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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 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. 

For the week of August 6 - 12, 2003


Money counts

Itís a big deal when the vice president of the United States visits Idaho, a tiny state whose four electoral votes barely register in presidential election years.

Yet, the only people in Idaho who saw Dick Cheney when he visited on Monday paid $2,000 a ticket.

Not a wave. Not a handshake. Just a line of limos. Thatís all most in Idaho saw of the vice president.

Reporters and photographers, along with the rest of the public, were barred from covering Cheneyís appearance at a Republican fund-raising event at a ranch near Gannett.

They were also barred from even photographing him when he arrived in the Air Force Gulfstream jet at Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey.

The plane stopped far from the terminal. Cheney quickly joined an entourage that left from a heavily protected and little-used gate.

Funny. Call us old-fashioned. But we were under the obviously mistaken impression that people like the president and the vice president work for the people of the United States: The of the people, by the people, for the people thing President Lincoln, a different kind of Republican, referred to in the Gettysburg address.

We also were under the mistaken impression that the vice president would want to be photographed waving to people: The people who keep the economy rolling. The people who own the military planes and cars he used on the trip. The people whose sons and daughters were on the lines or on deck in the Iraq War.

We were under the same mistaken impression when CIA Director George Tenet visited Sun Valley in July. On that trip, too, the Bush Administrationís chief of intelligence had time only for corporate moguls.

We were surprised Cheney couldnít even spare a wave for a photo for the folks without a cool $2,000 to spare for his "Snack on the Ranch."

Even Idaho Speaker of the House Bruce Newcomb, one of the biggest wigs in the stateís Republican universe, told a newspaper reporter he didnít attend the event because he couldnít afford the ticket.

Cheney taught a hard lesson that runs contrary to what most of us learn in school in this democratic nation. People with money count. As for the rest ..., itís obvious.



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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.