the secured doors of City Hall.

  18. Bieter begone
    May 17, 2017, 6:53 am

    To all those whining about the F35s and how the city doesn’t listen to you, there is an option. There is an election this year where three seats are up on the City Council. Quintana, TJ and Jordan’s seats are up. Run for one of them.

    And don’t all run for the open seat – Jordans.

    Put your work, your focus and your money where your mouths and keyboards are. Don’t wait until Sept 8, the filing date, to make up your mind and then run a half a$$es campaign. Start now.

    If all you guys do is rage against the machine and then wonder why Bieter is there forever as are his little bots, look inside to find the answer. Step up or shut up.

  19. Heather wrote: “We need representation for ALL of Boise- NOT just the North End.”

    Hey now, I live in the north end and the current mayor and council don’t represent me, most of the time.

    I’ve been saying if for years on this very forum….

    1) open council positions should never ever be filled by appointment, only by election

    2) Council needs to be expanded. We’ve had only 6 councilors since the turn of the 20th Century. Yet the city has grown 100-fold. Your vote is worth less than one 100th of what a person’s vote was worth in 1917.

    You have been disenfranchised.

    The problem isn’t just the mayor and council, it’s the rules which they are gaming. Imagine football games where one team gets to start the game with a 21 point lead.

  20. Bieter begone… are you running?

  21. “Megan” – Megan Ronk is a political appointee of Butch Otter. She ran the anti meth program for Butch and Lauri Otter so as payback they appointed her to be the operations person in the Department of Commerce.

    When they squeezed the last Director out of Commerce they appointed her to the $135,000+ salary job without interviewing anyone who actually applied and / or who had actual real world business experience. This way she can max out her PERSI retirement too.

    In addition Megan’s husband ran Butch Otters reelection campaign.
    Once again we see political payoffs are more important than being competent. Again more payoff.

    It is not what you know but who.

  22. Bieter begone
    May 17, 2017, 4:33 pm

    Erico I wouldn’t run on this issue of the F35s. Not really my concern or my whine.

  23. TD is right on. To add to TD’s comment Megan was given all her jobs because her husband. See Jayson Ronk, state government affairs director, Micron Technology Inc …
    idahobusinessreview.com › Accomplished Under 40
    Jul 6, 2016 – Now state government affairs director for Micron, Ronk has also served as vice president of the Idaho Association for Commerce & Industry, .

  24. Megan Ronk is the lightest of the political lightweights in the Ottor administration. Have you seen any press coming out of Commerce in months about new businesses? What about the vaunted ‘Project 60’. Do some research on that initiative that never quite made prime time.

  25. Ronk’s are political Wonks.
    They may have had parents who were also wonks. Making them wonk wonks. I don’t know wtf f35’s will do for Micron except perhaps rattle their robots and increase their error rate. Soul-less self centered status seekers who hang out together.

    Let’s vote for Leroy?

  26. c'mon begone
    May 17, 2017, 10:53 pm

    I think I would vote for any democrat who is not overly religious, rich, rah rah home team, or dishonest.

    Talented, problem solving, open-minded, not fantasy harboring and healthy are electable.

    Can we talk about people on this web site?

    Oh, I think the ccdc has outlived its usefulness so please don’t expect my vote if you’re in bed with ccdc.

    That is my opening bid on a new leadership team.

  27. Megan Ronk was put in BECAUSE she has no major business background and would simply do whatever the Idaho Assoc of Commerce and Industry (IACI)tells her to do. Her husband is former IACI and is a plant for them at Micron.

    EDITOR NOTE–Time to get back on topic. Since the players are political in nature, we will allow comments so far, but you guys are getting close to pushing too far on personal ties. Again, political links are OK, but avoid conclusions that you can’t document.

  28. It's organized crime
    May 18, 2017, 12:44 pm

    If the the local reporters could report on the stinky stuff going on in Boise and at the Capital they would need those chest wader boots from the other story.

    I wonder if any local reporters who want to clear their conscience would post on The Guardian what they know from the inside. Surely there must be someone willing to break ranks.

  29. Why is this news?
    May 18, 2017, 4:05 pm

    So, the Air National Guard, the Boise Airport, and the Mayor’s office all declined the invitation, right? The picture shows seven people there, assuming someone is taking the picture, in a small room. I’m guessing this event was hastily thrown together by someone who probably spam emailed whomever they could find an email address for and was disappointed when the big dogs didn’t show up to their little party. Really? Should I be disappointed if the governor failed to show up at my son’s birthday party too? After all, he answers to me and my schedule, right?

    EDITOR NOTE–It was a board meeting and nothing hasty. There was plenty of time to respond and appear. All concerned were simply after information about the F-35.

  30. Why is this news. ..
    May 18, 2017, 6:02 pm

    You sound like you’re out of the loop of the citizens of Boise. Neighborhood associations meet to help keep citizens informed, and the F35 is a big deal. Your comparison to a birthday party is not a relevant comparison. And in a way the elected officials do answer to you, only not in the example of your flawed comparison.

  31. @Bieter Begone…I would expand on your comments, not every one who is disenfranchised needs to run for office, that is one extreme. The other extreme is thinking casting your vote is enough. The middle ground is voting combined with donating money and time to a candidate who you feel represents you. It is unfortunate but reality, to win, campaigns need resources, good ideas and good candidates is not enough.

  32. If it was a neighborhood meeting about where a bike rack should go, the City would show up, but since the group wanted to ask tough questions the city didn’t go

  33. What Steps???
    May 19, 2017, 10:10 am

    So what steps has Hupp taken to dissolve Gowen Strong?

  34. Why is this news. ..
    May 19, 2017, 3:38 pm

    How were the tickets to DC for Mayor Bieter and Butch Otter paid for? Anything but their own pockets or official business from their respective entities would be a gift. Is there any gift paperwork?

    EDITOR NOTE–Each went on approved travel by either the State or City. Boise Council approved Bieter and staff travel.

  35. Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive acquisition in military history and one of the most problematic and controversial. Currently now ten years behind schedule and $200 billion over budget, the F-35 program could cost over $1 trillion over its lifetime.

    Is it no wonder the Military wants to shove this plane down everyone’s throat. They have to justify that kind of spending somehow.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower once said: I hate war as only a soldier who has seen it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, it futility, it stupidity…

    One would think as many times as the Guard has been called up lately someone like General Saylor wouldn’t be so dismissive of the folks who don’t want the F-35. Saying 1300 jobs is more important that the 200-400 homes impacted is pretty stupid. Maybe what the General and City Council should do is buy the homes to the most impacted by the noise and force the 1300 workers and their families to live in them like on a Military Base. Problem Solved for some anyway.

  36. No Good Reporters Anymore
    May 19, 2017, 5:31 pm

    Has anyone noticed that there is not a single reporter in town that has done anything on Gowen Strong other than promote it?

    Given past history every reporter in town is hoping for a job at some city, county or state agency so they cannot report anything accurately.

    Investigative journalism is dead. Regurgitating press releases is all that remains.

  37. Why is this news. ..
    May 19, 2017, 8:34 pm

    Reporters are now not reporters. They are names on bylines. They should not disturb the advertiser. Sort of like going to a resort town – don’t hassle the tourists.

    Better perspective – they are gathering fact and opinions and when it is too late they will write their story, or summary.

    I have lost faith in government, business, press, and death. All of these situations have participants who are just awaiting a paycheck in the afterlife of what is after servitude and life. As we should. We need food and other things society dictates. Serve the master.

    Trailer for sale or rent.

  38. David wrote:

    “saying 1300 jobs is more important that the 200-400 homes impacted is pretty stupid.”

    It’s far more than 200 to 400 homes, try 10s of thousands. I live in the north end and I can hear those things plain as day, 5 to 6 miles from the runway. They so loud they even drown out the Harleys and Dodge Ram diesels.

  39. Clancy Anderson
    May 22, 2017, 3:01 pm

    Mr Wiebe’s reader’s view said the EIS is too late, but it could work. BSU just received a Department of Defence grant for 1.7 million to study the decline of the Kestral.

    http://kestrel.peregrinefund.org/decline

  40. Clancy – Sparrow Hawks are more critical than families and homes.

    Even if BSU got a grant to study the F35 the outcome of the study would be that Boise MUST have the F35s and doing so would not have any negative impacts whatsoever.

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