City Government

Gowen Strong, Inc. F-35 Advocates Dissolved

The non-profit corporation Gowen Strong, Inc., created Jan. 3 to “educate the public about the role and importance of the ID national guard,” filed to dissolve the entity on May 17–just nine days after the GUARDIAN posted a story exposing the corporation as a shell organization of Boise City with airport director Rebecca Hupp as agent and board member. Apparently there is no longer a need to educate the ignorant Boise masses.

Close examination shows Gowen Strong claimed to have voted to dissolve itself on February 10, 2017. A staffer at the Secretary of State’s office said the board of a corporation can list any date they choose to dissolve and file the articles of dissolution at anytime.

The dissolution is the latest in a series of moves to attract the F-35 using public assets to manipulate public opinion. To be clear, it is difficult to hold local government accountable, but a case can certainly be made that Boise City is violating the Idaho Constitutional prohibition against loaning its assets to a private entity. This would include staff salaries and time, computers, cell phones, copiers, vehicles, and all the other city assets used to promote Gowen Strong.

In short, it certainly looks suspect that the private non-profit with the city airport director at the helm was created to manipulate public opinion for a specific cause. When it was exposed as the alter ego of the city, the entity was dissolved to avoid claims of using public assets for a private cause.


Section 4. County, etc., not to loan or give its credit. No county, city, town, township, board of education, or school district, or other subdivision, shall lend, or pledge the credit or faith thereof directly or indirectly, in any manner, to, or in aid of any individual, association or corporation, for any amount or for any purpose whatever, or become responsible for any debt, contract or liability of any individual, association or corporation in or out of this state.

Spokesman Mike Journee has previously claimed Gowen Strong has no credit card and no bank account. We find it interesting he knows the details of a private corporation. It also begs the question, “Who the heck is paying for all the radio, newspaper, and internet ads touting Gowen Strong?” The site claims to be sponsored by entities including the Boise airport and Boise City.

KTVB Channel 7 broadcast this REPORT Thursday.

STATESMAN’s Sven Berg filed this REPORT with more details from the city folks.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Kent Goldthorpe
    Jun 1, 2017, 12:58 pm

    Dave, Thanks for being a driving force “reminding” government of its limits.

  2. The Gowen Strong website remains to be owned and controlled by City of Boise. In short it’s a Boise City website used to promote the F-35 for the IDANG, manpower and funding unknown… Also unknown is where all the mysterious money is coming from for their newspaper and radio ads (??).

    Dan Marler
    [email protected]

    EDITOR NOTE–ad money copies from Idaho Dept. of Commerce.

  3. Heinrich Wiebe
    Jun 1, 2017, 2:03 pm

    Glad to see the City is following through with their promises to dissolve the Corporation that they don’t control or fund. Formed Jan 3, 2017. Dissolve Feb 10, 2017. Barely time enough for one corporate meeting to vote –DISSOLVED.

    PER ETHICS(LESS) COMMISSION: “Due to the City’s inability to directly form a non-profit, the Airport Director desires to create this non-profit on her own time. She has retained private counsel, and all time spent on the new non-profit will be off-the-clock.

    The Mayor is supportive of the idea (to form the nonprofit) and initially wanted to create the non-profit in-
    house. He understands, however, why this is not possible.”

    Maybe MRS HUPP found another part-time gig doing something else that better serves the public? OR–they’ve been called out and the Mayor told her it’s over?

    Maybe Mike J. can tell us how gowenstrong pays for the ads then since he’s familiar with the financing element of all this.

    Gotta love the ability to time-travel with the dissolution backdating machine.

    This is gross.

  4. Barbara Snow
    Jun 1, 2017, 2:46 pm

    Thank you for your awesome reporting, so that we aren’t all kept looking the other way. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time!

  5. Michael ‘Sean Spicer’ Journee can’t tell us anything of substance.

  6. Drake Cooper is placing the ads on behalf of Department of Commerce. Follow the money.

  7. So is there any tracking of money that has been spent or “donated” to the cause of influencing the public with the resources paid for by public funds?

    EDITOR NOTE–See comment below, Idaho Dept. of Commerce is paying for the ads.

  8. Local Media You Suck
    Jun 1, 2017, 9:14 pm

    All the print and TV to be sure, but let us not forget the blowhards on the AM radio too. Yes, you too Nate.

    This is called State Controlled Media. The Mayor chooses the content. If Hillary had won would now be illegal.

  9. Citizens for a Livable Boise (CLB)
    Jun 2, 2017, 1:49 am

    Gowen Strong, Inc may now finally be dissolved (fake date or not), but the Gowen Strong website is still owned, operated and maintained by the city of Boise. In short, Gowen Strong is a city of Boise website intended to appear to be an IDANG website and a major source of providing what is often misleading and always unchallenged information to the public they serve. #LivableBoise

  10. Brian Vermilion
    Jun 2, 2017, 5:34 am

    You nailed them. Journalism at work here.

  11. GowenStrong Ads
    Jun 2, 2017, 7:34 am

    Drake Cooper needs to demand professional quality from whoever he is paying for GowenStrong ads.
    The ads seem to target Elementary School audience. Perhaps this is their plan: to raise next generation thinking it’s normal to have supersonic jets flying over their city.
    Like the ones who now are saying “Its the Sound of Freedom”, because they themselves grew up near a military airfield, in the flight path.
    One thing that is escaping the proponents of F-35, is the understanding that economy based on military expansion has no future, because it will result in a war that will end the world as we know it.

  12. Amateur hour at City Hall.

  13. Why is this news. ..
    Jun 2, 2017, 9:38 am

    I would not think that the airport director as a salaried employee has any “on her own” time available if she is doing anything, anything that involves the airport.

    If the web site is a city thing, can someone get an injunction to take it down?

  14. Get the records
    Jun 2, 2017, 12:15 pm

    If the Idaho Department of Commerce is the source of the money for the ads then that can be verified with public records.

    If they cannot produce the invoices that show they paid then someone else is hiding the money.

    Megan Ronk, Department of Commerce Director and co chief cheerleader to Ms Hupp, confirmed 4 weeks ago at the NNU breakfast that the Boise City Airport staff was a part of Gowen Strong. Stay tuned for actual quotes from the recording.

  15. Not Credible
    Jun 2, 2017, 12:18 pm

    So you really expect us to believe that they dissolved this in February and the form just happen to sit on someones desk 3 and half months!!!!!!

    Also how does a City Council give an “ethics waiver”?

    It is more like we know we are violating the law but we will vote on it so we can back each other up!!!!!!

    Can I get an ethics waiver for not paying my city taxes please???

  16. The Gowen Strong website is registered to an airport employee – how is that not a conflict if they are running the website?

  17. How much of that $100,000 in ID Dept. of Commerce Ad (Media Bribe) money is the Idaho Statesman getting? Heck of a way to get a Paper’s Editorial Board endorsement, sappy endless puff pieces on the F-35 Noise Monsters, and zero investigative journalism from the Statesman. Not to mention unrelenting Statesman Editor scrutiny of any anti-F-35 Opinion pieces and rejection of Op Eds for spurious reasons.

  18. It is very clear that the money and staff resources that are being spent by Ms Ronk and the Idaho Department of Commerce and the the Mayor and the City of Boise are focused on influencing local opinion – NOT “attracting” the F-35.

    There is a very high likelihood that IF there is any money being spent outside the State of Idaho that it is being spent to cover up the local citizens voices that are concerned about the impact to their homes and neighborhoods.

  19. Oligarchs Rule
    Jun 2, 2017, 5:14 pm

    Don’t blink!

    Betting they’ll reappear with a new propaganda friendly name like Patriotic Boiseans for Economic Freedom.

    Government and the fake corporate media are joined at the hip. They’ve got the bully pulpit, the money, and all the time in the world to implement their evil plans.

  20. “The City Council and Boise Ethics Commission said they recognized a potential conflict of interest, but signed off” S. Berg, Statesman

    So this is how the City of Boise ethics works…..just have them “sign off” and everything is OK?????

  21. Nothing worse for the wine and cheese crowd than to have ordinary people discover they are full of crap.

  22. Find the Contracts
    Jun 5, 2017, 3:08 pm

    All you need to do is get a copy of any and all advertising contracts and compare the dates and who signed them with the date funds were appropriated.

    If contracts were signed by any political subdivision prior to having money appropriated then a “debt” was created and violated the statue.

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