City Government

Council On AutoPilot, Approves $60K To “Educate Voters”

The council wants to educate us so cleverly
By spending 60K of our public money
So I will take my truth
To the ballot booth
To oust Shealy, Clegg, Jordan and Eberle!
–Poet Paul

On a 4 to 1 vote Tuesday evening the Boise City Council approved a deal with a public relations firm to fund an “educational outreach” so voters will know the “unbiased truth” about why they should vote for a constitutional amendment that will deny their right to approve future debt for airport projects.

Only TJ Thomson voted against the measure and even his vote was couched in economic rather than philosophical terms.

Councilor Alan Shealy berated the Idaho Statesman, certain individuals and groups for spreading “disinformation.” He said the expenditure was not from tax funds, but from airport funds paid by airlines and rental car companies. He failed to mention that by every legal definition those funds are PUBLIC MONIES.

Councilor David Eberle talked of the “economic vitality” created by the airport while Councilor Maryanne Jordan bemoaned the current constitutional provisions–the ones that allow citizen oversight–“hampered economic development in the past.”

The unvarnished truth is through their public statements and prior actions the Boise City Council and Mayor favor eliminating the constitutional provision that cities must seek voter assent for debt at airports–or anywhere else. Based on the Supreme Court ruling in Ameritel Inns vs Greater Boise Auditorium District and an Idaho Attorney General’s opinion the city is clearly on thin ice and probably outside the law spending public money for a PR firm once a measure is on the ballot as is this statewide measure.

Six years ago GUARDIAN editor Dave Frazier sued the city over a proposed second parking garage after they allowed him three minutes to explain his concerns. Even then the city said it was on firm legal ground. The Idaho Supreme Court was better informed about the constitution and rendered a decision which pretty well carved in stone the right of citizens in Idaho to approve local public debt–regardless the source of revenues. Ever since their sound legal defeat, city officials have spent tens of thousands of tax dollars proposing legislation and constitutional amendments aimed at circumventing the voters.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I thought Shealy was supposed to be the fiscally conservative republican. Guess he’s just as liberal as the rest, except he’s an effete Eastern liberal – the worst kind. The “We know what’s best for you so sit down and shut up.” kind.

  2. One truth…politicians will continue to do exactly as they desire regardless of what the citizens want until they fear the voters…

  3. Baaa, Baaa, the sheep do as expected.

    I can’t wait to hear about how not voting on debt underwritten by taxpayers will be good for everyone.

    Do any of these elected people understand this is real money and those of us who are paying for this may be more than a little bit upset?

  4. Looks like Shealy is still wearing his college nickname around his neck. ‘Rude and Smooth’

  5. Remember alan shealy(i am refusing to capitalize their names any longer) and his most famous utterance during the police negotiations. “They are on dope and dogfood” was, I believe, the quote. He (shealy) has proven to be an elitist snob many times during his tenure on the council.

  6. Dave, didn’t you know that when the government spends money it will never cost you even a penny. Don’t worry, be happy!

    I think they voted this way because they didn’t like getting pushed around and predicted by a media outlet. Plus the $60K of someone else’s money doesn’t mean beans to them.

    I feel so stimulated by all the extra spending these days, don’t you?

  7. Inside City Hall
    Jul 21, 2010, 12:23 am

    Shealy a conservative – Not. The firm that was hired is clearly a group of democrats. The entire council did nothing more than make a motion to influence an election.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise is dead wrong. Those of us that work at City Hall know full well this is the agenda. The council wants the Constitution changed so they can tax more and spend more without voter approval. It is that simple.

  8. Can someone ask the court to issue a stop order until a court rules on if this is really legal?

    This move by the city seems cleary out of line – regardless of what the city lawyers saw . . besides they city lawyers do what the council wants anyway.

  9. sam the sham
    Jul 21, 2010, 1:14 am

    now why do I live in this city…being born and raised here is not really a good enough reason. Are other cities run by idiots?

  10. Thank heavens for the Boise Guardian!
    Always get the real truth. Alan Shealy should be charged with a crime for deception. The deceit in this local administration is criminal.

  11. What happened to everyone’s favorite “common man” Bisterfeldt? Not there?

    EDITOR NOTE–The common man was taking care of his wife following her eye surgery earlier in the day. Not only common, but dedicated to family!

  12. “”Councilor Alan Shealy berated the Idaho Statesman, certain individuals and groups for spreading “disinformation.” He said the expenditure was not from tax funds, but from airport funds paid by airlines and rental car companies. He failed to mention that by every legal definition those funds are PUBLIC MONIES.””


    Crooks like this are taking their lead from the Chicago crooks in control of DC right now. Please don’t let them intimidate you into silence Guardian!

    I agree that there should be some sort of injunction to keep them from even obligating funds to “influence” an election. Maybe they should get with the black panther characters that carried battons outside the polling station in PA for tips on how to do that.

    AAAARRRGGGHHHHH what does it take to STOP THESE CROOKS!!!

  13. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 21, 2010, 2:00 pm

    “ya right”, who remains anonymous and won’t even give us his first name, tries to equate the idiots in the Boise city hall with the Obama Administration. Not even close.

  14. Rod, both sets are idiots and elitist! Look at the news! “Fire that woman immediately!!” NAACP response “not so fast”! Administration response, “she is gone!”. Media and NAACP response,”That’s not fair”! Administration response, ” OK! Let’s offer her another job!
    I am thinking that Clinton was correct when she stated during the primaries that Obama “wasn’t ready to be president!”
    When you compare that with the total arrogance and “we know better than you what is best, so go sit down and shut up” attitude of the elected officials at city hall, you must admit there is definitel a comparison of ineptitude and idiocy!
    I hope you remember my name. If noit:
    Jim Monihan

  15. Dave, America is in “FAIL” mode. Why should the City of Boise, and an amazing number of people who want to give up their rights, be any different.

  16. Gene Fadness
    Jul 22, 2010, 4:01 pm

    I couldn’t even get past the first entry in the follow-up comments to this piece. Hoping for intelligent debate and not schoolyard taunting, I come across this description of Councilman Shealy: “except he’s an effete Eastern liberal – the worst kind.” Effete? Eastern liberal? What a waste of an opportunity for somewhat intelligent discussion.

    EDITOR NOTE–Well said! Once again we will ask those who wish to taunt to take it to the Statesman site. This issue is important and deserves discussion on the constitutional rights of citizens, not personalities.

  17. The definition of effete: soft or delicate from or as if from a pampered existence.

    Alan Shealy grew up in the northeast so eastern is accurate. He votes along with the liberal bloc so liberal is accurate. He’s exceedingly rich and pampered so effete is also accurate.

    Perhaps Gene must disagree with “the worst kind” so I apologize for that – that’s an opinion not a fact. The rest – totally accurate description.

    And our pockets are still being picked. We, in effect, are paying for the rope with which they will hang us.

  18. Note to Sam the Sham..
    Never vote for anyone if the elected job will be the best job they ever had. Once in office all the attention and focus goes to staying in office and little else.

    Try to think of an exception to this observation. I have and can’t find any exeptions to this axiom.

  19. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 23, 2010, 2:43 pm

    Alan Shealy a liberal?? A liberal bloc on the Boise City Council?? LOL. Are you kidding? They are all so pro-business, they fit right in with George W. Bush’s failed agenda of trickle-down economics, tax-cuts-for-the-rich, and wars over oil.

    As a middle class working citizen, I feel totally ignored by the Boise City government and by the State of Idaho. At least the Obama Administration is trying, in it’s bumbling, not-very-competent way, to reverse some of the worst abuses of the Bush Administration.

  20. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 23, 2010, 8:03 pm

    Back to the core of the issue, here. This is (for now) all about improvements at the Boise airport. Who benefits from improvements at the Boise airport? Business interests. The city is trying to get around having the public vote on spending for improvements at the airport, which will (in their way of thinking) bring more business to Boise. That is conservative, not liberal. If it looks like a duck, etc, then it is a duck.

    Our city council and mayor also support bringing the F-35 here. Again, pro-business, and conservative, not liberal.

  21. I look at it as Boise City trying to take away our freedom to say how they spend OUR money!!

  22. Kate,
    You have hit the nail on the head!

    Between the taxpayer rip of of urban rewnewal and November amendments to the constitution of Idaho we will be pretty well cut out of voting for debt for anything other than schools.

    Maybe the mayor will use the $60K to send us to “re-education camp” where they can work their magic on those of us who challenge the wisdom of them screwing us all.

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