City Government

ELECTION! What Election? Who Cares?

To call the upcoming Boise City election LACKLUSTER is an understatement. With the exception of the Bieter-Tibbs yawner for mayor, there is no interest…from the mainstream, the candidates, or the city officials.

The campaign payoff (contribution) page is difficult to find, but with enough clicks we found PDF files among seven years of candidates and reports. Bieter has been paid $227,000 so far for his stealth campaign. Tibbs take was a few bucks over $50,000.

The official City Clerk web site says it all with the blank list of candidate profiles. Even the candidates themselves failed to offer information or photos.

The GUARDIAN is no better. To us the election looks like a done deal and the sad thing is all the incumbents will claim people are satisfied with their performances…or fed up and tired. We would love to be surprised, but this turnout may be the lowest in memory.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Mike Murphy, Bull Moose Tenor
    Oct 19, 2007, 8:31 am

    Forgive me for beating a dead horse, but until the Fourth Estate steps up to the plate and does more to encourage quality citizens to become engaged in the Democratic Process we’ll continue to be led down the path.

    Our newspapers have regular sections for Horoscopes, Bridge, Crosswords and Gay Love-Lines, but at last perusing had nothing dedicated to propagating that which we are currently at war in the name of.

  2. At least the Weekly ran an in-depth piece. It was nice to read something other than a Larry update.

  3. You are absolutely right Guardian. The mayoral race is a yawner. Not because there are no major differences between Tibbs and Bieter, but because the media has chosen not to emphasize those differences.

    Let’s take transportation and traffic as an example.
    Bieter wants a “choo-choo”! That’s it!
    In previous posts here,there have been well documeted statistics that, at the very best, Bieter’s “Choo-choo” will take 3% of the cars off the road. That means that for every 100 cars that you see on the road during rush hour, Bieter’s “Choo-choo” will take 3 of them off the road. That, sadly, is Bieter’s entire effort for transportation!

    Tibbs, on the other hand, has proposed that every car with three commuters in it will park FREE at any city participating parking structure. That means that for every 100 commuter cars in the parking lot, there will be 200 fewer cars on the road. In addition, Tibbs will contact employers in the city and try to find some way to initiate “flex” hours so that we can lessen the burden on the roads during the rush hour commute.

    Bottom line:
    Bieter- take three cars off the road 10-15 years from now.

    Tibbs- HUNDREDS of cars off the roads TODAY.

    Seems like a pretty big difference to me!
    But what about the bus system?
    Bieter has gone out of his way to “kill” it and then make fun of it! (the wheels on the bus go round and round).

    Tibbs understands that we MUST have a viable system to move people through the city. Tibbs’ solution? Smaller “people mover” hybrid / electric buses that have regular stops and work the arterial system of the city with expanded hours to meet passengers needs. This system would include regular stops at the larger employers in the city to attract the ridership that wants to car-pool, but still may want to go to lunch or do a bit of shopping.
    The results?

    Bieter: Let ’em eat cake!

    Tibbs- Move more people around the city in a convenient way that fits their lifestyle and lessens the emission foot print left by diesel buses.
    Now, anyone want to talk about public safety? enviornmental concerns? graffiti? taxes? sanctuary city?(Bieter said he didn’t even know what that was)foothills development? southeast Boise development?

    Times are a wastin’ folks. You need to see the MAJOR differences between Bieter and Tibbs.

    “More proud every day to be a Tibbs man!”

  4. Cyclops,
    Just because Tibbs want people to ride the bus or triple up in a car doesn’t mean people will, and they probably won’t. One more thing, I know you support Tibbs and that is great, but the snide remarks and low personal comments toward Beiter distracts from the really issues. Just my humble opinion

  5. Boisean, the only reference I made to Bieter is his “choo-choo” answer to transportation issues, and as long as he SINGS IN PUBLIC that the wheels of the bus go round and round, I believe I am more than justified. With regard to the bus system, he HAS killed it! He should be voted out of office if for nothing more than that! You have a valid point about whether or not people will use a transit system. No one can garantee they will, but I can garantee you that they won’t if there is no system. I guess I can’t see just what is so “snide, low and personal” about any of this. We still need to have that cup of coffee.

  6. costaprettypenny
    Oct 19, 2007, 8:39 pm

    Bull Moose you are right on! There is no hard hitting journalism in this town, if there had been Dirk, would not have gone to Washington. The only reason Coles was snagged is because it was so “out there”. The poor newsman at Associated Press had to go to work for the Department of Commerce and work till retirement for asking the hard questions. Even the legislature shut down the daily legislative report on Public TV to do a little time on Friday, enough said! This little web page is a breath of fresh air, thanks Dave.

  7. Grumpy ole guy
    Oct 19, 2007, 8:55 pm

    Hold on a second! If the media “makes the news” it gets criticised for manufacturing the news. If it doesn’t do investigative reporting it is accused of playing along with whomever. We really can’t have it both ways.

    Personally I don’t think that the printed press in Boise is worth much, neither do I think that it is biased toward one end of the specturm, although it seems to me that any paper that lauds the status quo is, de facto, conservative, but I don’t debate the point (and usually don’t even raise it).

    Look at Craig’s criticism of the Statesman as being out to get him; the same paper that has dutifully run his press releases as news stories, has endorsed his (re)election more often than not and which has not published anything very damaging of Craig because they can not get “sources” to agree to making their name(s) public, that doesn’t smack of being out to get Craig or trying to serve the truth, either.

    I don’t think the mayoral race is getting coverage because I don’t think the candidates want to generate very much heat or light on any of the issues – maybe because they don’t know what they are, or maybe they think an informed electorate would be voting for “none of the above”.

    We get the government and the politicians we deserve. don’t blame “others”, look in the mirror at what we have not done to improve the situation.

  8. CYCLOPS said:”Times are a wastin’ folks. You need to see the MAJOR differences between Bieter and Tibbs.”
    Let’s talk about similarities between the candidates for mayor. Tibbs ideas on the environment “Valley Vision Initiative” is a near total plagerization of the report put out by the city a month before Tibbs’ initiative appeared.
    Where is Tibbs concern for ethics now?
    Check out the facts:
    There are links to both documents and press releases within.

  9. I’m not a big Dave fan, but I don’t really have anything against him either.

    Tibbs, on the other hand, annoys me.

    His political career began when he agreed to assume the interim police chief position on the understanding that he wouldn’t seek the permanent position. Then he began lobbying for the full-time job. When he didn’t get it, he ran for city council… where he’s been a bump on a log ever since.

    What has this man done to be mayor, other than to proclaim that the best thing about Boise is the surrounding communities?

    If that’s the case, he should be running for mayor of any Treasure Valley community other than Boise.

  10. Well if you are satisfied with the way this city circumvents the voters on every possible issue , then vote them all into office again.. But if you want a new direction, people who will listen to citizens , not just say they know best what you need, then you had better get off your duffs and vote the incumbents out.

    Another example of back room dealing is the “private firm” going to build a new convention center. Didn’t we all vote that one down? Wonder what “benefits” they will receive from the city with our tax dollars? Is that property city owned? Maybe another $1 lease? Maybe if you re-elect Bieter he’ll give you a ride on his Choo Choo! Don’t hold your breath though, his record re: the Depot is that city property is not for the citizens use unless they pay more than just high taxes.

  11. shealyisnottheantichrist
    Oct 20, 2007, 1:50 pm

    Obviously Cyclops went to the same City Club luncheon that I attended.

    He failed to mention that when Tibbs was asked to identify three leaders in the Treasure Valley with whom he could work collectively on valley wide problems, that he listed number three as “the State of Idaho.”

    Since Tibbs used to be the drug czar for the state, and he is by all accounts an effective and personable leader, one would think that he would have connections everywhere. Are we left to think that this was a case of brain freeze?

    I hope that Mayor Bieter truly did not misunderstood what a sanctuary city is. It seemed to be his way of dealing with a political hot potato on the immigration issue. If he honestly did not know, was it brain freeze or simply being in a position of public trust while being terribly uninformed? Neither option is appealing.

    We cannot be serious about using actual trains.
    The story about the emperor’s clothes kept coming to mind when I heard this. Will someone please stop us from throwing money at this idea?

    Tibbs wants to increase police coverage in the city without being able to identify where the money was coming from without reducing services or increasing costs of permits etc.

    We have to be more serious about the budget than that.

    I can now see why voter turnout for the city of Boise is less than 50% of the registered voters.

    Tibbs needs a better team surrounding him to prepare him for public events. His current team should be dumped. It should have been his moment to shine. I will vote for him anyway, but he needs to do his homework, or he is going to be chewed up. City Hall is not kind to the unprepared.

  12. I’ve lived in this area for 40 years, and my perspective of the Boise elections is that people have learned it doesn’t make a damned bit of difference whom they elect — somehow all the officials get taken in by the Grow! Grow! Grow! crowd of developers, Chambers of Commerce, etc., and develop a manic aversion to the sight of soil.

    Every spot in — and anywhere near — the city MUST be covered as quickly as possible with houses, shopping centers, any kind of building!
    A planned development violates the comprehensive plan, zoning laws and common sense? No problem; go ahead and build it.

    As for the arguments about transportation: The state is still pushing the plan to build more roads and widen existing ones. Guess that they haven’t noticed that doing this has never relieved traffic — it simply creates more.

    As for Bieter killing the bus system — that thing never has been alive. Routes and hours have always been way too limited to accomplish much.
    The city, county and state have done everything they can to encourage more people to move here, and now wonder why traffic keeps increasing. Duh!
    Face it, you’ve created another Los Angeles, and there ain’t nothing gonna cure it.
    Really good mass transit would help some, but it’s too late to really eliminate the problems.

  13. Benched, you may want to look at the difference between LEED’S silver and gold levels. Silver is really easy to attain (Bieter’s choice) Gold requires some honest work and commitment (Tibbs’ choice)
    Tibbs is calling for a phasing in of hybrid / electric non-emergency vehicles. I don’t believe Bieter understands the concept.
    But, for the purpose of discussion, let’s assume you are 100% correct in your evaluation. There is still one MAJOR difference between Bieter and Tibbs.
    On November 7th. Bieter will just tuck the whole thing away in that same pile of un-fulfilled promises. (along with the dozens of others)
    Tibbs will actually enact them!
    I wonder how many people are aware that on some nights in this city, there are 7, count them 7, police patrol cars for this whole city. How do you fund the additional officers? You may want to start with the 2% holdback on the police budget that Bieter orders. And while your at it, you may want to go ahead and see just what the budget directions are for the other city departments. (Just where did ya’ll think all that funding for Bieter’s pet projects came from?)
    Granted, Bieter inherited a bad situation with regard to the bus system. But would someone please point out what he has done in 4 years to improve it? The only thing I can see is that he has firmly put his hands around it’s throat and made sure it was not breathing any longer.
    We have enjoyed the economic benefits of growth for the last 4 years, it might now be time to “pay the piper”. Do you really believe that Bieter is tha man for that job? Dave Bieter wants four more years as mayor, not because he cares one twit about Boise. He needs to pad his reume for the office of governor, which is his next aspiration.

  14. I think we could get some voter interest if we ask the guys about the Ten Commandments, or if they support abortion. How about if they suport Larry Craig. Guns and the War on Drugs get out the voters. How about prayer in the Boise schools or all city meetings. Would the candidates support a proclimation to give Jesus the keys to the city? Obviously, sprawl and public transportation are election topic duds.
    This is a perfect example of why we are fighting for democracy in Iraq. The Republican war machine will never make the mistake of looking for a tangible reason to start a war, they might not find it. This is a Republican state and it works for most people who live here. How does one measure “democracy”? By degrees?
    Voting is for people who care. I don’t see too many who care living here. Gotta go now… Honey, lets take the Hummer shoping, I want to go to WalMart.

  15. Cyclops replies, “but, for the purpose of discussion, let’s assume you are 100% correct in your evaluation,” [that the document Tibbs put out on his plan for the environment, his “Valley Vision Initiative” is plagiarized].
    What part of “plagiarism” do you and those you work with at the Tibbs campaign have trouble understanding?

    For your’s and the rest of the Tibbs campaign team’s benefit, here is a general definition of the word: Unabridged (v 1.1) – Cite This Source – Share This

    pla·gia·rism /ˈpleɪ dʒəˌrɪz əm, -dʒi əˌrɪz-/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[pley-juh-riz-uh m, -jee-uh-riz-] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation


    the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.

    something used and represented in this manner.

    Origin: 1615–25; plagiar(y) + -ism ]
    —Related forms

    pla·gia·rist, noun

    pla·gia·ris·tic, adjective Unabridged (v 1.1)
    Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006

    If Mr. Tibbs is simply unable or unwilling to admit that he was not the source of this information and give credit to those that did find it, he is not the man that should run our fair city. He is obviously unable to work productively with others, and be honest about even the most basic of things. You are dodging the issue. Stealing is stealing. It’s about the Ethics of the matter! Once we deal with this issue, we can move on to why all of your other assertions are completely wrong as to why Tibbs’ plan makes any sense.

  16. Benched, your definition is correct. Your chronology is wrong. Tibbs, when he announced his candidacy(in the lobby of the Banner Bank Building, which , by the way, is one of only a handful of Platinum LEED’s buildings in the country)spoke of his concern about the lack of progress that the city has made relative to it’s enviornmental footprint. Do you expect us to believe that he chose that setting “just ’cause?”
    I hate to have you make my point because it will obviously pain you, but that announcement was made, and the position formed, in MARCH!!
    So, if in fact there is a question of plagiarism,it is coming from someone’s office on the 3rd. floor of city hall!
    Anything else you’d like to discuss??

    More proud every day to be a Tibbs supporter!

  17. I have to agree with Dave: It’s a pretty slow election.

    Kevin Richert,
    Editorial page editor, Idaho Statesman

  18. Cyclops, please check your chronology. Bieter formed the Climate Change committee in January. Tibbs made no mention of any specifics during his March announcement. In fact, the Banner Bank building was a back-up location (he’d originally planned it for the roof of a parking garage). Nor did he mention any specifics in either of the two candidate forums during the summer. However, two months after the committee released its recommendations to the public, you’d have us believe that Mr. Tibbs magically came up with a detailed, green agenda on his own.

    For Tibbs to steal the recmommendations without giving credit to the committee, is a slap in the face to the folks who worked hard for 7 months to develop the recommendations. If you’re so convinced that all this was Tibbs’ idea, you may want to file an ethics complaint against the committee. Here are the names:
    Gary Christensen, The Christensen Corporation;
    David Gibney, HDR Architects;
    Dr. Alan Hausrath, Sierra Club;
    Dr. Don Reading, Ben Johnson Associates;
    Sue Seifert, Idaho Energy Division;
    and Dr. Dale Stephenson, BSU Department of Community and Environmental Health.

  19. Nick, there is an old saying that certainly holds true here. “If you say an untruth often enough, it becomes true” So just keep saying it,over and over. It seems as though now we are arguing about when someone THOUGHT about our environment first!
    The only obvious fact here, is it certainly wasn’t Dave Bieter!!

    And the reference to the ethics thing? Cute! Arrogant, but cute! Kind of like the mayor’s office without the “cute” part. Just plain Arrogant!!

  20. political geek
    Oct 22, 2007, 2:55 pm

    Pop Quiz Nick. How many times did Dave attend that committee? A-None. In fact at no time did Dave ever endorse or indicate he would take action on those recomondations. He only released them to say “here they are.” On his website his green policy is only this- “I ride my bike to work.”

    I read the committees work and Tibbs’. To me Tibbs has a plan to DO SOMETHING, while some are close the committees, his are not mandates, but incentive based. He also has some cool ideas that are nowhere to be found in the committee work. Nick, will you give Tibbs credit for those ideas? Or are we too partisian to even do that?

    I am also willing to bet a guy like Tibbs has actually sat down and talked with some of the members of that committee, unlike Dave.

  21. Cyclops asserted, “I hate to have you make my point because it will obviously pain you, but that announcement was made, and the position formed, in MARCH!!”

    So, let’s get this straight Mr. Monihann, you and the rest of the Tibbs campaign “formed” “the position” in March,and at that point assembled your own team of experts, studied the issue, wrote your paper and released the Tibbs “Valley Vision Initiative” in September? Who were the experts?

  22. Wow, Kevin Richert agrees its been a slow election. For Boise City Council, how about non-existent.

    And the Statesman should be ashamed of this. It is their JOB to publish news, including the names and positions of the candidates. And regarding the Boise Council, they have, to date, done none of this.

    Now I know that business as usual with the Idaho Daily Mistaken is just to reprint press releases by adding a “reporter’s” by line, but there is usually no reporting going on. And the candidate’s are at fault most likely for not giving the “reporters” the press releases on which to attach their byline. But jiminy! Statesman DO YOUR JOB.

    EDITOR NOTE–Looks to us that no candidates even bothered to respond to the City Clerk’s offer for a photo and profile on the website. Ever try to contact a city councilor without having to let the mayor’s staff be aware of it?

  23. chessplayer
    Oct 22, 2007, 4:49 pm

    Up until now Tibbs’ idea of “green” was the color of the bottom of his heated pool, the tag inside his expensive ostrich boots, and money. His Valley Vision Initiative is clearly not his brainchild and anyone who has ever worked with him knows better.

  24. Cyclops: Bieter’s been working to protect Boise’s environment for years. He was the first mayor in Idaho to sign the US Mayors Climate Change Protection agreement (which led directly to the the formation of the committee Tibbs stole his ideas from). He also drafted the resolution objecting to the gold mine at the headwaters of Boise. He’s taken a firm stand against development in the foothills (your boy has said that a “balance” should be struck). Bieter’s efforts also led to Boise being designated a “Cool City” as established by DEQ standards. And he’s led the effort to convert Boise’s fleet to hybrid and bio-diesel. He’s fought against leap-frog development–like Avimor–that do NOTHING but put people in their cars for longer periods of time and lead directly to more air pollution and traffic congestion. Plus, during his term, more than 100 acres of parkland have been added. That’s why he earned the endorsement of Idaho Conservation Voters. Tibbs has been on the council for two years, please name even one proposal he’s put forward in that time that would address ANY conservation/greeen efforts. Please.

    Political Geek: Pop-Quiz, how many “green proposals” has Tibbs brought before Council? A-None. Won’t you at least give Bieter credit for putting the commission together? Please see the above for a list of Bieter’s accomplishments on the environment. As Mayor, he’s built protecting the environment into just about every aspect of his administration, not just some 3-page white paper during an election year. The fact is, that as a council member, Tibbs could’ve easily pushed for more aggressive action from the committee and forwarded his own ideas. He’s done nothing. I’ll give the guy some credit when he actually does something to deserve it. Also, last I checked, the Mayor’s race is non-partisan and judging by the campaign finance reports, Bieter has garnered a ton of support from well know republicans and democrats, so I’m not sure what your “are we so partisan” attack really meant.

    Editor: the Bieter camp told me that the city never contacted them about the profile/photo. Thanks to your heads-up though, they’re sending the info in this week. Until then, however, folks can see a photo of Bieter and read his bio at both and Mr. Tibbs also has a web site. I’ll leave it to Cyclops to post the link (no credit needed, since I don’t believe Mr. Tibbs borrowed it from anyone else).

  25. Hey Guardian. Alan Shealey just said at the CC meeting that”most of what you do isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit”. And there was a certain amount of “giggleing” by other members of the council when he said it. Boy, I bet all those people that want him re-elected are sure proud of him now! What a mayor!! What a City Council!!
    Nick, based on your prior posts, those are your “peeps”! Ever think about changing ponies?

    More proud than ever to be a Tibbs supporter!

  26. Redgie Bigham
    Oct 24, 2007, 1:15 pm

    Hi Dave!

    I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you in person, but I’ve had a real pleasure in reading the Boise Guardian and reading intelligent and compelling Commentary from your readers!

    Two days ago Annette Mooney called from the City and said something about my “info and the city site”. The message was muffled and I’ve put calls into her for two days and each time I’ve called I get, “I’m sorry she’s in a meeting.” I left another message for her this morning and have not heard back as yet.

    A want-to-be-informed voter called me about an hour after the City called the same day. The gentleman asked me about why we (the challengers) were not posted in the papers, the city site, etc.?

    I told him that the city had just called and he concluded, “Well, that’s probably because of my call. I told them at the VERY least they should post all of the Candidate’s information for voters!!”

    I agreed that it was a great idea. I went on to tell him that the (Challengers) have given their responses to the questions given to us by both the Statesman and Boise Weekly. (To credit BW they posted our info today!)

    The Statesman held a phone interview with me on the 4th of October. I sent in the requested photo before the “deadline”, (I didn’t have a professional photo for press yet, and crawled out of bed sick to get one shot), as well as submit my responses. However, this past Monday we were in for another interview, (this time with the Editorial Board) and they said they didn’t have the information I had previously sent over. (?)

    I cannot tell you how difficult it is to watch as this “election” progresses, (if that’s what you want to call it).

    People who have lived here for 10, 15, 20 years do not know that if they live in Boise that they vote for the Mayoral race AND the three City Council Seats. These folks are asking me about the district boundaries, about where to vote and how and where to register. I even had a couple of people ask me if the City Election is this year.

    I’ve also checked around the Post Offices and then made a call to USPS about why we don’t provide voter registration forms at our area Boise post offices. They let me know that the City of Boise is “phasing out providing voter information at the area post offices.” The rep continued, “…it says here you have to call the City.”

    More and more doors are closing to the voting public. Less convenience means less informed and even less registered voters.

    Please VOTERS; Get the word out! Help me, help you! I am only ONE, and we need your voices, your vote! Know YOU can make a difference and YOU are invaluable to this community! YOU COUNT!

    Thank you, Dave for the space for the race!

    Most sincerely,

    Redgie Kate Bigham
    Candidate for Boise City Council

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