City Government

Cunningham “Taken To Woodshed,” Educated By Bieter

Long time Boise Schools administrator and City Council candidate Mike Cunningham got a political education recently and the instructor was Mayor Dave Bieter.

Bieter had stayed out of the race for the vacant city council seat, but when Cunningham opined at a neighborhood association meeting that Boise City should not have increased the budget 1.5% when other local governments were either holding the line or cutting back, Bieter reviewed his lesson plan and gave an”A” to his new teacher’s pet, Ben Quintana. Cunningham was left with an “incomplete” at best.

Cunningham got the news when he was “woodshedded” at the principal’s office of the soon to be three term mayor who told him he couldn’t have someone on the council who opposed his budget.

Both Cunningham and Quintana are vying for the seat created in a game of musical chairs. Vern Bisterfeldt left the council to be an Ada Commissioner and Bieter appointed Loren Mclean to fill the vacant seat.

Back in May Quintana announced he would be leaving his Public Relations job at the Chamber of Commerce to run for council. He cut a deal with McClean, promising not run against her.

When Councilor Alan Sheeley dropped out of the race, McClean announced for his four year seat and is running unopposed. The only real race now is the two year seat formerly held by Mclean. In addition to Cunningham and Quintana, contractor Lawrence Johnson joined the race. Johnson has endorsement from the entire three member Ada County Commission.

With Bieter now firmly in the Quintana-Chamber of Commerce business camp, Cunningham’s only chance is a grassroots outpouring from the “Occupy” camp and the several generations of kids and parents who knew him as “Mr. C” in the various schools where he was a principal.

Early voting began Monday, October 24th and will continue through Friday, November 4th; 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

As of noon Tuesday, October 25th, only 61 voters had cast their ballots at the early voting site.

Ada County’s early voting site is located at 400 N. Benjamin, Suite 100 in Boise. On Election Day, November 8th, voters will have to go to their local voting precinct to cast their ballots. To find out if you are registered or where to vote, visit:

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Well, I know who to vote for – Cunningham. It would be nice not to have a lockstep, kneejerk, tax and spend spend spend liberal on the Council. Might even shame the others into doing the right thing or at least making it harder for them to do truly stupid things.

    Oh, and I don’t think that was much of an education by Bieter. An expression of pique, petulance, arrogance or slime, but an education? Not so much.

  2. Dean Gunderson
    Oct 25, 2011, 6:06 pm

    Though I do not speak for the OccupyBoise group, no city council candidate (or mayoral candidate) has asked for or received an OccupyBoise endorsement.

    In fact, if you attend an OccupyBoise event you’ll see every stripe of political affiliation — so opining that the group would back a single candidate (when most would get a failing grade) is a misstatement.

  3. Lawrence Johnson
    Oct 25, 2011, 10:22 pm

    If you want A true conservative voice on City Council, Vote Lawrence Johnson. Endorsements also include: Rep Lynn Luker, Rep Joe Palmer, Rep Marv Hagedorn, Sen Shirley Mckague, Sen John Andreason, Comm Sharon Ulman, Comm Rick Yzaguire, Comm Vern Bisterfeldt, Building Contractors Association, and Dawn Hatch. These Leaders have endorsed me as the conservative cadidate for City Council seat 2.

  4. If I lived in Boise I’d vote for anyone but Bieter. I can’t stand listening to his voice any longer.

  5. I know city elected positions are “non-partisan” (nudge-nudge, wink-wink), but when candidates run unopposed, it really irritates me and my fellow VTBO partisans.

    (“Vote The Bums Out.” As a rule, I believe in government “by the people,” rather than by career politicians. And the LAST person I want to vote for is somebody who’s the lap dog of the head honcho.)

  6. Hey, Dean… I’m curious about OccupyBoise. Are they aligned with the Occupy Wall Street crowd? The ones whose agenda includes:
    1) free healthcare for everybody
    2) forgiveness of all debts, mortgages, education loans, etc.
    3) minimum wage of $20, and a guaranteed “living wage”

    Yeah… those folks sound like they’re grounded in reality. (/sarcasm) Why would anybody want their endorsement? Do they vote?

  7. Grumpy ole guy
    Oct 26, 2011, 10:00 pm

    Mike Cunningham had my vote the moment I learned of his candidacy. I know him to be an honest and honorable person who has the good of citizens foremost in his thinking. His statement about the City falling into line with other taxing agencies is just common sense, it isn’t as though there are massive infra-structure issues involved in this cycle and his statement speaks to reality. I am surprised that Bieter would make such an obvious mis-step about this, he usually is more sure footed than this.

    Mr. C shepherded our three children through elementary school and I’d vote for him for any office he would seek.

  8. Dean Gunderson
    Oct 27, 2011, 12:03 am

    The Occupy Together movement is growing around the US, now with over 1,700 communities represented. The OccupyBoise group has had the largest per capita participation in our marches of any US city.

    For a better idea of what the movement is about – as opposed to what one is told they are about – check out the organization’s website at

    For a chance to meet others who are concerned about our future, and to participate in working towards a brighter future for everyone join us this Saturday at Capitol Park. It’ll be a great chance to have some interesting discussions, share some knowledge, learn a little bit, and add your voice to calls for positive change.

    Who knows, you might be surprised how much you have in common with the 99%. And yes (bikeboy) — every single one of the OccupyBoise members are voters. A little over half the crowd at the last City Council debate were members of OccupyBoise.

  9. Soon to be Third Term… not If Dave Hall has anything to say about it… and BIke Boy those “Agenda” things were proposed by one person and concensus was not reached Pay special attention to the word proposed.. Please educate yourself before you have opinions.. P.s. we ALL vote.

  10. We seem to be straying from the topic, however…

    Jake, I’m happy to get educated! I checked out the “proposals” at your link.

    Do the 99-percenters realize we’re already $14 trillion (that’s $14,000,000,000,000) in debt? The one-percenters don’t have enough to pay for an end to fossil fuel, single-pay health insurance, restoration of the environment, sparkling infrastructure, etc., even if we confiscated ALL their filthy lucre!

    (If anybody believes the “Occupy” folks have some realistic expectations, I encourage you to check out Jake’s link, above.)

    Oh – and P.S. – we DON’T all vote! Typically about 30 percent of eligible voters make the effort. In a ho-hum city election, I’d gamble it’ll be under 20 percent.

  11. Dean Gunderson
    Oct 27, 2011, 2:24 pm

    bikeboy, where to begin?

    First, your insistence that the Occupy Together movement actually has a list of demands is directly refuted by the link Jake offered.

    Here’s the text from the header of that article (that you might have missed), “This is a forum post submitted by a single user and hyped by irresponsible news/commentary agencies like Fox News and This content was not published by the collective, nor was it ever proposed or agreed to on a consensus basis with the NYC General Assembly.” In short, the list of “demands” you’ve attempted to attribute to the Occupy movement wasn’t made by the Occupy movement.

    Second, no one (to my knowledge) in the Occupy movement has ever asserted that if a sensible tax structure were reinstated — which would restore historic tax rates upon the wealthiest of Americans — that it would magically erase the debt.

    Thirdly, you are right regarding the pending crisis facing America. No matter what political or economic changes we’re able to implement — we’ll all be still stuck in our (collective) SUV’s at the end of America’s cul-de-sac (to paraphrase Jim Kunstler). But I would rather be in a situation where we’re all pulling together for a promising future, rather than strapped to the chariots of a ruling class.

    I would also hazard to guess that a significantly higher percentage of OccupyBoise members (much higher than 20-30%) will be voting in the local elections — I can’t speak for other citizens though.

  12. Dean, I’m not insisting anything! Just sharing my observations.

    “Rob from the rich and give to the poor” just ain’t gonna git ‘er done! (IMO.) The “sensible tax structure” would be useless, if the government, particularly at the federal level, continues to spend money at historically high levels.

    It’s interesting to me that the “Occupy” people seem to perceive “big business” as the root of the problem and the “Tea Party” people seem to perceive “big government” as the root of the problem, and ne’er the twain shall meet.

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