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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

Friday — March 26, 2004


Some Kerry volunteers get thank-yous

Some volunteers say they
were snubbed by Kerry

"Although our trip director believes John Kerry was never invited to a party, we’re always disappointed when we miss a chance to celebrate with Idaho’s best Democrats."

— DAVID REED, Kerry campaign spokesman

Express Staff Writer

Though they did not see Sen. John Kerry at a party thrown in their honor Monday night, some of the volunteers who helped with the Democratic presidential hopeful’s visit to Sun Valley last week eventually did get pats on the back.

"I even got a hug. That was nice," said Idaho Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum. "He said thank you very much. Theresa (Heinz Kerry) definitely said thank you."

Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential hopeful, was never far from the watchful eye of Secret Service agents during his vacation in Ketchum the past week. Express photo Willy Cook

More than 50 supporters and volunteers gathered Monday night at The Roosevelt Tavern at the invitation of the business’ owner, Tom Nickel. Though Idaho Mountain Express reporters were told earlier on Monday that the Massachusetts senator would not attend the function, those in attendance waited patiently for his arrival.

Kerry campaign spokesman David Reed scrambled this week to explain to the volunteers, some of whom expressed off-the-record contempt about Kerry’s absence, and that the Democratic Party’s probable presidential nominee was unaware of the party for the volunteers.

"Although our trip director believes John Kerry was never invited to a party, we’re always disappointed when we miss a chance to celebrate with Idaho’s best Democrats," Reed said.

Spokeswoman Laura Kapps said there was a miscommunication between the volunteers and Kerry.

"We’re sorry for any misunderstanding. It wasn’t something that the campaign committed to doing," she said. "He is extremely grateful for the graciousness of the people of Ketchum, and I’m sure he’s planning to thank those folks as he prepares to leave."

According to Jaquet and Blaine County Democrats Chair Betty Murphy, he did.

"I was over at the Kerry house this morning with the volunteers. I even got a hug," Murphy said Wednesday afternoon after helping drive the Kerrys to the airport in Twin Falls. "He spoke individually to all of us who were there. It was very nice."

Murphy called the Monday night party incident a "big misunderstanding, a big miscommunication."

"It was too bad it happened," she said. "I think that once we explain everything to our volunteers, they will understand. This has been a great learning experience for all of us."

Jaquet said Kerry’s newfound fame is something local residents will have to try to get used to.

"It’s hard, because we’re used to him strapping on his snowboard and getting in the singles line," she said. "Now there’s this whole logistical nightmare, and all of us were really scrambling trying to figure out what that meant."

Jaquet and Murphy agreed that the Kerrys looked refreshed and restored when they were leaving.

"Sen. Kerry said to me this morning, ‘I really don’t want to leave. It was a great vacation,’" Murphy said.

"We gave them T-shirts," Murphy continued. "On the back they say, "Crawford, Texas? Sun Valley, Idaho? Ask the press … no brainer."

"He laughed. He thought they were funny, too," she said.

(The Associated Press contributed to this article.)


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.