Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Imagine Prop 2?s devastation

Two things are in ample supply for boosters of Proposition 2 on Idaho's November ballot.

Money and gall.

Cash aplenty flows in from the proposition's fat cat banker—secretive Manhattan real estate millionaire Howard Rich. Reporters of Portland's Oregonian newspaper discovered Rich has spread at least $7.3 million around 12 states on ballot initiatives that attempt to deceive voters.

Which leads us to the gall of organizers.

Last week they threatened Idaho television stations with legal action if they continued broadcasting ads opposing Prop 2, claiming they're misleading, an obvious effort to muzzle opponents of Prop 2.

Prop 2's front man, Laird Maxwell, knows something about misleading.

· Maxwell's newly-created group, This House Is My Home, takes pains to list names of Idaho supporters, but avoids listing the name of its biggest supporter, millionaire Rich, who foots bills here.

· Prop 2 is heavily advertised as "protecting your home and property from government abuse." In fact, Prop 2 is a smokescreen to restrict, if not eliminate, local government planning and zoning. Without proper zoning, imagine the spectacle of state Highway 75 between Ketchum and Hailey—blotches of commercial stores, billboards, neon signs, belching industry, and hillsides scarred from road building—with no regard for nearby homeowners or for our base industry: tourism.

●Prop 2's boosters avoid acknowledging their initiative is part and parcel of millionaire Rich's network of local-sounding attempts to make the West easier prey for land speculators—in Arizona, Home Owners Protective Effort; in Nevada, People's Initiative To Stop Taking Our Land; in California, Citizens to Save California; in Nebraska, Nebraskans for Human Care Committee, to name a few.

Idahoans shouldn't be fooled by this Manhattan millionaire's scheme.

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